2 weeks - France with teens

Oct 23rd, 2002, 07:09 AM
  #1  
Carol
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2 weeks - France with teens

we'll be in France for 2 weeks next summer with our 2 teens. flying to Paris and then plan to visit Normandy and possibly the Loire valley. questions: reasonable hotels or B&B's for the family? itineray that won't have us viewing france from behind a windshield? plans at first are for 4-5 days in Paris and the other 9 days touring. we are planning to rent a car but would also like opinions on the train option and possibly renting bikes in Normandy. Any ideas will be most appreciated
 
Oct 23rd, 2002, 07:39 AM
  #2  
jetset
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Carol:
Have you checked with Trafalgar? They have diff. tours to France.
We will be going on TT tour called Real France with my husband and two boys for the holidays and stay extra 5 days in Paris at the end of the tour. At first were were thinking of doing it on our own but then when I tried to itemize all the expenses especially the plane and car rental we're better off with the tour group - that is if you don't mind being with strangers with set itineraries. This is actually our 2nd time with TT and we did 3 independent trips to Europe and believe me with two boys, I would never travel unescorted again. Just try to compare and read the brochures of the tour companies versus your own that way you will get some ideas.
good luck!
 
Oct 23rd, 2002, 04:35 PM
  #3  
gb
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My feeling is just the opposite of the above poster. I don't think I'd ever travel on an escorted tour with my family. Nothing against the tour, but pleasing my group is not easy. We.ve taken two previous trips and hope to take one next summer. Both times, we leased a car which was good, and we used frequent flyer miles to keep cost of tickets down. With a car, we were able to go places with less complaints from the peanut gallery. Without a tour, we could change our minds about when we get up or go to sleep, or whether we saw enough castles, and didn't have our fill of crepes. We visit towns a tour would not stop at. True, the car rides can be quite heated as any trip with kids might be. I now carry portable earphones with radio and have listen to the Girl from Impana in many languages, but I can't hear-"Your foot is on my side of the car". As to your question about lodging. In Paris, I suggest checking out Citadines apartments.
 
Oct 24th, 2002, 03:35 PM
  #4  
tt
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tt
 
Oct 24th, 2002, 06:45 PM
  #5  
Carol
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thanks for the info = we are most definitely not looking for a guided tour. really need to understand however, a good driving route or if we should just take the train to/from Paris instead and bike/train from a central site in Normandy while we are there.
 
Oct 28th, 2002, 11:14 AM
  #6  
heidi
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hello-we drove all over france with our 2 sons (they were 9,12 at the time. we brought our laptop computer with some games and DVD's for them to use in the car or hotel for when they just needed some down time. we used the adapter that goes in a cigarette lighter to power the laptop in the car. it was great. we visited burgundy region,and drove all the way to cognac in france. I've aleays loved driving in europe. the roads are great. there are good websites that give detailed driving directions (try shell geostar). I liked the freedom of being on the road. If you choose to drive don't take lots of luggage! Gas is expensive but not as much as train rides for 4. whatever you choose I know you'll have an awesome time. Our kids loved the food too. The army museum in Paris with all the suits of armor was interesting to them. have fun
heidi
 
Oct 28th, 2002, 11:42 AM
  #7  
StCirq
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Carol:

My considerable experience with traveling with two kids in France tells me you'll be happier for the most part in a car - even if it takes earphones and CD players or whatever. Trains are lovely in France, but not with four people getting on and off them every few days. And with a car you can make unexpected detours and stops - which sometimes end up being the highlights of a trip.

I would suggest you take an early train from Paris to Rouen and spend a night and part of the next day there (there's plenty to see and do). Pick up a rental car after lunch and drive to Honfleur (very pretty drive if you take the N roads). The Hôtel l'Ecrin there is pleasant and reasonably priced. If your kids like the ocean, spend two nights there - check out Deauville and Trouville and just poke around Honfleur itself. Then I'd move on to Bayeux and stay 2-3 days there if you really want to soak up all the WWII sites. There are plenty of places to stay in Bayeux that have been recommended on this forum. We and our kids loved the Château de la Bellefontaine. Be sure not to miss either the tapestry or the Mémorial museum in Caen. Bayeux is not only a lovely little town in itself, but also a good base for exploring the D-Day beaches and memorials. You could fit le Mont-St-Michel into this part of the trip, too.
If you want to spend the next 3 or so days in the Loire, I would suggest Amboise as a base. And on the way back to Paris, I would plan to leave the car in Chartres, take one of Malcolm Miller's tours of the cathedral if possible, and take the train back into Paris for the final night before departure.

This is of course only one way to approach such a trip - you can play with the itinerary to suit your family's interests.
 
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