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Cynthia Harriman
PO Box 6547
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Tel: 603-436-1608

All information on this website is © 2005, Cynthia Harriman, unless otherwise noted.

Table of Contents
of Take Your Kids to Europe

Intro: Why Take Your Kids to Europe?

You're not interested in the same routine vacations other families take. Learn the Take Your Kids (TYKE) philosophy.

Why Take the Kids? Why Leave the States? Why Europe? Why Stay Longer?

Part 1: Before You Go

Get the whole family involved in planning. Anticipation is part of the whole experience!

1. Planning Your Itinerary

  • The Pushpin Planning System
  • What Kids Want to See
  • What You'll Want the Kids to See

2. Planes, Trains, Boats & Cars

  • Finding Cheap Airfares
  • What About Trains?
  • Renting - or Buying - a Car
  • Ferries

3. What to Bring

  • Clothes: All you Need, in One Suitcase
  • Photos of Home and Friends
  • Books: Read Aloud Everywhere You Go
  • Gifts for New Friends
  • Toys that Work Best
  • Journals, Cameras, Videos

4. Managing Money

  • The Advantages of Plastic
  • Cash and the Euro
  • Money Security Issues

5. Special Issues for Longer Stays

  • Getting the Kids Out of School
  • Getting Yourself Out of Work
  • Renting Your Home: Finding Tenants
  • Long-term Money Management Issues

Part 2: On the Road

How to find the best inexpensive hotels and restaurants--and how to keep family togetherness on a positive note.

6. Sightseeing Survival

  • How to Be Your Own Guide
  • Allowing for Family Differences
  • Family Decision Making that Works
  • Special Pointers for Cities

7. Restaurants

  • How to Get Picky Eaters to Try Snails
  • The Fast Food Blues
  • Finding Good Restaurants
  • Eating Well for Less, Country by Country

8. Budget Hotels and B&B's

  • Philosophy: Less Money = More Local Flavor
  • What You Get for Your Money
  • Reservations: are They Necessary?
  • Kids' Expectations
  • Finding Good Budget Hotels
  • B&B's

9. Youth Hostels

10. RV Camping

  • To Camp or Not To Camp?
  • How European Camping Differs from the U.S.
  • Meet the Neighbors
  • Buying or Renting a Camper
  • What to Bring
  • Typical Campgrounds in Europe

11. Roadtrip Survival

  • Daily Schedules: Pacing with Kids
  • Lack of Privacy
  • Toilet Survival
  • Backseat Basics
  • Reading on the Road
  • Driving in Europe

Part 3: Home Base

With kids, houses work better than hotels. Rent a house - even for a week or two. Join in on local life, and learn from your new neighbors.

12. Renting and Exchanging Houses

  • Renting vs. Exchanging
  • Budget Rental Resources
  • Rental Checklist
  • Tips for Finding Rentals in England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain

13. Home Cooking

  • What is Food?
  • Where & When to Shop
  • What's for Dinner?
  • Grocery Shopping - Country by Country

14. Communicating

  • Why It's Hard to Meet People
  • How to Do It Anyway
  • Meeting Other Kids: Isn't this the Point?
  • Language Skills: How much is Enough?
  • Communication is More than Words
  • Picking up Languages
  • Family Power Plays and Language

15. Homestay Survival

  • What to Do, Day by Day
  • Teenage Tensions
  • Marriage Tensions
  • When Relatives Come to Visit
  • Expectations Come Crashing Down

Part 4: Can We Afford This?

A guide to keeping costs low. Includes a Ballpark Budget Estimator worksheet you can fill out.

16. The Budget Chapter

Part 5: What to See and Do

The pros and cons of some of Europe's best-known sights, from chocolate factories to sand dunes. Organized by country, with handy overview maps.

18. Great Britain


  • London Walks
  • The London Eye
  • London Toy Stores
  • Changing of the Guard & Royal Mews
  • Brass Rubbing
  • London Theatre
  • British Museum & Library
  • London Science Museum
  • Imperial War Museum & Cabinet War Rooms
  • Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
  • London Dungeon

Southeast England

  • Legoland, Windsor
  • Hedge Mazes
  • Punting on the Cam, Cambridge
  • Thames Barrier, Woolwich
  • Greenwich Prime Meridian, Greenwich
  • Eurotunnel Exhibit, Folkestone
  • Battle of Hastings, Hastings

Wiltshire and the Cotswolds

  • Stonehenge, Avebury and West Kennett Long Barrow
  • Wiltshire White Horses, throughout Wiltshire
  • Roman Baths & Costume Museum, Bath
  • Salisbury and Old Sarum, Salisbury

Wales and Midlands

  • Museum of Welsh Life,St. Fagans near Cardiff, Wales
  • Big Pit Coal Museum, Blaenafon, Wales
  • Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Nelson, Wales
  • Ironbridge Gorge, Telford
  • Warwick Castle, Warwick
  • Cadbury World, Bourneville near Birmingham

Yorkshire, the Border and Scotland

  • York Castle Museum & Train Museum, York
  • York Ghost Walk & Jorvik Viking Centre, York
  • Eureka! Children's Museum, Halifax
  • Beamish Open Air Museum, Stanley
  • Hadrian's Wall and Vindolanda, Chesterholm
  • Annie McLeod Experience, New Lanark, Scotland
  • Loch Ness, near Inverness

18. France

Paris and Surrounding Area

  • Paris Street Life
  • Paris-Story
  • Art Musems: Rodin, d'Orsay, Louvre
  • Musée de la Poupée (doll museum)
  • Cité des Sciences: La Villette Science Museum
  • Tour the Paris Sewers
  • Musée Grevin Wax Museums
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • Defense Arch
  • Parc Astérix
  • Disneyland Paris
  • Chartres Cathedral: Malcolm Miller Tours

Normandy & Brittany

  • Bayeux Tapestry, Bayeux
  • D-Day Beaches, near Bayeux
  • Oceanopolis Aquarium, Brest
  • Port-Musée Boat Museum, Duarnenez
  • Quimper Pottery Factory Tour, Quimper
  • Carnac Menhirs, Carnac

Loire Valley

  • Beware of Boring the Kids
  • 3 Recommended (but little known) Châteaux

Dordogne Valley

  • Font de Gaume Cave Paintings, Les Eyzies de Tayac
  • Prehisto Parc, near Les Eyzies
  • Monkey Forest, Eagle's Rock, and Mini-land, Rocamadour
  • Gouffre de Padirac Underground River
  • Commarque Castle Ruins
  • Canoeing on the Dordogne
  • Dune de Pyla: Europe's Highest Sand Dune, Pyla

Rhône Valley

  • Roman ruins, Nîmes
  • Roman amphitheatre, Orange
  • Ardêche River Gorge
  • The Mailman's Ideal Palace, Hauterives


  • Alsace Ecomusée Open Air Museum, near Mulhouse
  • Monkeys, Eagles, Storks, Otters, Kintzheim & Hunawihr
  • Trains, Cars, and Cloth, Mulhouse

19. BeNeLux and Denmark


  • Brugge (Bruges): Lace Center, renting bikes
  • Cat Parade and Cat-Tossing, Ieper (Ypres)
  • Carnival Museum, Lace Center, Binche
  • Bell-ringing, Toy Museum, Mechelen
  • Wildlife Park, Planckendael (near Mechelen)
  • Mannekin Pis & Children's Museum, Brussels
  • Open Air Museum, Bokrijk


  • "Floating Basement" house, renting bikes, Edam
  • Polders & Dikes Museums, Cruquius & Lelystad
  • Anne Frank's House, Amsterdam
  • Zaanse Schans Folk Museum, Zaankijk
  • 19 Windmills at Kinderdijk
  • Wooden Shoe Museum & Factory, Best
  • Grotton St. Pietersberg fossil caves, Maastricht
  • Traditional Village, Giethoorn
  • Eise Eisinga's Planetarium, Franeker


  • Visit the Iron Age, at Lejre Centre, near Roskilde
  • Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde
  • Funen Village Open Air Museum, near Odense
  • Legoland, Billund


  • Ardennes Battle Museum, Diekirch

20. Germany, Austria, Switzerland


  • Glacier Garden, Lucerne
  • Swissorama & Transport Museum, Lucerne
  • Hikes and train rides
  • Wengen and Trümmel bach Falls, near Lauterbrünnen
  • Gruyère Cheese Factory, Gruyères
  • Nestlé Chocolate Factory, Broc (near Gruyères)
  • Clockwork Museum, La Chaux-de-Fonds (near Neuchâtel)


  • Southern Bavaria
  • Northern Bavaria
    • Regensburg
    • Toy Museum, and Crime Museum, Rothenburg
    • Dinkelsbühl
  • Frankfurt Area
    • Opel-Zoo, Kronberg
    • Doll Museum, Hanau
    • Kinder Akademie, Fulda
  • The Black Forest
  • Berlin
    • Berlin Zoo
    • Science Museum
    • World War II in Berlin
    • Checkpoint Charlie Museum


  • Lippizaner Stallions, Vienna
  • Tyrolean Folk Museum, Innsbruck
  • Salt Mines, Hallstatt
  • Castle Hellbrunn, near Salzburg

21. Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco


  • Southern Italy
    • Pompeii
    • Ancient Rome: Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon
    • Roman Streetlife & Villa Borghese Park
  • Tuscany & Central Italy
    • Florence with kids
    • Parco di Pinocchio, Collodi
    • Marble Quarries, Carrara
    • Hiking in the Cinque Terre
  • Northern Italy
  • Venice, Burano and Murano

Spain & Gilbraltar

  • The Little Yellow Train, near Puigcerda (Pyrenees)
  • Barcelona
    • Las Ramblas, Columbus Monument, Maritime Museum
    • Aquarium and Science Museum
    • Antoni Gaudi
    • Poble Espanyol
  • Aqueduct and Alcazar, Segovia
  • Madrid
    • Parque del Retiro and Museo Naval
    • Plaza Mayor and Palacio Real
  • Medieval "Hanging Houses", Cuenca
  • Merida Roman Museum and Road
  • Moorish Spain
    • Mezquita, Cordoba
    • Alcazar, Sevilla
    • Alcazar and Alhambra, Granada
  • Gibraltar


  • Greek Language
  • Olympia: Gods and Games
  • Tiryns and Epidavros
  • Stoa of Attalos, Athens

A Day in Tangier, Morocco

22. Resources

A collection of phone numbers and addresses for every publication or organization mentioned in the book plus additional resources for planning your trip.

  • Airline tickets
  • Recommended background books
  • Recommended general guidebooks
  • Recommended kids' guidebooks
  • Bookstores and Catalogs
  • Camper/Van Rental or Purchase
  • Camping Resources
  • Car Rentals and Purchase/Repurchase Programs
  • Driving in Europe
  • Family Travel Specialists
  • Ferries
  • Friendship/Meet the People Groups
  • Home Exchange
  • Home Rental Resources, country by country
  • Hosteling
  • Hotels
  • Language and Translation
  • Magazines and Newsletters
  • Telephone Services
  • National Tourist Offices
  • Trains

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