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Old 09-18-2014, 09:15 AM   #1
LovesBelle
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Best European ABD trip with kids?

We want to take the kids (ages 8 and 9) to Europe, and think ABD would be a good way to do it. We are looking at the England/France trip, the France-only trip, Scotland, or Italy. Those are all places we'd like to see, but I am interested in feedback from folks who have taken these trips about which would work best for elementary-school-aged kids. If you went on one of these trips, did you find that there weren't many families with kids the ages of ours? Any have events that particularly appealed to that age group? Any with too many hours in a bus or at museums? All thoughts are appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesBelle View Post
We want to take the kids (ages 8 and 9) to Europe, and think ABD would be a good way to do it. We are looking at the England/France trip, the France-only trip, Scotland, or Italy. Those are all places we'd like to see, but I am interested in feedback from folks who have taken these trips about which would work best for elementary-school-aged kids. If you went on one of these trips, did you find that there weren't many families with kids the ages of ours? Any have events that particularly appealed to that age group? Any with too many hours in a bus or at museums? All thoughts are appreciated! Thanks in advance!
I haven't taken these trips with kids, but for the Scotland trip, while it's a *FABULOUS* trip, there's a *lot* of time on the bus, on twisty, turny, bumpy roads. But it's great because you go to lots of castles, do some hiking, and not a *lot* of museums.

England/France there's not as much bus time, but there are a lot of museums & historical sites.

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Old 09-18-2014, 11:43 AM   #3
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We did the Germany ABD this summer and there were a few longer bus trips on it. The kids on the bus would watch a movie together, use Ipad's to play games, and play card/coloring games, so the bus rides were not a huge issue. The young ones loved having more outdoor time then museum time too
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:16 PM   #4
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We did the Scotland ABD last year when my kids were 9 and 11, and they both loved it. As Sayhello cautions, there is a fair amount of time on the bus with this trip, but the guides do a great job of keeping folks entertained, and they do play movies during the longer drives. But the activities are definitely more outdoor-geared, and the kids loved horseback riding through the heather, hiking on Skye, canoeing on Loch Ness, etc. They also loved making scones and even the tapestry weaving, which surprised us all. We did the Central Europe ABD this summer, and there was a larger group of kids aged 9 to 11 than on the Scotland ABD. There were also a couple of long bus rides on this ABD, but same thing with the guides showing movies or giving background information. With so many kids of similar ages, they basically took over the back of the bus and had a grand time. So I wouldn't worry too much about the bus rides as long as there are other kids for yours to bond with.
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:29 PM   #5
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Have you given any thought about an European cruise with DCL? We took our 8 yr. old and we think it is a good way to introduce a kid to Western Europe a little at a time. You are off the ship during the day and back in the same cabin at night. It allows the kids to take advantage of the kid's clubs and pools so the kids can be kids while you take excursions at each port that gives everyone a taste of each country you visit. Later when the kids are more experienced in travel you can concentrated on specific areas. A DCL European cruise is like a buffet of Europe where there is something for everyone. We loved the DCL Europe so much we did it twice. Good luck and happy travels which ever you choose.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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We did the France only trip with our 7yo at the time. It was a great trip, and I'd highly recommend it. I wrote a trip report on it that's linked on the trip report thread. There weren't a lot of young children on our trip. My son was the youngest. It could have been just our ABD, but I would guess most families taking their first European trip or ABD with young children more often choose Italy or London/Paris. However, we loved Northern France, and my son had a terrific time. No matter what you pick you'll have a great trip and you'll be sure to want to do one of the others in the future.

I'd also agree with carpenta that DCL is another great way to see Europe with children. I've done ABDs and DCL in Europe several times. You can't lose.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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We did the Central Europe ABD with Calfan this summer. My kids are 11 and 9 and I think this trip was a really great mix of activities. There were outdoor/adventurous type activities (ice cave, salt mine) but they were not too adventurous for my daughter (she would not have done rafting, zip-lining). Lots of cool cultural activities (puppet making, pretzel making) and touring historical cities. It was not too museum heavy though - the only real museum tour we did had the kids go off to the children's museum where they had a great time dressing in period costumes and having a pretend banquet. There were a couple of long bus trips, but the kids were so tired that I think they welcomed the bus ride! I would highly recommend this trip for kids in this age range and as Calfan mentioned there were lots of kids in this age range.
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