Six months ago, we returned from our expatriate life to everyday life back in the U.S. Thanks to some great study opportunities, we're back in Europe, this time based in Spain. This time, we started our tour with a flight to London, a night's stay in the airport (with 4 kids, yep), and an early morning flight to Paris. From there, we rented a car at CDG and traveled around Belgium, the Netherlands and back to France and Paris.
Expatriate life in Europe can be quite hectic, especially when you spend 1-2 days each in a different country. We found that one of the hardest things was picking the right place to stay. We often use Booking.com, but even that can have some misrepresented places (as we found in northern France). This time around, we started using Ibis hotels, which are the bare minimum in staying. Most of the hotels were clean, with the exception of the Le Havre budget Ibis, but they made for fairly inexpensive stays. They made most sense because all we needed was a place to sleep and leave our luggage.
Our favorite Ibis was the Bruges Central Station Ibis. It was perfectly located to park your car and walk into the beautiful downtown area. It's next to the train station, and parking was fairly cheap (3.50 Euro a day).
Our favorite place to stay overall was in France, about 45 minutes outside of Paris at the Domaine de Crecy Golf Course and Resort. The rooms were large and beautiful, and the price was nice at about 125 Euro a night. Of course, it's a little out of the way, but makes for an enjoyable stay. It's only about 15 minutes from Disney, though.