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  #1  
Old 01-03-2010, 09:08 PM
pfmb138 pfmb138 is offline
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Default Italy Tour with 11yr old & 9 yr old

My parents were born and raised in southern Italy - but have never travelled outside their home towns. We are planning a trip to visit Italy this summer. There are 7 of us going (my parents, my sister, my husband & I and our 2 kids 11 & 9). I am hoping to find a tour that can take us to the main tourist attractions of Rome, Venice, Florence, Pompei.
I know it will be tough with 2 kids - but I'm hoping the tour will have fun stuff for them also.
Not sure where to start looking. Should I look for a tour that covers it all or try to book it separately by city on my own (not sure how to do that).
any suggestions would be appreciated.
thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2010, 08:09 PM
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HostColleen HostColleen is offline
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Hi pfmb,

It is very possible for you to do this on your own and definitely you can find a tour that will suit all of you AND Your children. They are of an age where I can GUARANTEE, they will LOVE Italy and the tour guides know what to do to engage children very much in the process of enjoying the trip. I simply googled tours for Rome Venice & Florence and came up with SOOOO many companies however, I would not want to send you to one that I did not know their reputation. So what I am going to do is this: we have an Italy expert on our sister site, IndependentTraveler.com, where I am also a Host. I HAVE BEEN TO ITALY but I did all the planning myself and I did not have a large group. So I would not be one to advise you on tours.

On Independent Traveler, we have an ITALY EXPERT, her name is HOST CIAO and she has taken tours and knows all the good companies to use. So what I am going to do here, which I normally don't do, is send you over to where HostCiao is so she can help you out with tours and send you in the right direction with tour companies for Italy and the three cities you have requested. She has been to Italy, I don't know like 20 times and she knows best. Here is the link to the Italy thread on IndependentTraveler.com, again, a sister website to FamilyVacationCritic.com. We are all connected!! I work on BOTH websites and I think in this one instance, you will be best served by our Italy expert HostCiao. Again, I am the type of traveler that just wings it and that won't work for you!! So let me take care of you and send you where you will get top service, OK?
Here's the link to IT.com Italy:
http://boards.independenttraveler.co...play.php?f=109

I think you will have much luck finding the proper tour company for you and your family. Yes we are FAMILY Vacation Critic, and I can give you the name of 20 tour companies but if I don't know them first hand, what good am I doing you? None. HostCiao over on IT.com's Italy board, knows better than me on this one. So I am entrusting you to her good care on this and I think it will all work out fine. You can still come back here about things to do with your kids because lots of other parents have taken their kids to Europe and had great success, especially, as I said, in Italy. It's just a magical country and you will be surprised how much they will be interested in it and how other members will tell you what to do to help get your kids interested in the trip. Believe me, I live in an Italian neighborhood, and you should see how excited the kids get when they find out their parents are taking them to Italy!! So don't worry about that either, it will all work out just fine. I promise you

Good luck over on IT.com finding the right tour company; I know you will. And stick with us here on FamilyVacationCritic.com once you choose your tour company and then we can discuss other matters once you book your tour!! We'll be here waiting for you.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:31 PM
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HostColleen HostColleen is offline
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Hi pfmb,

Here is a link to the thread that IS in FamilyVacationCritic.com which is all about "How to get your kids involved in Trip Planning" and I thought I'd bring it to you rather than have you go search for it as you are new to our site, and I promised we'd help you here as well on this website, aside from our sister site, IndependentTraveler.com.

We have this great thread, and I think you will find some great ideas in here for your 9 & 11 year old. There are two entire threads in this post so there is plenty for you to read in here and I hope you find some of it helpful!

So you can work with us on two websites for your Italy trip planning

http://www.familyvacationcritic.com/...thread.php?t=6
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2010, 12:19 AM
makelifehappen makelifehappen is offline
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Guess it depends on how adventurous you are feeling.

Whether you are up for getting yourself a gps map for Italy and driving around...

If you feel up to booking your own accommodations and having the freedom to roam.

Think my favourite part about traveling Europe (roadtrip) was stumbling across all the amazing things that each country has to offer that you wouldn't normally have the opportunity to see.

Driving in the dark on tiny winding roads until the headlights meet a set of eyes, we got to stop the car and jump out for a photo...when in the world will you ever find that you are staring at a Donkey in a fenced off area at the road side beside an abandoned swing set in the pyrenees mountains!

Or taking the wrong turn whilst searching for a bite to eat and stumbling upon a hippie-style art fest in the mountains complete with pool, Bbq, art, culture and oh so welcoming they were!

Pulling over to pick wild berries at the side of the road...

ohhh the memories...

Our youngest wasn't really bothered about any of it, but the oldest spent MONTHS researching, planning, saving for special things that she wanted and getting really excited about all the things that Europe had to offer. It was actually alot less hell than we had imagined it might have been with 3 weeks on the road, but we booked lovely holiday homes to stay in throughout and really dove in to the culture.

The smallest little things like buying long loaves of fresh bread and sausage gave the kids a reason to be excited...

We bought a portable dvd player for the ride that didn't get turned on once!

As for booking~we used Holiday Lettings for all of our bookings and were extremely pleased.

I think that no matter what you choose you'll have a fab time.

Happy Planning
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2010, 02:32 AM
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HostColleen HostColleen is offline
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Just an FYI for all members regarding the recommendation about the "holiday lettings" website. Please note that it is a UK website and so that it might not be very practical for USA travelers to use an international website to book their holidays. Just an FYI, as I am sure that they are a very good agency, but not necessarily right for American travelers to use to book their travel.

Hope this clears things up a bit for everyone.

Cheers!
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2010, 08:05 AM
makelifehappen makelifehappen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HostColleen View Post
Just an FYI for all members regarding the recommendation about the "holiday lettings" website. Please note that it is a UK website and so that it might not be very practical for USA travelers to use an international website to book their holidays. Just an FYI, as I am sure that they are a very good agency, but not necessarily right for American travelers to use to book their travel.

Hope this clears things up a bit for everyone.

Cheers!
And as a side note, I am in Toronto, Canada and I still swear by it
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  #7  
Old 03-03-2010, 02:48 PM
RoadTripFanatic RoadTripFanatic is offline
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My question is how mobile are your parents? Will they be able to carry their own luggage onto the trains? Will they be able to carry their suitcase down the street from the station to the hotel? These would be my deciding factors for doing a tour or going on my own. If they can do all of that then I would attempt to do it on my own. I'm not a tour kind of gal. I hate riding the bus with everyone and having to depend on everyone else to be on time!
The kids won't be a problem. They are old enough to carry small bags and to help. In fact we just took DD (9) to Italy three weeks ago and she had a great time!
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