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We recently got back from a trip to Europe, and I wanted to write a quick post about something I thought about while we were there. We visited both London and Paris, and in each city we relied almost exclusively on public transportation. In London, it was on the Tube / Underground (with a bit of National Rail thrown in) and on Paris it was mostly the subway. This worked out great for us, with the possible exception of a disastrous Paris Bus 351 to CDG Airport trip. For more articles from this 2024 London / Paris trip, see the table of contents lower in the post.

Planning Trips For Kids

Planning trips for kids is always a bit of a hit or miss – in my experience, it can be sometimes hard to decide what will be interesting to kids, and that changes as the kids get older. For every time you truly hit a home run with a great trip, there are always misses. On this trip, visiting the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio London was a huge hit, while the Louvre was a bit of a miss. Even the Eiffel Tower was a bit of a miss, but that was mostly because apparently the workers were on strike the day that we were there, so we didn’t get to go on our tour to the top (that we had already paid for).

The Subway IS The Vacation

As we were riding around on the subway in Paris and London, I kind of got the impression that the kids might have been just as happy riding around on the Tube for the entire vacation. Both of my kids (but especially my 15 year old son) were super excited to navigate through the subway, and loved to figure out where we were, what lines we had to take, and where we had to transfer. Plus, you know a 15 year old boy is going to enjoy talking about “the Piccadilly line to Cockfosters” 🙂

a man sitting on a train seat with a stuffed toy

Which made me wonder if we could make an entire vacation just about riding the subway around! :-).

(SEE ALSO: I finally left a kid by himself on the subway)

(SEE ALSO: I admit it – I don’t understand the Tokyo Subway system)

It kind of reminded me of the classic Christmas story where your kid enjoys playing with the box more than the actual present itself.

The Bottom Line

We just got back from a weeklong trip to London and Paris and it seemed like my kids enjoyed riding the subway more than the actual activities that we planned for them. Of course this wouldn’t be the case for someone who grew up in New York or another city where subway riding is more common. In our case, despite plans for a subway in the early 1900s, we don’t have much in the way of a subway, so it was a lot of fun for the kids.

Have you ever had kids more fascinated with riding the subway than the actual vacation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below

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