At least we have a place to stay

A quick vacation planning update. We have now secured places to stay in all 4 cities we will be visiting. Thanks to FlipKey, Homeway and Susan(!) for the pointers. The renting a flat idea seems to be working out so far. Certainly something I will keep you updated on as we go through the trip and when we come back. London ended up being the most expensive, Barcelona the cheapest and Paris and Rome somewhere in between.
We also have major parts of the transportation picture worked out as well. I know how we will get from Cincinnati to London (Delta). I know how we will get from London to Rome (easyJet). I think I know how we will get from Rome to Paris (night train, but you have to wait to buy tickets until you are less than 60 days from your trip, so I obviously have to wait). I have no idea yet how we will get from Paris to Barcelona (thinking about renting a car and driving). And lastly I know how we will get from Barcelona back home (Delta again).
Also, the kids got some luggage for their birthdays (they were thrilled, really…) and their passports came back the week before last (only 6 weeks so not bad).  We should be able to leave the country with them and they should be able to bring some clothes along to wear while we’re there.
After the last few major transport items get sorted, the only remaining thing to plan for is the 1 thing we absolutely want to see or so when we are in each city.  Here’s a starter list…as always, suggestions welcome.


  • day 5 (partial day) – ??
  • day 6 – Coliseum
  • Day 7 – Vatican (including the Sistine Chapel)
  • Day 8 – ??
  • Day 9 (most of the day, but leaving that night if we do the night train) – ??







6 responses to “At least we have a place to stay”

  1. Jochen Specht Avatar

    Barcelona Day 15: Park Guell

  2. John H Avatar
    John H

    If you can,mdo Westminster and Parliament on Saturday. You can go inside and tour Parliament. You can't get inside the rest of the week while they are in session. Buy tickets across the street behind Westminster. Down a staircase.
    The Tower of London guided tour is about 45 minutes, then you could spend a couple of hours looking at the crown jewels and the armor…but no way a full day. I'd combine it with the bus tour, it stops there of course.
    The British Museum is free I believe, and Tate Modern is supposed to be spectacular.
    Also, the bus tours sell express tickets to the London Eye, same price and you don't have to wait in line.

    1. aakelley Avatar

      Thanks for the tip on parliament, we may switch it up so we can get inside. In terms of combining multiple things onto one day, I am trying to avoid overscheduling. One thing we 'have' to do a day and then a list of things in our back pocket that we can see if we are feeling especially energetic that day or get through something more quickly than we though we would. I really want to leave some time for the spontaneous and unexpected too…

  3. @ScottClemmons Avatar

    My tips… although one may think they are cheesy, those double decker tour buses are great to really get to/from historic sites. I used one in Rome, and it really helps you see so much more in a small amount of time.
    Vatican… don't know about the rest of your family, but I could've spent all day there. There is just so much to see. Same with the Louvre. We did not plan for enough time at these places.
    Eiffel Tower… meh. If the kids want to do it, go for it. Get tickets ahead of time for a window to go up. Otherwise you'll be waiting an extra hr or so for the visit.
    Colisseum… get tickets in advance or otherwise wait in line.

    1. aakelley Avatar

      I agree on the buses. Great way to get around too. Although in Rome I think I am going to use a personal tour guide that Gian Luca recommended. Also agree on the Vatican – that will be one for the whole day. The great thing is the place we rented in Rome is about 800 yards from the front gate. Getting tickets ahead of time in as many places as possible. In Rome I think there is a 'city pass' or something like that, that can get you into alot of attractions without having to buy tickets at each.

  4. @Javier_extremer Avatar

    My recommendation for Barcelona, is that you should take a "Paella" in front of the beach, the "Sagrada Familia" just takes 3 or 4 hours (depending on the cue).
    Take some time to play arround the "Paseo de Gracia" which is a nice place to walk, a small "Champs Elysees" if the Frenchs allow me to tell so, and have some tapas.
    Also visit the "Born" area, it is really nice, inside the oldest part of Barcelona, there are still roman ruins in there and the streets are comfortable, with nice shops and restaurants that will surprise you and your family.
    Regards from BCN.

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