We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Planning three weeks vacation

Princeton, New...
Level Contributor
13 posts
16 reviews
Save Topic
Planning three weeks vacation

Hi I was wondering if somebody can help us to guide us. I dont even know where to start.

We are a family with small kids (3 and 5). After a long time I am taking nearly three weeks of vacation in July. We were thinking of going to Europe. The trip is open at this point but we were considering Portugal and spain and if possible Southern France/Italy. These are the questions?

1. How much time on average is needed to travel Spain and Portugal.

2. Is July a good time to go or too it would be too hot?

3. Rent a car Vs. train. (I can't really drive manual transmission)

4. Any tips while travelling with kids?

I know several of these questions are very basic but we are totally confused and not really sure where to start.

Thanks again

Brussels, Belgium
Destination Expert
for Seville
Level Contributor
4,142 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Planning three weeks vacation

I'll try to answer them to my best:

1. Both spain and portugal are countries with an incredible amount of cities, villages, natural sites, etc worth seeing. 3 weeks is not enough to see spain OR portugal, so including south of france and/or italy will make it feel even more rushed. At this point, you'll have to choose and select according to your preferences. You like countryside or big cities? do you like sport/natural parks tourism or quaint towns? castles? wine regions? gastronomy? beaches? islands? depending on that you can build your own itinerary.

2. July is better than August both in term of heat and crowds, but depending on what you are used to can be very hot (especially in central and southern spain and portugal). Northern spain and portugal is usually milder at that time of the year.

3. It depends again on your itinerary. If you are travelling between main towns or cities, a combination of train, bus and flights is all you need, and a car will be a hassle because parking in spanish and portuguese cities is either hell or expensive (and sometimes both) You can always rent a car for a couple of days if you want to see an area in particular that it is easier by car (for example, white hill villages in Cadiz province). There are automatic cars in most rent-a-car companies in spain, but there'll be more expensive than manual transmission ones (which are the usual kind in both spain and portugal). Moreover, most (all?) highways in portugal are tollways, and some in spain are, and you'll notice gas is very expensive compared to the us (around 1.4 euros/litre, do the maths), so those are things to be considered.

4. I dont have kids so I cannot help you on this one.

A good start in my opinion would be to buy a good guide of spain and portugal. They usually have proposed itineraries for 2,3,4 weeks. This will give you an idea of main sights, and also you can quickly look the rest of the book to find things you are interested in. Also http://www.spain.info/ and http://www.visitportugal.com/en are the official tourism pages for those countries, with lots of helpful information.

Also, another good place to start would be looking for flights. Usually flying from/to the same city is cheaper than an open return. Best prices from the US are to Madrid or Barcelona, but maybe Lisbon or Malaga have special offers.

2. Re: Planning three weeks vacation

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 26 March 2015, 06:15