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Holidays

Interail with kids

13 replies

woollysocksaresexy · 08/09/2021 21:35

My DH is trying to talk me into going interrailing with our kids next summer holidays. We will both possibly be between jobs at that time so it would be a good time to have a holiday that is a bit different and longer than the usual week in the sun. I am extremely unconvinced, basically I am not sure that the kids would actually enjoy it that much, for a variety of reasons. They are currently 7,5 and 3. Do you have any ideas for alternative long holidays that I could suggest to him? He thinks I'm being very negative and critical whereas actually all I'm doing is being practical and realistic, I think maybe he would take it better if I suggested some alternatives!

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Kassalah · 08/09/2021 22:06

Wouldn't they enjoy being in and out of the pool/sea more at that age? If so, hopefully you can convince him of that. How about a family cruise, if you haven't tried that?

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MissAmbrosia · 12/09/2021 11:58

Sounds like hell to me. I have done it with a teenager - but she was happy with her phone/book on the longer journeys and there was mostly quite good wifi. Not sure I would do it with a 3 year. Small, bored kids on a train are annoying to other people as well as their parents.

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Aroundtheworldin80moves · 12/09/2021 12:14

I did one long journey from Germany to UK by train with my 8&6yos. After the novelty of double decker trains, then underwater trains, wore off, it was quite a boring day. The only advantage was it was actually quicker and less stressful for that particular route than flying.

I can foresee an Interrail trip with 3-7yos being a tour of the playgrounds of Europe.

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Chersfrozenface · 12/09/2021 12:37

OP, if your husband is so keen on this, give him the job of researching and planning it.

Including:
Triming of train journeys, incuding changes
Actvities to keep children entertained on journeys and during waiting times
Lodgings
Transit between station and lodging on arrival and departure
Vists / actvities suitable for chidren of their ages
Transit from and back to lodging and between activities
Detailed packing lists for 2 adults and 3 children including clothing, footwear, toiletries, medicines and first aid, activity items
How luggage will be transported on all journeys (realistically mostly by 2 adults)
Detailed budget for all insurances, travel, lodging, meals, drinks, actvities, replacement items, contingencies.

Have him write all this down / create a file. Consider the contents and decide whether this is something you want to do.

If he says you're deliberately putting barriers in the way / being awkward, tell him that these logistics will have to be worked out if you do go. As the person whose idea it is, he should deal with them.

Having ideas and then expecting someone else to do the grunt work is just not on.

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exexpat · 12/09/2021 12:53

I think they are a bit too young. I would consider it when the youngest is five or six, perhaps. I took my two DCs inter railing and on various other train-based holidays around Europe, as a single parent, from when they were 8 and 4, though the first one was trains/sleeper train to one destination and then back, we didn't do multi-stop rail holidays until a couple of years after that.

I think two crucial things are they are all: 1) old enough and big enough to carry their own luggage (small backpack and small wheeled suitcase); 2) able to read or amuse themselves quietly for reasonable lengths of time on train journeys; 3) can stay up and eat, go to bed etc at more adult times without getting ratty and having meltdowns.

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Luobogao · 12/09/2021 12:55

I wouldn't do it with that age kids (and I travel a lot with mine). What about backpacking through Thailand or something similar? Would probably work out the same cost (or cheaper) and easier with young kids as much more beach to fit in.

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exexpat · 12/09/2021 12:56

So as an alternative I would suggest possibly going to one destination by train - maybe the kind of French or Dutch campsite that has pre-pitched and fully equipped tents or cabins, with activities for children. Do you cycle? You could go somewhere that has bike hire and places to explore within cycling distance, if your DH likes the idea of a car-free holiday.

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Janek · 12/09/2021 13:51

Or a multi-destination holiday by train? Again to be researched by your DH - maybe a mountain destination (+ lake for swimming), a coastal/seaside destination and a city destination. It is completely doable to travel long distances by train with children, but they do get bored, even with unlimited screens.

Ask your DH what he actually means by 'interrailing' because surely most of it is about the destinations, it's not trying to spend a month or more on a train. As PPs have said, he needs to think about the logistics rather than just the idea as a concept.

We often go on holiday by train (although just there and back, not interrailing) and have done since before my youngest (12) was born. It is much better than flying for lots of reasons, but it's not a holiday if the focus is just catching trains!!!

Point your DH to seat61.com and see what he can come up with, because he's right that's it's a good opportunity if you'll both be between jobs next summer.

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DuringDinnerMints · 12/09/2021 21:01

We're planning on interrailing next year, if COVID restrictions allow, but our kids will be 5 & 8 and have been on sleeper trains before. The Seat61 website is a great resource. How about just doing a few countries with a flight at each end? Or fly one way and then work your way back. Perhaps if you focus on three or four destinations and ensure that there's something for everyone. If also recommend sleeper trains as a good way to travel, it stops you having to spend hours on a train getting bored because you're asleep for most of the journey.

If you're decide that the kids are too little for interrailing, what about one really scenic train trip, like through the Rockies or the Alps? We did a trip when our eldest was a toddler stopping in Munich, Innsbruck and Verona and she was absolutely fine with the travel.

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BritWifeInUSA · 13/09/2021 04:57

The luggage would be by concern. How much of the luggage could your children realistically carry on and off trains? You will be left carrying almost all of it and trying to corral the children all the time. Sounds like hell. But I’ve never been a fan of trains.

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KihoBebiluPute · 13/09/2021 05:24

With kids that age, i woukd look into hiring a retro VW campervan for a few weeks and plan a tour corcuit that gives you at least 2 nights at a time in each place so you can have days of not-travelling but you will have your accommodation sorted. You can do some stops at beach/costal places and some in cities, one stop where there's an amazing water park and another where there are wonderful countryside/scenery to walk in. A huge variety of activities (which is the joy of interailing) but no worries about finding a bed on arrival.

Interrailing is not something I would attempt with young kids. Random stuff always happens sooner or later, the best laid plans gang aglae, and you end up with having to sleep rough on a station bench or make a meal from the very random food available somewhere unexpected. Its ideal when you're a young adult and are resilient but it would be incredibly stressful with kids.

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mairiflowers · 13/09/2021 06:20

Hmm I think some of the previous posts are a bit negative. There's interrail and there's interrail surely! I don't think it has to necessarily mean spending endless hours on trains for the train journeys sake, or sleeping rough at stations. Surely it would still be interrail to say get a Eurostar to Paris l, stay there for 2-3 nights, catch a train to southern France, stay there for 2-3 nights, from there catch a train to Switzerland/Italy, stay there for a few days... And you could then even fly back from your last destination.

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Willthewashingeverend · 13/09/2021 06:27

Not sure I would do that with a 3 year old. I have an almost 3 year old and whilst he would LOVE the trains, the travelling between with luggage and such would be a nightmare (having done this a lot, its a nightmare without kids, let alone with 3 of them). I think if you are looking for a different type of holiday then I would go for a large campervan travelling around parts of Europe. We recently did this and it was brilliant. DS thought it was a fantastic adventure. You only have to pack/unpack once. You could drive along the Algarve or along the coast of France/Italy. I think with 3 young children you need access to the sea/pool etc and you could do this with a campervan. We went for one with a toilet/shower. It was big enough for 6 adults.

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