Replies: 10 - Last Post: Oct 28, 2012 8:47 AM Last Post By: artemis2
Oct 27, 2012 12:25 AM
Oct 27, 2012 12:38 AM
Oct 27, 2012 4:36 AM
Oct 27, 2012 4:39 AM
Oct 27, 2012 6:40 AM
Oct 27, 2012 8:49 AM
5You haven't said when you're going to be in France but I see from a previous post you weren't certain if you would hire a car or try for a campervan.
When I used to visit France for more than 17 days I'd arrange a car through a program offered by the major car companies which would provide a new car (my selection) for X number of days, all coverage included: No taxes, no insurance needed, nothing--if you drive more than 5,000 km you might have to pay for an oil change but that's it.
I always used Renault as I had driven that make when I used to rent. The programs are available only to those outside of Europe and are handled by a company in the country of origin (for me US).
The website offers choices of models, diesel or petrol, sometimes a choice of transmission, etc. All the details on the vehicle are provided and while you're promised the basic model I often received one with more amenities.
The car is prepaid (at least 6 weeks) as it is ordered from the factory. I'd arrive at CDG, call the toll free number, a van would come and pick me up, take me to the TT (no, not Thorn Tree) center, about 5-10 minutes from the terminal. Finish off the paperwork and get in the car and go. The car would have been test driven (never more than 10km, usually 5).
Always 24 hour English speaking assistance available.
If you are from Oz, I know the program exists there as I've run into travellers from there when checking in/out.
Because you pay in your own currency, and in advance, and everything's included, if you compare the buy/lease (you're technically 'buying' the car, but returning it which cancels the purchase) with renting, you'll see the advantages
They do shut down the factories during the winter (not sure when) so that's why I asked about the timing of your trip.
When you return the car, it is thoroughly checked out, returned to 'like new' condition, and sold to French nationals at a discount. I know people who only buy the 'gently used' cars. They recognized the license plate and congratulated me on my choice.
On the subject of accomodations, here's a link to a listing of various hotel chains:
I've stayed at a lot of them (usually 1 night only). Etap, Premiere Classe, etc., are basic rooms. Which is not to say that they are less expensive than a one-of hotel and often the more personal small hotel is a much better value.
I'd consider them sort of a 'last option'. You can order brochures from them; they're often close to major cities/freeways.
So many tourist offices have listings of hotels and chambres d'hotes (with the lower prices and more character.
Peages will save you time but cost you money to use; the corollary is that the older hotels are usually on the RN - Route Nationals
Make yourself familiar with the various routes and they'll help you negotiate.
On your previous post you were recommended to use the Michelin site to explore possible routes. If you do use it, you can make a selection that will keep the results from showing the pay highways (peages) which would take you to the RN routes.
One more comment: Try to buy your fuel from a station attached to a food market (supermarket). The prices are definitely lower than those charges at stations on the highways....but....make certain you're at a pump where you can pay cash as your credit cards (which will lack a particular chip) won't work.
Hope you find some of the info useful, and that you all have a great trip.
Oct 27, 2012 8:06 PM
6I was in France in September and October and was surprised at how few opportunities there were for hotels and lodging. Tourism is booming it seems.
It is more a matter of choice or lack thereof when you travel impromptu. All the bargain places might be taken and you could be stuck paying more than you want or staying at a place that is not up to your standards.
I would recommend a combination of booking ahead and impromptu booking, depending on the place. I also used Air bnb which was great for the budget traveler.
Check sites such as booking.com, Venere, Hotels.com, and the like and you can get a feel for the available rooms, prices, locations etc. during your tentative dates. Look at the cancellation policies and find the flexible hotels and lodging that will give you some leeway as your schedule changes.
Oct 28, 2012 12:20 AM
Oct 28, 2012 12:28 AM
Oct 28, 2012 8:21 AM
Oct 28, 2012 8:47 AM
10Check sites such as booking.com, Venere, Hotels.com
Apart for the big cities and some major towns, the booking sites are pretty worthless in France when it comes to small towns, villages and rural areas (contrary to many regions in Spain, Portugal and Italy). So depending on where (and when) the OP wants to travel, booking sites could not be representative at all as a marginally small number of accommodations is active on such sites.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.03 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$142.16 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$24.77 per night