I have been reading through the posts in the forum and am amazed by the amount of information you people have. Maybe you can give me a few tips on planning our trip of a lifetime.
We are a family of 4: 2 adults and 2 young teenagers. The trip is planned next year. I know it is a while away but what can I say, "I'm a planner!" We are going to spend about 4 weeks in Croatia to start as we have family there. I then thought we would head into Italy for about 3 weeks, maybe ferry over and train to get around. Any suggestions on where to go? We thought we would check out the east coast and then go across to Sorrento. Pompeii is a must. Would it be better to travel from Sorrento or Naples for a trip to Pompeii? Sorrento looks so beautiful and by then we will need a bit of down time. Also we are thinking of staying in Rome for maybe a week. Any suggestions on accommodation that will cater for 4 at a reasonable rate?
Eventually we want about three days in Paris and then on to London. Any suggestions for accommodation there?
Thank you for your help.
I also use hostelworld (www.hostelworld.com). Even if you don't book through them, the list of options they have can be a place to start looking.
BTW, are you flying into London and then go to Croatia? Check out the budget airlines in Europe at www.skyscanner.net and at www.flybudget.com for the best rates. Paris to London is best done by train: www.eurostar.com.
Also compare the prices of Eurail passes for all four of you vs renting a car in Italy and flying from Italy to Paris. The flight connections from northern Italy (Venice, Pisa, Milano) to Paris are quite good and cheap too if you book early.
Don't miss out Florence when you are in Italy.
I agree to check out Hostel World for accomodations. You can book hostels, camping or hotels. You pay a deposit over the Internet and the balance when you arrive. You'll see the charge on your credit card from Dublin because it is reserved through their central location.
There are so many amazing places in Italy. Venice, the Italian Lakes, the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre are very peaceful. Naples, Rome, Florence and Milan are very busy and quite hectic. If you go from Venice to Florence, the change in pace can be quite a shock. It also might be tiring to go from big city to big city.
I'm not sure how much time you have and what kind of sights your family would like to see but if you are planning any of these places I would suggest the following amount of time. This will give you time to see the sights, but of course, you could spend more 'hanging around' time in any place.
Rome - 4-6 days
Amalfi Coast (Capri, Pompeii etc.) - 5-6 days
Florence and Pisa (they are only an hr apart) - 3-4 days
Cinque Terre - 3-4 days
Italin Lakes District - 4-5 days
Venice - 2-3 days
If you are heading to other places in Europe, check out www.Ryanair.com for super cheap flights. It seems too good to be true but they are for real. I use them quite often.
Thank you for all your helpful hints. I tried Ryanair, Skyscanner and Flybudget but don't seem to be able to fly from Dubrovnik to Italy. They are excellent sites though and will keep them in mind. Our flights into Croatia are already sorted. I will check out Hostel World. Do you know of any particular hostels that are family friendly?
If you're going to Sorrento, definitely drive the Amalfi coast. It's simply breathtaking! Keep in mind that Pompeii itself doesn't house any artifacts - I believe the museum in actually in Napoli. If you have the time, take a trip there to get the full picture. And definitely stop by Venice if you can - a little expensive, but out of this world. We also found reasonably-priced accommodation for Venice and Rome at Cross-Pollinate.