Subject: Room for 4
Joe, we travelled 6 years ago with our teens. Look in travel guides aimed at budget travellers, such as Let's Go. Use it to check out possibilities for quad rooms then double-check with other guide books. Rick Steves' guides list triples, quads, and cost for extra beds.

We found quad or connecting rooms in some places - Verona, Siena, Arles, Venice. Last fall I found a quad room in Lido di Ostia, a seaside resort near Rome. You do have to ask. But they are bargains compared to two rooms - there is a price for the room and then the others are charged so much per head.

If you are going to expensive places, you might consider Youth Hostels. We hostelled in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber on the Romantic Road. The kids were our passport because adults over 26 ?? without accompanying young people are not allowed to hostel in Bavaria. It was great. We also stayed in another IYH youth hostel in Switzerland.

By the way, if you are travelling in Britain, look for family rooms. There are even guides to travelling with kids in Britain. They also list which pubs have family rooms so that you can all enjoy some refreshments.

If you are travelling by train, look for train bargains. Train passes for children are free or substantially discounted in Switzerland.

We got language learning tapes for our kids - Patrick was in charge of German and Meredith, Italian. They didn't learn much more than a word or two, but they were more confident in trying to unscramble the local language than we were! And they felt part of the whole thing.

Last, if this is your first trip, I recommend Rick Steves' book, Europe Through the Back Door. It gave me an enormous amount of confidence when we did our first Continental trip. Get it from your local library!

Patrick was 13 at the time. If you want more information about our experience, please ask.

Frances