Family Vacation: London & Paris

9 days / Family Vacations
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About This Experience

It’s never too early to get to know Europe’s leading capital cities, London and Paris. Gather the family for a picnic in front of the Eiffel, dipping fresh beignets into your chocolat chaud. Look out for the royals from the top of a double-decker bus. Get up-close to the Mona Lisa and real-life mummies in world-renowned museums. Take in all the local highlights through the eyes of Londoners and Parisians on citywide tours before setting out with those you love most to create your own experiences.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 7 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • London, England
  • Paris, France
Temperature Precipitation
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  • FEB
  • MAR
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Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

See if you can spy the London Eye as you fly over England

Your family vacation begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight aboard an internationally recognized airline.

London4 nights - hotel info

Day2

Say hello to the city of Sherlock Holmes, Big Ben and The Beatles

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Welcome to London. After clearing customs and collecting your bags, look for the “Hotel by Bus” transfer desk. They’ll provide your family’s transfer to your hotel. After you check in, set out to acquaint yourself with London. Tonight, meet your fellow family travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day3

Today’s mission: get to know the city like locals, with a local

Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle with the Family

Breakfast

This morning, let a local show you what London is all about. See the city’s most famous sights, including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Hyde Park and Tower Bridge. Stop for a photo at Buckingham Palace, where you might glimpse the ceremonial Changing of the Guard (seasonal). Afterward, your Tour Director will give you a two-day pass so you can hop on and off one of the public double-decker buses and continue exploring. This afternoon, join our optional excursion to Windsor for a guided visit to the world’s largest inhabited castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, Windsor has been the preferred royal retreat for the past 900 years and is still in use by the Royal Family. (Please note: Windsor Castle is occasionally closed when in use by the Royal Family; a visit to Hampton Court will be substituted when necessary.)

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Windsor Castle with the Family $99* pp

Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a guided visit to the world’s largest and longest-inhabited castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, Windsor has been the British Royal Family’s preferred retreat for the past 900 years. Step inside the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel (closed Sundays), where the Knights of the Garter ceremony takes place. View the exhibit of royal treasures on display within the castle. You’ll then have time to stroll through the town of Windsor and have a look at Eton College, a prestigious prep school attended by Princes William and Harry. Please note: Windsor Castle is occasionally closed when in use by the Royal Family; a visit to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court will be substituted when necessary. This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked by 20 days prior to departure.

Day4

City or countryside, Rosetta Stone or Windsor Castle—oh, the possibilities

Optional Excursion - London Eye & Dinner with the Family

Breakfast

Tower of London, Thames River Cruise

This morning’s excursion features a guided tour of the world-famous Tower of London, with plenty of free time to look at the Crown Jewels and other treasures in the Armory. Afterward, board a Thames river cruise that takes you underneath the London Bridge. During your free afternoon in London, come face-to-face with the crocodiles at ZSL London Zoo. Or, if London’s literary side interests you, stop at the Dickens House Museum and tour the newly reconstructed Globe Theater, a replica of the stage where Shakespeare once appeared. For souvenirs, visit Harrods, a department store featuring 15 acres of tempting merchandise. This evening opt to join our London Eye & Pub Dinner excursion.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursions

London Eye & Dinner with the Family $125* pp

Glide through London's skyline on the London Eye. As the world’s third-tallest observation wheel, the London Eye lifts its passengers 450 feet above the River Thames on a 30-minute ride in an enclosed gondola. In clear weather, you can see for 25 miles around the city center. Afterward, take a brief tour of London’s West End before venturing to a local pub for dinner. Please note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked no fewer than 20 days prior to departure. The day of the week for this excursion is subject to change.

Day5

Uncover the mysteries of Stonehenge or stand 450 feet above the Thames

Optional Excursion - Stonehenge & Oxford with the Family

Breakfast

Enjoy another free day to explore London on your own or join a full-day optional excursion to Stonehenge, one of the most mysterious landmarks in the world, and Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Stonehenge & Oxford with the Family $115* pp

Visit the university city of Oxford, home to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. Tour the charming city and the University of Oxford, taking in the famous spire-studded architecture and rich history. Next, continue on to Stonehenge, perhaps England’s most mysterious landmark. The origin and purpose of this ring of stones, which dates back an estimated 5,000 years, is unknown, though most believe it was a temple and observatory. Take some time to explore the intriguing stone formations and visit the newly opened exhibition and visitor center before heading back to London. Please note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked by 20 days prior to departure.

Paris3 nights - hotel info

Day6

Dive below the English Channel and surface in the City of Light

Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, transfer to St Pancras station to board the Eurostar, Europe’s quarter-mile-long, high-speed train that whisks passengers through the Chunnel and resurfaces in France. Relax aboard comfortable, state-of-the-art train, arriving at Gare du Nord in Paris just three hours later. Dinner is included this evening.

Day7

Feel the joie de vivre pulsing through the Champs-Élysées

Optional Excursion - Family Sightseeing: Versailles Palace & Gardens

Breakfast

Arc de Triomphe

This morning, discover the historic and cultural landmarks of the City of Light on a guided tour. Drive down the sycamore-lined Champs-Élysées, one of the world’s most celebrated avenues. Pass the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral and stop for a photo at the Eiffel Tower before continuing to the Arc de Triomphe, where you’ll take in views of the city from the top of this famous landmark. Your family can venture to Versailles this afternoon on an optional excursion that includes a tour of the palace in all its glory. You’ll see the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors, then stroll among the colorful gardens.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Family Sightseeing: Versailles Palace & Gardens $99* pp

The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory. Tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then stroll through the lavish gardens with their fine statuary, splendid fountains and colorful flowerbeds. Please note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked by 45 days prior to departure. Special child price: $75

Day8

Explore both banks or sit and sip café au lait (or chocolat chaud)

Optional Excursion - Family Sightseeing: Notre-Dame & the Marais

Optional Excursion - Evening in Paris: Family Dinner & River Cruise

Breakfast

With your free day in Paris, visit the Picasso Museum in the quiet Marais district or consider a climb to Montmartre, where you can watch streetside artists capturing scenes on their canvases. Leave time for a relaxing stop at a cafe to watch the world go by—one of Paris’s most celebrated traditions. You could also explore the vibrant Latin Quarter, home to the Sorbonne, or stop at the Luxembourg Gardens, where Hemingway was inspired to write. Alternatively, your family can join our optional excursion to Notre-Dame and the Marais. You’ll enter the storied cathedral beforing taking a walking tour of the district spanning the 3rd and 4th arrondissements on Paris’ right bank. Later, celebrate and relive memories of your family vacation at tonight’s optional dinner and river cruise alone the Seine.

Optional Excursions

Family Sightseeing: Notre-Dame & the Marais $55* pp

Venture to the legendary two-towered Notre-Dame Cathedral, which stands on an island in the Seine. Admire the Gothic cathedral’s flying buttresses, stunning stained glass window and famous gargoyles. Afterward, tour the Marais district of Paris. Nowadays, the cobblestone streets of the Marais are lined with charming cafes, trendy boutiques and great restaurants.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Evening in Paris: Family Dinner & River Cruise $109* pp

Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris' bridges, you'll behold the gloriously illuminated monuments of Paris glittering alongside the riverbanks. The dress code may vary depending on your restaurant, and your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire. Please note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked by 20 days prior to departure.

Day9

Pardon—sorry to interrupt, but it’s time to part with Paris

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Bid a fond farewell to London and Paris. A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your return flight home.

Passport, Travel Documents & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Great Britain and France, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, contact the British and French consulates for your particular entry requirements. If a child will be traveling with adults other than his/her parents or with only one parent, a notarized letter must be written by his/her parents or non-traveling parent granting authorization to travel, including the dates of travel. Please contact the appropriate consulate and airlines, as they may have additional requirements.

Baggage Handling

Please note that porter service cannot be guaranteed on the Eurostar. Please be prepared to handle your own baggage.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling on this tour. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before you go.

Cuisine

For traditional British fare at a reasonable price, try a pub meal. Stilton cheese, steak and kidney pie and Cumberland sausages are specialties. Sip afternoon tea with delicious finger sandwiches and scones at Harrods for the ultimate in English tradition. Modern-day London also boasts a diverse array of ethnic restaurants. Popular options include Indian, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Greek and West African cuisine. Throughout Paris, you’ll find endless opportunities to sample wonderful food at every price range. For a casual snack or picnic, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, patés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread and fruit. Sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crêpes, filled with cheese, ham, fruit or chocolate. Mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from the cafes. In restaurants, the prix fixe option is popular, offering a three- or four-course set menu for a good price.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in London and depart from Paris. Your transfer upon arrival in London is provided by “Hotel by Bus” transfer service, and you can find them at a desk when you make your way through customs and baggage. There is an included transfer on the high-speed Eurostar train from London to Paris. All other transportation is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the two cities by public transportation. London’s tube system, consisting of 12 lines, needs no introduction. Tickets and passes can be purchased in singles or in bulk. London also has an extensive bus system. Paris’s massive Métro is world-class, easy to navigate and efficient. Make sure to take time and look for the best deal on travel passes. Ask your Tour Director which one might work best. Often the daily passes are not actually the best deal.

Electricity

Great Britain operates on 240 volts; France operates on the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

Great Britain is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Paris is one hour ahead of GMT and six hours ahead of EST. When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm in London and 6pm in Paris.

Currency

The British pound and the euro (in France) are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

Great family trip

We traveled with our daughters (5 + 12) and had a great time. Our London guide was fabulous and full of interesting historic stories and was very entertaining to both adults and kids. We loved the Tower of London, Winsor Castle and Stonehenge/Oxford tours. It was exactly what we wanted- go go go! Our Goahead guide (Valentina) was very friendly, helpful and just full of excitement!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/5/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

great vacation!

We traveled with our children (ages 7 & 9) and had a wonderful time. Our tour director Eric was excellent. Overall it was a great experience for our family and we will definitely travel with Go Ahead in the future.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/22/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PR

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Family of 5

We did get the feeing that many events were prepared at the last moment. I understand that there could be surprises sometimes, but we seemed to be running from surprises to surprises. I started with the fact that tere were only 12 people in our group and that many of the upgrades activirties would not be available to us unless 10 out of the 12 people would go to them. This meant that, because there were 5 of us, we pretty much decided if these events would take place or not. There were many other minor irritants during the trip.

3 / 5

Traveled On: 3/9/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: ON

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Inspirational Family Vacation

Not only was our guide, James, absolutely amazing, but he went above and beyond to expose us to as many wonders and experiences as possible and make sure that everyone in the group was having fun and taken care of. James made London feel completely accessable and less intimidating, which is difficult in such a large city. Paris truly sparkled, as we were able to witness first hand, and was just as welcoming and diverting as London. When my 11 year-old son said he wasn't ready to return home, I knew it was the perfect vacation.

review photo review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/14/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OK

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

I Want More

I had a fantastic time. The tour exceeded my expectations! We saw the highlights of London and Paris and now want to see more. Our tour director was the best. James was upbeat and full of energy. He always had additional things we could do and went above and beyond! We barely stopped the whole week. The choice of restaurants was excellent and his recommendations for free time activities were spot on.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/14/2012

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a lifetime

Visiting London and Paris with GoAhead was THE best way to travel for me and my daughter. Our tour guide James was fun, extremely knowledgable and more importantly patient with the needs of all those in our group whose ages ranged from about 8 to 80. We saw and did so much and always felt in good hands in terms of safety and comfort. Highlights of our trip included The LondonEye, Windsor, Stonehenge, Bath, Versailles, Notre Dame, EiffleTower and so much more. We made friends, learned a great deal, laughed a lot and made memories that will last a lifetime, thanks to James and GoAhead tours.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/14/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a lifetime!

It was a fantastic experience and we miss it already. I can't wait to return and to do another tour somewhere else too. If I had it to do over again - I wouldn't have changed one thing :)

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/14/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Beyond our expectations

Our trip was fantastic. Our tour guide was informative, helpful and fun. We learned a lot, met new friends and saw so much. Highlights included the London Eye, the Eiffle Tower, Windsor, Stonehenge, Bath, Versailles and more. Our guide, James, was attentive to every detail and made it special for everyone, children and adults alike. He offered suggestions for food, gave us pointers along the way and cared about our safety, comfort and pleasure throughout our trip. We can't wait to travel again with Go Ahead and hopefully with James as our fearless leader.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/14/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful Experience

My husband and I took our grandaughter for her 13th birthday to London and Paris. The tour director, Derek, was wonderful. He arranged additional excursions that our group was interested in doing. There were times we could have used more time at a location, but overall, would definitely do it again! The only con would be the hotel location in Paris. You had to take the Metro to get anywhere of interest.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/23/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

memorable trip

The tour director Derek was quite very helpful and the good thing about this tour was we had free days to wander on our own.

3 / 5

Traveled On: 6/23/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

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