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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here's the itinerary for my ED trip. This is for me, my wife and our two kids, 6 and 7 and I'd appreciate any advice/suggestions/additions:

Aug 10: Leave NY
Aug 11: Get to Munich via London and stay at Le Meridien.
Aug 12: Munich jet lag adjustment day. Pick up the car and hang out with friends.
Aug 13: Go to Venice (~349 mi). Stay at Westin Europa & Regina
Aug 14: Venice
Aug 15: Venice
Aug 16: Drive to Nice/Cannes/Grasse (~370 mi) and stay somewhere nearby. Suggestions welcome.
Aug 17: Drive to Barcelona (~400 mi) and stay at Le Meridien either at the beach or in the city, can't decide.
Aug 18: Barcelona
Aug 19: Barcelona
Aug 20: Drive back to Nice at a leisurely pace through Arles and Nimes*. Spend the night near Nice airport. Looking for a place with a pool if possible.
Aug 21: Drop off and fly to London and stay with friends.
Aug 22: London
Aug 23: London
Aug 24: Fly back to NY.

* I know the Nice - Barcelona - Nice section is a lot of miles (800 mi). We could drop off the car in Nice and fly to Barcelona. However, our only reasonable choices are an AirBerlin flight with a stopover in Dusseldorf for about $1,000 or a direct flight at midnight on something called Vueling Airlines for $500 for the four of us. Has anyone actually been on these two airlines? If we're planning on staying in or near Barcelona, do we really need a car?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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You ask about needing a car in Barcelona. That was my first thought about Venice, actually. Then I looked and saw you were going to Venice in August. :yikes:

Why would you want to do that? :dunno:

You might want to drive to places that you wouldn't ordinarily visit if you were just flying in. The wiki is full of suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You ask about needing a car in Barcelona. That was my first thought about Venice, actually. Then I looked and saw you were going to Venice in August. :yikes:

Why would you want to do that? :dunno:

You might want to drive to places that you wouldn't ordinarily visit if you were just flying in. The wiki is full of suggestions.
On our last ED in '07, we covered Northern France, Paris, and UK so this time, we're looking to go South. Just how bad is Venice in August? I know there are lots of tourists during the day but what about the environment? Temp, humidity, do the canals smell in the heat, etc...

Should I just forget about Venice and go MUC - Como - Florence - MUC? Would that be a lot more pleasant?

Also, how practical is a car in Barcelona?

Thanks!
 

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IMO, Barcelona is not too bad with a car, especially if you are willing to pay for parking. It is a very nice city, and not too crowded; it is not like driving in Rome or Paris, for instance. Also, you might want a day trip to Montserrat http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/tour/montserrat-spain.html.

You can certainly get around with public trans in Barcelona, but, it is among the more car friendly cities too.
 

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Should I just forget about Venice and go MUC - Como - Florence - MUC? Would that be a lot more pleasant?
Eh, personally I loathe Florence and Venice, so I'd ditch them both, go to Barcelona, and add in some more time in Provence/Languedoc. If you're going to be driving through there, you really should see the Pont du Gard, and it fits in with JSpira's suggestion of going to places you wouldn't be able to get to without a car.
 

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You are gonna LOVE the Europa Regina in Venice! Barcelona = Gaudi. Check out all the Gaudi stuff. It's worth it an incredible.
 

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It sounds like a lot of ground to cover in 14 days to me. How many miles does it add up to? We went with our 3 kids ages 6, 6 and 8 in April. We put on 1600 miles in 18 days visiting Munich-Salzburg-Venice-Panzano in Tuscany-Luzern-Paris. I think the kids will love Venice but I would only do two days there. If I could do it over again I would spend more time in Austria and Switzerland. We stayed at Le Mer in Munich. Nicely located and a nice spa and pool. I would highly recommend the Wolf-Diedtrich in Salzburg. It was a very kid friendly hotel with a great buffet and pool. We did a great family bike ride along the river to Hellbrunn castle. We got a guide in Venice the first morning we were there. PM me if you want her contact info. She showed us around by boat and then by foot. She gave us a personal tour of Venice and told us places to avoid. The city is all about the tourist dollar and August is the busiest month. Her best piece of advice was to find your way by the yellow signs on most corners. The city is a maze and trying to find most streets on a map is an exercise in frustration. Just follow the yellow signs to navigate to your destination.

We had four long driving days which I wish could have been spent wiser. I enjoyed driving on the secondary roads much more than the major highways. Given your itinerary, you will be spending a significant amount of time on the major highways.

Have a great trip!
 

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If you haven't already made your reservations, bearing in mind that you have your two young children with you, I would say that you should definitely include a couple of days in Austria on your way down to Venice.

They will love you for it if you stop in the mountains near Salzburg and take them to a salt mine, the ice caves, summer toboggan run, Hellbrunn (water) palace, a cable-car ride, self-drive boat trip on a lake, steam-train ride, paddle steamer etc etc

I would seriously consider deleting the Nice-Barcelona section, it's a long and boring drive. Barcelona's great, but not so much for the kids.
 

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I know the Nice - Barcelona - Nice section is a lot of miles (800 mi).
We split this drive for 2 days with slip over in Nimes. Very nice province city
 

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I also vote to drop Venice & add Provence.

It's not just Pont du Gard, it's Aix, Avignon, Arles, Lacoste, etc. etc... Much more fun than a stinky Venice in August.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Venice's, ahem, condition in August is common knowledge. Why do people still plan to go there in August? :dunno:
Is July a better month?
 

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Venice is a wonderful city to visit. It is popular with tourists and busy around the year. Unfortunately, most visitors limit themselves to a few better known attractions around the Doge's Palace. Believe me, there is much more to see in this eternal city. You can spend days wondering between its less know and free of crowd churches such as Madonna dell'Orto, Santa Maria della Salute, and magnificent Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. If you don't mind a short walk, find a hotel in Cannaregio by the Ghetto. Or put your car on a ferry and stay at Lido Island. If you do go to Venice, stay more than just one day. After dark, most tourists are gone; you have the city all to yourself.
 
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