SO EXCITED France and Switzerland

Oct 14th, 2005, 06:06 AM
  #1  
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SO EXCITED France and Switzerland

Hello!! I just committed 3 of us (husband, son, and me) to spending 17 days in Paris and Switzerland in december (Dec 12 - 29)!! Saw a deal on tickets, and just pressed OK!!! I've traveled a lot in my day, but since having our now 4 1/2 year old son, we have really cut back. It's been a while!!!

The plan for now is to spend the first 9 days in Paris (my first love!!) - I'm looking for an apartment for the first time, and have gotten a lot of helpful hints on where to go to look, here. For now, I'm leaning towards VRBO #37031. Although it's so close to the boisterous St. Michel and not as close to the area I adore (Luxembourg Gardens) it's so much more convenient from a metro point of view with a kid. It's on a quiet street - looks like it's behind Gibert Jeune for kids (if I remember) - It's also SO MUCH less expensive than the places I saw in the Luxem. area that I hope there isn't a fundamental catch. I tried to cover all my questions with the owner, and she seems delightful. It helps that I know French, probably, because she has been very descriptive and responsive. Has anyone experienced 37031? It's only 850 Eu for the week, all inclusive, and although small, seems to have everything we need. We're ok with small and simple (e.g., Ikea furniture!!) - hardly planning to spend too much time there except as a resting spot and would much prefer to spend $$$ shopping!

Any helpful hints with apartment rentals (our first time!!) and hanging out in Paris with a <5 year-old would be great!! He understands some French, so we're going to try to do the French stuff as much as possible. Also, could anyone recommend a babysitter??

I'm going to post the swiss details later - I know less about that, so I need to do much research first!!

Thank you in advance for help!!!

Danielle
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Oct 14th, 2005, 04:35 PM
  #2  
rex
 
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Since you haven't gotten replies yet, I'll at least bring your posting back up "to the top". Your message header might be depriving you of some of the specialized expertise you are actually seeking. You might try breaking this up into two (or three or more) questions:

Seeking info on Paris apartments in December, with specific reference to a VRBO offering, for comparison sake.

Seeking info on babysitting in Paris for a five year old, in December.

and other itinerary-specific questions you might have.

On the babysitting issue, in particular, you will find that there are any number of websites (and threads here on the forum) on expatriate living or experiences. Search on that. Likely to be helpful (though it might be geared more to finding a babysitter of a specific nationality (other than French).

The website www.slowtrav.com might be helpful on the apartment(s) comparison issue, though I do not typically think of it as useful for France info as Italy.

Sorry that I cannot offer personal experience-based answers.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Oct 14th, 2005, 05:21 PM
  #3  
 
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>>>it's so much more convenient from a metro point of view with a kid.<<

Consider taking the busses instead of the Metro - they're above ground and you can see a lot more. It should be beautiful in December in the early evening when the bus passes by all the storefronts decorated up for Christmas, or by the Louvre all lit up.

Try the busses, and you probably won't want to take a metro again!!

Stu Dudley

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Oct 14th, 2005, 05:30 PM
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topping
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Oct 14th, 2005, 05:49 PM
  #5  
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Thank you for the responses! Rex, I followed your advice - I separated out the most important one for the moment (apartment issue) and asked those questions. Thank you!!

Stu Dudley, my son loves buses and that's a great idea for the Xmas decorations - but they make me seriously carsick (bus sick?)! Come to think of it, what a great excuse for sending hubby with son on bus and meeting them via metro (with a slight detour through Galleries Lafayettes, of course!) But seriously, point well taken, especially when considering apartment locations.

Thanks both - I am so happy to have found this board.

Danielle
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Oct 14th, 2005, 06:12 PM
  #6  
rex
 
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You're welcome. Always a good idea to mention the specific destination in the message header (see your new post).

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Oct 14th, 2005, 07:15 PM
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Hi gambader!
I did not notice this thread, but found it when you posted testing
I would not have looked because I have not been to Switzerland..
so....I think that apt is really small. 400 sf is a hotel room. And near a noisy area on the first floor.
All inclusive is pretty much the way all the apts are priced, we stayed in the 7th using Paris Perfect. That area might cost you a bit less than, say the 6th..look into other neighborhoods in VRBO..I think you can find something much nicer ..without knowing what you want to spend, I am just going by size of the apt and the poor looking furnishings.
You might only spend the nights there but you want the bed and bath to be comfortable, they just don't look like much to me..and on a cold December night in a probably wet Paris, you might want something a little more comfortable..9 nights is a nice long time to be there too, you might hate this place after a couple of nights~
I have never been to Paris with a small child so I will leave that up to those who have ..it sounds like a wonderful holiday though, good luck and have fun with the planning~
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Oct 14th, 2005, 07:25 PM
  #8  
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Thanks, Scarlett! I am having challenges navigating the forum - I can only find my posts when I press on my screen name.

We're on the same wavelength - I have reconsidered that apartment, and have decided to "up" my budget somewhat. I have seen another one (posted about it: #18044) - a 2 bed, looks MUCH nicer, by Rental France which seems to be liked (Pascal). My only 2 concerns are 1) location: It's below Lux. Gardens, closer to Montparnasse than Blvd St. Germain; and 2) while it's 2-bed, and looks nice in pictures, it also says 600 sq ft, which is weird.

If you have any specific apts, I'd love ideas. I have seen so many, I am getting cross eyed and have used 2 printer cartridges! I am kind of open to other areas, although Luxembourg is close to my heart. But I also have to remember that in Dec, we probably won't be ambling about outside too much!
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Oct 14th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34655718

Another thread where many people suggest various apt rentals.
ParisPerfect.com is what we used.
VRBO is good, you just have to weed through them. Give it a break and go back to it later. I went through this in March and you can get really confused and tired.
You should look in the 7th and even around the Marais..you can get better prices, a bigger/nicer apt and hopefully be within budget. You can get around Paris easily wherever you are, so don't let the bus/train thing get you stuck to one area.
Keeping this topped, people will notice soon and start giving you even more ideas
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