It is an especially valuable suggestion for those planning a peak season family vacation to Paris, where lines aren't just uncomfortable but capacity is controlled.
When is the peak season
Certainly during mid-late June, July, August, maybe even the first weeks of September or during Christmas & Winter/Spring Break periods. Paris is one of those destinations that can be very busy throughout the year.
A highlight for many families on a trip to Paris, showing the Mona Lisa to the kids
Unlike London, where anyone can enjoy complimentary admission to scores of galleries and museums across the capital, Paris extends such privilege only on certain days of the month (busy!!!) or to minor visitors.
Those under 18 may need to provide proof of age, I recommend against separating from family members during any ticketing or ticket retrieval process.
Such children-only admission policies may feel like an incredible opportunity to expose your kids to life changing art and culture while helping to keep that family vacation budget under control. But it can be a bit too tempting a proposition for some, with very, very unfortunate consequences from time to time.
Consider marginal costs or savings of time
For the most part, an adult fare for a skip the line ticket is a marginal increase in price and sometimes even comes with a guided segment or part tour. Pretty easy to understand the value. Even though you'll have a scheduled time of entry, you can enjoy the rest of your visit at your own pace. You can also relax more on holiday, knowing you already have your access confirmed. More on that below.
Trust me I understand that buying a skip the line ticket for your kids might feel a bit like you've missed out on a bit of savings. But you'll thank me when you just waltz onto the security areas and past the ticket queues at the Louvre.
Spend more of your vacation time making memories and pouring over masterpieces rather than hiding from the sun in a mega line with hundreds of tired tourists.
What's the worst that could happen?
Imagine saying today, "I just don't see the value, someone just meets us, confirms our mobile / printed vouchers and walks us on through to a security check. Couldn't we just do that ourselves? Where's the value?"
The Louvre Pyramid, don't let it be all you see of the museum!
Now imagine the reality, flying half way around the planet to take your family on a once in a lifetime trip to Paris, then spending hours of that hard earned vacation time standing in the heat and under the sun, applying sunscreen several times, everyone growing tired and irritable and you've not even come to buy your tickets yet. You've barely moved in the line but you've consumed all your drinking water and food because you can't bring them into the museum anyway...
Don't risk missing out on the Mona Lisa
Or a worse reality still, arriving in Paris and finding that you are unable to purchase a ticket in person at all. There are no tickets available online now either, other visitors have bought them all weeks ago. You can walk around outside and view that beautiful building, maybe take a picture at the famous glass pyramid, but that's it. You won't be seeing the Mona Lisa on this trip.
For any visit to Paris, secure advanced entry or skip the line access to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower months before you depart, your future self will thank you!