LH wrote:going to europe july 22 to august 2nd.
Flying standby into Paris.
husband wife, two girls 10, 11 years old.
What are some good bargain ways to travel, places to stay? Have already been to Paris. We have been to italy. We plan to take a train to somewhere else.
Looked at Viking river cruises but was too expensive, least on site I looked on.
thinking spain, portugual, belgium, netherlands etc, etc. Whatever.
any ideas appreciated,
When we had kids that age, we rented apartments (much cheaper and much more space for everyone) in central and interesting locations and then made ever widening circles to explore from our new home. The easiest places to do this per your list would be Belgium and The Netherlands or the Black Forest area, Mosel or Rhine Valleys in Germany. As much as I love Spain and Portugal, it will be too hot, much too hot. (Unless you can adjust them all to siesta and staying up late into the night) We even stayed in Rotterdam for a week, not on the top of any tourist's list, and had a great time doing day trips all over the Netherlands. In Belgium, I would recommend Bruges, biking on walking on the canals to the other towns, and day trips as well.
Our kids liked their new homes, having space, not having to go out for every meal, and not having to pack up every other night to go someplace else. I liked it, too. We still travel this way, even though an apartment for 2 is not cheaper then a hotel room
Many European rail systems have deals and passes for families. Don't use Rail Europe, but the websites from the countries themselves, saying you are from the UK for translation purposes and not the US, or you will be shunted off to the more expensive US websites
You might also think of the UK. It is affordable outside of London, the down side being that you will have to rent a car, as the trains are expensive and often do go where you want them to go.