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1st Trip to Europe - Our Plans

Well after years of saying we would make a trip to France my wife and I are finally going. After flying around the USA all year for my job I accumulated over 120,000 frequent flyer miles on US Airways, and they run a miles special in the winter so we were able to book 1st class to CDG, but on the way back we are in coach, oh well we are going to France so who cares? We are spending two nights and three days in Paris, one in Avignon, three in Toulon with a friend, and back to Paris for 1 night before flying home. An ambitious trip but we are leaving each day as a blank slate and we'll see what we see and go back. Thanks for your posts as they have helped with planning and expectations.

Posted by
4125 posts

Hoot, congratulations and I hope you and your wife have a memorable trip. In such a short amount of time there will be alas lots of great stuff you won't get to see, that's just how it is, but then most of what you will have time for is also great. In a situation like that your own preparation and attitude are key, so read up and plan ahead to avoid spending time making complicated decisions on the ground. My only concrete suggestion is, if possible, instead of traveling paris - avignon - toulon - paris, go paris - toulon - avignon and on the morning of your flight get up early and take the 7:15 TGV direct to Charles DeGaulle. This bypasses Paris and arrives at 10:32, if that's enough time for you to make your return flight. Why is this better? Your plan to return to Paris wastes a precious day in transit. Spend it in Paris at the start of your trip if you like, or Avignon, you won't regret either.

Posted by
9363 posts

If you can only fly first class one direction, going over would be the right choice - you will be much more able to get some sleep. Have a great time!

Posted by
19 posts

Congrats on the trip! Three days in Paris is short. I guess you just have to resign yourself to the fact that you won't see it all. Hit the highlights, of course. I also strongly suggest the Paris Greeters program (you'll find other posts about the program on this forum). I did the program recently and highly recommend it. If you're not familiar with the program, it is a free program that connects a Parisian and tourist (family, couple, etc.) The Parisian gives you a tour (stroll) around their home neighborhood. You will experience a part of Paris that you probably would not have seen otherwise and you meet a friendly person. The strolls usually last a couple hours. Some people take their Greeter out to lunch/dinner as a way to say thanks. My family brought a small homemade gift. Enjoy France!

Posted by
31 posts

Thanks Adam for the tips, when booking the train tickets I didn't realize TGV trains ran from Provence to CGV, a rookie mistake. However, when we do leave Toulon it is on the 0530 train to Paris so we will get another afternoon and evening there, so all is not lost on travel that final full day in France. Chris, because of this board I did see Paris Greeters and through their site requested a tour for one of the days we are there. With a short trip we are going with the approach this is our first trip of many to France and Europe. The good thing is my business is Internet based so our goal for the summer of 2013 is to rent a house in Europe and travel with our kids. Thanks again and happy travels in 2012.