The list of where we want to travel as a family is … everywhere! So when we plan a trip we try to schedule multiple locations to get the most bang for our buck so to speak. In fact, speaking of “bucks” we also plan our trips around where we find the best deals at the best time of year (whether it is the best price on airfare or a great deal on a great AirBnB). Our most recent multi city travel experience to Paris, London, and Scotland started with finding a great deal for flying to Paris. (Check out our Money Saving Tips for Travel post). Once we figured out our flight to Paris we did some research to see where we could go from there by train. Apparently all through Europe, traveling by train is a breeze! It’s pretty inexpensive too! The plan for our trip ended up as this: 3 days in Paris, 2 in London, and 4 in Scotland (staying in 2 different areas within Scotland).
The way this schedule worked out for us could not have been any better! It was perfect! We started off with Paris and London ~ fast-paced big cities with lots of walking, lots of people and sights to see, and getting around using the Metro/Tube. Then in Scotland we slowed it down a bit, rented a car, and at first stayed in a countryside cottage in the middle of nowhere but beautiful nature, and then our second location was a beach house on the coast.
To get from Paris to London we took a Eurostar train. It was so easy and fast and fun! Then to get from London to Scotland we chose to do a sleeper train! I went into this part of our plan thinking we might not get much sleep, but even if not, it would be a cool experience. Well, not only was the Caledonian Sleeper a great experience, we all slept great! Traveling while you sleep and waking up in your next destination … awesome! We will definitely plan to do this again! We had a total of 3 little “rooms” that had bunk beds and a sink (2 of the rooms connected, so Josh stayed with the 3 big kids, then our little guy and I took the other one). We woke up about 30 minutes before arrival to look out the windows to see gorgeous Scottish countryside with hills speckled with sheep and old stone churches. We were rested and ready to explore!
For every stop on our multi city trip, I bought little books for the kids to learn about what we’d be seeing and experiencing. I found these Mission: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure books for both Paris and London that were awesome! They have them for several other cities too!
Of course, Mom-fail, I forgot to actually bring the book with us when we were out doing our sightseeing. Oops! It was okay though because the kids had looked through them beforehand on the plane, and then we went back through the books afterward and checked off all the things we had seen. Our two oldest kids (10 and 12) were the most into these books. Then for Scotland I found these activity books, which the younger two kids (3 and 8) really liked.
There was such a vast and full variety of experiences for all of us on this multi city trip! It was so cool to watch the kids figure out and get comfortable with the underground transportation systems in Paris and London and to try out some of the French we had learned at home. (We used the DuoLingo app. So fun!) But then my personal favorite moments (and pretty sure Josh’s too) were in Scotland, sitting together in some of the most beautiful landscape we’ve ever seen, watching the kids run around making up games while the two of us talk of dreams of more of this and what adventure is next. That is what we love … adventure, new experiences, and most of all, doing it all together.