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Re: European family tours?

Posted: 22 Nov 2016, 5:29pm
by GPC
As a start you may wish to look at some of the CTC Holidays and Tours offers. These have been very popular in the past with many families attending year after year:

Re: European family tours?

Posted: 22 Nov 2016, 7:03pm
by nirakaro
I'd cross the Canal du Midi off the list - it used to be shaded by gorgeous plane trees, but something is killing them all. There are long stretches with dead trees, long stretches with no trees (and hence no shade), and stretches that are closed while they cut down the trees. And the surface is none too smooth.

Re: European family tours?

Posted: 23 Nov 2016, 6:28am
by syklist
pwa wrote:Personally, with small kids I would stick with a nice big tent on a fixed site and just do day rides with picnics and visits to places of interest. I don't think a small child will get much pleasure out of bumping along in a trailer day after day.

It depends on the child. Syklist Junior's first tour was when he was 6 months old (followed by a three week tour a couple of months later) and he seemed to enjoy himself a lot, bumping along in a trailer. The great thing about young children is that they still have a need to sleep a lot. So Junior would sleep for up to four hours a day in the trailer spread over three naps and still sleep a normal amount during the night. This meant we could cycle for up to six hours in total during the day if we wanted to.

You need to work a bit harder to involve children in the daily routine as they get older. Not just because the become more mobile and dexterous and sleep less, but also as their need to help increases whilst their boredom threshold doesn't. :) Luckily, during last year's summer tour Junior suddenly mastered putting together and taking apart the tent poles. So that helped us as Junior was a) occupied so we could put away the rest of his tent b) enjoying the challenge c) was able to help us.

We have had problems getting Junior to sleep in the tent, but this summer I found a solution. Seeing as Junior was used to falling asleep in the trailer I started putting him in there at bedtime and cycling round until he went to sleep. Then I would transfer him into the tent when I was sure he was properly asleep. That made life a lot easier and shortened the bedtime routine considerably.

Re: European family tours?

Posted: 23 Nov 2016, 6:31am
by syklist
pwa wrote: But a child in a trailer is passive and potentially bored.

Not our experience so far. I'd use the adjectives active (mentally) and interested in the scenery. When Syklist Junior starts showing signs of boredom it is usually time to for us to stop anyway.

Re: European family tours?

Posted: 23 Nov 2016, 6:34am
by syklist
meic wrote:
But a child in a trailer is passive and potentially bored.

I suppose that could be the case. My daughter did over 8,000 miles in the trailer and managed to never be bored. Possibly the trailer rides themselves turned her into the sort of person who can entertain themselves instead of having to be fed entertainment and kicking up a fuss if they dont get it!

She only had the lid up when it was needed and there were two big pouches that she could fill with things to play with.

Maybe it has to do with how early you start as well as the temperament of the child? We had Junior in a trailer for local trips and nights away from the age of six months.

Re: European family tours?

Posted: 27 Nov 2016, 8:58am
by gordonyoung
The River Main which is easy to get on from Frankfurt airport and the airport is very bike friendly. The route is along the river and all on a tarmac dedicated cycle track away from any roads so no road noise either. Flat all the way with nice views of the river and some pretty towns and villages along the way. THere is also a railway which you take with the bikes or use to return to Frankfurt on.

Re: European family tours?

Posted: 28 Nov 2016, 10:25am
by Tangled Metal
Riding with a child whether touring or day rides IME you have to meet the child's needs just like you do with any other activity. We bought a trailer when our child was about 9 months. He loved it. Toys and books all over to entertain or the outside countryside. Sleep, play or enjoy the experience of new sights.

He tended to switch between bike seat and trailer. Of late it was always child seat but he's suddenly gone back to trailer. He just loves riding a bike even though he's being passive in the activity. It really depends on the child.

Our approach is to do hour chunks on the bike. We play on by ear though because sometimes you have to press on others you find a really nice place to stop.

So if we cycle for 2 or more hours a day and get 10, 20 or more miles it doesn't matter much to us. It's about giving our son our sense of enjoyment of the outdoors. So far he's as mad for the outdoors as us. To the extent that he could walk 3 miles when not even 3 years. It's just a part of his life. Btw our indulgence is to do what he wants. Cycling, walking, sightseeing, etc. It works for us.

My only issue is Hamax does good kit but as good as the poncho fits the seat is as.bad as the peak of the hood is. Seriously who would put a floppy peak on a hood that's not adjustable? It's a good design if the hood was just a bit better. My lad doesn't mind rain at all but it's hard to protect him sat in the child seat with that hood. We resort to a peaked cap but I've yet to find a waterproof cap to fit him.

BTW we only did 20 miles a day tops this past year tour, our first as a family.

Re: European family tours?

Posted: 28 Nov 2016, 10:37am
by Vorpal
Denmark is also good for touring with family. Very child-friendly, and loads of playgrounds and things to interest kids.

IMO, touring with kids is just a matter of adapting to the kids' needs. If they get bored sitting, stop frequently, or do most of the cycling part during nap times. Once they are old enough to feed themselves, snacks and toys can be enough for a couple of hours if the stops are good.