Subject: Re: European Vacation 2006
Greetings Jim and Judy and fellow Ziners,

The itinerary you are considering is very ambitious, especially with teens! Travel should be enjoyable and if you try to pack too much into the trip you build in too much stress.

My wife and I have taken our teens to Europe, Mexico, China and all over the USA. We have done different types of trips, but our favorite are the "Road Trips".

One of our best was to Germany. After staying a couple of days in Munich, we rented a car and started our road trip. We had a rough itinerary, but remained flexible and included everyone in on the daily planning, (get the teens to "buy in" and they feel they are more part of the planning process). We drove to Wurzburg and took the Romantische Strasse, (Romantic Road)which is dotted with medieval towns, villages, castles and churches along it's 420 kilometer, (260 mile)length. We drove on through Austria with a stay of a few days in Salzburg. When then wandered around a little more and returned to Munich for the flight home. The trip took two weeks.

Renting a car when traveling has several advantages. It provides you a place for your "stuff" and eliminates the stress of hauling your belongings through train stations and time wasted sitting around waiting for your connection. A car also gives you the freedom, (and power) to control your travel destiny. The other advantage of a car is the opportunity to talk to your teens! Driving through beautiful countryside in a car allows for hours of wonderful conversations! The time you spend as a family is absolutely priceless! Driving in the European countryside is VERY EASY, (I don't recommend driving in Munich or Paris) and I found navigation effortless. Driving also adds to the adventure.....after all, travel should be an adventure!!

Enjoy your trips, Frank Garcia California