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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tickets, Almost.

The biggest challenge to date in planning our European adventure has been what to squeeze in and what to miss given our limited time frame. We start in London and leave Europe from Rome less than 4 weeks later so precision planning is required, and reluctant passing up of many sightseeing opportunities. This is the thing about travelling with kids. You've got to have a detailed plan of action to ensure you will arrive into new destinations with guaranteed accommodation. There's no taking things as they come. Unless you fancy the idea of sleeping on park benches. As we are going in peak tourist season, and decided 6 weeks out from departure to embark on this madness, we have already limited ourselves considerably in terms of options.

Fortunately for all involved once an idea has sparked our imaginations I will obsessively spend hours upon hours engaged in online planning, finding the best routes, travel options, accommodation etc. I watch Youtube clips of the various EU cities for hours, read TripAdvisor threads late into the night, and spend stupid amounts on travel guides and language phrase books.

All this 'research' led to a finalised itinerary and here it is,
Perth to London.
London - Cambridge back to London.
London to Brussels.
Brussels to Paris
Paris to Bern (Switzerland)
Bern to Venice
Venice to Rome
Rome to Dubai
Dubai to Perth.

I've been using this online time to show the kids the cities, the trains, the sights. We've also started to introduce some basic French such as Bonjour, Merci, non and oui. This is helping to build excitement and also allowing for discussions about anything they may be curious or anxious about. I know for both, but particularly Ali, being able to visualise things ahead of time helps to reduce fear of the unknown. I also think she's feeling much more confident about flying thanks in no small part to the in flight entertainment options. Hat tip to Emirates. Ive also bought some books for children about Paris which they seem to enjoy. And once I know where we will be staying I will look at something more specific for them to read. This idea came from the brilliant Bec at Snagglebox  who created an awesome guide for her boys prior to their stay in Paris. This is one of the many incredibly useful tips she's provided, which I'll share over the coming weeks.

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