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mom and teen trip - itinary help please

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Toronto, Canada
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mom and teen trip - itinary help please

Hi, Oops, I spelled itinerary wrong, sorry

I am planning a trip to Europe with my daughter next summer when she turns 16. I was thinking of travelling for 2-3 weeks when she finishes school, but am not sure where to go and how long to stay in each place. She would like to see Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome. I thought of flying into Paris , then flying to Venice, taking train to Florence and train to Rome and then fly home from Rome. I just don't want to feel like I need a vacation afterwards from all the running around. Are there any places with a beach to relax for a few days or just 1 day to break up a trip? I don't want to go to the south of france as I was there before. My daughter wants to see the main places in Paris, ie. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and . I heard that Versailles is nice, something about a House of Mirrors.

So how many days do you think we could go to Paris for just to see the main sites?

Please any help is appreciated. If you have any suggestions about where to go, what to see, and how long to stay in each place, please let me know. Also we are doing this trip on our own and not with an organized tour group, but I would like to take individual city tours. What about the hop on/off tours or the guided tours. Do the hop on/off provide any details about what you are seeing or does it just literally drop you off and you are on your own.

Thanks so much,

Edited: 23 September 2010, 02:24
Atlanta, Georgia
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11. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

I guess I should have said "nights" rather than days, because the first day would be a travel day with airport time. Unless you're Jeannie and you can *poof!* your way there, it does take some time to get there from Paris. If you fly to Venice late in the day, it would only be 3 full days of sightseeing.

I don't think 3 days is too long to see Venice, esp if you want to visit the Lido (your best shot at beach time) and visit some of the other islands in the lagoon. But if you just want a quick photo stop at the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge, I guess you don't need much time there.

Paris is a different story, and 5-6 days is barely scratching the surface. I could spend a month in Paris without running out of things to do. I've been 4 times, and I'm spending 6 days there in May, although it still won't be long enough to see that much. Versailles can take up most of a day by itself. And the day of arrival is usually worthless for most people b/c of jet lag.

So no matter how long your trip, Paris is worth the longest stay possible of the 4 cities, followed by Rome. The stops in Venice and Florence should be shorter (although Florence has many lovely day trips to the smaller Tuscan towns nearby, if that interests you).

Atlanta, Georgia
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12. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

PS: Imho, the Amalfi Coast is too far from Rome for a "day trip."

The AC is also not just one town -- it's made up of several little towns along the coast, and it takes a long time to get there from Rome. You have to train to Naples, and then take a series of bus or boats to get to the AC. The AC is gorgeous and well worth visiting, but it deserves a couple of days at least.

I also think Pompeii is too far for a day trip, but people do it, and coach tours are offered from Rome. You have to really want to see Pompeii, and be willing to put in a very long day to do it.

PS: Viatours offers a lot of day trip excursions from Rome.

viator.com/tours/…d511-2635POM

Edited: 25 September 2010, 07:33
Toronto, Canada
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13. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

Thanks to everyone for their help. After reading all of your comments, I have decided to make this a 3 week trip devoting 5-6 days in Paris, 2-3 days Venice (flying from Paris to Venice), 5 days Florence so we could take a few day trips, and 7 days in Rome with day trips possibly to Tivoli and Ostia Antica. I think our trip will be less rushed this way, do you agree?

For day trips in Florence I was thinking about Pisa, Lucca, and possibly Siena or San Gimignano? What are your suggestions? Thanks for telling me about the Amalfi coast and Pompeii being too far for day trips from Rome- really appreciate the info.

People have suggested staying in an apartment in Rome? Are they just as safe as a hotel? I am travelling with my daughter but without my husband, so I would like to stay close to public transit, so we don't have to walk far to wherever we are staying if it's late at night.

I also heard that some hotels in Paris have shared bathrooms. We definitely don't want that. I don't want my daughter getting up in the middle of the night and leaving the room to go to the bathroom. Are B&B's better to stay in or apartments in Paris?

Sorry for all the questions, just 1 more. Do people travel with travellers cheques anymore? I don't want to bring a lot of cash, but need places that would accept travellers cheques. What about VISA?

:)

Victoria, Canada
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14. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

Lisa,, only the very cheapest of budget hotels have shared bathrooms, its actually very unusual now. I have stayed in about 8 or 9 budget to moderate hotels in Paris ,, all with ensuite bathrooms. If you let us know your budget many can suggest lovely clean safe hotels. I have visited Paris alone, and alone with a child( two seperate trips, once with my son,(14) and once with my daughter(12) so I am aware of your concerns. I personally prefer hotels when on my own or just me and my kids.

Toronto, Canada
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15. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

Thank you Joan for your suggestions. Are you from Victoria BC? I heard it's beautiful there. I visited Vancouver but not Victoria.

If you can recommend hotels that you liked in Paris and the approx.cost that would be great. Is it possible to find a hotel for under $175/night. Obviously I would love to spend even less than that. What did you do in Paris that your children liked. I know that my daughter loves to shop so I told her that I would devote 1/2 day and take her to the Abbesses as I heard that they have trendy stores there. My daughter does want to visit some of the museums and see the Chateau Versailles as well as the typical touristy sites (eiffel tower, etc..). Can you recommend any restaurants/cafe's? I was in Paris 20 years ago and I am ashamed to say that my friend and I ate at Burger Kind and Mcdonalds!! Do you think that 5 or 6 days in Paris is enough? What about the Open Tour, hop on/off?

Have you travelled with your children to Italy. If yes, where did you go?

Much appreciated help.

Victoria, Canada
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16. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

Hi Lisa,, yes I can suggest some hotels, since you are going in summer I suggest you start looking to book by March ,, I find better deals that way. I also find that many hotels put prices down from mid July through August.

Hotel Des Grand Hommes ( can be a bit pricey , but I did get a good deal there two years ago, 110 euros a night. The Hotel Pantheon is right next store and owned and run by same people, I have not stayed there but know others who have, and I would book there also if deal is good. This hotels rooms are small, but very cute, and have all the things I like ( ac, fridge and safe ) Super nice staff.

This past summer I stayed at Hotel Eugenie,, this hotel is right in the middle of Paris, half block from river, Notre Dame is 5 minute walk. metro and RER from airport also very very close. I only paid 90 euros , but I was alone this year, I think a twin was going for 110 euros. Make sure you book a twin, not double, unless you want to share bed with daughter. Thsi hotel has AC , mini fridge and safe in room .Very helpful staff, desk clerk spent at least 20 minutes calling around for me when I was looking to book a specific tour , he was able to do it in french so it was way easier then me calling.

Hotel Saint Pierre, super budget,, but it is a super budget hotel, clean, well located, but really plain small rooms, ( hey they do however have AC which at the price is very good) No fridge, no english tv. though.

Hotel Place Du Louvre, this is one of my faves, but the rates were really hight for when I planned on going this year( June is high season, I prefer going in July, but that makes me different then many on this board) I have stayed here three times,, and like the Club one level room, not the two level rooms( they are rather awkward, bathroom is up in loft, not fun at night) the location of this place is a huge draw for me. On a quiet side street, but only steps from busier street( so you do not get that creepy walking home alone at night feel that you can get as some places) and literally within view of Louvre and the Siene. If you can get a good rate, I would pick this place first.

All hotels rooms will likely seem small to you ( as they do to most of us from North America) but for prices we are willing to pay, they are normal. I try and keep hotel under 120 euros a night, I have paid as much as 180, when with a friend so cost split, but when alone or child and footing whole bill I have paid as little as 80 -90 euros.

I have also booked a hotel, then cancelled if I found better deals. Many hotels have only 5 euros booking fee that they keep if you cancel well in advance,, but do read fine print. Some hotels offer really good deals if you pay it all up front, but they will not refund for cancellation, so check what you book.

Another poster here ( Inna ) travels to Paris with her dd alone, and has stayed at some great places, I know she can recommend some other nice ppicks.

One thing I did with my dd that she loved was we saw a special exhibit at the Musee Decortifs,, Valentino ,, I am not even a fashion person but was impressed. I saw the exhibit by Yves St Laurent this year, aslo great. Start looking for these things and hopefully something will pop up . I also strongly suggest trying a Fat Tire Bike Tours, they are fun, I have done them all ( over years not on one visit) and I especially liked the Night bike tour and the one to Giverny( Monets Gardens) . They are not difficult.

The HOHO buses are fun for an orientation, but not quick transport. I have used L Open Tour, buy ticket as you board, so no prebooking needed. Only fun in good weather so you can sit up top and actually enjoy seeing the neighborhoods as you drive through them.

And finally, yes, I am from Victoria, and its lovely here today!

Victoria, Canada
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17. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

Ugh,, did not proof read,, and then too late to edit( I hate that time feature) . Sorry. I guess you can see my typing and spelling are not stellar,, LOL

And yes, I did Italy with dd, but on a tour( Rick Steves family tour) so although we arrived a few days earilier I cannot claim to any expertise in Italy. We did a HOHO there on our own and visited several churches and Trevi Fountians before tour started. Our hotel was good though, decent area and cheap ( Hotel Selene) I booked the few extra days in advance of tour and took the pay in cash option which was cheapest, but DO keep receipt when you pay, as when I checked out they said they did not have me on record as paying, luckily I had ASKED for receipt when I paid in cash,, and was able to produce it!

Toronto, Canada
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18. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

Thanks Joan. I will check out those hotels. I do want a hotel with a fridge. Would you feel that it is safer to stay in a hotel since I am travelling with my dd (does this mean darling daughter?) instead of an apartment or bed and breakfast? I will look into that Italy tour and hotel as well. Great to make sure to get receipts for hotels paid in cash. Will definitely remember that.

Did you bring a purse or use a money belt? Last question, promise, Are the hotel room safes safe to put your passport, etc...

Thanks again

Montreal
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19. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

The reason I suggested going to a beach near Rome is because it's so close it isn't even a day-trip, can just go to Lido di Ostia - take the metro from Piramide to Stella Polare and from there it's a short walk to a beach.

I often use in-room safes in hotels - I first check to see if it works properly (opens closes..) and wipe the keys, just in case they are not clean (then finger prints can show on them).

Hotels are much easier to book, often don't require prepayment and can be cancelled easily, unlike apartment rentals.

CT
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20. Re: mom and teen trip - itinary help please

..another hotel in a great location and esp great in the summer as it has a garden is Hotel des Grandes Ecoles. re purse- I just use my regular hand bag. It has a shoulder strap and a zipper, The only time I dont casrry a bag is if I hike or bike. Then I use exactly what I would use at home. The same precautions apply in Europe as at home in any big city. I do keep a xerox of my passport and my credit card numbers in my suitcase. I also have a credit card which I almost never use as back up which again I keep elsewhere.