For those who have been on the Paris & The Heart of France tour, which days provide the best opportunities (in terms of available time and available laundromats) to do laundry while on the tour?
Since we travel independently , I am unable to answer your query pertaining to the logistics of your tour . However , when we are in Paris ( back this coming Autumn ) , our hotel of choice is in the 7th , and we have used this laundromat ( laverie ) numerous times . https://www.google.com/maps/place/Eclat+Laverie+Libre+Servicefirstname.lastname@example.org,2.3068741,17.5z/data=!4m8!1m2!2m1!1slaverie!3m4!1s0x47e67026fdb9b395:0x4598800b8fb07bf1!8m2!3d48.8543442!4d2.3073371
There is a laundry facility in Amboise located on Avenue Leonard de Vinci , where I did my laundry while on this tour. Hopefully, it is still there.
Lots of locations with a laverie (or laverie libre service) in Paris. Google, or ask your hotel. Most will have a coin dispenser for detergent. Most also operate with central controls for all machines. Choose the washer or dryer by number, enter it and the coins for the desired amount of time. You will feel like a genuine resident rather than a tourist, especially if there is an adjacent bistro for a glass of refreshment.
Thank you for the responses so far. I'm particularly interested in suggestions for doing laundry once we are outside of Paris...specifically, which days afford the best opportunities to do laundry (based upon time availability) and available laundromats.
Yes, I agree with Debra about Amboise being convenient for laundry. You’ll likely spend nights 5 & 6 there with a free afternoon on Day 6 after doing a chateau in the AM. There is not a ton of free time on this tour once you depart Paris and there are 2 one-nighters so that means you’ll probably just have one opportunity.
I’m a sink wash gal, including my jeans so I didn’t use laundry facilities. I have refined my travel capsule wardrobe to include only items that will dry overnight so that works for me. I know others prefer a laundrette.
This IS a fun trip! You see so much variety! I hope you will be able to arrive in Paris a fewdays early.
I, too, agree that Amboise is a nice place to get your laundry done. We found a laundromat close to the hotel where we stayed in Amboise and it was clean and easy to use. Just haul your things down there in an empty suitcase. On previous RS tours, the guides have always been very good about letting everyone know where the nearest laundromats are in relation to the hotels. This was one of my favorite tours and we have recommended it to many others. You will have a great time!
There were at least two laundromats in Bayeux. I know a few folks used the one closest to our hotel.
I would think the commitments and free time on various days is different depending on the choices of your particular tour guide, so I suspect you won't find much valuable information about specific days from people who may have taken that tour in the past and (likely) with a different guide than you may have.
That said, I suspect you'll have no problem finding the time or the place (i.e., a laverie) to wash and dry your laundry.
I will mention this: although more and more laveries are installing card readers that allow you to use your credit or debit card (chip & pin) to pay for washing and drying, providing you can read French well enough to understand the instructions, many still rely on coins.
And you won't find coins at a bank. French banks don't do coins or provide change for bills. If you don't have enough coins, go to a local post office (La Poste) and they will make change for you. It's an odd system, but that's the way it is.
"I would think the commitments and free time on various days is different depending on the choices of your particular tour guide, so I suspect you won't find much valuable information about specific days from people who may have taken that tour in the past and (likely) with a different guide than you may have."
Actually, the free time is pretty much indicated in the itinerary and while there might be some slight fluctuation - such as flipping one day's activities with another if there is a 3 night stay (giving 2 full days at a location) or flipping an open morning for an open afternoon most of the Rick Steves tours I've been on pretty much followed a pattern. At the meet up the first night the guide will discuss any changes to the itinerary and this is also a good time to ask about laundry opportunities. On some tours (not this one in particular) people do depend on free time being the same as on the published itinerary as they may make museum reservations for that particular time slot (thinking specifically tours in Rome on this).
The tours are often staying at the same hotels for the whole season ( or many seasons) so the hotels also know if they are also a laundry stop, lol. I'm thinking about hotels in Cinque Terre, Italy and Reutte, Austria that handed out bags for laundry when they handed out room keys in case anyone wanted to avail themselves of the hotel service. Some did, some didn't and the hotels didn't mind either way, they just wanted to provide a service for good customers. I DON'T remember this happening on the Paris and HOF tour, though.
We did laundry in Bayeux after the tour of the D-day beaches/sites. There was a laundromat fairly close to our hotel, and doing something mundane like laundry was a good balance to a very moving day.
And that ended up being one of my favorite days on the tour. ormandy was the reason I took this tour (and it delivered), but also because of some fun memories: three of us trying to figure out how to use the machines (the switches were by the door), buying stuff at the bakery in order to get change for the machines (I know, woe was us ;) ), and the enjoying the rest of the evening at Le Conquerant, an awesome Irish pub near the tapestry that was the perfect antidote to be tired of French food (it's owned by a couple- he's French and she's Irish) and fixing for a properly poured Guinness :)
This was the only trip I went on with RS that I didn't do laundry that lasted more than a week. I managed to rinse out a couple of my golf shirts in Paris and had enough of everything else to make it through. The weather was so nice I didn't get hot and sweaty.
If you stay at the Hotel Belle Vue for the two nights in Amboise, they have a great laundry service. They charge by the basket 17 Euro with folding service, 12 Euro without. We opted for "without" and our laundry was still neatly laid in the basket rather than dumped in all wrinkled. This was perfect timing as it was right in the middle of the trip.
The laundromat that Debra mentions in Amboise is closed (as of Oct 2017). It is now an art gallery. We weren’t able to do our laundry but did buy a few nice prints.
I did this tour a few years ago, great itinerary! I usually wash things out in the sink but you should have time in Bayeaux to do a load.