Summer in Europe

We’re in Europe for the summer. It’s our first trip to Europe as a family…finally! We have never been to Europe before, so we’re excited to see some of this continent together.

We’ll be traveling slowly over two-and-a-half months to make our way through six countries in Europe. Our itinerary includes stops in:
1. Italy: Rome, Florence, Venice
2. Spain: Barcelona
3. France: Paris
4. Belgium: Brussels
5. Germany: Cologne
6. Netherlands: Amsterdam


Most of our time will be spent in Barcelona, where we’ve booked close to five weeks there. I’ve heard many good things about Barcelona and I like how it’s situated close to the beach. Since we’re staying there for such a long time, I’m thinking of enrolling our girls into a local preschool, if there is an opportunity to do so.

My biggest concern about Europe has been cost since prices are nothing like we’ve seen for the last few months while traveling in Asia. But since the dollar has risen against the Euro lately, prices have been relatively cheaper than they have been in years past. Our apartment rentals, which range from a studio in central Paris to a two-bedroom apartment in central Barcelona, average out to be about $75 per day. That equates to about $2,250 per month, which is still cheaper than an average monthly two-bedroom apartment rental in the Bay Area. By not staying at expensive hotels, we’ve been able to make our budget work in one of the most expensive areas of the world.

Besides our destinations, we don’t have much of a set itinerary of places to visit. We’ll see the main sightseeing spots in each city, but we’re mainly there to just be there and experience how the locals live. I think it’s going to a great opportunity for our girls to see and experience totally different cultures from their own.

Stay tuned for future blog posts about our adventures in Europe this summer…

Have you been to any of these destinations in Europe? If so, we’d love to get some of your recommendations on places to go and eat. Thanks in advance for sharing!

Cliff Hsia is a writer, husband, and father, who is determined to live a better than normal life by traveling the world, slowly and purposefully, with his wife and two young daughters. His writing has been featured on MSN, TODAY, The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, and other publications. He writes about travel, parenting, and lifestyle design.