Paris France Provence France

Coralie Grassin

Mom of 2

Age : 10 year old girl and 5 year old boy

Resident for : 16 years

Profession: Travel Writer, Editor of http://www.teatimeinwonderland.com

#1 Travel Tip: The Parisian métro, sadly is not buggy friendly. Few escalators, no wide gates.. Try the buses instead!

About Paris, France :

Home of the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, the Moulin Rouge, the Croque Monsieur, Victor Hugo, haute couture, and countless other reasons to visit. You come for the history and you stay for the magic of this glorious city. The sightseeing will not disappoint, but it’s the off-the-beaten-path Paris that people really fall in love with in la cité d’amour.

GET TO KNOW Coralie

Why should families visit Paris?
It is the city of dreams, the one anyone in the world will always know about. How wonderful to have seen the Eiffel Tower twinkle at night! It brings a lovely balance for the family – lots of museums for the adults, an abundance of parks for the kids, pastries to die for for everyone… It is a life time experience, really.

What do you love most about living in Paris?
The way you can switch from a very touristy area to, only a few streets away, a very village atmosphere. The walks along the Seine, zigzagging from one bank to another via the many bridges. And the light – there is a particular light in this city, wonderful for photography. A grey weather will not be as oppressive as in London, sunrises bring a golden glow, sunsets an apricot tone. You could call it luminotherapy.

What’s one Parisian cultural quirk? 

The “bise”. French people say hello to friends by kissing them. There is a secret code to it. In my region, Bordeaux, we do 3 to 4 kisses. Parisians tends to do 1 to 2. Sometimes it is hard to guess and you stop before the other person does!

Why is traveling important for a family?

School will teach you the vital basics – reading, writing, math, a foreign language. Travels show you… how all this applies to life. How to find your way, communicate, realize you are not the only culture in the world and that differences are inspiring. It makes facts come alive too – if your children are studying Victor Hugo, take them to see his house, now a museum, on Place des Vosges or see the Notre Dame Cathedral!

What’s the hardest thing about traveling with kids?
With babies, definitely the amount of things you want to bring along… but can’t. And the stress of not knowing where to get everything you might have forgotten after a long journey. A particular brand of milk? Nurofen? Is the tube easy to take with a pushchair?

As they grow older, parents can relax a little. It sometimes is a challenge, though to find activities satisfying everyone, especially if you have kids with an age gap. My 10 year old is more interested in street art, my 5 year old in anything with a playground while we would simply love to see an exhibition. It takes a lot of research and juggling!

What’s your favorite family travel destination in the world?

At the moment? Iceland. We have a family road trip planned soon to enjoy the amazing landscapes there, the hundreds of waterfalls, the puffins on the seaside. This time, we’ll go horse-riding too.

What’s on your travel wish list? 

Asia. I have taken my daughter to Hong-Kong already but I would like to see Japan, Korea, the Great Wall of China too with the kids.

What’s one thing you do on every trip that makes traveling with kids easier?
Write postcards with them. They feel involved, it helps them think about everything they have seen and it keeps them occupied if they have finished eating before us.

Give us one song from your road trip playlist!
La vie en rose, of course!