Family Trip with 2 young boys tips

I’m planning a road trip with my family. I have two young boys, aged 3 and 5. Any tips on making it smooth and enjoyable?

If the trip is to take place in Europe, take a rail trip instead - it’s much more relaxing and enjoyable with the whole family.

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Thanks! See, I’m quite nervous, my young boys are quite a handful, super active :sweat_smile:

In this case, avoid high-speed trains, where the aisles in the passenger compartments are quite narrow. The express train carriages used by the Austrian and Swiss railroads are ideal, and of course everything that runs in Italy: In Italy, children are unreservedly accepted rulers.

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Thank you!

„If the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail“
You shouldn’t go for the hammer first.

Why should it be specifilly a road trip and not a vacation in general? What is your idea? It seems you have a certain imagination of what you associate with a road trip. You should follow this first before deciding which way to go. Maybe the end result will be that it is better to travel by car, motorhome or bicycle. But maybe it’s also better not to do something that a road trip actually means in any case: namely traveling from A to B to C, D and E.

Do you dream more of beaches, chic or cultural cities or nature? Is the length of the trip important? What about good food? Would you rather sleep in real beds or would you prefer a camper van or tent?
How long should the tour last? At what time of year? How fit are the children?

You have to bear in mind that if you are traveling without your own vehicle, you will have to walk every meter. This also applies to the children. This means a buggy or stretcher for the little ones. But you parents also have to carry everything from pants and sweaters to shoes, toothbrushes, coloring books and teddy bears. A car and especially a camper van may be more relaxed.
The train is a very nice and relaxed means of transport if you have a specific destination and perhaps add B and at most C to it. But then you have to be able to reach your destination.

The bicycle is a nice alternative if you can transport the children well or if they can ride themselves. That would work with the younger one, the older one is probably too old to be driven and too young to be transported?
The weather plays a big role in the time of year. You have to protect yourself from too much sun or rain. This also means having suitable clothing that you can carry with you even if it’s wet.

Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, parts of Italy and France, Benelux … are fantastic destinations to travel by train. There are many regions that have adapted to this. But I would think very carefully about a road trip in the classic sense with children of that age by train. It can be stressful for both parents and children as soon as you get off the train and want to change locations frequently.
Depending on your fitness level, I would rather do it by bike with trailer. You can even do this in small stages from your own house or take the train first. Or use a motorhome and then primarily head for farms. There are many farms that will even let you stay overnight for free or for a small fee if you buy food there. You can decide spontaneously whether to stay one night or several. There is often a lake and you can reach it all without having your luggage with you.