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Family holiday

We are considering travelling to Austria, Slovakia and Croatia with our family (17, 15 and 10)this summer. Having never been to Europe, I'm not even sure where to start. Any suggestons?

Posted by
545 posts

Matka, I just really curious how you chose that combination of countries. What kinds of transportation were you planning and what sorts of things were you hoping to see and do?

Posted by
3 posts

We thought we would fly to Vienna then take the train to visit friends in Slovakia. Besides telling us how beautiful their own country is, they suggested Croatia.

We plan to be in Europe 10 - 12 days, and thought that would be too long in Slovakia. Maybe we would spend too much time travelling to Croatia compared to the time we would have to explore, though? I was thinking there is a great variety of things to see in Croatia - Pula, Zagreb, Plitvice National Park, and Dubrovnik, if time allows.

As this is our first trip, do you think we're on the wrong track? I appreciate any advice or suggestions!

Posted by
10344 posts

Matka: Since you asked, I'll just say that many travelers would not decide to go only to Slovakia and Croatia on their first ever trip to Europe--without first doing their own independent research to consider all the other possible destinations and attractions that Europe has to offer. Slovakia and Croatia are worthwhile destinations. But before making a final decision, perhaps you'll want to get a book on Europe, possibly Rick's Best of Europe or other similar book, and independently of your friends' advice do your own studying about the wealth of fabulous choices you have. You're spending a large amount of money in transportation and other costs just to get to Europe; and the question is: Is the fact that your friends are located in Slovakia arbitrarily narrowing your choices? But I also realize your planning is naturally influenced by where your friends are and by their advice. Hopefully, in the end you will get the trip you want by considering all the possibilities. Maybe Slovakia and Croatia are exactly what you want.

Posted by
188 posts

Visiting friends is a good way to get initiated to foreign countries. Your time in Europe is not long, so you probably don't want to spend a lot of time travelling from one place to the next. Possible solutions? Choose destinations closer to each other (Vienna and Slovakia --Krakov, Hungary, Slovenia) or make use of cheap flights if available (Vienna to Dubrovnik).

I haven't heard of Backroads but they seem to have a variety of active things--quite pricey, though from my quick glance! You might also want to check out or or -- even for suggested itineraries. We know family and friends that have had good tours with the above. Rick's book on Croatia/Slovenia has information for you to "do it yourself". We enjoyed our time in Slovenia/Croatia last summer and went on a "sailing type" trip through the Dalmatian islands as well as going on our own. Lots of active things your kids might enjoy.