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Taking teen daughters to London, Paris and Amsterdam .. advice please!


Nov 12th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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Taking teen daughters to London, Paris and Amsterdam .. advice please!

We will be in London 4 days, Paris 6 days, and Amsterdam 8 days. (in that order). The girls will be 15 and 18 when we take the trip next April.

Looking for advice on apartments (under $300 a night - A one bedroom with a fold out sofa in the living area would even work), best areas to stay in for each city, fun things teen girls will enjoy, etc.. Maybe ideas on day trips from Amsterdam as well.

I have a few flight/train related concerns/questions and I will post that in a different thread.

PS: They both love art and fashion... And (*shudder*) cute boys.

Appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks!
Jinky is offline  
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Nov 12th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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Booking an apartment for less than 7 nights can be a bit of a bore. For London and Paris I'd stick with a hotel (services).

Of course I'd look at spending less time in Amsterdam and more in Paris (in a Paris Perfect apartment), especially since the teen daughters love art and fashion.
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Nov 12th, 2012, 07:30 PM
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Well in PAris I can totally recommend Parisbestlodge apartments, they are well located, and working with Theirry is so easy, I just sent in a reasonable deposit check in my own funds and thats it.. I have stayed in one his units, but toured three of them.

I wonder, why so long in Amsterdam,, I would do London 5-7 days, Paris 6-7 , Amsterdam 4-5 days.. but perhaps you have a reason? Also , renting apartments is often easier if its a 7 day rental as some add a surcharge for shorter stays.
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Nov 12th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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Is there a reason you have so much time in Amsterdam and so little in London?

Are these your/the girls first visits?

Even if Amsterdam is the central reason for the trip - the time division is a bit skewed.

Many of my go-to London flat recommendations do require a 7-day minimum.
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Nov 12th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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What do you like to see / do in this trip?
What about what the girls want?

I ask this because the number of days that you allocate to each city is strange for me.

I would take 4 days from Amsterdam and add 2 days to London, 2 to Paris.
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Nov 12th, 2012, 08:29 PM
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agree with all t hose who say less time in Amsterdam. Add at least two more days in London.

In addition to the numerous fantatic sites you can read about anywhere...

Do either of them like Harry Potter?if so, they will love the Wrner Bros Studio tour--easily reachable by quick train from Central London.

For Londo rentals, i use and recommend The London Connection. Great flats, great prices (in US $) great owners and staff. If you want to rally get in the mood for England, check out Mr Moore's blog. There is a link on the company's website, below

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Nov 12th, 2012, 11:25 PM
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Thank you so much for the responses! I really appreciate your thoughts on allocating the time differently.

However, we are in a bit of a quandary, and perhaps you can help advise on how we can fix this (airline/train/travel wise).. ?

Looking back, we weren't really thinking when we booked the flights. We were originally going to stay 4 days in London and the rest of the time in Amsterdam -

Our flight itinerary: Fly from LAX to Amsterdam (layover 2 hours) then on to London. Four days later, a flight from London to Amsterdam for 12 days.

Now we are trying to "fix" this by eating the ticket from London to Amsterdam and taking the train to Paris, and then on to Amsterdam. Uggh.

Perhaps I should do a new thread on *that* ??

Thanks again.. hope I can sort this out.

We don't have any hotels or apartments booked, but we have to at least keep the original ticket that gets us to London and the one flying out of Amsterdam. The stays in between, hopefully, can be moved around.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 02:56 AM
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We did the same sort of trip last year with our daughter. I agree with the comments above in regards to maximum of 4 days in Amsterdam. We stayed at a wonderful B and B called Hotel Brouwer - great location on the canals and easy to reach all major sightseeing. Must visit the Anne Frank house/museum - a real eye opener for all of us. The reason I commented however is to make you aware of what we found as a fantastic, unique, time saving and very cost effective way of travelling from London to Amsterdam (we then went to Paris) and that is using the overnight ferry/train - see http://www.seat61.com/Netherlands.htm#How to buy tickets Was a wonderful way to travel, very luxurious accommodation and was a highlight of our trip.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 03:09 AM
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I would definitely refocus - 3/4 days is plenty for Amsterdam while you can really use many more days in London.

Don;t know if you are stuck with these flights - but frankly getting from London to Paris and then on to Amsterdam is much easier by train than by plane - since you can easily can get from city center to city center.

Also - if you can switch flights into London and out of Amsterdam makes much more sense and shouldn;t cost any more - unless they are freebies (you search for multi-destination tickets - not 2 one way tickets).
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Nov 13th, 2012, 04:57 AM
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I recommend this place in Amsterdam:

We stayed there last year with our two young adult children. The family room consists of what is almost an apartment with two large rooms. There are some detailed descriptions of the room on tripadvisor. It's not fancy but it is clean and well located and within budget for a family.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 05:36 AM
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Can you cancel the flight from London to Amsterdam and just "eat" the penalty?

In any case, you seem to have about 18 days. Consider 7 days in London, 7 days in Paris and 3-4 in Amsterdam. Take the train to move between all cities. As noted above, you wind up in the city center and do not have to worry about expensive taxis or shuttles from airports to city center.

There is so much to do in London and Paris that a week is not too long and it will make it easier to rent apartments. Amsterdam can easily be enjoyed in 3 days.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 05:47 AM
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Agree with the others, Amsterdam is pretty small and quaint compared with the great metropolis' of Paris and London. 3 days and you could easily see everything in Amsterdam, whereas 4 days in London and you will barely scratch the surface.

And if it's art and fashion your daughters are interested in, then London and Paris are really where it is 'at', with London being more cutting edge from a youthful fashion and contemporary art point of view.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 06:02 AM
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We've had good luck with airbnb.com for apartment rentals other than for even weeks. Carefully reading the references/amenities of each one helps improve your chances of liking the place. For instance: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/218151 would meet your specs and is close in.

When I planned a trip to Paris when our girls were similar ages, we stayed in the 15th -- away from the center -- and my husband and daughters would have preferred to be closer in for their first trip. There's a tradeoff between tourist crowding and being right in the middle of things vs staying somewhere that tourists are more of a novelty and you're among the Parisians.

In London we like to stay in or near Bloomsbury, an easy bus ride down to the National and Portrait Galleries and walk to British Museum. Hotwire.com can find you triple hotel rooms at a good discount. We are suckers for the full English breakfast included with some hotels.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 06:05 AM
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We'll be in both towns December, so might be able to give you some fashion related tips afterwards.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 06:49 AM
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Much as I love Amsterdam, I'd figure out a way to spend more time in London and Paris and cut down on Ams. It's a lovely and interesting place but London and Paris are so much bigger and deserve more time.

Amsterdam is probably the best city in Europe to use Priceline's Name Your Own Price. You can get 4 and 5 star hotels for $100 US a night and sometimes even less! Check out the Netherlands forum at tripadvisor.com and look for the threads called "Bidding on a 4 star..." and "Bidding on a 5 star..."... you'll get all kinds of advice and help and you'll see just what people are paying. See also betterbidding.com to learn the ropes.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 07:05 AM
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"andtrev" said what I would have said
bilboburgler is online now  
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Nov 13th, 2012, 08:00 AM
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You've probably figured out by now that we all think your time in Amsterdam is too long. But, having said that, here's a suggestion for a good day trip from Amsterdam that your art-loving teens should enjoy--Hoge Veluwe National Park. You can pick up a free white bicycle to ride through the park and stop to visit the excellent Kroeller-Mueller Art Museum located in the park.

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Nov 13th, 2012, 09:37 AM
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I understand you booked weird flights but given you have a certain start and endpoint, I'm not clear on how that ends up being so much time in Amsterdam and not the others.

I don't think there is any problem booking an apt. for Paris if you are there 6 days. I've done it, is isn't difficult. I wouldn't bother for 4 days or less, that's for sure. But with three adults, it can make sense for the space, although it definitely is more hassle than jsut booking a hotel.

I'd knock off days in Amsterdam and add one to Paris so you are there a week and the others to London. 4 days Amsterdam, 7 Paris, 7 days London. I'd book a hotel in Amsterdam and apts in Paris and London.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 02:43 PM
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Ok, just talked to KLM. If I do *any* changes (including canceling that leg), it's $250 a person. And on top of that, more fees to fly into a different airport. Ouch.

So, we're going to keep the original flights, however, once we get to Amsterdam (via London), we'll just catch a train from Amsterdam to Paris for 7 or 8 days, then train back to Amsterdam for the remaining 4 or 5 days.

We still want to get apartments for Paris and Amsterdam. NO THANKS to one hotel room with two adults and two teens girls.
However, for a few nights in London, I think we can handle it

Now that we have that sorted out, I can enjoy the other recommendations on this thread in regards to accommodations and activities.

Thanks for bearing with me.
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Nov 13th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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Still don't understand why so many days in Amsterdam and so few in London? Is it really worth it to organize your vacation this way to save a few $? Have you looked into train costs instead?
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