European Vacation – Steps To Plan The Best

Let’s Plan a European Vacation!.. This is going to be an adventure…

{This is a diary of my planning of a trip to Europe… hope you enjoy!}

This European Vacation will be two weeks long.  The first 5 days or so will be spent in London, and then we will travel through Paris and then on to Italy for 4 or 5 days as I have a dear friend who lives in Italy and has invited us to spend a few days with her.

European Vacation - follow our steps to planning a kid friendly trip to Europe. We decide where to go and what to see on this two week adventure

We need to plan every aspect of our European Vacation ourselves…. so, on this page, we will share some of our decisions… and, we will link to all of the reviews of the great time we had!

European Vacation - follow our steps to planning a kid friendly trip to Europe. We decide where to go and what to see on this two week adventureHere are the steps that we outlined as a part of our European Vacation planning….

  • Decide to go (see detail)
  • Find best flights possible (see detail)
  • Decide where to stay in London (our definite first stop) – Also what to see in London during our four days there (see detail)
  • Decide when to leave London and where to go next – We know we will end up in Rome, but what in between? (see detail)
  • Plan Italy side trips – from Civitanova Marche (See detail)
  • OK- We know where we are going – now what to see in London? (see detail)
  • What to see in Paris?(see detail)
  • What to see in Venice?(see detail)
  • Rome – the end of the journey – what to see in Rome? (see detail)

So, to start the planning process, we made a list of everything that we thought needed to be considered…. Even after our trip is over, please continue to add to our planning comments to share your European vacation tips with others!

Decide to go

Well, for the budget minded vacation planner, the decision to plan a European vacation was tougher than it might seem. But, the facet that our girls will be away at college next year (and as all parents know…. sometimes this is the last time they are really a part of your household), we thought that we just needed to make this trip happen….

We have a family friend who has a college age daughter doing an internship in London at this time. So, my friend and her other daughter are going to London to visit…. they invited us to tag along…. so – here we go! And…. the dates worked out beautifully for my daughters and I to stay an additional week so that we can visit Italy as well…. so, we have a lot to plan.


Find the best flights possible

Well, like any budget minded vacation planner, I couldn’t just choose any old flight from the US to London – I had to look and look, and look. I ran every scenario that I could think of… flying from my home airport (my first choice)… flying from a nearby larger airport… booking a round trip to and from London even though we would be in Rome at the end of our trip…. booking a round trip to London returning from our European vacation from Rome (even though I didn’t know if that was possible at first)….

Well…. what are your thoughts on choosing the best flights? Share your comments at the bottom of the page….

We used to help plan a European vacation to search through all airlines and booking companies at one time.  Kayak also has a notification service to keep tabs on the ticket prices.

Ultimately, we did decide to fly into London, and fly back home from Rome.  This will give us the greatest flexibility on our European vacation.  We even got the flights out from our local hometown airport…. so no extra driving!

Where to stay in London

So, the first portion of our European Vacation planning is to find a hotel in London… For our trip, we do have a general area that we wanted to find a hotel in… The Kensington Gardens / Hyde Park Area…. The reason that we are choosing this area is because my friend’s daughter is staying close to this area while doing her work/study.

We wanted to be fairly close to a Tube Station for convenience, so the search began on TripAdvisor.  TripAdvisor allows visitors to their site to post photographs and comment on the room condition and their overall satisfaction with the hotel and with their stay in general.

In the end, we chose the Premier Inn Kensington (Earl’s Court) to be our first hotel on this European Vacation.  This hotel had an option to select a less expensive rate if we chose the “no change” option… meaning that we were locked in to our choice.  That was fin by us as we knew the days that we were going to be there… The Premier Inn offers a complementary breakfast as well as a dinner plan.  We chose the breakfast option as this is one less worry for us.  The hotel is rated 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and is ranked 140 out of 1071 hotels in London (pretty darn good in my book as I am not looking for glamor… just a bed to sleep in).

So…. now we have a room in London…. what are we going to do while we are there?   Let us know your choices in our comments at the bottom of the page….

When To Leave London, and where to go next?

As we knew (in our particular case) that we were going to Italy after our friends left London for home, my girls and I needed to decide if we were going to go straight to my friend’s home in Le Marche, Italy or if we wanted to visit any other places.

Well… I am adventurous, and I am already in Europe…. so, lets plan a long way to Le Marche…

The first part of our extended journey will be taking the high-speed EuroStar train to Paris.   The EuroStar train travels at up to 186 MPH under the English Channel (in the Channel Tunnel – Chunnel)…. taking just 2 hours 15 minutes to make the journey…. sounds pretty exciting (adventurous) to me.  We plan to spend a couple of days in Paris (I know, I know, we should stay longer…. but we only have so many days!)…. so on to continue to plan a European Vacation.

After a couple of days in Paris (one night), we decided to take a night train into Venice.  We really hope that this will be a fun and unique experience…. and also hope that we will be able to get some much needed sleep…. have any of you experienced a night train in Europe?  Tell us about it in the comments section at the bottom of the page….

Our plans once in Venice are to tour the town, see the museums, and then spend the night…. we then take a morning train the next day to Le Marche…..

Italy!!!! The beautiful country from the eyes of an Italian!

For this portion of our trip, I will defer solely to my friend Cath and her husband, Mike.  We hope to spend four days with our friends before our final destination in Rome.

There will be so much to see, and it will be a true experience seeing the real Italy…. we really cannot wait!  Look for updates after our trip for more information about this portion of our trip…. We will let you know when this is available through our facebook page….. so be sure to follow us.

What to see in London

London England will be our first stop on this trip, so to plan a European Vacation properly, we need to pick the best things to see in London. On this trip, we will be in London for 3 and 1/2 days….. so what are your suggestions for the best London attractions…  Let us know your choices in our comments at the bottom of the page….

Some of the attractions in London that we have considered are The Tower of London, The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, The Globe, maybe take in a play… we would love to hear all other ideas!

Read all about our London Vacation adventure here…..

london eye london england vacation


What to see in Paris

When we leave London after our visit there, we are taking the EuroStar train through the English Channel into Paris.  We are only planning on being in Paris for 2 partial days. so we will have to make the time count.

We hope to walk the Champs Elysees during the first day.. ending at the Arc de Triomphe.  Another desire is to see the Eiffel Tower, and hopefully tour it at night.  We are planning on meeting up with our friends form London the second day there, and taking a bike tour of the main sites in Paris – I am really looking forward to this portion of the trip.

We would love to hear your thoughts on some great Paris attractions to see in a couple of days to add to this European vacation…. Let us know your choices in our comments at the bottom of the page….

Read all about our Paris Vacation adventure here…..

paris eifel tower


What to see in Venice, Italy

From Paris, our European vacation is taking us to Venice Italy via the Thello night train…. I hope this is a great experience…. We will let you know upon our return!

When we arrive in Venice the next day, we will take the short walk to our hotel… we chose a small hotel on a smaller canal – the Hotel Dalla Mora.  I hope this is a wise choice… it seems very quaint.  After dropping our luggage at the hotel, we will make our way to St. Mark’s Square and visit the smaller canals and byways…. maybe even take a gondola ride!

We would love to hear your thoughts on some Venice attractions to see in a couple of days…. Let us know your choices in our comments at the bottom of the page….

Read all about our time in Venice Italy here.

venice italy rialto bridge

What to see in Rome

After spending a few days with our friends in Italy, we will finish up our trip in the city of Rome Italy.   The plan is to stay in Rome for two nights…. and then we have an early morning flight home the third morning.  I know we will be exhausted, but still want to see as much of Rome as possible…. on this European vacation that we are planning.

Of course we want to see the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and maybe St. Peters Bascilica….. maybe a walking tour through the city…. maybe a segway tour?

We would love to hear your thoughts on some Rome Italy attractions to see in a couple of days…. Let us know your choices in our comments below….

Read all about the Rome Italy Portion of our trip here.

Rome Itlay

Leave a Comment