We’re making plans to travel internationally with our daughters (ages 13.5 and 16) for the first time, and I was hoping to get some advice. I’ve read a handful of the existing posts related to the locations we’ve chosen and picked up a few tips, but I could definitely still use some input. I’m hoping that, if I lay out some of our current thoughts, the seasoned travelers in the forum will be able to help steer us in a good direction. Thanks in advance!
Taking into account my family’s varying desires for places they’d like to see, I’m thinking of an itinerary something like this (1/5/2023 edit: this outline is mostly set now):
- 2 nights in London
- 2 nights in York
- 3 nights in Edinburgh (incl. a 1-day bus trip into the highlands?)
1 full day in Cinque Terre (my daughters want to do the coastal hike)
- 5 nights in Florence (with a day trip to Lucca?)
We’re interested in a mix of historic/cultural experiences (museums, churches, historic sites) and just experiencing a little bit of normal day-to-day life in each place - sitting in a cafe, walking around, maybe seeing the countryside, etc. We’ll be traveling relatively light and probably won’t rent a car anywhere.
Our budget is moderate, so we’re looking for comfortable, central, reasonably-priced lodging moreso than fine hotels with all the amenities - and the equivalent, foodwise. We’ll enjoy good wine and whisky along the way, but we’re not going to shape too much of this trip around that (although I’ve read enough about Pitti Gola in the Florence threads that we’ll probably go there at some point).
My wife and I went to Florence and Cinque Terre once about 20 years ago, so we have some memory of those places, but we’ve never spent time in the other two (although we have friends who lived in Edinburgh that we’re going to reach out to). Looking at prices, I’m thinking it’s best to buy round-trip tickets to London, and all the other travel between our dates would just get lined up separately (train to Edinburgh, fly to Pisa/CT, train to Florence, flight to London) so that we’re back at Heathrow in time to make the flight home.
We had just started planning a version of this trip in early 2020, and all that got scuttled for obvious reasons, but now we have opportunity again, and we’re getting excited… Recs on food, lodging, travel tips, etc. are all appreciated!