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Opinions about driving after long flight?

MarionC

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We are flying in to CDG and then traveling four hours Southwest. Our hosts suggest we rent a car at the airport as opposed to taking a train in to Paris to catch a high speed train out, then a local train, then a car service to our destination [no rentals open on Saturdays].
While renting the car at the airport seems much simpler in terms of getting out of out of the city and dealing with multiple suitcases, my concern is being a safe driver after a full day of travel. I am an excellent driver with no concerns about driving on the freeway, but am a bit concerned about being totally alert . There are two of us and we can share the driving if i can find an automatic for her to drive.
i googled the subject - some travellers said "no problem" and others said "don't do it".
Another, less concerning, element would be avoiding crowded public spaces in Paris.
Any thoughts? what would you do?
Thanks.
 

missy

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Jimmianne, I would take the train. It's a long flight and you both will be tired. No sense risking an accident. Could the people you are staying with pick you up when you get to that last local train stop so you don't have to worry about that last leg of the trip? Alternatively, how much would a car service cost right from the airport? Is that a possibility? I just don't like the idea of you two driving after such a tiring trip.
 

MarionC

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Missy, thanks. I will take your advice to heart. I don't know which is more of a hassle - driving on the freeway [at would be 2am my local time], or dragging suitcases on & off trains and navigating the large station in Paris with all the bags.
I often wake up at 3 am to start my day, so if I could sleep on the plane I would be OK.
I am trying to talk myself into the rental, but don't want to do anything stupid!
 

missy

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Jimmianne, especially knowing it is 2AM your time even if you sleep on the plane your body clock will be off. Please do not drive yourself. Would it be cost prohibitive to take a car service the whole way? Safety first is the NIRDI motto you know. Haha I just made that up but they are wise words. Remember you want to enjoy the trip and you don't need any more stress or anything unpleasant happening.

Just thought of another idea. Can you send your luggage ahead? There are services that ship luggage out (from where you live) to your final destination and that way you can travel super light and take the trains more easily being unencumbered by heavy bags. Just a thought!
 

MarionC

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Thanks, Missy. I'll look into the car service idea. That's what my best friend here said too!
Our hosts are in an all day business meeting and feel awful that they can't pick us up.
 

missy

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ETA:
Just deleted what I wrote Jimmianne but you probably already saw it. Sometimes I need to censor myself instead of just speaking my mind. Sorry.

I am sure you will figure out a safe way to get there and have a marvelous trip too!
 

Ittybittykittykat

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Try an Uber or uber like service. I took a high speed train into Paris and then a local train with tons of luggage during off peak season and it wasn't terrible but not comfortable. Driving in Paris is also too hectic for my taste especially after a long flight. My suggestion would also be to take a car service it will be the safest choice for you both. I used Uber a few times in the city and then took one to CDG which was a great choice. The problem with using an Uber is not all the drivers want to drive too far, and the cars might not be able accommodate too much luggage. Smaller cars. Hope you find a good car service option. Safe trip!
 

star sparkle

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Both my DH and I have driven after really long flights (think 10-14 hours) with zero issues. Including extreme time differences and such, it's just never been an issue. Yes, your body clock may be off, but you'll be full of adrenaline from navigating through the airport after landing, going through customs, collecting luggage, etc that you'll be more than alert enough to drive. My consideration, ESPECIALLY after a long day of travel, is what is going to be the *easiest* and most direct route to my destination. Renting a car and driving seems to be the answer in your case, vs taking a train to another train and then getting in a car.

My $.02.
 

amc80

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star sparkle|1448300836|3953163 said:
Both my DH and I have driven after really long flights (think 10-14 hours) with zero issues. Including extreme time differences and such, it's just never been an issue. Yes, your body clock may be off, but you'll be full of adrenaline from navigating through the airport after landing, going through customs, collecting luggage, etc that you'll be more than alert enough to drive. My consideration, ESPECIALLY after a long day of travel, is what is going to be the *easiest* and most direct route to my destination. Renting a car and driving seems to be the answer in your case, vs taking a train to another train and then getting in a car.

My $.02.

This is what I was going to say. You'll have enough adrenaline pumping through you, I don't think you'd be falling asleep at the wheel. The idea of having to deal with two trains and a private car sounds way more exhausting.
 

chemgirl

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In your situation, I think we would drive. The number of transfers with luggage sounds like a total pain.

MIL lives about 3 hours from London so we do the fly and drive thing fairly often. We do stop once or twice for coffee and a stretch. There have been a few instances where we were exhausted (working overtime, then drive in rush hour to airport, fly for 8 hours, wait an hour for luggage and rental car, then drive for 3 hours). I think it depends on what you have going on the day of your flight and how rested you are.

Is there any way you could stick around Paris for a day and then drive?
 

telephone89

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So your option besides driving would be 3 trains PLUS a cab? I would take driving all day instead of that.
 

azstonie

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JImmianne, you'll have a navigator in the car---meaning you just input your destination? If its in your phone, make sure it'll work in France.

Bone up on French road signs first so you'll know what's going on around you and which choices to make.

If it were me, I'd get a driver/car service. But I'm risk averse and I like convenience :loopy:
 

dk168

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Based on personal experiences, I shall never drive long distance after a long flight, as I nearly had an accident by nodding off due to tiredness (I was the sole driver).

It is not worth the risk. Nowadays, when budgeting for a holiday that involves a long flight, I would budget for a private transfer to and from the airport.

DK :))
 

MarionC

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Thanks for all the responses. I really want to be OK happy with driving - it seems so much more straightforward. The trains are a hassle with luggage and not that comfortable. Coming back last time we were knee to knee with the people across from us, small seats not good for napping and the train was not air conditioned.
I want to add that it's a four-hour drive to our host destination, and the one car service I could find was around $2000.

I have a new french map gps & michelin maps just in case. Two weeks to go, so time to decide.
 

star sparkle

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What about getting a hotel right at/near the airport for the night you get in (I think you said your flight lands at 2am?), get some rest and sleep for a bit, then drive out after you've had time to recover from the long flight? That way you're somewhat refreshed for the drive and you aren't trying to navigate a foreign place in the dark.

That's probably what I'd do.
 

CJ2008

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Jimmianne

When you first posted I was going to say definitely take the train for all the reasons Missy mentioned.

But I was envisioning a really nice, comfortable ride...where you could really relax and enjoy yourself.

Now that I hear that it will be crowded, no AC, knee to knee with other people...doesn't sound relaxing at all.

I'd say make sure you sleep on the plane, and drive...
 

azstonie

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Thought:

Luggage wrangling, easily one of the biggest headaches in travel.

Box up your clothing and gifts and FedEx them or UPS them to your final destination right now. Take a very small overhead bag with 1 change of clothes, your makeup and meds.
 

MarionC

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We get in at 8am - which is 2am here on the East coast : )

I travel with a tiny suitcase & purse - my companion ...usually has two suitcases and a large backpack and a tote.
I just looked up shipping costs - ~almost $600 for a medium size box shipped economy.

So - not trying to be difficult, I feel as though to all the kind things that are suggested I say "no that won't work" : (
I apologize.
I guess there is no easy answer.
But I appreciate the input. This is what I need to eventually form an opinion on what to do.
I could see either way being OK.

It occurs to me that I might be even more exhausted the 2nd day, so maybe better to travel right away.
Last time, by day 3 I was in the throes of some serious jet lag.
The whole thing is so exhausting - and SO worth it!
 

star sparkle

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Ah, should have paid closer attention!

In that case, I'd definitely just drive. It'll be so much easier, and I really don't think you'll be too tired to complete the drive. You'll be so excited about having just arrived and looking forward to your adventure that you should be more than alert enough to do it safely.

Whatever you decide, I hope you have a great trip!
 

marcy

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Marty drives home sometimes after being awake almost 40 hours. If he feels sleepy he gets a double espresso. It's about 2 hours from the airport to our house. Since there are 2 of you can help keep each other awake. Stop and eat if you feel sleepy. I think you'll be so excited about being there you'll be wide awake.
 

MarionC

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marcy|1448334682|3953407 said:
Marty drives home sometimes after being awake almost 40 hours. If he feels sleepy he gets a double espresso. It's about 2 hours from the airport to our house. Since there are 2 of you can help keep each other awake. Stop and eat if you feel sleepy. I think you'll be so excited about being there you'll be wide awake.

Yay! Maybe I'll get a KB for the dash...in honor of our NIL.
 

tuffyluvr

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For all of those who suggested car service: I used to work in the travel industry and I can chip in my .02 that a 4 hour car service is going to be astronomically expensive. They will charge you for the return fare, so you will be looking at 8hr at approx €100 per hour... It would be like $1,000. So I'm gonna say 'NO' on that one.

Personally, I wouldn't want to make the drive. I always prefer taking the train, but if there are multiple stops and changes, one person must stay awake and alert and if you are tired, that presents its own challenge. When I need to take a train upon arrival in a foreign country I do TONS of research, and I would type out all instructions and put them in my itinerary (including walking directions from the airport to the departing tracks). I would also make sure you carefully research the weekend schedule and ensure the departure time works with your arrival at CDG. I cannot tell you how much thorough research and planning has helped me in my travels.

Another suggestion is not to "push it". If you arrive at CDG are are far too exhausted to navigate the train or drive yourselves, SAFETY FIRST! Rent a cheap hotel room and get some rest and start your journey when you're fresh.
 

CJ2008

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tuffyluvr|1448382381|3953578 said:
Another suggestion is not to "push it". If you arrive at CDG are are far too exhausted to navigate the train or drive yourselves, SAFETY FIRST! Rent a cheap hotel room and get some rest and start your journey when you're fresh.

Yes.

Not worth getting into an accident or having something happen.

One thing is to be a little tired and another is to be exhausted.

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/about-this-show/tired-vs-drunk-driving/
 

NTave

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The train station in Paris is easy to navigate. Id go with the train. At least you may be able to doze while getting to your destination.
 

MarionC

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At this point, after a discussion with my travel companion, we are getting a car. To get to the station in Paris is a 90 minute bus ride in the wrong direction, then we would have to take two trains, then a taxi to reach our destination.
[Also, I know Paris is supposed to be safe, but I feel more comfortable avoiding crowded places at this time].
We will be driving away from CDG just after rush hour in the morning, out into the countryside to the Loire Valley, and plan to stop often to rest & recaffeinate!

Now, if the travel alerts will cooperate...
 

Calliecake

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Jimmianne, Have you considered having your daughter meet you half way and then you all drive back together. You could pay a driver to drive you to meeting place and then you all drive back together. Just a thought.
 

MarionC

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Hi Callie, thanks!

My dd is back in the states for a couple of weeks and is flying back with me. Good idea, though for next time.
 

missy

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I am confident you will be just fine now that you and your DD have made the decision that works best for you. Sending you lots of good luck and alert driving dust for your journey. I know you guys will have a marvelous trip. :appl:
 
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