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fortmax777
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Europe Travel Advice

Postby fortmax777 » Tue, 15 Dec 2009 4:52 pm

Hi I will be taking a holiday in France this winter. Just wondering if anyone here is familiar with France and can offer any money saving tips for accom food etc.

I intend to self drive as well so any info on driving tips, costs of tolls etc will be useful.

I checked online and the accoms in Paris are bloody expensive (min EUR 220/ night for 3 pax and only 2 star budget hotel). Appreciate any suggestions cheaper than that.

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Sat, 19 Dec 2009 12:48 am

If you are on a very tight budget and want to do selfdriving you may consider something from Accor hotel chains: Formule 1 I believe is the cheapest and lowest quality.

fortmax777
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Postby fortmax777 » Tue, 22 Dec 2009 2:04 pm

Thanks for the advice, managed to get a good deal from www.wotif.com at 140EUR/night for a 4*.

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ProvenPracticalFlexible
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Postby ProvenPracticalFlexible » Wed, 23 Dec 2009 10:28 am

My basic tips for travelling in France by car:

1. At any cost if possible avoid travelling the main road south A6 ( the one that passes Lyon) during weekends especially on Saturdays. Because it is jammed around the year, as Saturday is the standard day to change for weekly holiday rental homes

2. During winter time, make sure you rental car has winter tires, as it’s a high chance of seeing some snow or ice on the roads. If you’re heading to the mountains, you better have chains too.

3. When moving from place A to B, use the paid highways, it is worth paying for the smooth traffic, it will cost you something but it really is worth it otherwise you’ll never get there. Scenic roads are ok when you driving through nice coastal areas or wine regions, but only for that.

4. At pay booths on highways just use your credit card, don’t hassle with the coins and notes, you can get rid off those in cafes and bars. When approaching a toll area, you either need to pick up a ticket at entry or pay at exit, when exiting look for a line saying CB (stands for Carte Bancaire) meaning credit cards.

5. Get the Michelin Red Book for France, it is actually a driver’s guide originally. It has good maps of all the cities and towns, and marks hotel locations in the city so you can find them easily. Plus gives recommendations for restaurants, not only the high end ones, but also where you can get good local meals for reasonable price.

6. Don’t drive in Paris. More trouble than use, only get your rental when you leave Paris. Inside Paris use Metro or RER they cover the whole city very well. To and from Airport either RER or Roissy Bus depending on Hotel location.

7. Visit at least one of the great wine regions, my recommendation is either Loire, Champagne or Alsace. Depending on your other destinations. Those are the best to visit for tourism point of view, all beautiful to drive around, and good places for tastings, but to really enjoy them you need a car. Do this visit in the beginning of the journey, so you can get a few cases in the trunk to be enjoyed later on during the holiday.

8. For hotel bookings if I remember correctly www.hrs.de used to get very good rates in France and Italy and for some reason the German site had often lower rate than the .com site from the same provider.


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