Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Welcome to Mumsnet's holiday forum. Discuss all international travel here, including both shorthaul and longhaul trips. Related topics: UK holidays & day trips, skiing, camping & campervans.

Holidays

10 days in Europe cheapest

36 replies

LesleyA · 14/05/2022 23:45

Please help. Flying internationally to London or Europe. Have ten days to show our teens some of Europe. Have been gifted flights to Europe. What is the cheapest travel plus acc. What is eurail option like? Can we sleep on train to save? Is it safe to backpack for kids, hire a car or campervan or what?

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Pearlyqueen21 · 15/05/2022 01:38

If you head onto the continent (basically avoid the UK!) , train travel seems to be well priced and reliable. I would look at Eurostar from London over to Paris, then after a couple of days exploring get an overnight train somewhere else (south of France? Italy? Germany?). Just have a look on the Trainline app and the Seat61 website and see what routes there are. With 10 days I would hop between a few European cities by train, soaking up the atmosphere and getting some lovely views. Cheap hotels like Ibis, Formule 1 etc are a good place to look at cheap and cheerful accommodation.

Have a great holiday!

Please
or
to access all these features

Pearlyqueen21 · 15/05/2022 01:39

Car hire is v expensive just now in Europe - I wouldn’t bother if you don’t have to. It seems to have shot up in price since pre-covid.

Please
or
to access all these features

StrawberryLipstickStateOfMind1 · 15/05/2022 01:41

Europe is a big place, as is the UK really!
Overnight buses and Air B&B will be the cheapest but I can't imagine you'll want to do that with kids.

Please
or
to access all these features

BobbyGentry · 15/05/2022 03:15

💡 Europe bus pass “The Eurolines pass is probably the best travel deal in Europe allowing unlimited coach travel between 50 destinations in 20 countries on the Eurolines network.”
…think a 15 pass maybe 🤔
there’s flexibus too, cheaper than interrail ticket. Plan route, book hotel at stops.

Please
or
to access all these features

BobbyGentry · 15/05/2022 03:27

eurolines-pass.eu
15 consecutive days’ unlimited travel
better clicky link!

”As a Eurolines Pass holder you can also get your hands on great discounted hotel and hostel rates. There’s accommodation to suit all budgets, and it’s simple to book.”

Please
or
to access all these features

DaisyQuakeJohnson · 15/05/2022 03:35

It really depends which part of Europe you want to focus on. imo trains are expensive in Italy and the Uk. But they're reliable in Italy and less so in the UK. In Spain, I'd hire a car but I wouldn't hire a car in Italy.
Airbnb or country specific equivalents are good for cheap accommodation or look for youth hostels with private rooms.
It's impossible to suggest more without an idea of what you'd like. If it's just the highlights, then start with Paris then take the train to Italy (Milan or Venice). If you opt for Milan you can then take the train to Zurich or Geneva.

Please
or
to access all these features

BritWifeInUSA · 15/05/2022 05:17

Overnight trains are awful. I’d rather stay at home than do that again. Even a cheap hostel is better than the hell on rails that is overnight trains.

Please
or
to access all these features

daretodenim · 15/05/2022 06:37

Hostels for a family are not actually the cheapest option and neither are airbnbs. It can be cheaper to book hotels in the Accor chain than stay in hostels. They're also always reliably clean and quieter. Novotel hotels often have kids staying free in same room but I don't know the age limit but ibis and mercure (both in chain) also have good rates. If you download the Accor (owning hotel chain) app you join the membership (free) and get discounts. Sometimes buffets breakfast included. It's usually cheaper than Airbnb too, if you're renting an entire apartment rather than a single room. Especially in Western Europe.
AirBnB and hostels have cooking facilities though so that's something to factor in. In certain places you can find nice places to eat takeaways and you ultimately don't spend more because when you're only in a place for a day or two, you end up throwing food away as you leave each place because it's not realistic to carry it around.

Please
or
to access all these features

orbitalcrisis · 15/05/2022 06:41

Europe is a continent, which bit of Europe have you been given a flight to? Or will you get to chose the destination? What countries would you like to see? What sort of thing do you want to see? Art galleries? Castles? Churches? Cities? Countryside? Mountains? Northern Europe? Southern Europe? Eastern Europe? What's your budget?

Please
or
to access all these features

orbitalcrisis · 15/05/2022 06:42

And most importantly, WHEN do you want to go?

Please
or
to access all these features

LesleyA · 15/05/2022 08:58

thanks for all the feedback, wow so much!! Can I ask why the trains aren’t great for sleeping? The advert makes them look quiet, clean etc. unfortunately we would be coming around end June or July so great for weather but school holidays for many so no doubt crowded. id love 2 days Netherlands 2 France 2 Switzerland or Austria or Italy. Mostly places they’ve learnt about in school. I’m not sure. Can’t say budget cos I have to save until then (June 2023) any idea of in total how much we would need? 2 teens hubby and I. Really appreciate feedback

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Clymene · 15/05/2022 09:06

Have a look here: www.seat61.com/how-to-use-a-eurail-pass.htm

It has information on the cost of a Eurail pass, how much a couchette costs per person eg a couchette in a 4 berth is €44 per person which is probably more expensive than a cheap hotel. But obviously means you're getting somewhere else overnight and so making the most of your time.

Please
or
to access all these features

Frazzled2207 · 15/05/2022 09:13

June is a good time as NOT school hols. August is the biggest school hols time followed by July.
are you from the US?
with limited time I’d focus on high speed trains. Possibly internal flights (can be very cheap a year in advance). You could do pairs/amsterdam/somewhere in Germany followed by somewhere in Northern Italy (via the alps) relatively straightforwardly

look up Eurail pass. There is also interrail but that is for European citizens only

Please
or
to access all these features

orbitalcrisis · 15/05/2022 09:37

June and July is the holidays for most of Europe so could be expensive.

I'd hire a car it's so much easier and quicker. If your arrival airport is flexible, check out the car hire prices at each possible airport in turn and choose that way.

Depending on your starting point you could do something like a road trip from Netherlands through Belgium and into Luxembourg, down to the Vosges/Alsace (France), Switzerland, then into Italy. It's about 1000km in total so not too difficult to drive back to the starting point to return the car and fly home. You could also add Germany in there if you wished. Trier is just a short drive from Luxembourg, it's a beautiful city, Karl Marx grew up there!

Please
or
to access all these features

LesleyA · 15/05/2022 11:37

Orbital how much money in gas would that cost for the car?

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

LesleyA · 15/05/2022 11:43

And also parking?

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

LesleyA · 15/05/2022 11:48

Sorry drip answering as busy helping my child to study. Cost of petrol and parking. If we borrowed a car (there is a possibility of this) in the UK I gather we would have to pay insurance cover and then added cost of going from uk across to continent? Sorry I’m completely in the dark.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

BlueKaftan · 15/05/2022 11:48

Fly to Schipol, Amsterdam
Eurostar to Paris
Eurostar to Milan, but don’t stay there
Local train to Lake Maggiore, day trips from there either on trains or buses
Fly back from Milan

Please
or
to access all these features

EileenGC · 15/05/2022 12:19

If you’re hopping around quite a bit it could be cheaper to take internal flights too - Ryanair or easyJet fly almost everywhere from London and you can pick up tickets for as low as £10/20pp. You save time (1h flight instead of 6-7h on the road plus ferry time) and having to worry about parking, insurance, petrol money.

I’d do trains on the continent if travelling between reasonably close to each other cities. Booking.com is good to compare accommodation especially in big cities.

Please
or
to access all these features

Frazzled2207 · 15/05/2022 12:22

Getting a car isn’t a bad idea but yes you would need insurance to go on the continent and if hiring you would need to pay extra for this. If you’re hiring from a relative you can probably get an insurance add on for the time you need it.

but be aware that driving and parking in any major city is very stressful and increasingly difficult. For example Paris and London and other places have very high charges on driving into the city centres unless you have a very low/zero emission vehicle.

Please
or
to access all these features

BlueKaftan · 15/05/2022 13:23

I wouldn’t bother with a car in London or Paris. There will probably be loads of protests over the next couple of years over the increased cost of living in the U.K. , and then protests are just the status quo in Paris. Learning how to use public transport will be a good confidence builder for your teenagers and will save money that you will need for hotels as even the cheap ones can be pricey.

Please
or
to access all these features

LesleyA · 15/05/2022 13:32

Thanks everyone. Lots of really good points. Still not sure why one person who replied didn’t favour train to sleep. So for 10 days more or less where I’ve said wd like to go inc accommodion some food some touristy things but on a shoestring would you say you’ll need at least 500 pounds 4000 pounds 10 000 pounds? And will def be in July unfortunately.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Clymene · 15/05/2022 13:43

I wouldn't bother coming to the U.K. unless you're desperate. Getting across the channel is very expensive.

And for 4 of you, I'd say closer to £4k than £500. Probably more.

Couchettes are very narrow and the trains are quite noisy so you won't get the best night's sleep. I have done it a lot but it's not a comfortable way to travel in my experience!

Please
or
to access all these features

nearlyspringyay · 15/05/2022 13:44

For an idea on cost you need to narrow down your options. You sound like you're trying to fit too much into ten days and will just be knackered from travel.

Europe is expensive, so is the UK!

Please
or
to access all these features
Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?