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Old 08-12-2003, 04:20 PM   #1
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My husband is up for 8 months of paid leave next year when our adoption for our 3rd child goes through. We'd love to spend the time in Europe and are in the process of setting up house swaps. For times that we don't have swaps though, any suggestions on hosteling with kids? Is this done much in Europe? We've done it with the kids here and had no problem.
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Old 08-12-2003, 05:16 PM   #2
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Well I wouldnt say hostels in Europe are hell holes, but I wouldnt suggest you taking kids to most of them. Many of them can be quite a party atmosphere and it may not be on the level a child can relate to. You could always get the smaller rooms but I still do not think its the right place to have the little ones. I could be wrong but thats my opinion on it. What cities are you planning on checking out?
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Old 08-12-2003, 08:06 PM   #3
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How about the campsites there? Are they pretty party filled places? Ah to go back to the days of partying <_<

We have no set plans. Glasgow and area are must sees (hubbys family from there) Ipswich area in England (my family originated there), I'd like to spend some time in Turkey. Germany and Wales to see friends. We're near Vancouver/Whistler so hoping we can set up some nice house swaps while we're gone. The kids are rooting for Paris-they want to see Euro Disney. I think where we go and what we see will depend on where we get swaps. I'm pretty open to being very flexible.

We have a monthly income of $1600 CAD coming in, plus whatever we save up, so we'll be going cheap LOL

Maybe a cheap hotel room outside of a city or something is the way to go in between swaps.
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Old 08-12-2003, 09:24 PM   #4
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I think its great that your not letting the kids hold you back from being world trav'las, instead your bringing them with you to see the world for what it is, THE WORLD not just one city or one country.

I have done a bit of research for ya tonight and this is some info I have found.

First off this is a book that might help you out some "Take Your Kids To Europe"

Here are some links to "Family Friendly" Hostels in Europe:

Bantry Independent Hostel, Bantry, Ireland

Generator-Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Although this link does not mention family, the official website for this hostel does

Henipa Hotel, Larnaca, Cyprus

Hotel Miraflores Palma de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

City Backpackers Hostel in Stockholm Sweden Welcomes Kids, here is the address Upplandsgatan 2a, 11123

Faust Apartments - Weiden, Hunsrück-Nahe, Rhineland-Palatinate Germany....This place welcomes the young ones aswell, this is their phone number +49 (0)6785 -7517 and their
fax +49 (0)6785 943267

Black Water Hostel in Glenco Scotland, which according to them is about 98km from Glasgow
this is there contact info Lab Road, Kinlochleven, Glencoe, PH50 4SG
Telephone: 01855 831253

This is something that looks unique but thats about all in know of it
The Old Higher Lighthouse CONTACT: Mrs. Lockyer, Phone or Fax: 01305 822300
Dorset England
Its an old light house with cottages on the property, I bet a great view!!!

So before you loose any hope, know that with a little effort and some help from people who wanna help..the answers you need are not far away B)

I will keep looking into more places for you, and post them as time goes on, just bear in mind, I can not personally say that any of these places are GREAT, because i have not been to any of them, but one day, i may just get to visit B)

We would love to hear how your trip is going so please do keep us up to date

Erin, its great to have you on da boards :D B)
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:12 PM   #5
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ITs great to find the boards!
We always wanted to travel, and never got the chance to before the kids started arriving
So, they shall come with us!

Thanks for all the links-they look good. Another great *free* site for anyone looking at home swaps is Home Invite

Home swaps will be our first choice, especially swapping with someone with kids our kids ages-they'll be able to entertain themselves easier we hope.

Where in Canada are you? We're in southern BC
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Old 08-13-2003, 03:55 AM   #6
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good o'l T.O. or as everyone else knows it Toronto B)
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Old 08-13-2003, 07:30 AM   #7
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When your picking your places to stay, I would consider the "party" factor,...like TUI said, you might not wanna end up in the most rock'n hostel in all of Europe when ya got kids with ya . I would suggest in your case, to get in touch with the hostel before you go and talk to them about your situation.

Not all Hostels are for Party Dogs, some are actually very peaceful, of the ones that I stayed in, i would say about half were for da party, and half were for da peace...you make the choice.

I think its great what you doing and your children will thank you for in the future, what an experience it will be for them. B)

( I want 8 months of paid vacation )
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Old 08-13-2003, 12:21 PM   #8
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To get 8 months paid leave-have a kid! Its that simple
We've gotten a few bites on swaps! YAY. Thats a good idea to contact the hostel and see what they say.

I have yet to see Toronto, but I married a guy from Woodstock

Our adoption won't be finalized yet-trying to get a hold of the social worker to see if we can take him overseas that long, and then will have to contact someone to see if its going to be a bitch going through customs with him.
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Old 08-13-2003, 12:49 PM   #9
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ErinBC, Welcome to the Boards!

I was at a Hostel International in Lagos, Portugal and saw kids running around all over the place. It was quite a different scene than what I had been used to in Europe. I guess if you had a hostel room with multiple beds, I don“t see why there would be a problem at most hostels. I would just get a room that isn“t so close to the lounge/bar (if any), located inside the hostel, or by the entrance. That“s where most of the noise will come from, especially in the wee hours of the day when you and your family will most likely be sleeping. Also hostels with windows on main streets in a festive city could be a bit noisy. My sleepless experience anyway in a nameless hostel in Barcelona.

I“m not familiar with any good home exchange site, without having to pay any fees, but I“ll keep an eye out for anything if I happen to cross any.
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Old 08-14-2003, 03:56 PM   #10
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Ugh-the boards aren't working right....
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Old 08-14-2003, 03:58 PM   #11
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Nope-now they are. Last night I made a few posts that disappeared!

So far we have set up a swap for 3 weeks in England, and convinced a friend to stay at her moms and let us have her place in England as well LOL

I'm getting excited....
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Old 08-24-2003, 05:12 AM   #12
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You got some "closing" skills girl ! Those skills will come in handy when traveling through Europe.

Your posts disappeared!? Not sure why. Please let me know if it happens again.
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Old 08-27-2003, 05:45 PM   #13
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May have been my machine. Lots of weird things have been happening to it. Thats what happends when you let kids play on it
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Old 08-28-2003, 07:23 AM   #14
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Could be a good time to check for viruses, if you haven“t done so already

Here“s a good free one- Panda Antivirus
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Old 08-28-2003, 11:53 AM   #15
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Thanks TP. I love Panda, every time my puter so much as hiccups, I scan it.
I had an issue with my ActiveX the other day-child reset them, and machine is working way better since I fixed them.

Just had to have a new motherboard and video card put in too-never leave a beer sitting on the desk, not even for a second.
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Old 02-22-2004, 11:02 AM   #16
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Maybe you're already en route/enjoying 8 months of leave (hooray for you!) but if you're still looking for info, we just got home from a weekend in Stockholm with our (count 'em) 4 kids, under 8. We stayed in a hostel in Stockholm harbour, the Af Chapman. It's a 1880's sailing ship that did a stint as a naval dorm before switching to a hostel. Very cool, great location, lots of fun. The kids loved it. It was a little noisy in the wee hours, as people stumbled down the stairs, but then again, we were a little noisy at 6 a.m. as we stumbled up the stairs! We are big into travelling with kids, and I'm convinced that hostels are the only remotely affordable way to manage with more than two kids in tow. Most hotels won't even consider letting you have more than 4 people in a room, even if the kids all share a bed and the baby sleeps with you.

We will be travelling in Europe (mostly north and east) this summer (my husband has the best job in the world) and will use hostels most of the time. We also hostelled in Japan with the three kids we had then, and had no problems with noise or unhappy patrons. In Europe we've discovered that as many families are in the hostels as young singles, so it's also a great way to meet other people and find playmates for your kids. In fact, the place we stayed in Sweden even had a large playroom in the main lounge, fully stocked with all the IKEA kids stuff that I'd buy if we ever settle down in a home of our own!

I do have a question for the board, though - back when I backpacked in Europe over a decade ago, I had a necessary little number called a sleep sheet that I think I found at Gulliver's Travels in Park Royal (now you know where I'm from, Erin!) We currently live in Lithuania and no one here seems to have a clue what I'm talking about. I've checked a few sites on line, but diaper changes and school projects limit my on-line time. I don't really fancy buying my three year old a silk sleep sheet - where can I get a good ol' fashioned cotton one? Or, more accurately, four?

Thanks, good luck, and let me know if you're passing through Vilnius!
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Old 02-22-2004, 03:41 PM   #17
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tumblezweedz, it might be cheaper for you to just consider sewing up some bedsheets instead of buying sleepsacks. Especially for the itty-bitties, you could get away with using a double/full size sheet instead of a queen size, which would be preferable for an adult. If this isn't an option, there are cotton sleepsheets on Rick Steves' website for about $20 each. I don't know if they would ship to Lithuania or what the cost is, but maybe you could email them and find out. The website is www.ricksteves.com Good luck!!Rick Steves
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:26 PM   #18
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Thanks for the tip, I'll check out the site. Sewing up sheets would be my first choice, except that in Lithuania, they don't have sheets! Euro style, one to cover the mattress and one to slip over the duvet, but it's bulky to drag along 4 of those! (We still manage to travel with just two small bags for all six of us!) Also, I don't have a sewing machine and can't sew to save my life. Martha doesn't live in my house! Actually, though, you've given me a thought - maybe for the little ones I'll just bring king-size pillowcases...those we did bring along!

Cheers!
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:04 PM   #19
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tumblezweedz- thx for sharing your info on travelling and hostelling with children! Four kids under 8!? oh my.. You sound like amazing parents. I love how you still travel even though you have four children. your giving your kids a valuable gift. Oneday when I have children I want to do that too. And your right about hostels being affordable. It's really only the feasible option out there for a big family..park royal eh? Your from north/west vancouver!? I got my cotton sleep sheet from Coast Mountain Sports at metrotown...Mountain equipment co-op sells some too I believe and they have an online catalogue. anyways Thx for the info and I give you lots of praise because travelling with kids prob isn;t the easiest thing in the world, but you sound like you make it fun which is most important right!
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:09 AM   #20
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Thanksč Iėll check MECės online catalogueč too 9oopsč my keyboard switched to Lithuanian! That's better.) Yes, I grew up on the North Shore, but am currently a looooong way from home! Vilnius is a great city, quite different from Vancouver but still a similar feel. Cheap, too, for travellers! Chilly right now, though. We had to leave the Mardi Gras celebration early because my son's feet are blind. I think that means cold...he's three. It's a strange festival - part traditional Catholic pancake feast before Lent, part pagan send-off to winter, complete with burning effigy of winter goddess. Yes, our kids are having an awesome childhood. We lucked out - they're great kids and travel really well - no motion sickness, allergies or routines to make life on the road difficult. I think the trick is to start 'em young - they all had their first plane rides before 4 months of age... Gotta go make more pancakes...
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