Need help deciding a family trip to Europe

Travel Forums Europe Need help deciding a family trip to Europe

1. Posted by jamesldavis123 (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

We are going to Europe for 10 days for my mom's 65th. Some people will come a week early, some will stay a week after.
So the people going:
Myself (30 yrs old. Get bad migraines, so not trying to spend all my time in a big noisy, smelly city. Love epic nature backdrops)
Mom (65th bday celebration. Loves serene, peaceful, nice environments.)
Sister and brother (love mountains, lakes, hiking, kayaking, biking, anything outdoorsy, and love food a lot)
Older brother, wife and two kids (the wife is extremely uncompromising, prefers beaches and cities, but is ok with mountains. The kids love being outside playing. Older brother loves to be controlling)

So older bro ruled out switzerland and greece, I ruled out tuscany. If we are going all the way to Europe, I want it to be towering mountains, incredible lakes, totally unique. We collectively ruled out Iceland and scandinavia. We've basically narrowed it down to Austria, Spain, maybe France. Not Croatia because the kids might not tolerate boating well.

My preference is to fly into Munich or Salzburg, which I've heard amazing things about, then spend a day or two on lake hallstatt, then go to innsbruck or somewhere else in the alps with lots of hiking, lakes, good food, etc.

I would also gladly fly into Geneva, and hit the french alps.

Spain seems so big and daunting.

I need help thinking through itineraries to propose for Austria, France, Spain. If you have been, and could think up a good general itinerary that would be great. We aren't going to do everything together. I very much don't want the trip dictated by a 2 and 5 year olds moods, so the more things to do in any given area, the better.

2. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1440 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Haha - brilliant - you have a real headache on your hands! I can't really contribute too much to your choice of destination except you don't say when in the year you'll be visiting. That'll be important. If it's July/August, Spain is probably going to be too hot for a family moving around in a car (if that's your plan) and equally, if it's next month, roads in the Alps might be difficult with lots of snow.

Please make sure you post after the trip to tell us all where you went and how it panned out!! :)

3. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Well I can offer you a couple of thoughts.

First, if it is your Mother's birthday celebration, I would have thought that only her preferences would matter and that nowhere would be ruled out by anyone other than her. Sounds to me like you and your Brother think it is your choice, not Mother's. Take that exactly as you think I meant it.

Second, with only 10 days, you hardly need an 'itinerary'. It's enough time to go somewhere, see/do a bit there and return home. It's not enough time to waste any of it moving around. It is also received wisdom that when a group travels together and have different interests, the less you move the less chance of conflicts of interest arising. So, have Mother pick a place that appeals to her and go there for the entire time. Then let each member of the group do as they will each day except for the things that Mother wants you all to do with her.

Now put Mother on here and let us discuss with her where she might like to go. I might have a few ideas for her even if you or your Brother don't like them.

4. Posted by jamesldavis123 (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I am taking it exactly that way. And no, I'm not trying to make it my choice. I'm trying to make it my mother's. I simply have opinion on what would make a great trip.

5. Posted by Gabriel1 (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Try this.....
Maybe you change your mind about destination. Romania has wonderful places. I can be subjective but Charles, PrinČ› de Wales says the same thing there. :)

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1277 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Perhaps you should consider Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes region of France, which I think fulfills most, if not all, your requirements. The M6202 north of Nice has nice mountain scenery and villages.

If you're flying from the U.S., Delta Air LInes has a nonstop to Nice from JFK. With stops, there are less-expensive options.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Jan-2017, at 08:27 by berner256 ]

7. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

OK, I'm not really trying to be judgemental jamesldavis123, I'm sure you are all nice people but perhaps you can see how difficult that is when you use terms like, 'bro ruled out'; 'I ruled out'; 'I want it to be'; 'my preference is'.

Your words do not sound like you are trying to make it your Mother's choice. What places has your Mother said she would like to visit? Have you actually even asked her? If you have and she said something like, 'Oh I'm fine with anywhere we go together as a family', you can accept that as an excuse for someone else to make the decision or you can say, 'no Mum, it's your Birthday, we want you to choose where we go.'

Look at it another way. You, your Brother, your Sister and your spouses all have preferences that differ. Finding an answer that all of you will be happy with is at best going to be very difficult. But if you all truly want this to be about Mother, then accepting anywhere that Mother chooses should be acceptable (even if everyone doesn't love her choice) to all. What's more, by having Mother make the choice without any influence by anyone else, you avoid any hard feelings between siblings and in-laws. You could say, it is actually in your own best interests to keep out of the decision!

So my advice is tell Mother it is her choice and give no suggestions to her at all. You can't give her your 'opinion' without trying to sell it to her. If you are selling A and your Brother is selling B and your Sister is selling C, how is that Mother's choice? That's just ends up whoever is the better salesperson's choice and if that doesn't happen to be you, you will probably resent it.

It's not about what you think would 'make a great trip'. It is supposed to be about what your Mother thinks would make a great trip. I'd like to hear what she wants to do and you ain't telling us that yet jamesldavis123.

So if you can't get Mother on here to talk to us, then tell us what she is saying at least. :)

8. Posted by Peter (Admin 6866 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I don't think you should rule out Croatia based on the boating. Take a look at Plitvice Lakes and beautiful towns like Dubrovnik for example. Plenty to see without getting on a boat.

Having travelled with little kids, my main advice in that regard is to not move around too much. Find a nice holiday house in a beautiful area and just settle in with day trips to explore the surrounding areas.

Good luck :)

9. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1868 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Perhaps you can use the schedule of some people arriving early and staying later to go to some places which wouldn't suit all.

You say you've ruled out Scandinavia but either the Lofoten Islands or Geiranger/Flam/Hellesylt in the fjords would absolutely satisfy the ones who want mountain vistas / hiking / kayaking.

The English Lake District too - maybe using Keswick as a base.

Slovenia's Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj too - some hiking opportunities, and a cable car up into the high mountains. With beaches within reach for another day.

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