London, Manchester & Paris

School terms keep kids in school and parents sane. Holidays can be boring to kids if they are left alone. Discuss vacation ideas and how to make good use of the free time for both children and adults.

London / Paris serviced apartments recommendation pls

Postby Layla » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:25 pm

Anyone has good places to recommend pls? Need a 2 bedder near the train stations pls.. I would luv to try the bed n breakfast in London but do not know of any good places.

TIA

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Re: London / Paris serviced apartments recommendation pls

Postby GLORYmum » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:44 pm


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Re: London / Paris serviced apartments recommendation pls

Postby hquek » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:15 am

I usually go to tripadvisor/booking.com to see what's recommended and work from there. So far, so good.

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Survived from a 17 days trip to Paris&London with a 16M boy

Postby miereddy » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:34 pm

We just survived from a 17 days trip to Paris and London with a 16 months little boy. It was so fun until we didn't want to come back :) However, it's certain that we are pretty tired after this long trip because most of the attentions were on the little guy and we were so grateful that he didn't fall sick although the temperature during early Jun was quite cold compare with Singapore.

There are some lessons we learned during the trip:

1. Jet lags
As adults, we suffer from jet lag quite seriously if there are more than 6 hours of time difference. And we had 6 hours of difference in Paris and 7 hours difference in London. But for babies, it seems that they can adjust to the new time very fast because they can always make up their sleep time any where any anytime. However, let them expose to daylight is the most important thing so that even they were trying to make up the sleep, they will only sleep for a couple of hours during the day and reserve the long sleep for night time.

2. Food
It's so difficult to find a restaurant with baby high chairs in Paris, and the situation was a little bit better while in London. I was kinda regret that we didn't bring the portable high chair. Actually it was just a piece of cloth that can secure the baby in any type of a chair.

3. Public transportation
Understand that it's definitely not advisable to drive in Paris and London so we definitely took the public transport. However, the biggest nightmare for us was the staircase in the subways. You cannot find escalators in most of the railway stations in Paris so that my hubby and I have to carry the stroller up and down everytime ... The worst time was when we had luggage with us. But sometimes we were very touched by the kind Parisians offering helping hands :)

4. Sightseeing
I believe a 16 months baby will not be able to remember anything during this 17 days, but we were so grateful that he loves to see new things especially the beautiful parks in London.

5. Getting baby sleep

This is almost the top difficult thing. But luckily I'm still breastfeeding him so it's easier to rock him to sleep. Unluckily you will never find a nursing room in Paris and it's hard to find one in London. So ... a breastfeeding cover saved me!

miereddy
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Travel to London and Paris in November

Postby melody68 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:04 pm

Is it worth going to London and Paris in early November?
Will jacket, scarf, hats, gloves, waterproof shoes & umbrella be enough to survive the cold and wet weather during that time?

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Re: Travel to London and Paris in November

Postby Dnls_mum » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:13 am

melody68 wrote:Is it worth going to London and Paris in early November?
Will jacket, scarf, hats, gloves, waterproof shoes & umbrella be enough to survive the cold and wet weather during that time?


Depends. I was in Paris in Nov in 2005 and it snowed! Unusual but it does happen sometimes. Just bring clothes that you can layer and make sure you have a waterproof jacket. I recall this topic was discussed in detail last year in one of the other Europe threads. Just search through the threads and you shd be able to find it. If it is colder than you expect can always buy jackets there too :)

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Re: Travel to London and Paris in November

Postby girl_next_door » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:22 am

I love Paris and London. I will be heading back to London again this Dec and am looking forward to it.

A few things to note:
- You would definitely need at least 1 coat/jacket, preferably wool coat. Cotton coat/jacket is definitely insufficient, no matter how many layers you put.
- You need a good pair of boots/sneakers with thick socks. I bring thick black stockings so that I can wear a dress in the day if the weather is managable. At night, I will usually layer my stocking with jeans. For me, wearing jeans only is not sufficient.
- If you plan to walk around a lot, you should bring a pair of gloves.
- Almost everyday, a train and/or bus line is on strike in Paris. Assuming you don't understand French, you would need to exercise a lot of patience when going around.
- Watch your bag/wallet because Asians have a huge target on our back. Pickpockets target mainly Asians. If your children starts to cry in the middle of the road, look around first before you attend to the kids. I know this is difficult but you are attracting pickpockets when you are attending to the kids. They are really fast and smooth. The last thing you need is having crying kids and a missing wallet/passport. One of my friends brings a transparent bag so that people can see it is just diapers & milk bottles in the bag instead of wallet & expensive phones.
- If you have the habit of letting your kids play with iphone/ipad in trains/bus, you would want to avoid that as well. You will notice that very few people uses their phones/ipad in the train/bus. Similiarly, playing with it draws attention to your kids. Someone might quickly snatch it when getting off the train, the moment you turned your head.

If you can, you should try to go in early December. You would be able to catch the Christmas Market which is an interesting experience for yourself & kids.

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Re: Travel to London and Paris in November

Postby dolphinsiah » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:46 am

Hi Girl_Next _Door,

Did you go to Paris Free & Easy? Please Advice What are the Interesting things MUST do and See in Paris.

I intend to visit Paris Disneyland for 2 Days (stay around the area)
Then moved to Paris City to stay for 1 nite and do the City Tour.

Do you think by touring Paris using the
Hop-on Hop-of Bus is good enough to cover all the attractions within Paris?

To me Paris is a big Crowded City , I do not fancy shopping for Branded Stuff...

Yes, I am very worry about Strike which delay Public Services.

Thank you for Reading.... :wink:

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Re: Travel to London and Paris in November

Postby girl_next_door » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:24 am

Hi Dolphinsiah

I went to Paris with my husband and he speaks fluent French. At the same time, he is reasonably familiar with Paris so getting around is a lot easier for us. A few surprises from a Singaporean's point of view:
- Everyday, when we go to the train station, he will spend about 5-10 mins figuring alternate train routes because one of the lines is on strike. Do note that the announcement is in French and there is no notice pasted anywhere to indicate that a particular train line is not working! I would be completely lost if not for my husband. The control station usually have someone who can converse in basic English, so you can ask them how to get from point A to point B. Their train system is a much older train system compared to Singapore, i.e. its quite messy and difficult to figure out. Do some research to familiarize yourself, so that you will feel less frustrated in Paris.
- Sometimes, when the train line is on strike, we have to take buses to get to where we wanted to go. And yes, sometimes, they go on strike as well. There was once, some car decided to park itself to block the road, and everyone has to get off the bus. Nobody really complain, as thought its business as usual. Everyone simply got off and walk to the next street and catch another bus.
- I'm a shopholic so shopping around Galeries Lafayette was great. In between my shopping, I take breaks in one of the cafes to enjoy the view.
- My favorite is Louvre Museum. I can easily spend an entire day there because I love art a lot. Obviously, Effel Tower is another obvious tourist attractions. We went there twice because the first time we are there, there is a long queue. If you know that you are going to Effel Tower, book your tickets in advance to skip the long queue. We went outside of Notre Dame, and didn't go up. Again, there is a long line and according to the husband, the view is not super spectacular. Its simply looking at the city from 5th floor. The view from Effel is more spectacular.
- There is not much to see at Arc de Triomphe. Just a recognizable site of Paris. You will see it when you go to Galeries Lafayette.
- We didn't take the Bus Tour because it is not cheap and we don't think we get to see more things on the bus tour. Since the husband knows his way around, getting train tickets/bus or simply walking is much easier for us. If you stay within the city centre, Paris is not too complicated to get around with a map.
- For Paris, the fun is going to the small streets/cafe, exploring the city rather than following the tour.
- If you are queuing in a restaurant/ for any services, wait patiently. In Singapore, we tend to try to get attention from the service staff, but in Paris, that doesn't work. You will be told to wait patiently, and they will help you when they are ready.

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Re: Travel to London and Paris in November

Postby hquek » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:58 am

just to supplement a bit. My family and I climbed up Notre Dame on our first day in paris. Big mistake.....after that, it was pain pain pain every day.

Arc de Triomphe nothing much there, that's true. but then if you pay and climb up, it's really amazing looking at the city sight, how all the roads lead out from there and to see the city pan out ahead of you. You can't see the same from Effiel Tower.

Actually so far when we were there, there wasn't any strikes; though on London Tube, there were some maintenance works so had to figure out how to get around. For Paris mrt, pls look at the signboard becos 1 train track can go to different places.

Not sure how long you are going, but if you are spending a week in paris, it may be worth to get a Paris weekly ticket. We paid for it (darn expensive) but it paid for itself with unlimited rides over 7 days (not the tourist pass).

btw, none in my family know French, so it's still navigable.

Don't miss Versailles. totally amazing. you may want to sign up for the walking tour (in a block on the right hand side as you approach); they bring you to places that are not open to public - after that, you may be able to sneak into the main galleries (save a bit of money on entrance...if cannot, then just go buy entrance). We bought entrance tickets and thereafter knew about the walking tour - so the sneaking part is my imagination only.

On London, we took the London Duck tour. Totally worth it and enjoyable to a boot. I usually don't spend money on such tours but it was like London sights in 60 minutes - saved me a lot of traisping. If you have time, do visit the British Museum (free entry), there is that famed Rosetta Stone, statues from the Parthenon plus a lot of stuff they took out from countries under their dominion in the past. Some of it may be returned eventually so better see while it's still under 1 roof.

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