Where to Go in Europe
If, like my kid, yours has a hankering to see some big-time monument -- Big Ben or the Roman Coliseum, say -- then you'll probably want to center your trip around one of the classic destinations. In addition to boasting the iconic attractions, big Western European cities are comfortable places for families. "There are frequent flights and competitive pricing," says Teresa Plowright, of travelwithkids.about.com.
If your child isn't dictating the destination, you have a little more leeway in where to vacation. "Everyone wants to go to London, Paris, Rome, but with young children, cities are exhausting and can be expensive if you haven't done your research," says Cynthia Harriman, author of Take Your Kids to Europe. "Little kids have no preconceptions, so be open about where to go -- try some beautiful countryside like Umbria in Italy, the beaches of Sicily, or Ireland's Dingle Peninsula."
New York City mom Sharon Schuur remembers the trip she took with her kids, ages 3 and 5 at the time, to the West Coast of Ireland. "My younger one still talks about walking down paths, picking wild blackberries." You'll not only have a more relaxed vacation if you stay outside the big cities, but you'll also cut your expenses.
So much choice! Where to start? Read travel books, surf the Web, and ask everyone you come in contact with for recommendations and tips. Then it's time to do the budget.