It looks like Christmas 2018 is taking us back to one of our most magical Christmas trips. With dazzling lights in every direction, stunning scenery, a great city vibe, Christmas Markets, crepes, hot chocolate and baguettes too!
Yes, for 2018 it is going to be Christmas in Paris!
We will spend 6 nights over Christmas in Paris with Grandma Linda! Then Grandma will fly back to the states and the Wagoners will be going to a housesit in London. Actually, we are going to be out near Gatwick in Reigate for 8 days. We are so excited for our plans!
We toyed around with several other destinations, but this just felt right!
How do you make your Christmas plans?
You know me, spreadsheet are always involved in my planning! The first thing I usually do is hit the airlines and find the best deals. This year I played around a bit with my research using JustFly. It was super easy and I found some really inexpensive one-way flights from Malaga to Paris.
I then compared the train versus flying to get us to the Gatwick area of London and the flights were much cheaper and faster than the train. That was a bit of a surprise for me, but it just worked out that way. Next it was on to our return flights from Gatwick to Malaga, again really great deals.
After all 3 one-way flights were booked, I began to research each destination.
The last time we spent Christmas in Paris was in 2012, so the kids were very young. As you know, we usually meet up with Grandma Linda for Christmas, somewhere in Europe for a week or so. Then Alan the kids and I head off to another destination to bring in the New Year. Of course we had so many destinations on the list to choose from, so we always need to weigh out all of the options. The kids really wanted to visit Paris again, so Paris it is!
Of course in 2017 we spent Christmas in Amsterdam with Grandma Linda. We really loved our quirky Christmas dinner! Then just us Wagoners moved on to New Year’s in Brussels. The year prior, it was Christmas in Edinburgh and then we brought in the new year in Aberdeen. In 2015 it was all about Christmas in Ireland and New Year’s too. Our time in southeast Asia had us celebrating Christmas in Hoi An Vietnam. and the list just goes on!
Read more about our past Christmas trips in Where’s The Best European Christmas Vacation?
Plans for Christmas in Paris 2018
Because we have been to Paris a few times, this trip isn’t going to be all about hitting every tourist sight. I am sure we will do some of that, but we really want to soak up the city and go with the flow. Of course the Christmas markets are always on the list. We’ve found Christmas markets in Les Halles, Notre-Dame to Champs de Mars, as well as the impressive Christmas Village at La Défense.
Of course we will certainly partake in some of our favorite French foods! Without a doubt we will be eating some fresh baguettes, crepes, hot chocolate, mulled wine, and pastries! Oh my mouth is watering just thinking of all the yummy French foods.
We are still in the research and planning stages for activities, but we will likely do a river cruise and certainly ice skate a couple of times. Now that we have teens, they really contribute to the agenda as well. The kids are plotting and planning on their own as well and want to go thrift shopping. We’ve heard there is a huge flea market, which may be on the list of places to visit.
They really want to get out and explore the city on their own, so that topic is still up for debate. They know all of the instagram hot spots, so I am sure we will be going by those. Let us know if you have any suggestions for things to do in Paris with teens!
Additional information for Christmas trips for families
- 11 Tips For Taking Christmas Family Vacations
- Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…And A Little Creativity!
Plans for New Years in London (Reigate)
Once we have a spectacular time in Paris, we will sadly say our “so long” to Grandma and head off to London. Our plans here are to enjoy a little down time and not so much activity. We will do a bit of exploring in the town we will be staying and the weather will help dictate how much we venture out and about. With a tiny bit of research done, I see there is a castle and some caves in the area. Again, if you have any suggestions, just let us know. I am not sure if we are going to be heading into the city of London on this trip or not. We are staying at a housesit and will have pets to look after.
Where will we stay?
In Paris we will be staying at a hotel in the city! It will be amazing to just walk out the door and have Paris smack us in the face! We will write more about where we stay in our post after the trip.
In London, it will be a housesit, we booked through TrustedHousesitters. It will be a spacious home with a dog and a cat. This will be our lazy chill part of the vacation, where we can just hang out and snuggle with the pets. We also can’t wait to have some good curry and pub food too!
These are the great tools we use to find self catering rentals, hotels, or house sits.
- Home Away Apartments & Villas – Click here for deals
- Flip Key Apartments, Villas, & more – Click here for availability and pricing
- Booking.com Apartments, Hotels & more – Click here for availability and pricing
- Airbnb – If you are new to Airbnb and are looking to either rent a room or the entire place, use this code to receive a $29 USD discount on your first booking.
- Agoda – check out the deals
- Housesitting – Stay in luxury homes worldwide free of charge
Okay that sums it all up. We would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions for us. We don’t like to pack every day full of activities, as we need to just hang out and have some hot chocolate too. We are so excited, so follow Wagoners Abroad on Facebook to see live videos and photos during our holiday travel schedule 21 December – 4 January.