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Savvy Francophile’s guide to travel with kids – keeping them entertained

Savvy Francophile's guide to travel with kids - keeping them entertainedAnd now for the fun part of travelling with kids in France!

Kids are sure to get a tad grouchy if it’s all work (or travel) and no play! So we’ve done the research, and found a few sure-fire ways to make sure the kids love travelling as much as you do. And it doesn’t involve iPads, video games, or laptops.

Keeping them entertained…

1. On the plane and in the car

Finding portable activities for the kids doesn’t have to take forever. We came across a hidden site called Children’s Book Bin which features a helpful article on ‘16 engaging activity books for kids to bring on vacation’. So, if you want a break from the iPads consider investing in an activity book or two.

When the activity books start to loose their charm, Mari Hernandez-Tuten from Babble says packing a surprise can be the perfect pick-me-up the kids need. When her kids were younger Mari would have a surprise for them almost every hour. “I went to the dollar store, picked up random little toys, and placed one in each bag for them. When they started getting restless I would pull out a surprise bag for them.”

2. Out and about in Paris

© Michael Osman - France - Travel with kidsWhen you’re visiting the various sites it’s really worth investing in the audio guides. Most museums offer a children’s guide which can make the visit much more entertaining for them.

You can also brush up on some cool facts before hand so you can wow your kids while you’re there. This way you can be your own tour guide and show your kids exactly what you know they’ll like.

Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb from Fodor’s Travel says instead of tackling a whole city in a day you should choose one or two areas as a ‘home base’.

“Explore the surrounding areas on daytrips. Search for places offering a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, iconic sites, hands-on attractions, and plentiful parks or play areas,” she says.

3. At dinner time

In an article for the Huffington Post, Andrea Gargotta suggests you all have fun reviewing the restaurants you eat at.

© michael osman - France - travel with kidsAndrea always keeps a collection of pens, markers and index cards in her bag. These give the kids something to play with at dinnertime.

We love to play restaurant review, ranking each place we eat and writing the results on the index cards,” she says.

MyFrenchLife.org writer Rachel Malcolm also has some great tips for eating out in Paris with kids.

She says snacks like macaroons are the perfect size. “They come in every colour and flavour imaginable and even the most high-end options cost little over €1 each.”

Planning a trip with your kids will give you a chance to take your holiday at a slower pace – who knows, you might even get to relax?

Bon Voyage !

Are you visiting Paris? These articles can help you plan your trip!

Do you have any travel tips for holidaying with kids? The conversation is missing your voice! Jump in at the comments box below.

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

Image Credits
© Michael Osman, Paris Find.


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  1. Christina Guzman
    4 years ago

    The idea of having a ‘surprise’ or ‘goody’ bag for the kids is great! taking away the ipad or ipod for a bit won’t hurt them – in fact, it’ll help them develop get square eyes! 😉