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Need help with planning 5-day Paris trip with kids

Need help with planning 5-day Paris trip with kids

Old Aug 13, 2023, 12:17 pm
  #1  
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Need help with planning 5-day Paris trip with kids

Beginner here. Going to Paris for first time and want to hit major tourist spots. We are a family of 4 with 2 adults and 1 teen (13) and 7 yr old. But we are also traveling with 2 other families (4 each in family) (all together, 12 people from 3 families).
Going from IAD on Oct 11 and coming back on Oct 17. Arriving on Oct 12th morning at CDG and flying back on 17th morning from CDG. So we have 5 full days. Can you please help us plan a reasonable schedule and suggest where to stay and travel around.

Apologize for the long list of questions, but need help for these please:

1. How to reach the hotel from the airport? Is there a metro or take taxi?
looks like RER rail is the option or even uber is not a bad idea as we have to take metro tickets for 4 of us anyway.
2. We have points with Marriott and chase/AmEx points as well that can be transferred. Any hotel suggestions that is close to metro and redeemable with Marriott or Hyatt points? or even cash that is reasonably good. Since we are going for first time, though we don't end up staying much at the hotel, would like it to be a decent hotel.
3. Do we need a separate room for kids? or all 4 people from one family allowed in one room? Any suggestions for hotels that allow all four in one room (especially with award points or ecen cash)
4. Book tickets in advance to Eifel tower/ louvre, right? anything else?
5. Considering we have only two museums in our list, should we get a museum pass?
6. Should we get a daily or a 1-week metro pass?
7. We plan to do the following, not in specific order though (suggestions welcome to change/add/remove)

Day 1

Hop on Hop Off bus Just to get a idea of places to visit
Eiffel Tower Book tickets in advance
Seine River Cruise
Catacombs
Tour Montparnasse
Day 2
Day trip to one of these: BrusselsGeneva/Bordeaux/Disney/Mont Saint Michael/Normany/Loire Valley
Day 3
Sainte Chapelle
Notre Dame If it still open
D'Orsay Museum
Louvre Museum
Day 4
Versailles
Arc de Triomphe
Stroll on Champs Elysees
Day 5

Day trip to one of these: BrusselsGeneva/Bordeaux/Disney/Mont Saint Michael/Normany/Loire Valley

Last edited by 1409rj; Aug 13, 2023 at 3:37 pm
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 6:29 pm
  #2  
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Hello
at the end, you’ll do what you want but it’s my duty to say it : your programme & shedule are unrealistic and crazy. You want to do way too much each day, especially with kids (but I would say the same even if no kids). You won’t even have time to pee, seriously. And you’ll be 12 people…always a lot of inertia in such a big group. Part of the pleasure to be in Paris is just to walk around, have a coffee and nice meal somewhere, enter shops and certainly not running from 7 am to 7 pm to tick the boxes on your planning.
1) without knowing where your hotel is, it’s hard to answer. But knowing the number of people you are per family, just take Uber or a cab. Taking the train will cost you even more.
2) just look at Marriott and Hyatt site to see what they can propose you. But keep in mind that American chains have a limited presence downtown Paris, and mostly on the very high price side. Paris has tons of hotels from the Accor group and independent hotels.
3) most hotel rooms are small in Paris, so it’s likely you’ll need 2 rooms. AirBNB could be an interesting option to look at.
4) certainly yes for major sites.
5) no
6) no idea. Look at prices on RATP website.
7) As said above, you need to lower your expectations. For satellite day trips, only Disneyland and Versailles are options. The rest of your list is totally out of scope and unrealistic. Disney is certainly something to consider with the number of kids in your party if you want to avoid a riot .
D1 : too many things. Forget Montparnasse tower, it won’t bring something significant on top of Eiffel Tower.
D3 : Notre Dame won’t be reopened. Forget about doing 2 big museums the same day, it’s madness.
you need to walk around Montmartre, Latin quarter, etc.
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 6:36 pm
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I don’t know what happened : the post I replied to has disappeared and there’s only my response
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 8:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak
I don’t know what happened : the post I replied to has disappeared and there’s only my response
well your response was pretty interesting - and can sort of guess what you were responding to.
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 7:06 am
  #5  
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This was my OP, not sure why it's gone.Beginner here. Going to Paris for first time and want to hit major tourist spots. We are a family of 4 with 2 adults and 1 teen (13) and 7 yr old. But we are also traveling with 2 other families (4 each in family) (all together, 12 people from families).


Going from IAD on Oct 11 and coming back on Oct 17. Arriving on Oct 12th morning at CDG and flying back on 17th morning from CDG. So we have 5 full days. Can you please help us plan a reasonable schedule and suggest where to stay and travel around.



Apologize for the long list of questions, but need help for these please:


1. How to reach the hotel from the airport? Is there a metro or take taxi?
2. We have points with Marriott and chase/AmEx points as well that can be transferred. Any hotel suggestions that is close to metro and redeemable with Marriott or Hyatt points? or even cash that is reasonably good. Since we are going for first time, though we dont end up staying much at the hotel, would like it to be a decent hotel.
3. Do we need a separate room for kids? or all 4 people from one family allowed in one room? Any suggestions for hotels that allow all four in one room (especially with award points or ecen cash)
4. Book tickets in advance to Eifel tower/ louvre, right? anything else?
5. Considering we have only two museums in our list, should we get a museum pass?
6. Should we get a daily or a 1-week metro pass?
7. We plan to do the following, not in specific order though (suggestions welcome to change/add/remove)



Day 1

Hop on Hop Off bus Just to get a idea of places to visit
Eiffel Tower Book tickets in advance
Seine River Cruise
Catacombs
Tour Montparnasse

Day 2
Day trip to one of these: BrusselsGeneva/Bordeaux/Disney/Mont Saint Michael/Normany/Loire Valley

Day 3
Sainte Chapelle
Notre Dame If it still open
D'Orsay Museum
Louvre Museum

Day 4
Versailles
Arc de Triomphe
Stroll on Champs Elysees

Day 5

Day trip to one of these: BrusselsGeneva/Bordeaux/Disney/Mont Saint Michael/Normany/Loire Valley
​​​​​​​
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak
I don’t know what happened : the post I replied to has disappeared and there’s only my response
Game: find out the questions asked from the answers.

First prize, all the Goldorak consideration 😂
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 10:16 am
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Now the initial post from OP is visible again
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 2:57 pm
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Goldorak's point about your itinerary being too much is correct. I would lop something off day 1 and day 3, and maybe use one of your day trip days for whatever you've cut. For the day trips, it's correct that only Versailles and Disney make sense. Your other choices are technically possible but you'd spend most of the day on a bus or a train, and get back to Paris pretty late. For point 6: in Paris, the normal weekly Métro passes are a great bargain, BUT they are only sold to start on a Monday and end on a Sunday, so that doesn't work with your dates. They also require you to bring or buy a passport-sized photo to stick to the pass. The Paris Visite pass is designed for tourists, and comes with discounts to lots of tourist sites. It can be configured for anything from 1-5 days and your choice of how many zones, and can start on any day of the week. But it's NOT a great bargain unless you will be using the Métro a LOT and taking advantage of a bunch of the included discounts. With anything from 4 to 12 people in your group, you might be better off taking Ubers or taxis.
Link: https://www.ratp.fr/en/titres-et-tar...te-travel-pass
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Old Aug 15, 2023, 12:51 am
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Re hotels: very rare to have rooms for 4 in Paris (or France in general). Some hotels have connecting rooms, i.e. 2 doubles, but these sell out quick. Consider local equivalents to residential style chains, like Adagio or Citadines. Not fancy, but will have appartments/studios that sleep 4. Think Staybridge Suites, and check the reviews before booking.
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Old Aug 16, 2023, 2:47 am
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Originally Posted by 1409rj
Beginner here. Going to Paris for first time and want to hit major tourist spots. -
Paris Metro closures happen at times due to urban disruptions; check first before getting a pass. The Louvre can take much of the day, just the lines to the big attractions can eat up time.
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Old Aug 17, 2023, 7:36 am
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Was just in Paris for the first time last month along with my wife and our 10 month old. I had super low expectations going in and Paris absolutely blew me away. Here's what I recommend:

Getting into town I recommend hopping the RER. It's definitely the most cost effective and fastest way into town from CDG. I don't recommend getting the unlimited metro passes that are aimed at tourists unless you plan on riding a lot. There are passes that are aimed at locals that are priced much better but you need a Navigo Decouverte which is a pain to get and the pass is a week pass good from Monday to Sunday only so it doesn't make sense with your dates. Your better bet is to get each person their own Navigo Easy card for 2 a pop. You can then load a "carnet" of 10 "Ticket t+" on each for €16.90 or €8.45 for kids under 10. Kids less than 4 years old are free. I'm pretty sure you can buy these from the vending machines at the RER station at CDG (I don't know for certain, we arrived on the Eurostar at Gare du Nord). The t+ tickets are good for any ride on Metro, bus, tram, the monmarte funicular, and RER trips within zone 1 in central Paris. For longer RER trips (for example: to/from the airport, Versailles, or Disney) you'll need to buy separate paperboard "origin-destination" tickets. These tickets include connecting to the Metro within Paris so you don't need to use a separate t+ for that part of the journey. If you ever need to reload the cards with more t+ tickets I recommend doing so from your phone using the Ile-de-France Mobilities app instead of fumbling at the vending machines like a tourist.

Looking at your itinerary I think it's a little too ambitious, day 1 especially when you're all going to be jetlagged and exhausted from a poor night's sleep on the plane. I think for day 1 a good plan might just be the Arc de Triomphe, strolling the Champs Elysee, and maybe a bus tour or river cruise. I think you can do the Louvre and d'Orsay in one day but nothing else and only if you get Louvre tickets that get you in right at opening. You know the kids coming on your journey best, but to me going to Disney seems like a waste of a day in Paris when you're there for less than a week, and this is coming from someone who loves Disney World. If your kids are set on Disney though and this is how you've sold them on the trip it might be inevitable.

I would consider getting the museum pass. Of the places you listed it is valid at Arc de Triomph, Versialles, Sainte Chapelle, Louvre, and d'Orsay. Most importantly it lets you cut the line in a lot of places (Arc de Triomph being especially helpful). Keep in mind that even with the museum pass you still need timed reservations for the Louvre and Versailles and you should make these as early as possible. The museum pass also came in handy because if you run into unexpected downtime it's easy to find a museum on it nearby that you can visit for free. We even used it once to duck into a museum we had no intention of visiting just to use the bathrooms (public bathrooms can be hard to find in Paris).

Coming back into IAD if there are people in your family who don't have Global Entry I recommend downloading the Mobile Passport Control app ahead of time and loading everyone's passport details into it. You can use that app to access a much shorter line at passport control coming back into the US.

I suggest checking out the Les Frenchies YouTube channel. I found their tips to be super helpful.

Those are my initial thoughts off the top of my head looking at your post, if anything else comes to mind I'll let you know.
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Old Aug 17, 2023, 7:41 am
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One more thing: plan for Versailles to basically be it's own day trip. You can potentially couple it with the Eiffel Tower if you get tickets for later in the day because you can get from one to the other fairly easily by taking the RER C.
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Old Aug 17, 2023, 9:15 am
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oh wow, thanks so much for the info; will follow it, will reduce the list and make it less intense.
thanks so much.
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Old Aug 17, 2023, 9:28 am
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Forgot to mention: get your Eiffel Tower tickets as early as possible as well. If you can’t get tickets to the top don’t despair. The views from the “second floor” are arguably better.
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Old Aug 18, 2023, 12:59 am
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You might also experience extra crowds from the Rugby World Cup.
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