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BlackenedOut
The Big Sleazy
Member since Feb 2011
5080 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
Re travel with a 2 year old and your mileage may vary.

The first day is going to suck. Try and find the longest flight possible. This is counter-intuitive but in my experience if you can find a 8-10 hour flight to Europe, you have a better than decent shot of your kid getting a good night's sleep. Of course, it could be miserable and they dont sleep at all.

One of the thing I liked was landing in Venice (or any other city) and spending a day or so just acclimating. so landing somewhere and taking train or other plane + car might make that day unbearable, but hey that is travel seomtime.

Staying in Nice for a day or two could do that and then you could rent car and head up into the haut-Provence area for rest of your trip. Of course toddlers and car seats and foreign countries is a total crapshoot.

But with a 2 year old I think renting a house or apartment is going to be your better bet to allow for nap/downtime. And I do think your flight prices are high. You should have time to build up some credit card miles and bring that down at least partially. Also, look into open-jaw which will save you time and maybe money.


TheWiz
LSU Fan
Third World, LA
Member since Aug 2007
10009 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
quote:

One of the thing I liked was landing in Venice (or any other city) and spending a day or so just acclimating. so landing somewhere and taking train or other plane + car might make that day unbearable, but hey that is travel seomtime.



Not a bad idea. I might see if I can piece something into Paris or even Barcelona and stay a night or two. Those are place we've been, so if we just hit cafes and people watch, that is fine with us. He might really enjoy a train ride anyway.

From there we could hit Provence. Maybe dumb down the Air BnB to a simple apartment for +/-$100 a night. Do some day trips (Avignon and a few others), lavender fields, a winery or two, and then head to Nice.

Nice we could again dumb down the Air BnB to something simpler without a pool. We will need to figure out the beach access for one or two days.

Then fly out of Nice.

quote:

And I do think your flight prices are high. You should have time to build up some credit card miles and bring that down at least partially. Also, look into open-jaw which will save you time and maybe money.


Do you? I remember paying about $1,500 or $1,700/pp the last time we went to Paris.

I'm stacking cash back rewards right now, so hopefully it can help chip away at some of this.
This post was edited on 5/14 at 11:40 am


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
9028 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
quote:

Do you? I remember paying about $1,500 or $1,700/pp the last time we went to Paris.

I've paid as little as $650 (late October) or as much as $1200 (April). But I fly economy, so maybe you need more room than my compact self. Since you're planning for 2020, you have plenty of time to shop airfare sales and save up some points/miles/rewards.

If I were traveling w/a 2 yo, I would NOT want to add an extra takeoff & landing to the mix (you mention adding Barca). Maybe spend the first day in Paris, strolling and recovering from jet lag, before taking the train down south. I think the train is a good choice for a toddler: if he gets bored, you can walk up and down, and there is so much more room to move than in a plane or a car. I think children under 4 travel free on EuroStar if on lap. You can buy a child seat ticket as well, and pick your seats around a table to allow for spreading out.


TheWiz
LSU Fan
Third World, LA
Member since Aug 2007
10009 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
quote:

But I fly economy, so maybe you need more room than my compact self.


Thinking back, I may have done economy plus for the few extra inches of leg room.

Great tips, guys! We had been hesitant to do some big travel, but I decided it was time to bite the bullet.

This year he will have flown to Greenville, SC and Carmel, CA so the latter will be a nice little test to see how he does. We're also packing his arse up for five hours to head to the beach house in June. He'll get a few miles under his belt this year.
This post was edited on 5/14 at 1:21 pm


BlackenedOut
The Big Sleazy
Member since Feb 2011
5080 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
Are you flying out of MSY by chance (or another airport with direct to London on BA). If so you may have luck booking direct on BA with a stopover in London. Spend a day or two in London and continue on to Nice. Route back the same way.


TheWiz
LSU Fan
Third World, LA
Member since Aug 2007
10009 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
quote:

Are you flying out of MSY by chance (or another airport with direct to London on BA). If so you may have luck booking direct on BA with a stopover in London.


Yes. Most of what I had searched so far was the BA flight out of here at 20:00.

Doing a MSY --> LHR --> MRS and then Nice --> MSY sent the price up about $800 on Google flights.

I've got lots of time to watch google flights, skyscanner and whatever the app with the bunny on it is.
This post was edited on 5/14 at 2:37 pm


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
9028 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
quote:

Doing a MSY --> LHR --> MRS and then Nice --> MSY sent the price up about $800 on Google flights.

The layover isn't driving the price up, the open jaw is. Try it with the layover, but a return from MRS.


TheWiz
LSU Fan
Third World, LA
Member since Aug 2007
10009 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
quote:

Try it with the layover, but a return from MRS.

Good idea as the drive from Nice to MRS isn't too bad.

It still costs a bit more at $4,200. I actually have not done London and would like to do it properly. I doubt two days does it any justice.

Again, it's way too early and I cannot even search June yet. Even on Sky Scanner, the flights RT from MSY TO MRS are still right at $3,800 and/or about $1,260/pp.

That will probably be our best bet assuming flights don't go up. Add a day or two to the trip, stay in Marseille, go to Provence, day trips, relax, wine and then head to Nice for ultimate relaxation.

I might try and cheap out with a terraced apartment in Aix and then go a little bigger in Nice. That's how we did our Italy trip two years ago and wrapping up in Le Sirenuse was a dream come true. Won't go that big, but there's some really nice looking places right on the beach.


BlackenedOut
The Big Sleazy
Member since Feb 2011
5080 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
Let me also just add this. Provence is awesome. It’s an area ripe for exploring or just relaxing. However, I do think it is maybe built for more of an older traveler. Pensioners and retirees seeking that Peter Mayle lifestyle or Parisians fleeing the city for some R&R. There aren’t a ton of things to do and see and after a few towns they do start to look the same.

IMHO, if you are going to have a toddler with you a European city such as Paris, London, Barcelona, Venice, etc... May be a better option. Big cities have loads of attractions for kids, playgrounds, easier public transit, etc...

Again don’t take this the wrong way but I think you’ll get more mileage out of a city focused trip. The two days we spent in Venice were more culturally immersive and rewarding for both us and our kids than the week we had in Provence.

Travel with kids is just life somewhere else so make it as easy on yourself as possible. Provence while fantastic isn’t necessarily the easiest travel option.


TheWiz
LSU Fan
Third World, LA
Member since Aug 2007
10009 posts

re: Any travel recs. for Southern France?
Good point. I was actually thinking about this earlier. Maybe we go back to somewhere we have already been but loved. That way if we're stuck toodling around Luxembourg Park, along the seine, La Ramba, or somewhere in Italy we won't feel like we're missing out. Hell, I'd go back to Scandinavia too although it was a bit more laid back too.

We could do a few days at Costa Brava outside of Barcelona too which would be nice and easy.

Regardless, it'll beat the shite out of Metairie in June.


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