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Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

Dallas, Texas
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Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

My parents are visiting Paris for 2 days in July. They are not good with directions or figuring out train or metro system. So I need to plan as simple as possible for them. They will have one big checked luggage bag.

1. Will be coming from London on July 6th evening or 7th morning. Can take flight or Eurostar train. I prefer train if takes from city center to city center.

2. Will be leaving to Frankfurt airport after 2 days on July 9th where they will meet us for 1 week Italy trip.

3. I am considering hop on hop off bus for ease of travel in Paris.

4. What are some decent budget hotels on the HOHO bus route? If there is a Marriott or Holiday Inn on that route I might book them using points. Otherwise, I will book something paid.

5. Best way to go to hotel from train station

6. Best way to go from Hotel to CDG to take CDG-FRA flight.

7. Is boat trip part of HOHO? What is the best way to cover it?

Thanks for your help.

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Ile-de-France, France
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Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

I absolutely agree that the idea of train over plane is the better. Taxi to St Pancras (London) and taxi to Paris hotel and return. You can do the Eurostar bookings online 3 months beforehand, and even choose seats.

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Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

Anyone else can respond?

I am especially looking for hotel recommendations that are close to any one of the attractions so that they can take hop on hop off bus and walk to that one attraction from hotel.

Also, are the taxis metered or do we need to prebook?

This is waht I have decided so far.

London - Paris Eurostar train

Paris station - Hotel taxi

site seeing - hop on hop off bus

hotel - HOHO stop walk

hotel - CDG airport taxi

CDG - FRA plane

Thanks

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Paris
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Ile-de-France, France
Charles De Gaulle Airport
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Roissy-en-France, France
Gainesville, Florida
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3. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

Eurostar is definitely the easiest city-to-city option for them. Leaving the train station, have them follow signs for taxis & get one at the official taxi rank. Tell them to ignore any drivers coming up to them to solicit a ride inside the station. Unless one of them can easily pick the large suitcase up over his/her head and carry it up & down stairs, they might want to consider two smaller bags. There will be no luggage assistance on the train.

They can call the night ahead to have a taxi pick them up for the airport. I've seen Taxis G7 recommended here, which has an English operator I believe. Maybe someone will post the phone number. This will be a metered ride but you can prebook the pickup. There will be several euros on the meter when the taxi arrives, as the meter starts when they get the call to your address.

I didn't ride the HOHO so I have no idea what hotels are along the numerous routes. Perhaps you can google the route & then check for your preferred hotels yourself. There can't be that many locations of these brands in the center of Paris. Also you don't give any indication of what "budget hotel" means to you specifically in euros per night.

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Le Bugue, France
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4. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

The one large suitcase sounds like a really bad idea to me. First, if luggage goes missing, no one's got anything. Second, on any train (and yes, they should take the Eurostar to Paris), you're on your own getting the luggage up into the train (and down) and storing it on board, which can mean needing to lift it into a compartment.

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Boston...
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5. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

I would think that a hotel near the river, maybe near St. Michel, would work better. They'd have the river as a landmark. I'm not familiar with the HOHO route, and stay in apartments, so I can't help you there, but someone will know more.

At the Gare du Nord, where the Eurostar arrives, have them look for signs to the taxi line. Taxi is taxi in French too. Have them write the name and address of their hotel on a piece of paper and hand it to the driver.

Rather than calling the G7 to arrange a tax for their departure, have them ask the front desk to do it. That's one of the benefits of staying in a hotel.

Edited: 12 March 2014, 20:46
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6. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

Tax-taxi

Dallas, Texas
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7. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

Thank you all for quick and good responses.

Hotel Budget: 100-150 Euros per night, need for 3 nights as we decided to leave London on 6th night and leave to FRA 9th AM (hotel on 6,7,8th nights)

When few of you mentioned about stairs, are you talking about the 2-5 stairs to the train or 50-100 stairs un/down to train platform to street level?

The reason they will have one big bag is that their complete trip is 18 days, a week in London before Paris and a week+ in Italy after Paris. Getting enough stuff needed in carry on for that long would be difficult.

Edited: 12 March 2014, 21:10
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New Hampshire
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8. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

I'm another who would strongly recommend two smaller suitcases rather than one large. For one thing, it's easy to go over the weight allowance for a checked bag if you're packing for two people. And, even if your mother is relying on your father to handle the big bag, two smaller ones are much easier to manage.

If they haven't purchased luggage in a while, send them to Marshall's, TJMaxx, where quality bags are less than $100. The new "spinners" are especially easy to manage, especially on smooth floors, such as in airports and train stations.

L'Opentour (Google for brochure with map to download) has four routes for getting around to all the sights. The area around Place Saint-Michel is convenient to all four routes. The Holiday Inn Notre Dame is in the area and receives outstanding reviews.

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Holiday Inn Paris - Notre Dame
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Gainesville, Florida
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9. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

OP, no one is saying that they need to consolidate to a single carry-on. We're saying that each of them needs to have a separate carry-on or smaller suitcase, rather than putting everything for both of them in one large suitcase. The large suitcases are more difficult to maneuver in transit. And, as StCirq pointed out, if their one & only bag is lost by the airline on the way over, they're both out of luck. By mixing their stuff in two smaller bags (some clothes for each one of them in each bag) they can make do if one suitcase doesn't make it.

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10. Re: Help plan 2 days easy trip for my parents

I'm in a similar position and planning a trip with my mom for London and Paris. Although I've been, she has't so I want to make it as easy as possible.

As recommended, definitely have them take the Eurostar. Have them take a taxi from Gare du Nord to their hotel. I chose a hotel that offers pick up service for not that much more than a taxi, so I booked it.

I would choose a hotel that is central so they can walk to locations instead of getting on and off the hop off bus or having to use the metro. They might like the hop on hop off boat via the Seine but I think that's separate than the bus. It would give them a different vantage point to view the sites.

Based on their needs, I'd recommend a hotel on Il St. Louis. We are staying at Hotel Il Saint Louis and you can book their shuttle service for the train station and to CDG.

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Gare du Nord
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