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Family_Travel
08-11-09, 19:13
Hello!!

I am so happy to find this forum! I am hoping to spend the summer abroad in Europe. I live in Minnesota, USA. I am thinking about doing house exchange or renting.

Does anyone have tips for me?

I will be traveling with 2 children. Our goal is to explore and get to know people. I think it would be fun to rent a place for several weeks. We are open to where we go.

I would be grateful for any insights or ideas anyone might have?

Thanks!!

Susie Q

Maciamo
09-11-09, 12:33
First of all, which country are you going to visit, and how long are you planning to stay ?

Cambrius (The Red)
11-11-09, 17:19
Probably France...

donny
15-12-09, 12:42
There are so many places to go in Europe, places suited for a family with kids. I would suggest you to try Ireland but just for a little while, the weather is not always friendly but when it is Ireland can be Heaven on Earth. And France is a another great suggestion. Please keep us updated on your experience!

sawyer
31-03-10, 10:58
Oh YEAH! France is great. I love France, and the best French dish - French Fries and pizza. Yummy.
What's more, i always go to France, to see some freaky, crazy fashion shows in Paris. They're just awesome. I wish i lived in Paris

Gwyllgi
31-03-10, 13:17
Ouch!

To start with how old are the kids? Will it be just yourself and the kids? Most important, do you speak any language other than (American) English? What sort of holiday do you want? (seaside, country, places of historical interest etc?)

France is a great place to visit – if you speak French. In many places you’ll find the locals will simply shrug their shoulders and turn away if you can’t, and the places where you will find English spoken by local people will generally be the Tourist Traps.

How much are you expecting to pay? Some places cost a fortune, for example to rent a mobile home (trailer) on a Holiday park, NOT the same as a US Trailer Park, you will be looking at around $800 – $1000 a WEEK in the high season at somewhere popular such as Frejus or St. Raphael, by NO means the most popular holiday destinations on the Cote d’Azure. (South of France)

Any food hang up’s, allergies, problems? That can also be an issue because there’s only so many days anyone can live off Big Mac’s.

House exchanges are unusual to the point of being virtually unknown in most of Europe. Holiday rentals are expensive in the popular (that means Tourist) spots and where they are inexpensive usually means inaccessible and remote.

There is one point you make that I would comment on, and don’t take this wrongly, it’s not intended to be hurtful. You write that you would “Like to get to know people”

Firstly you make the assumption that people would like to get to know you.

Although in the US people are inclined to be ready to establish friendship with others, especially foreigners, in Europe such is not the general case. In fact American people are not well received in many parts of Europe these days.

Tolerated, mostly yes.

Welcomed? That’s another matter.

You’re unlikely to meet open hostility (unless you stray into places such as the French “banlieues”, places often confused with being a French version of US inner city slums which they are NOT) and where if you opened your mouth in the wrong place at the wrong time life would turn very nasty very quickly.