School vacation means time to plan a family getaway
Published: June 8, 2007
Schools out for the summer! Surely there are many little faces wearing big grins these days. Now comes the agony of choice -- where to go on a family vacation. Ideas, anyone?
If youre still in the process of choosing your summer breaks destination, the official tourism Web site of Germany offers ideas for families, and includes information on beaches, theme parks, and scenic routes. For ideas on fun stuff to do in Italy, the government tourist board offers The Regions of Italy for Kids. For more general advice, check out Travel for Kids, with ideas for Italy, England, and other European countries. Travel + Leisure Family Magazine makes some good suggestions for family-friendly outings in Ireland, Scotland, London and Paris, among other places.
Of course, some places just make a perfect match to kids interests. Amusement or theme parks are sure to go over well. Infoparks Web site has a useful list of some of Europes best theme parks, along with information about zoos, botanical gardens and water parks. For reviews of five big-name parks, with input from kids themselves, see the UKs Times Online article Brace yourself for Europes best theme parks.
And how can you go wrong with a beach as your destination? An article originally appearing in The Independent titled The 50 Best Beaches in Europe provides an overview of a vast assortment of them -- many of which are child-friendly. Curious as to what beaches are reachable by Ryanair? The travel guide page features a tab on the left to a dozen destinations marked beach.
Parents giving advice to one another on other travel-related Web sites suggest that kids enjoy their travels most when theyve had a hand in the planning of the trip, and they know beforehand what they can expect to see and do there. The names of some places that come up again and again as child-friendly destinations? Besides the obvious London, Rome and Paris, smaller cities such as Copenhagen, Brugge and Salzburg get positive reviews. As for specific places, Neuschwanstein and the cog railway of Rochers-de-Naye, Switzerland, often get mention. I have no kids, but were I several decades younger, I think I would greatly enjoy Copenhagens Tivoli park, Alpine scenery calling to mind Heidi, or the magic of Venice. Heck, I love these places to this day!
Where will you be taking the kids this summer? Where are some favorite places that youve already visited as a family?