Start planning your family vacation in France
France is an idyllic location for a family tour and has long been seen as one of the best classic destinations there is. Visit France to soak up the local atmosphere, get a taste of endless fun-filled and family-friendly activities and immerse yourself in history or the relaxing atmosphere. From Paris, the bustling city of love, to the Loire Valley and its timeless beauty, France’s relatively small size means you’ll be able to see it all on your family trip. You may have seen or heard all about France in the movies but nothing beats a first-hand experience of this place. Even for those who have visited countless times before, no two vacations here are the same, so you’ll be able to enjoy times here as a family again and again.
Best things to see and do in France with kids
Thrill-seeking families will find all they could possibly want in France, the home of adrenaline fueled activities. Go to a ski resort in The Alps, cycling through Normandy, surfing in Aquitaine or La Rochelle along the Atlantic Coast and so much more. You and your family will be able to take your pick, with opportunities for entertainment around every corner. Sightseeing families will find also something for everyone, whether you prefer medieval sites, impressive ancient buildings, famous structures or cutting edge, modern galleries. A few days in Paris are the first stop for these families, who will be able to wander from the Eiffel Tower to Sacre-Coeur to Notre Dame, before enjoying a picnic of classic French ingredients in one of Paris’ beautiful parks. Paris with kids is surprisingly easy, thanks to the city’s fairly small size and excellent public transport system. While you’re in Paris with kids, a trip just outside of the city will take you to Disneyland Paris, a firm favorite for family travel.
Younger children always love trips to see the ancient castles that are dotted around the country. On a visit to sites such as Mont Saint Michel, you and your family will feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you enter the gates of a castle straight out of fairy tale and wander around a medieval city that seems frozen in time. History buffs should visit Normandy, where modern and ancient history meet and you and your family can take the time to learn about medieval events at sites such as The Bayeux Tapestry. Here you can also visit the battlefields of World War One which is a beautiful, thought-provoking and somber visit that can be incredibly education for slightly older children who can learn about this turbulent time in our history. Art-lovers won’t be disappointed by a family visit to France, where you can see the work of some of the world’s most famous and well-known artists. Paris is home to countless museums but you can also find museums further afoot and in most of the country’s beautiful towns and cities. Take your children for a gallery walk before heading off to give it a go yourselves in an art masterclass where you can learn to paint like the greats that you have just admired. If learning a new skill sounds like fun, why not also take a cooking class? France is widely considered to be the center of fine dining and cuisine and the best place to learn how to recreate all your favorite dishes once your vacation is over. Perfect the macaroon or the croissant in a patisserie masterclass before sitting down to enjoy the fruits of your labor. For a relaxing family vacation, the French Riviera is a perfect choice with lots of kid friendly accommodations to choose from.
Best time to visit France as a family
France is a year-round destination, meaning that every season has its benefits and the best time of year for you and your family to visit France will depend on what you plan on doing there. For skiing, winter is the best time to visit, or with younger children, visit during Easter when the weather is sunnier and skiing conditions are often easier for younger kids. During the summer, the weather in the South can become very hot and embracing the local tradition of midday naps is recommended to avoid the hottest part of the day. Paris too, can become hot and humid during the summer months which is not ideal for younger children who can become tired with so much to see. Summer is undoubtedly the busiest time, with local holidays and school holidays meaning that beaches can become overrun with visitors. During these times, the prices can soar and availability for accommodation is significantly reduced.
Family vacation tips for traveling to France
With a little research and knowledge you can ensure that you are as prepared as possible for your family trip to France, here a few tips and tricks to ensure that everything runs smoothly on your vacation.
- As with any popular tourist destination, you and your family may encounter pickpockets when visiting some of the more crowded sites, particularly in Paris and during the evening. These are easy to tackle by simply making sure that any valuables are kept safe and sound back at your hotel and that you don’t carry large amounts of cash.
- Try to learn a few key phrases in the local language. This will be helpful in any situation and even if you never need it to communicate, it can be fun and educational for children to learn about the local language and culture. If nothing else, everyone likes to be greeted and thanked in their native language.
- Prices can vary hugely throughout France, with Paris and some of the Southern Cities such as Nice and Cannes coming out at the more expensive end. Head more off-the-beaten-track to save on accommodation and to find some hidden gems.
- Try as much local food as possible. Food here varies between more upmarket food in Paris and other cities to a country stew in more rural areas, try as much as you can since you never know what you may find, however, if rabbit stew isn’t right up your street, there are so many options that will please even fussy children.