Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Assistance, s'il vous plait?

So we are going on a Smith family adventure to la belle France, as I might have boasted previously, and I need to plan the trip. We are pretty much overseas travel virgins and so require un peu d'assistance.  Does anyone have any tips about finding self-contained/self-catering accommodation in France -Paris, Biarrtiz, Provence? Cheap places to stay in Paris? Good places to take kids in France? 

All suggestions would be most gratefully received.

I am still pinching myself a wee bit that I am even required to ask these questions. Woohoo!


Shannon said...

was all child free in my gay paree days, but two kids in italy last year and we just googled stuff - got onto travelling with kids forums etc..

when youse off?

Shannon said...

you kmow I can hear you saying sivooplaaaayyy in your tassie voice....

Fer said...

Best person to ask is my sister Tara Badcock - she's lived in Paris on and off for a few years and did a lot of au pair work too.


Have fun!

Kylie said...

Hi Mrs S - we've used these people for London but they also do European self-catering too... http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/
You deal directly with the owner and we've found them fabulous. The site is better too because you can actually see interior photos of the flat and maps etc which not all of the sites have.
Good luck searching! I've spent days and months on the Net looking through the million sites on Google!
K x

Isis said...

i'd love to help you out but did not travel there with kids. only thing i can say is don't presume the lourve is open every day just because it is the best known gallery in the world. it isn't. oops... can't believe i've been to paris but not the louvre

x isis

One Flew Over said...

Can't help at all as I was kid free when in Paris BUT you must take a day trip out to Versaille...gorgeous!

Jenny said...

I have a bloggy friend who is British but lives in France. She lives near Toulouse.She has 10 and 12 year old sons so she should know something about things to do with children in France. I'll write to her and give her your blog details or email address to contact you if you like.

Floss said...

Hello there - I'm Jenny's bloggy friend!

I think that it would be a good idea to find out about the Youth Hostels in Paris - if you can get a family room in one it would be a cheap way to stay there. There are also VERY cheap, basic motels in France - not lovely but affordable. They are situated near airports and on motorways and, at least compared the the UK, are very low cost.

I will try to speak to my friend who used to live in Paris for more ideas.

If you are going to be travelling round in our winter you will find it much cheaper than in summer time, so long as you don't head too near the ski resorts. The 'Gites de France' website is partly available in English and covers many self-catering cottages and appartments. Off season, there may be some good deals in Provence, for example.

Unfortuntely, we camp and stay quite near home, for cost reasons, so I can't tell you much about wider travelling in France. I could help you out with the concepts and vocabulary of French tourism more than I can with actual details, I'm afraid.

I have been to Biarritz - lovely but expensive. The aquarium there is good for children. It's often cheaper to stay in the attractive fishing town of St Jean de Luz, a bit further south.

Do email me if you have questions, and I'll try to find out more about staying cheaply in the places you've mentioned.

Black Eyed Susie said...

I'll get together some thoughts and things for you just as soon as some quietness descends here! Talk to you about it Monday.