France has a lot to offer travelling families, especially those seeking adventure. From visiting medieval castles to ‘holiday and explore’ the stunning Alp regions to simply enjoying the picturesque villages, there is something fun for everyone. Below is the step-by-step guide to where, what, when, how, and with whom to take your family for a memorable trip to France.

Best Time of Year to Visit

The best time to visit France depends on your destination and activities:

  • Spring (April to June): The moderate climate makes this time of year perfect for sightseeing in cities, exploring rural regions, and outdoor activities.
  • Summer (July to August): Ideal for sea, sun and sand trips, trekking, mountain adventures, and annual carnivals. Again, it is also the time of the year when tourist activities are most dominated.
  • Fall (September to October): Ideal for viewing the Autumn fall foliage and wine harvest when overcrowding is minimal
  • Winter (December to March) is perfect for skiing in the Alps or the Pyrenees and having fun at winter Christmas Markets.

Type of Accommodation for Budget Family Travelers

France offers various budget-friendly accommodations suitable for families:

  • Gîtes and Chambres d’Hôtes: These offer private accommodation, such as homes or cottages, which you rent for the holiday, and bed-and-breakfasts that give you a taste of the local culture. These are affordable options and great for families or family groups.
  • Youth Hostels: Some hostels offer private family rooms, which are a cheap way to travel. Hostelling International has administrative offices all over the country.
  • Camping: France has many campgrounds, some offering only some services and others numerous services. Some of the most popular areas include Provence, French Brittany, and Orleans in the Loire Valley. In bigger sites, you can expect swimming pools, tennis courts, bike tracks, cafes, and entertainment.
  • Vacation Rentals: Currently, there are various and easily available online homestays for families, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, which provide numerous family-friendly apartments and houses.

Recommended Places to Visit with Kids

Here are a few top picks:

  • Disneyland Paris: Unforgettable for children aged three and above, offering attractions, including others, rides, performances, and characters. A more cost-effective way of doing Disney.
  • Versailles Palace and Gardens: The palace encompasses a huge area with vast gardens, great for a day trip. You can hire a bicycle or a golf cart to explore the gardens – ideal for little legs!
  • Mont Saint-Michel: This medieval village – an island commune, offers picturesque medieval buildings and the thrill of crossing the tidal causeway.
  • The French Alps are ideal for winter races or hiking and cycling in summer. The destination is excellent, especially for family-friendly resorts like Chamonix and Annecy, which offer different activities to suit children of all ages.
  • Loire Valley: If you go to France, you can visit several castles associated with fairy tales, such as the Château de Chambord and the Château de Chenonceau. Some provide child-friendly activities and specific tour packages to let kids see and experience different things.

Best Local Dishes to Sample that Kids Will Enjoy

French cuisine is both diverse and delicious, with many dishes that children will love:

  • Crêpes: Crêpes are light and delicate, thin French pancakes made of batter. They can be rolled or folded and served with a variety of sweet or savoury fillings. Most children opt for the famous Nutella filling.
  • Baguettes and Croissants: French bread and pastries are a staple favourite.
  • Croque Monsieur/Madame: This simple, delicious sandwich is usually a hit with kids. It’s a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with an extra fried egg for the Madame.
  • Ratatouille is a healthy dish of stewed vegetables – it tastes better than the description!

 

 

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Trip

  • Use Public Transportation: Public transportation is well-developed in France, and most people use it frequently. Travelling by train, bus, or metro is both cheaper and more effective for touring cities and regions of interest.
  • Museum Passes and Cheap Museum Tickets: It is worth buying museum tickets for cities like Paris in advance and on sites that offer discounts for multiple trips. You can save valuable time (skip the queues) and a lot of money.
  • Plan Picnics: Buying local foods and going out for barbeque in parks or along the riverside is an inexpensive meal experience.
  • Language: Some basic French vocabulary will be advantageous in daily usage and improve your holiday experience.

 What to Take: Products You May Need That You Can’t Buy There

  • Reusable Water Bottles: Most people in France drink tap water, which is very safe. Take a refillable bottle to reuse as your holiday.

So, will you head to the Alps, to the warm sands of France’s Riviera, or the buzzy cities where you can absorb yourself in art and culture?

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