Savvy Francophile’s guide to travel with kids – planning

The savvy Francophile's guide to travel with kidsSo you’re planning your next French dream trip? Oh, and you’re hoping to bring the kids along? Ne vous inquietez pas – it might seem like an impossible challenge, but it doesn’t have to be!

Before you’ve even set a foot outside the door (never mind crossing an ocean – or several!) there are a few key things you should keep in mind.

We’ve broken it down into sections to make it all the easier; so breathe, and relax – we’ve got it covered!

Before you go

When you’re planning a holiday with kids you’ll need to invest a bit more time than usual. To make sure you’re properly prepared we recommend following the three ‘P’s: planning, packing and preparation.

When planning you should consider:

1. Flight times and lengths: flying overnight could be beneficial whereas leaving at 2am could leave you with grumpy kids.

2. Hotels in central locations: these make it easier to get around and if you have a situation it’s only a quick trip back to the hotel.

3. Kid friendly tourist sites make all the difference. (We’ll cover this later in our guide!)

4. Allow extra time for any and all activities. 

When packing don’t forget:

  • Make a list before you start packing and tick it off as you go.
  • Pack plenty of games and activities for the kids.
  • Organise your bags: have smaller labelled bags so you can always find what you need, when you need it.
  • Power adapters, spare batteries and charging cases can be a lifesaver.

french travel with kids -

To be prepared you’ll need to:

  • Do some research on where you’re going and the particular customs and traditions of that region. It’s also good to a have a working knowledge of general French traditions.
  • Get your kids excited. Show them some movies, clips and books about where you are going so they’ll be excited for the new culture. (‘Madeline’, the ‘Hunchback of Nôtre Dame’ and ‘Ratatouille’ might be cliché, but they’re perfect to get the kids pumped up for Paris.)
  • Look up parks and playgrounds in your destination: it’s great to know there are places near by for the kids to let off steam.
  • As you know, travelling with kids happens at a slower pace, so prioritise and don’t try to fit too much in.

Ready to go? Find out what to do when you arrive

Are you looking forward to some French travel with kids? Add any tips you have to the comment box below!

Jump to:
1 – The introduction
2 – Planning (this page)
3 – When you arrive
4 – Keeping them entertained

Image Credits
1. © Michael Osman, Paris Find
2. Suitcases by Natascha Mileshina, via Flickr.

About the Contributor

Judy MacMahon

Experience FRANCE beyond the CLICHÉ with MyFrenchLife is for Curious Savvy Francophiles wherever you are. Meet Francophiles in France, online, and/or wherever you live. You’re very welcome to join us - Judy MacMahon -

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