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France Itinerary Advice Needed with 6 year old

North Vancouver...
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France Itinerary Advice Needed with 6 year old

Hello,

My wife, daughter (6yo) and I plan on being in Europe in August from Canada, and would like any advice/thoughts/suggestions/opinions/recommendations/must do's etc. based on our travel "profile" below. Our flights are booked - getting into London morning of Aug 11 and leaving from Nice on morning of September 2. Note that I have to work in London and Amsterdam, and I have been to London few times and AMS once. The rest of the trip is vacation. The tentative itinerary is:

Aug 11 - 15 (4N) - London - take evening train from London on 15

Aug 15 - 18 (3N) - Amsterdam - take train to Paris on 18 morning/afternoon (can extend stay in AMS by a day if

Aug 18 - 24 (6N) - Paris - take train to Avignon and rent a car

Aug 24 - 28 (4N) - Provence (Avignon, Arles, Aix, etc., may base in Bonnieaux)

Aug 28 - Sep 2 (5N) - French Riviera (may base in Nice - Cannes, Monaco, Eze, Antibes)

We like to balance everything our in terms of experiencing culture, food, sightseeing, history/museums, local vibe, hipster stuff, couple of kids activities mixed in, relaxing, beach etc.

Questions:

1) Are there any suggestions on changing the mix of days - too many in one place, too little etc.?

2) Tentatively, we have 2 full days in AMS. Should we add another day there?

3) Instead of takin a train from AMS to Paris, should we rent a car to Paris, stopping by in Bruge for a day (or is this going to make it costlier due to drop off in another country)?

4) Thoughts on adding Lyon, Marseille, Loire, or any other place?

5) Any other time saving, cost saving, must do/see tips?

Any information, opinion, experience will help us better plan our trip to maximize our time! Thanks in advance!

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3 replies to this topic
West Chester...
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1. Re: France Itinerary Advice Needed with 6 year old

Most likely there will be hefty fee for dropping off in another country. That is easily determined by checking prices online with a rental company using both French and non-French drop off points. The option is driving part of the route and then switching to train like after you have done Bruges. Thus avoiding Paris traffic.

When my son was 4 traveling thru Italy we realized how important it was to let him have some down time each day to play, we realized right away that last afternoon at the park was where Italians were taking their kids to play and he really enjoyed that.

( won't be able to give any info on Provence until after our June trip, to Aix en Provence and then Nice).

Illinois
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2. Re: France Itinerary Advice Needed with 6 year old

1. I think that's too many places with a 6 year old. (In fact, I don't think I'd enjoy moving that often even without a 6 year old.) Even at 10, my daughter needed down time and a chance to play in a playground. I'd drop somewhere. I'd probably drop Provence as you have to go to London, Amsterdam, and Nice if that where your flight home is from.

2. I could easily spend 2 weeks in Amsterdam, so 2 days isn't much.

3. It was going to cost me about €600-1000 to drop a car off in northern Spain instead of southern France. We drove back across the border and flew home from France instead.

4. I wouldn't add anywhere - you already have too much.

5. Must do - don't try to fit in too much - enjoy seeing things as a 6 year old - she'll only be 6 once!

Pontorson, France
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3. Re: France Itinerary Advice Needed with 6 year old

Youve set up/paced your trip well! Looks like 18-28 is your south of France time, and the areas yu are hitting are spectacular. Your six year old would love the Camargue suth of Arles, and easy to drive to the Med coast there for lunch in Saintes-Maries. Head EAST from Aix to st maximin ste baume. Look up staying at le clos geraldy. Thierry is FULL of resources that exactly fit what youre seeking to experience.

I wouldnt rent a car til you LEAVE Paris. Trains from AMS to Paris are normal travel on the continent, and much easier and less stress than navigating w a car. Cheaper too. Metro around Paris:)

Bon voyage!

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