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You may think a campervan holiday with the kids is not for the faint-hearted, but don’t fret. With the freedom, (outdoor!) space and sense of adventure such a trip can offer – not to mention its cost-effectiveness, you should really consider packing up the car or renting a van and touring Europe with the family.
You can cover much more of countries, or even the continent, at a fraction of the price of driving and lodging, all with a heightened connection with nature and the unknown.
If you’re on a shoestring and your kids are younger (and don’t need much living space) you could deck out a van with a mattress and fashion beds for them. Don’t forget the essentials — a gas cooker, a cool box, first aid kit, some outdoor awnings, folding chairs and a table, and plenty to amuse the little ones.
However, it would be more comfortable and practical to either rent a campervan or even invest in one if this kind of trip is up your street. With sleeping quarters, a reasonable kitchen, proper storage and access to power facilities this may be an easier introduction to this exciting kind of holiday.
Top Tips for Packing
Less is more when you have to rummage through mountains of kids’ toys, miscellaneous items and assorted non-essentials to reach the cool box if someone is really hungry, so make sure to take only what you really need. Ensure you’ve got enough warm clothes for those less-than-balmy Mediterranean evenings, a torch, a deck of cards and a tablet for the kids to play on for when they inevitably tire of the idyllic country vistas…
If you are going to hire, double check that your hire company provides car seats. They don’t always come as standard and even if you bring your own make sure your vehicle has enough three-point harnesses for your children’s car seats. Again I feel it’s essential to stress you bring enough entertainment for the little ones – long drives and rainy evenings can be salvaged with the right DVDs, CDs, card games and imagination, so just make sure that you have a good stock pile.
To Plan or Not to Plan
Half the fun of these trips is rocking up to a campsite and settling in for the night – or a few nights if you fall in love with the surrounding countryside, the facilities or if the kids make best friends with the family in the van beside you. However, in high season you may find this laissez-faire approach less easy to execute. Booking a few days in advance allows you some degree of freedom to stay in certain areas if you find a particularly charming place, without the stress of driving around in the dark with two hungry kids in the back wondering where on earth you’ll sleep that night.
Groups of different salaries, poor and rich, can value an amazing get-away to Disneyland situated in Paris, and get a visit on the city, all at an exceptionally cheap cost. Mentor Holidays are a family possessed business that had been furnishing families with an awesome excursion for more than 10 years. Mentor Holidays Disneyland Paris! The best site.
Occasions has various areas in Europe, where they transport vacationer in an impressive mentor transport, and transport them from the nation of England to France for a brilliant four day excursion of touring in Paris. This extravagant excursion cost just 296 Euros, yet does not contain the cost of an inn room. They do then again suggest that people remain at an inn wherever a solitary room goes for an exceptionally economical 60 Euros.
Occasions separates the stumble into four rich days. The very first moment is spent making the long outing from England to France, wherever once the gathering arrives, they enjoy a correlative supper and drink, and have the chance to unwind.
The second and third days are spent setting out to various urban communities and sights, which are easy to touch base crosswise over since of Paris glorious design. The city of Paris has various walkway bistros, which makes it feasible for people to get delight from an interesting supper or drink with their gathering. The fourth and last day is spent eating in bed, and going to Disneyland and setting out back to England.
Mentor Holidays offers outings to the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, the Louver, Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs Elysees, every single amazing sight. In the wake of going to these sights, Coach Holidays grants the vacationer wander independent from anyone else for a few hours, and exclusively acknowledge destinations all through Paris.
As a poor college student, I tried to look for deals everywhere around Europe, trying to get the best bang for my buck, if you will. One thing I took advantage of most Sandeman’s New Europe tours. These walking tours are offered in thirteen locations across Europe and are offered FREE! The cities that offer this awesome deal include:
• Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• Berlin, Germany
• Brussels, Belgium
• Dublin, Ireland
• Edinburgh, Scotland
• Hamburg, Germany
• Jerusalem, Israel
• London, England
• Madrid, Spain
• Munich, Germany
• Paris, France
• Prague, Czech Republic
• Tel Aviv, Israel
From what I experienced, most of the tour guides were in their middle twenties and were very passionate about travel and sharing their knowledge with others. The free tours are usually about three hours long and guide you through the hotspots of the city. They really want to show tourists the culture and history firsthand.
For each city, there are two or three times that tours start; usually one in the morning, early afternoon, and sometimes later afternoon. There are various pick up points around the city where there is typically a sign of display. One great thing about these tours it that you do not have to worry about making any kind of reservations–just show up to the meeting spot and wait for your guide! I would suggest getting there about ten minutes early to mingle with other people who are going on the tour, and also to make sure you do not miss the pickup!
The country of Spain is a beautiful place to travel to. With so many sights to see you will need at least ten days to experience Spain and it’s countryside. Tourists are treated like kings all over Spain. The cities of Madrid and Barcelona are the most exciting cities with so much to do. The running of the bulls is one of the most interesting sights to see in the world. Spain’s official currency is the Euro (EUR). One Euro is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at bureaux de change and major hotels, but banks give the best rates. All major credit cards and travelers cheques are widely accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining money.
Sometimes I’m asked what Spanish sites are not to be missed in a visit to Spain, to which I normally respond: the Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita in Cordoba, etc. Funny thing is, some of the Spanish places I have the fondest memories of are not on my “must see list,” things like my visit to the cave home in Guadix, the walled city of Laguardia, the Roman ruins in Merida, and the Palace of Lebrija in Seville.
For an individual who has weak Spanish speaking abilities (and perhaps even for someone fluent in Spanish), entering the Madrid and Barcelona Train Stations can be disorienting–people rushing here and there, Regionales signs, signs for EuroMed, AVI, Cercanias and (non-staffed) information booths all compete for your attention.
For traveling out of the Madrid and Barcelona train stations, I recommend either arriving at the station early or visiting the station the day before your date of travel. By doing a quick walk around, you can locate the manned information booth(s), the Regionales (Regional Trains), Cercanias (local commuter trains), and Largo Recorrido (long distance trains) ticket windows. At this time, pick up train schedules for potential destinations and determine which ticket window sells train tickets to your particular destination. Putting together one’s own travel group is perhaps one of the most overlooked options for bus travel.
Italy is consistently in the top five luxury travel destinations for American Express Vacation clients. Italy is full of history, beginning with the ancient Roman Empire, to the rise of the Vatican, to the Italian renaissance. Traveling to Italy requires certain tips to make your luxury travel vacation enjoyable, and hassle-free.
Though traveling to Italy is quite safe. However, it’s advisable and useful to gather some basic Italy travel tips. There are hundreds of small luxury hotels of the world and the cities of Italy have plenty to choose from. Some Italian hotels, and nearly all hotels in Rome, have at least one staff member who speaks English. Search out this person to ask for additional tips, such as great dining spots, local sights, public transportation and shopping areas. Staying in touch with family and friends can be expensive in Italy, especially if you call from your hotel. Keep in mind that American cell phones will not work without special international services or devices. And since hotels tend to overcharge for long-distance and international calls, it is best to make such calls from public phones, using international calling cards. Staying in a luxury hotel is quite fun, but if you have already been there and done that, it’s never too late to consider a luxury world cruise!
One big draw for Italian tourists on a luxury travel vacation is the shopping tour. Consider booking one of these guided tours, instead of charging off on your own. These shopping tours offer travelers a more comfortable way to shop ’til you drop. Most of these tours include transportation to several different shopping districts and stores. Your guide will speak both English and Italian, in order to mediate your shopping experience. Yes, your major credit cards, such as American Express, Visa and Master Card, will work. But keep in mind that most American credit cards will charge a hefty currency fee, and use the most unattractive exchange rates. The best way to be safe and save money would be to use a combination of Euro Travelers Checks, Euros in cash and a credit card. Pick Pocketing can be an unfortunate reality of modern travel, so spreading the type of money you carry is the best choice.
On many trips to Northeastern Italy, my passion is to discover delicious local specialties and amazing wines of these regions; each area has their own unique style and story. Finding wineries to visit that reflect the culture and traditional wines of each area I visit is one of my goals during my research trips; my preferred producers are off the beaten path, small, and family operated, using varietals little known outside the region. Here are some tips based on my travels, for those of you who want to do some exploring on your own!
1. If you are serious about finding small, family run producers, do your homework.
Using wine guides such as Slow Foods, Gambero Rosso, and the internet can help you identify some of these, and learn a little about them. Get their names and street addresses. Keep in mind if you want to taste, you are looking for the cantina. In some cases, the cantina is located at the vineyard, but not always.
Another good place to start is with the Strade del Vino, or Wine Roads, in Italy. We often incorporate these into our bike, hike or walking tours, and there are plenty of wineries all along these routes to visit. These are official routes located in wine regions all over the country. They are well marked, and wind their way through the vineyards of a particular region.
2. The local tourist office is a great source of information.
Just take care to check the hours; they are not always open every day, and often only in the mornings. They will have maps and someone who speaks English that can recommend a route.