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Please help me plan my trip to London and Paris

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Sep 13th, 2009, 02:24 PM
  #1
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Please help me plan my trip to London and Paris

So I am very excited. My daughter(8) and I are going to Europe at the End of August 2010. We both love to travel and have never been to Europe. She is a princess and loves castle, princess things, the beach, pool, library, and the museums. We are both into scenery and love taking pictures.
As I have family in London I chose London as our first place to visit. Stay with family would be free so that takes out some hotel/hostel cost. Now we definitely must go to Paris. I would love to hop to a another bordering country if that is possible. Any suggestion would be gladly considered.
As I am on a budget I need some help planning, please and thank you. I am looking into inexpensive hotel/hostels that are accommodating to kids. Free and inexpensive places to visit. We both like walking so sightseeing is very good. Beaches are a must,love the beach.
We are flying into Hethrow from NYC. I have been checking airline prices but no luck as I guess August is too far in advance. Any cheap airline suggestion?
I really suck with reading a map. Ive been looking at the online rail system and wow.
I have interest in Switzerland and Brussel but not sure.
I'm on a new teacher's budget so its definitely not a lot.
So far I think we would be in London for about 4 days
Paris 3 or 4 days
Any other suggestion greatly accepted
please help excited mom and child on their first and definitely not last trip to Europe.

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Sep 13th, 2009, 02:33 PM
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How many days do you have in total?
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Sep 13th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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And how much per night do you want to spend on a hotel?
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Sep 13th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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a total of 15 days and about 60 to 70 a night. just to sleep we are always out and about. We can do a couple night trains to 2 boarding countries.
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Sep 13th, 2009, 06:18 PM
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Hi again,

When you say 15 days, does that mean 14 nights?

For myself, I always find it helps to think in terms of "nights" instead of "days" when planning a trip because they are more concrete.

With two weeks, I would suggest thinking about spending a week each in London and Paris. There is so much to see and do in these two cities, and there are lots of day trips to choose from. Also, if budget is a concern, you will save money by travelling around less.

When you say 60-70 a night, is that US dollars? Euros? Either way I think it's probably unrealistic. You might need to up your accommodation budget, or maybe increase your time in London with family and decrease your time spent elsewhere.
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Sep 13th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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Well if you mean 60 to 70 US$ per night - that is an incredibly low price. And many hostels won't allow children - since the rooms are shared - many with partying teens.

I can;t imagine that there are places for that price where you could take a small child except for B&Bs or gasthauses in very small towns.

I really think you need to do some research on prices - for food and sights as well as hotels - and rethink either your budget, the length of your trip or how long you will stay with relatives.
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Sep 13th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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U might want to look into renting an apt in Paris -- generally more reasonable price wise than hotels.
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Sep 13th, 2009, 10:26 PM
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Your daughter would probably like a visit to Brighton while you're in London. It's an easy day trip on the train. From Charing Cross, if I remember correctly. You can wander along the beach, enjoy the rides at the pier, and have a meal.

There is a play area reserved for children in Hyde Park that's named for Diana. Your daughter would probably like the buskers (street entertainers) at Covent Garden. Covent Garden also has the transport museum.
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Sep 13th, 2009, 10:44 PM
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Keep in mind that Many museums are FREE on the First Sunday while you're in Paris. Be warned Paris IS expensive. I was just there June/09. There are many 1/2 day trips that are reasonably priced from Paris (by train).
as for flights wait a few months and then a good site is ATIflights.com Try to book an open jaw ticket so you don't have to back track. For Ex. NY-Lon and return from Paris or Geneva-NY. You can fly pretty cheap from London-Paris. Or there is always Eurolines (bus) a friend did Amsterdam-Paris for only 29Euros. Not too bad. e-mail if you have any questions. I did Amsterdam/Brussels,France,Italy,Spain this summer all by Plane/Bus/& Train.
Good luck and have fun Planning
Laurel
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Sep 15th, 2009, 06:26 AM
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You may want to check out www.my-london-guide.com for when you are in London. We found it really useful.
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Sep 15th, 2009, 11:38 AM
  #11
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Thanks all. I definitely know I know I need to up my hotel price. I've seen some sites. You guys have been really helpful.

Lauriel61. I will surely send you a n email soon. I loved that you've been to all the places I really want to go. Not sure if I have enough time... Trip is about 15 days. I am going to Barnes and Nobles to my the frommer book Travel Europe with kids
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Sep 15th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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If taking the Chunnel (Eurostar) train London to Paris booking as early as possible can save hundreds of dollars - airline type pricing where cheaper tickets are sold in allotments and can sell out very early. Your child can get an especially good child's fare.
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Sep 15th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Check a map. Neither London nor Paris are near the beach. The trip to Brighton is a possibility -- currently the express trains from Victoria station (not Charing Cross) in London will get you to Brighton in less than an hour. The train from London Bridge will get there in about an hour.

From Paris, you can go visit the Normandy beaches; anything in the south of France is a much longer trip.

Londontown.com is a good website for London attractions.

I think saying you'll buy a Frommer book on the Fodors website is prohibited.
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Sep 15th, 2009, 01:58 PM
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Do one week in London (where you are staying free) and one week in a Paris apartment. Both cities have loads of things to see, and some easy daytrips that can get you a little bit out of the city. Moving around costs money. With your budget, you really don't want to try hopscotching from place to place.

In addition to searching and reading threads on this board about booking Eurostar tickets (done properly, it's the most cost effective way to go in most cases), I would also suggest that you consider an open jay itinerary--New York to London on your outbound flight, and Paris to New York on your inbound flight.

An apartment in Paris is great value, and having a place to kick back and relax (other than a hotel bed) can make a trip more relaxing. Kids can get tired and grumpy, and an apartment makes dealing with this easier.

As to beaches, everyone in Europe will be at the beach in August. That's not the time for someone in the US to be making a European beach trip. Save that for another trip.
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Sep 15th, 2009, 02:07 PM
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Well there is a beach or actually two of them in Paris itself during August - when sand is brought in for folks to bask in the sun - one is on the banks of the Seine

Paris Plages - Paris.fr
The summer transforms Paris. The cityscape dons greenery and the riverside thoroughfares become car-free resorts. The Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) operation ...
www.paris.fr/portail/english/Portal.lut?page..

and if you want to actually swim Brighton is always a bit dicey on having coolish weather even in summer.
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Sep 15th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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Thanks everyone, you are most informative. I didn't know that I couldn't mention the book. Thanks a lot. I appreciate every ones help.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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natlove -- I think the comment about the book was said in jest. Hope u have a great trip!
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Sep 16th, 2009, 06:41 PM
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thanks yestravel.
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Sep 27th, 2009, 08:02 AM
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In Paris, your daughter will enter every museum and landmark free, so you only need to budget for one. Some places do accept teacher's credentials for discounts. London's museums are, for the most part, free-the Tower is not, but a princess and story-loving child must go! After two 2-week trips to London it's still my daughter's favorite place on earth.
Don't stress about the train maps-you'll be staying in the city and taking the metro/tube, both of which are ridiculously easy. But you do need to plan your lodging close enough to a stop (and preferably on one of the main lines to maximize your time off).
I wouldn't try to see more than those two great cities, with perhaps day trips out to Brighton or Giverny-especially on a budget-there's so much to see and you don't want to feel rushed on your first visit to Europe. You need to be able to sit and people watch and allow time for serendipity. Let me know if you'd like suggestions for books for the two of you.
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Sep 27th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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On a budget - pick fewer locations, not more. Travel costs more than staying put. Since London is a freebie (and most museums/galleries are free for both of you) spend at least a week in London and all the rest of your time in Paris in a studio apartment. That will save you in both travel and food costs. You don't have to eat every meal in - but the occasional dinner in will save a lot of money.

As mentioned, from London take a day trip to Brighton for the beach and the amazing Pavilion.

If your 15 days include your travel to/from then you really only have about 12 full days for London/Paris. Day/night 1 will be spent flying over the Atlantic, Day 2 will be mostly jet lag recovery. Day 15 will be spent checking out, traveling to the airport and flying home.

Forget traveling to neighboring countries -

Also --definitely look into an open jaw ticket. Into London and out of Paris. Besides time, it will also save you $$ in two ways. 1) You save the hassle/expense of traveling back to London to catch your flight home, and 2) flying out of France is cheaper than flying out of London. Departure fees/taxes are much higher out of the UK.
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