We have a last minute family travel opportunity to France and Germany with my mom who is 78 and my sister and me. It was after one of those conversations about how she does so much caregiving for my dad (we all do, but she does the most), and I really wanted her to have a chance to travel for 9 days and do something for her. I also think this might be the last opportunity we have as mom and daughters to do something like this. The chance came up and we took it. We leave March 24th and return April 2nd.
I've been to Europe with my husband and for work probably a dozen or more times, driving for me over there is no problem, and I've been to this region before. We even brought my mom along on a driving trip around France back in 2013. She's a little more frail now but still is pretty good with travel. Walking is no problem but she cannot do anything steep and heights kind of freak her out now.
We found a cheap RT flight to and from Paris. We will have 8 nights once you factor out the two flying days. I will have the car the entire time, which in retrospect was dumb because we'll be in Paris the last two nights. I will see if I can change it.
So, 6 nights on the road, and we do have one required stop: Hassloch, Germany (about 1.5 hours SW of Frankfurt, and about 6 hours directly east of Paris), where my 19-year-old son is going to be working as a waterskier for the Holiday Park Theme Park. Just want to see him, deliver some stuff from home he needs, take him to dinner...it'll be a quick visit. But, my sister has never been to Europe, my mom's never been to Germany, so I'd love to show them some quintessential spots and experiences without overdoing it too much on the driving (as in 5 or 6 hours of driving between places every other day is probably the max).
My mom loves nature and easy hikes, anything with a good story from history, wine/champagne/beer, food, a museum or two is fine, and maybe throw a cathedral in there for good measure. Castles? sure.
The drive from Paris to Hassloch is 6 hours. I don't think we will do that all the first day.
Tell me what you think of this itinerary:
March 25th: land at CDG, pick up rental car. Drive to Champagne region for tour, tasting, and possibly a place to crash for the night. I think my mom would enjoy the Champagne tour. Any suggestions? Reims seems too big for a one night stop. Is there somewhere quaint with a good place to sleep and a good restaurant or two? Any good places you would recommend?
March 26th: Drive to Hassloch, see the kid, take him to lunch or whatever, and then drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Stay in Rothenburg.
March 27th: Day trip to Nuremburg for historical sites, or Bamburg for brewery experience (hubby and I did a self-paced brewery crawl there and we had so much fun, I think mom would enjoy it), or just stay in Rothenburg. Stay the night in Rothenburg.
March 28th: Drive to Bavaria/Neuchwanstein/Tyrol/that region - need ideas for a place to stay. Stay in....?
March 29th: Visit castles, towns, enjoy some traditional Bavarian food, etc. Stay in same place as the 28th.
March 30th: Drive to Colmar. Explore Colmar, if time visit Eguisheim. Stay in Colmar.
March 31st: Drive to Paris/Stay in Paris. I have this part of the trip planned out.
April 1st: Explore Paris. Stay in Paris.
April 2nd: Fly home from CDG at 1 pm.
But...I am also really open to changing around things/doing different combinations that involved any of the following (or others!):
Any suggested itineraries/input would be great! Thanks, everyone!