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Paris, Summer 2012, with a child

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Dec 2nd, 2011, 12:34 AM
  #1
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Paris, Summer 2012, with a child

OK, we are starting to plan a trip for July of 2012 to Paris. I would love to be there for Bastille Day. We haven't booked anything yet. I was attempting to arrange a home exchange but it is not looking too promising.

At this point, I want to book either an apartment or a hotel. I checked some deals on Expedia but I am worried about being stuck in a hotel with a tired kid. I have looked at apartment threads here and find it a bit overwhelming. I know it has been asked and answered many times here, but what's the best way to find and rent an apartment?

I would appreciate some gentle guidance.

Thank you!
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 07:27 AM
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I've been to Paris twice with my grandchildren, and both trips were just great. My granddaughter was 6 the first time, and then we went back this past April with her (then age 8) and her brother, 5.

I think renting an apartment is the best way to go when traveling with children; it provides the option of eating some meals or snacks in, especially convenient for breakfast. It also gives everyone the space to spread out a bit and allows for different bedtimes for adults and kids.

We rented VRBO# 58971, a one bedroom, for just three of us, and this more recent trip we had a 2 bedroom VRBO# 90955, perfect for our group of 5. They were both reasonably priced, very conveniently located, secure, and quiet.

If you want to read my report of the first trip, just click on my name.

Happy planning and travels!
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 01:45 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...t-websites.cfm

We rented from Paris Perfect. They have an office in Paris, which is great in case there is a problem with the apartment. They also will let you store luggage there after arriving if the apartment isn't ready yet or when you leave Paris later than the 10am checkout. You can pay with a credit card, which I would recommend. Be careful in dealing with individual owners. Do take the advice of those who have stayed with a specific agency or owner to avoid scams.

If you can get the address of the apartment, enter into Google maps street view to see what is around it. You may wish to decide which arrondisement you want to be in before searching for an apartment.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 02:43 PM
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There isn't any need to book a hotel this far ahead, anyway. Some good apartments do get booked up months in advance, though, so for the best selection, you shoiuld start moving on that.

There is no way of avoiding the work of looking at all kinds of websites, reading all the information on apartments, trying to take note of conditions (deposit, when if ever you can cancel and what you get back, fees, etc) as well as making sure it has what you need and nothing you forgot to check (like if it has an elevator). And then trying to check the reviews of a specific agency or unit.

So I think the best way is first to decide your budget and where you want to be in Paris, you have to narrow it down somehow. Then narrow searches to a few arrondisements and hopefully you can search by price and size for what you think you must have. Be aware that the majority of vacation rental apartments will not have air conditioning, so if you are going in July, you might want that. So that will limit the ones you can consider a lot right off the top as there won't be that many with AC (depending on your budget, of course, not at the lower level). IF that is something you must have, it will narrow things a lot which can be useful in one sense. In another sense, those apartments are going to be in demand in July vs. all the others.

After you decide on budget, are you want to be and if something is a must-have (eg, AC or whatever), you can starting searching. Since you have never done this, I think you should limit yourself to a few agencies you have read some reviews or info on, say on Fodors, rather than googling randomly.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 08:49 PM
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Christina, you are right, there is no way to avoid the work of looking through websites. Surprisingly, there are still many apartments still available.
alex, grandmere, and denisea, thank you so much for your help and advice. I am keep on looking and will check out your referenced apartments. It is part of the excitement, I guess.
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 11:56 PM
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How is the 14th arrondissement as a base? Is it too far from everything?
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 06:06 AM
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no, it's fine, I stay there all the time. This is opinion, you know, as some people will claim it is.

You can answer this for yourself, it's just a matter of distance which you can decide for yourself what distance you consider too far. It depends where you are in the 14th, of course, the top of it that borders the 6th is most convenient and is roughly 1.25-1.5 miles from the Seine, I think. The bottom on the peripherique would not be so convenient and farther away. I stay in the top part. That's no different than parts of the 7th where many people on Fodors choose to stay, in fact, it is closer to the actual center of Paris (meaning Notre Dame) than the 7th arr. around rue Cler which a lot of people on Fodors like, and it is closer than all the apts people talk about who stay in Paris Perfect (well, most of them, they do have a few now not in the 7th).

It doesn't surprsie me that a lot of apts are still available now, but sometimes the most desirable ones will be gone and I would try to book that within the next coupole months for sure. I don't book hotels for July in Paris until maybe May myself.
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 07:04 AM
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Tentek, the 14th is fine. Another piece of advice for any area and apartment you may be considering...check to see how close a Metro station and or which bus lines are close by. A bus line that covers the sights that you are most interested, and has a stop close by will be important to you for getting where you want to go faster and with less hassle.

http://parisbytrain.com/paris-metro-maps/
http://mappery.com/Paris-Bus-Route-Map-French
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 08:22 AM
  #9
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Tentek--We stayed in the 14th on our first trip, which included our kids who were ages 7 and 10 at the time. Other trips we stayed in the 1st and 7th, but last summer I opted for the 14th again and loved it. We rented an apt through Paris Best Lodge and it was ideal for us. The name is La Coupole, so you can check it out and see if the setup is something that you like or not.
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Jan 26th, 2012, 06:20 PM
  #10
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Yeay! We are going to Paris. Just bought our airfare today. We are combining it with a home exchange in Amsterdam, but in Paris, we are staying in a hotel, yet to be determined. I will look up Paris Best Lodge. Thank you!
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Apr 1st, 2012, 01:08 PM
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Hi, what would you recommend to do and see in August in Paris. I know, I know, August is when Parisians leave the city and everything is closed. We are not terribly ambitious in terms of what we want to accomplish.

We are staying close to the Luxembourg Garden. I've been to the Louvre, D'Orsay, and L'Orangerie. We might attempt the Rodin Museum, since it is outdoors.

Any kid attractions that are not EuroDisney? Merci beaucoup!
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Apr 1st, 2012, 02:32 PM
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Everything most certainly is not closed. That may have been true 20 years ago, but not these days. Some restaurants may be closed, but I doubt you'll even notice that unless you have very specific restaurant requirements. And I doubt you'll notice that many Parisians are gone, because the number of tourists there at that time of year make up for their absence.

There are kid attractions all over Paris - Paris Plage, Deyrolles, the Jardin d'Acclimatation, Cité de Science, parks, etc. To find out about special things going on, check out www.whatsonwhen.com.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 04:07 PM
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It wasn't true 20 years ago, either, as I've been spending summers in Paris for about 30 years, and off and on some of those years some time was in August. I don't know why people think that, it is true of some small restaurants and shops, that's all. It would be bizarre if a major capital city like Paris closed public attractions during a vacation period (or ever, most are only closed a few days a year, after all). It would also be very odd if major dept stores just closed down for a month, why would they do that. Or churches, etc.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 08:08 PM
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Well, maybe my timeframe is off, as I've been visiting Paris since 1972, and I can't remember when that old adage about Paris shutting down in August ceased to be true.

But then, the nasty waiter rumors still circulate, and that wasn't my experience back in the 70s either. Course it helped if you could speak their language back then. Still does.
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