money, travel

France with the family: preparing for the perfect trip

A family vacation to France is a wonderful opportunity for family members to spend quality time together exploring one of the best-loved countries in Europe, but you will want to ensure your vacation runs as smoothly as possible.

Planning in detail a family vacation to France is essential because, for one thing, you will quickly discover that France is a large country. For instance, it takes approximately one whole day to travel from northern France to the south of France, and if you are traveling with children – and young children in particular – regular stops and keeping the children entertained are imperatives.

As a first step, hold a family meeting and list activities that all members of the family can engage in and enjoy. Find a guide to the regions of France you wish to visit and plan your activities accordingly. Make sure no member of the family feels left out, so incorporate their interests into the to-do list. If younger members of the family are restless on any particular day of your vacation, simply postpone any remaining planned activities and divert to your accommodation for the night. Perhaps some relaxation time is all that anybody needs on a particular day.

Packed for travel

If you intend traveling to France by air, work out beforehand the total number of luggage items you intend bringing with you, car seats and strollers included. Checking in luggage can be a bit of endurance, especially if you have the kids pulling at you and becoming impatient. Additional luggage above any allowance granted can also be expensive, and family vacations are typically done on a budget, so try to keep items to a minimum, if possible. For example, if you have more than one child, each child might not necessarily have to have their own case or bag.

Once you are in France, some great destinations for families include:

  • The Midi-Pyrénées – this region, one of France’s sunniest, is a great location for an activity-filled family vacation, if the great outdoors is you and your family’s thing. Activities include cycling, hiking, and rafting, and combining these with a camping holiday is a great choice. The capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region, Toulouse, is home to the Cité de l’espace theme park, dedicated to space and space travel, and sure to be a hit with all family members.
  • Bordeaux – this city and its surrounds is at the heart of the French winemaking sector, so it might not immediately strike you as the ideal setting for a family vacation; but efforts have been made in recent years to make visits to local vineyards more family oriented. Many locations have special activities for younger members of the family, with all of them available in English. These include iPod tours, juice tastings, and special quizzes.
  • Paristhe French capital has a reputation as a Romantic destination for couples, but there is plenty for families to enjoy too, not the least of which is a trip to Disneyland Paris. The city itself has the Jardin du Luxembourg, with its playground and puppet theater.

To get a good idea of how wonderful and memorable an experience a family holiday can be, check out Royal Holiday Tweets.

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