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Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

Kottayam, India
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Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

We are planning a trip for next May. There are 6 adults and 3 kids, 1 who will be 1.5 yrs, 1 almost 2 and 1 almost 6. We would like to do some RV travel if possible. What I wished to know is whether Europe or the US would be cheaper to travel in. Also I wondered which of the places would be more kid friendly. I would appreciate any feedback.

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

What are your interests, how long do you want to come, what part of Europe/Usa? Kindfriendlyness depends on the behaviour of the kids of course...

South London
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2. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

Also depends on time of year your travelling and the exchange rate! In what terms do you mean kid-friendly? It depends on the places you choose to frequent...

When you say cheaper to travel in do you mean petrol?Food?

Kottayam, India
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3. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

If it were to be the US, the base would be Chicago, as we have close family there. For the 'family together' part of the holiday, I thought of a maximum of a week to 10 days. I thought of an RV because the tots could then have some kind of schedule with regard to feeding and sleeping, without compromising on distance covered.

If it was to travel to Europe, I thought of Southern Europe as I figured the weather would be pleasanter (for someone from India anyway). But family has to come from the US too then and air fares are already quite high for next May. Of course the advantage of the US is that there is always family to fall back on.

As to behaviour, from tiny tots below 2 there is only so much you can expect and the older one, if engaged, is ok to manage.

Kottayam, India
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4. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

To Jesse, we had thought of travelling next May.

Regarding exchange rate, from India our exchange rate vs Euro or US $ is rather against us.

Cheaper to travel, I meant both food and petrol.

Thanks for your replies.

Washington
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5. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

It really depends on what you do and where you go.

As a US resident who has been traveling to Europe quite frequently over the last few months, I think you will find airfares quite high, there is no sign of them going down. Because airlines have cut back so much, there are few deals to be had, and as you said, May will be expensive to fly to Europe. So that will increase your cost - if you factor your Chicago relatives flying to Europe.

I guess when traveling with kids the young ages you have, it doesn't matter so much where you go, as given the opportunity to play and relax, be well fed and rested, kids can enjoy just about anything, as long as the adults are happy and relaxed too. The opportunity to spend time with family/relative is quite precious.

With that in mind, then my advice would tip to the US, because already with family in Chicago, your costs will be less, as they will know the area and have access to cheaper things. Chicago, even though a major metropolitan area, is in the middle of the country, and generally the Midwest is cheaper than either coast. Gas (Petrol) is definitely cheaper in the US, but overall travel distances are greater, so that cost may even out, depending on what you actually do. Europe has smaller, more gas efficient RVs. In the US, the smaller, more gas efficient RVs are less common. Class C motorhome rentals are most common in the US. Would you rent an RV in Chicago? If so then the state parks in Wisconsin and Michigan are just gorgeous, and there are many kid friendly locations, some of my favorites in the country. Or you may consider renting a cabin or condo in a resort area. Outside of Chicago is an amusement park, Six Flags over America, a fun day trip for your extended group.

When we traveled in Europe with our 3 kids, one of the greater travel issues we had in hotels was finding "family" rooms that would allow the five of us to stay in one room, as it was not uncommon for the limit to be 3 or 4, and strictly enforced. Sometimes there was no other choice than renting two rooms, which added to the cost; my husband with two of the boys in one room, myself in the other with another boy. Of course, it takes a little more effort, but there are family rooms or apartments that are available in Europe. In the US, it is common for hotels to allow 4 people to stay in a room, and with a 2 year, you can order a crib, and shouldn't have any issues. Such there are many national chains that are "suite" hotels (ie; Embassy Suites, Marriott Residence Inn, etc) that offer a 1 or 2 bedrooms for a very reasonable price - and include breakfast (which is less common in the US) and often a fairly decent swimming pool, which are excellent values for families.

And lastly, in the US, the school year generally doesn't end until late May or well into June. As a result, though you will find May starting to pick up with travelers, though generally families don't start vacations often until June or late May, so you may find some areas and family activities less crowded, and prices more reasonable as long as kids are still in school. Note that in the US, Memorial Day is Monday, May 30, a national holiday, and that weekend May 27-30, is a very busy travel weekend, and the "unofficial start of summer". Prices (even gas) start rising as you get closer to Memorial Day.

Good luck with your decision making.

Kottayam, India
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6. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

Thank you so much IslandGrl.! That was a very comprehensive reply, with a great deal of info. Looks like US it would be.

Chicago, IL
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7. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

May will be chilly with spring rains alternating with some sunny days in the 50s and perhaps 60s. The weather in July and August is typically hot and humid. You might want to check the history data tab at www.wunderground.com.

Then you can do onto the Chicago websites and the Tripadvisor forum and see what you would like to do while in the city. There's a lot from which to choose.

Washington
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8. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

Keep us posted on your plans. Let us know if you have additional questions.

Kottayam, India
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9. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

Thank you all for your replies. They were certainly very helpful. And I'll keep you posted. By the way, need I start making bookings now?

Washington
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for Seattle, Family Travel
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10. Re: Europe vs US expense wise, with 3 kids almost 2 to 6

It really depends on your comfort level, how firm your dates are, and if you, for example, want to use miles for airfare. I don't see airfares dropping as we move into the spring/summer season, but it is always a gamble.

bing.com has an airfare predictor, but I have not found that to be too accurate.