In one week we are boarding the plane to our two week Europe adventure with the kids! Four countries and Five cities in two weeks: England, Scotland, France and Belgium.  We intend on getting a glimpse of London, Edinburgh, Paris, Brussels, and Bruge.

I could have booked a two-week trip to one city or countries and settled down.  Truthfully, perhaps that would be the wise way to go—slower travel is cheaper for certain. But, being our first big European vacation as a family, we went crazy. I went to Europe last year with my two oldest boys. We visited London, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, and Sorrento.  The one thing I always say I would have done differently was to spend more time in London and less time in Rome.  

We also would have flown in a loop instead of a round trip.  Then we landed in Rome, spend a few days, left all our things in an apartment in Rome, and took a cheap flight on Ryanair to London with only backpacks for three nights. We had a blast, but the boys loved London, as did I.  

I loved Rome.

Rome was my number one bucket list place to go!  After our nights in London, we returned to Rome for another week, and then took a fast-speed train to Naples, meet distant relatives in Sorrento, ate pizza in Naples, toured Pompeii before taking the train back to Rome to fly home.  Awesome trip. 

This trip my oldest boy is not coming along.  So it will be Hubby and me, our three younger boys (14, 8, and 5-years-old), and our wonderful support staff, Nicole.  This is not an autism blog, but since we are a family with four autistic children—everything is about autism whether it is or it is not. Autism is our way of life. And we have been blessed with the opportunity to have someone come along for our travels to provide additional support and assistance for your little guys.

Back to the Itinerary: I want to maximize this trip and make sure I gave London a few more days—but Mom is antsy, and I want to see everything.  We are flying into London and out of Paris.  I planned to tour London, train to Edinburgh, ferry to Amsterdam, and train to Paris.  BUT our plans have changed as I made more definite plans.  Instead, this is what our actual itinerary looks like.

London:

After a 6 hour drive to the airport from where we live in the Adirondacks. We are flying from Boston to London Gatwick. Landing on Tuesday, we are spending four full days in London. 

Edinburgh:

I want to spend so much more time in Scotland than I have on this trip, but I couldn’t resist heading to Edinburgh for the weekends especially since the travel to the city ticked another experience box.  Friday night we board the Caledonian Sleeper train from London to Edinburgh.  Why the Sleeper train? It was something we wanted to do with the kids in Europe, but it also takes care of transportation and hotel accommodation in one!  Cha-Ching.  Money Savings is always a good thing.

We spend only two days in Edinburgh.  The train arrives at 7:30 am on Saturday, and the return train to London leaves approximately 11 pm on Sunday.  So we have all day Saturday and Sunday before arriving back in London Monday morning. 

Paris:

After spending two more days in London, our next stop is Paris via the Eurostar. Three nights in Paris with a whirlwind two full-day Paris tour before leaving for Brussels for Easter Weekend.

Brussels/Brugge:

We will spend three nights in Brussels with one day trip to the beautiful medieval city of Bruges. For a glimpse of Bruges, we watched the movie with Colin Powell “In Bruges.”  Our main reason for taking a detour from Paris to Belgium is my 14-year-old son’s wish to make and eat Belgium waffles in Belgium.  We found a waffle making workshop for all the kids—and best of all they can make them Gluten-free, so even Mom can eat! I am excited about having waffles. Thankfully after our weekend, we head back to Paris for a few more days before flying home.

So, there you have it! Below, I summarize our itinerary.  I will post our city by city (tentative) plan with the actives we’ve chosen as must do’s for this trip.  There is so much to see and do that was incredibly hard to choose.

 Quick Recap:

Drive home to Boston

Fly Boston to London

Three nights in London

Caledonia Sleeper Train to Edinburgh

One night in Edinburgh

Caledonia Sleeper Train to London

Eurostar to Paris 

Three nights in Paris

THALYS high-speed train to Brussels

Three nights in Brussels with a day trip to Bruges

THALYS high-speed train to Paris

Two nights Paris

Fly Paris to Boston

One night in Boston

Drive Boston home

Does this look like an insane plan? Yes. Yes, it does.

Stay tuned to discover how it goes.