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Cankles
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2009
573 posts

See it all or stay put?
I am planning a trip next Spring to Portugal and/or Spain. Trip will be about 10 days, wife and three kids will be along for the ride.

I can't decide if I want to fly into Barcelona and then drive across Spain spending a few days in Madrid, Seville, Lisbon and then fly home from there OR pick one place and stay there and immerse ourselves in local culture and cuisine for a week.

What are your tips or thoughts on this?

I have done both types of trips and I tend to like the 2nd idea more, but I have fear of missing out on experiencing something cool down the road.


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
27473 posts
 Online 

re: See it all or stay put?
quote:

but I have fear of missing out on experiencing something cool down the road.


You can't see it all so you will always miss out on something. I don't have kids and I hate to move around too much. With kids that sounds even more awful. 10 days in one place is too much time so I would split between 2 or 3 places and day trip to see more.


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10447 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
I'm a stay-put traveler, but 10 days is a pretty long time. You could spend 4-5 days in Barca, then spend 4-5 days in another location...do a big city, then pick a smaller town/countryside that is well positioned for day trips into the surrounding areas.

What drives your FOMO? Don't let it keep you from relaxing on vacation and enjoying where you are. There is always something "better", somewhere. The trick is to be fully present and enjoy where you are....don't infect a pleasant family vacation with the need to rush, hurry, or check a list.

ETA: I'm reminded of an acquaintance, whose sole purpose on vacation seems to be racking up locations/things to brag about once he returns home. We will chat about destinations we have both visited, and we so rarely have seen or done the same things. He hurries from place to place, eating in his car on the way to the next thing or dining wherever is convenient to his next destination (often, at international chains he could patronize at home). He seems to enjoy the "idea" of visiting a place more than the actual sensory experience of being there, as he's always so eager to hurry off to the next spot.

Slowing down allows for serendipity to kick in...
This post was edited on 2/13 at 10:57 am


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bluestem75
LSU Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Oct 2007
1496 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
Why drive when they have a phenomenal rail system?

If you fly into Barcelona, take a ferry out to Mallorca or Menorca. You’ll prob need to stay overnight on the island.


Cankles
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2009
573 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
Love the idea of Barcelona and then an island side trip.

Any opinions on Seville/Lisbon are as an alternate plan?


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VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25792 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
quote:

about 10 days, wife and three kids will be along for the ride.


quote:

then drive across Spain


quote:

Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Lisbon


These places aren't close together. That sounds like a hideous vacation. No offense intended.

Pick two locations and explore from there. You're trying to do way too much and all that driving would suck.

Barcelona to Madrid is a 6 1/2 hour drive. That's a whole day driving out of your vacation.

Madrid to Seville is a 5 hour drive. That's another day spent driving on your vacation.

Seville to Lisbon is over 4 hours. A big chunk of another day spent traveling.

You're going to get there and you'll all be beat on the first day. It's a wash. Then you're going to spend three days mostly driving. Your 10 day vacation just turned into less than a week of real vacation.


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VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25792 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
quote:

If you fly into Barcelona, take a ferry out to Mallorca


That's 8 hours roundtrip of ferry riding. It would make much more sense to do this from Valencia or to fly to Mallorca. However, that's another place in an already overly crowded itinerary.

Menorca is worse. It's listed as a 9 hour ferry ride.
This post was edited on 2/13 at 11:32 am


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
11328 posts
 Online 

re: See it all or stay put?
My next vacation to Europe will be 14 days in the same location. I'll probably have a rental car, but certainly train.

You can't see everything in a mid sized city in 14 days, not to mention any day trips you do.

I would try 10 days in one location, and then take a train on some day trips or rent a car. You can easily rent an Airbnb for 10 days that will be considerably cheaper then a hotel or anywhere for shorter stays. So much cheaper that you can easily go on a day trip and stay overnight in the middle of your trip and still save money with the long stay.

You could also do something like stay in one location for 8 nights, then train somewhere and fly out after a night or 2.

This is CLiche and can be complete BS, but truthfully some of my most memorable days of traveling are the down to earth local days that you don't find on any Top Ten lists. I enjoy just doing plain jane local activities.

We went to this hop farm amusement park in Kent England with our kids that was by no means a 6 flags, but just a really cool relaxing half a day family activity. That's the kind of thing you can do when you have extra time outside of just knocking out the Rick Steve's top ten:



VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25792 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
I agree. I'd pick a base in a region and explore that region. Maybe do five days each in two locations.


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tduecen
New York Yankees Fan
Member since Nov 2006
148534 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
I stay put for the most part, a buddy is one of those he will see 3+ cities in 10 days I may do one.
So many places have more than just the usual tourist traps and if you're not in a rush it is much more enjoyable and less stressful


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tduecen
New York Yankees Fan
Member since Nov 2006
148534 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
That's what I did in Belgium, 23 days and I was able to explore with a rental car and hit tons of places. Did 2 days in Amsterdam and 2 in Venice as well but most was riding around the country side stopping in these little towns.


VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25792 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
quote:

riding around the country side stopping in these little towns


Which are amazing and you find the best local fresh food to eat. I love the little towns along the way.


tduecen
New York Yankees Fan
Member since Nov 2006
148534 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
Correct, language barrier a few times but thanks to technology we were able to figure it out. We saw so much we would have missed it we just hit Brussels, Brugge, Ghent, and Antwerp


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Sheep
USA Fan
Neither here nor there
Member since Jun 2007
18156 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
quote:

This is CLiche and can be complete BS, but truthfully some of my most memorable days of traveling are the down to earth local days that you don't find on any Top Ten lists. I enjoy just doing plain jane local activities.



We went to France for the Women's World Cup last summer. We spent a few days in Paris, Lyon and Strasbourg. The day we talk about most was a 45 minute train ride to the smallish town of Bourg en Bresse. We had the best meal of the trip, and happened across a street festival with rides and inflatables that my four year old lit up over.


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Tshiz
LSU Fan
Oxford
Member since Jul 2013
3063 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
As others have said, WAY too much moving around. And with three kids, no way.

Drive to Madrid? No

You’ll be too focused on not falling behind vs having a nice vacation. I’d recommend you rethink this


Cankles
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2009
573 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
Thanks guys, good advice. I need to decide on focusing on east (Lisbon, Seville) or west (Barcelona, etc.) and pick just one or two places to explore.


VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25792 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
Enjoy. I'm spending 17 days in Spain this year.

Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Mallorca and Seville. We might drive from Barcelona to Valencia down the coast but other than that we're flying from place to place.

Madrid is just a stopover and decompress day. The trip is really centered around the other four locations.


Cankles
Baton Rouge
Member since Sep 2009
573 posts

re: See it all or stay put?
quote:

VABuckeye


Great! Make sure you keep some notes on the can't miss sites.

Shoot me an email if you don't mind so we can compare notes.

cankles999@gmail.com


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