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cvabishop

Vistiting France 2020

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My Wife and I would very much like to include France in our holiday destination plans for next year (2020) but are currently put off by the expense and the potential Brexit issues.

I just wonder how many other members are also holding back due to the uncertainty.

Last year, 2018, we visited the Loire Valley and its chateaux and enjoyed ourselves but some elements of the trip seemed to be very expensive.  The value of the UK pound seems to have plummeted in practice and France has become an expensive destination. We  have visited Greece twice this year and tourist costs are 50% of French prices so booking next year has been a no brainer so far.

Predictions at the moment are that after Brexit the Pound will fall in value even more on the near Continent which makes it very difficult to commit to a France based holiday next year. Our experience last week in Greece indicates that while prices against the pound have continued to deteriorate the effect is nowhere near so bad as in France so I guess we will stick to Southern Europe.

Edited by cvabishop

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I think France is suffering a double whammy to us, the pound is weaker and prices in France seem to have generally gone up, some other countries have not suffered the same inflation, YET.

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1 hour ago, cvabishop said:

My Wife and I would very much like to include France in our holiday destination plans for next year (2020) but are currently put off by the expense and the potential Brexit issues.

I just wonder how many other members are also holding back due to the uncertainty.

Last year, 2018, we visited the Loire Valley and its chateaux and enjoyed ourselves but some elements of the trip seemed to be very expensive.  The value of the UK pound seems to have plummeted in practice and France has become an expensive destination. We  have visited Greece twice this year and tourist costs are 50% of French prices so booking next year has been a no brainer so far.

Predictions at the moment are that after Brexit the Pound will fall in value even more on the near Continent which makes it very difficult to commit to a France based holiday next year. Our experience last week in Greece indicates that while prices against the pound have continued to deteriorate the effect is nowhere near so bad as in France so I guess we will stick to Southern Europe.

I would say that overall the cost of living in France is roughly comparable to the UK though?

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3 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

I would say that overall the cost of living in France is roughly comparable to the UK though?

Probably right, it's just that we've been used to appearing cheaper.

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Eating out is cheaper in France than the UK and usually better quality, wine and water are cheaper too, diesel is comparable petrol a wee bit more, but your average everyday supermarket stuff seems to be a bit more expensive fruit especially, we’ve had a good couple of weeks in a nice Breton Gite which cost us €750 for 2 weeks a comparable cottage in the UK was almost double that so for us it equaled out.

Next year we are doing the Velo from Roscoff to Hendaye cycling for a month we’ve costed about €100 max a night for B&B there’s no doubt Brexit will make it more expensive regardless of what happens at Westminster or Holyrood.

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Cost wise I think it depends what you want and where you do it. If you want to eat out every night and pay for various types of entertainment it will cost you mega bucks. If on the other hand you are happy with a very well equiped gite, in very rural France, which you can pay for in Sterling, enjoy the excellent weather and don`t need masses of paid for daily amusement, then you can live cheaply. 4 nice soft bagettes from Le Clerc (as opposed to the cricket bat stuff from the local shops) for 1e. Fresh produce from the local markets and so on..

  All depends on what you are looking for. Supermarkets always price higher(very) in tourist towns, so bear that in mind. We went this year and are going back next..why not?

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Saint Emilion was an eye opener for us that way @Paully but 20 minutes on the train to Libourne and it was normal prices again.

Maybe I’m the wrong person to ask I’m quite happy going to places in fairly rural Finestere on my bike the occasional chateaux visit and farm visit indeed the highlight this year was an “animal farm” €5 , nice meal out at a local restaurant last night 3 courses and wine and coffee €16 each , I’m easy pleased.

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Purchasing Price Parities suggest Greece is considerably cheaper than France.  Turkey even more so. The UK is slightly dearer.  This doesn't necessarily convert into "tourist prices", but is an indication.  

Paully's point is relevant.  I would imagine you can have a very cheap holiday in some expensive countries if you're prepared to hike or travel by bike and camp, enjoying the free views and buying food in the local markets.  We go to Spain in our motorhome for part of the winter, staying on campsites nearly all the time and it costs us no more, including the ferry, than if we stayed at home.

It all depends on what you want, how and when you travel, your accommodation, what you're prepared to spend money on and what you won't spend it on.

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We go to France most years (or Germany, Austria, Netherlands etc) with the kids and the tin tent.

To get us and the caravan there and back usually costs about £700 but we get six nights site fees included for that, which is worth about £250.  We could save about £150 by using a short sea route but it's not worth the hassle as we live oop north.

Despite those costs we find France to be roughly similar, probably cheaper, than the UK for our two week holiday. Here in the UK. we'd probably end up somewhere like Cornwall and on a campsite without the great pool facilities that we can find in France, which keeps the kids happy. We find that visiting attractions like chateaux, museums and kid-centric things like sealife centres and small theme parks is cheaper in France than the UK. Even things like parking are more reasonable. We find we eat out much less as we can picnic nearly every day although the food items in the supermarket trolley are a little dearer than the UK. It's also preferable due to the weather and less frenetic atmosphere. We can also escape from the more annoying Brits!

If brexit happens, I think we'll be even more likely to continue our trips - if only to show the kids what life is like outside of the increasingly closed-in UK.

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My understanding was that the reason most of the people who are put off from visiting France are put off is because of the risk of no-notice disruption to travel arrangements.  Has that risk changed at all over the course of this year?  You don't hear so much about the Yellow Vests these days, but is that because discontent has died down or because of something else?  The problem is that things can flare up to the point of becoming a problem virtually instantly.  So I guess the question has to be how do you assess the current risk of that over the course of your holiday. 

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As mentioned on another topic, we have just returned From a second week in Greece on the Gulf of Corinth. That makes it around 15 visits to date!

The comments above do demonstrate that costs will depend on the type of holiday you prefer or which finances dictate. In our case the days of camping and picnics are long gone so casual eating out is the norm although we might do our own breakfasts if staying in apartments. Many Greek hotels, such as ours last week do a decent inclusive breakfast and we often skip lunch except for the occasional snack or ice cream.

We have been to Turkey three times on package deals, twice in a hotel and once in an apartment but the problem is that I would not feel safe driving there as the locals put their trust in Allah when overtaking on blind bends etc. Whilst they may accept that it may be their time to draw the short straw it is not a view that Mrs B and I share. Also, on our last trip the plane was just about to touch down when the power came back on and we did a go around while an errant cow was removed from the runway.

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Well I have two holidays planned in France for next year. Fully expecting things to be, somewhat more expensive than this year, which is annoying.

This has been somewhat compensated by having a couple of free nights towards a hotel, which is good. Hoping though that the trains are not on strike - long way from Le Havre to Grenoble (again!)

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We would be really up the proverbial creek without  a paddle if there’s a train strike as we’re cycling from Roscoff to Hendaye and getting the train back to Morlaix I don’t think I could cycle all the way back to Roscoff.

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1 hour ago, BigDW1946 said:

A useful website for info on strikes in France is www.cestlagreve.fr There's also an app.

Only in France would there be need for such a website🤣

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The only thing that stops us visiting anywhere is whether it's a war zone or not.

We love Denmark & Sweden and usually head there every 18 months or so to visit friends, they in turn visit us. A lot of travellers say quite vocally that Scandinavia is expensive but it's just like everywhere else, it's all about location hot spots... fuel is around 98p - £1 a litre currently in Denmark and the supermarkets are no more expensive than an ASDA or Tesco. Yes, alcohol can be extortionate but that's because culturally they consume it differently to us - the bars and clubs are for tourists and the price reflects it. A state run off licence sells the same £5 bottle of wine as in the UK and the shops can only sell up to around 3.5 abv.

Public transport is efficient and mile for mile (or km for km) is probably cheaper than the UK... and for our cycle enthusiasts like Neil & Ed, you have priority and most of the large cities have dedicated lanes.

Is Stockholm or Malmo expensive? Yes of course they are but so too is central London... even Liverpool city centre is pricey. Travel to the likes of Oskarshamn and prices drop.

We've already booked two trips to France in April & July for 2020 and will probably look at France or Spain for October too.

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On 13/09/2019 at 12:49, cvabishop said:

do a decent inclusive breakfast and we often skip lunch except for the occasional snack or ice cream.

The secret of surviving in France on a budget is to do the opposite. Eat lunch.

If you are travelling through small towns or villages look for tradesmen's vans parked up from 12:00 onwards. They will likely be eating at the best bargain fixed price menu in the area.

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There is a feeling that there could be a number of strikes this autumn. A big one is already on the cards for the 5th December to protest at President Macron's retirement and pension reforms. The situation this weekend has been dire but the trains are expected to get back to normal over the coming days. The probelm is that if they get a taste for such wildcat strikes then obviously it could happen again. Ed

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32 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

There is a feeling that there could be a number of strikes this autumn. A big one is already on the cards for the 5th December to protest at President Macron's retirement and pension reforms. The situation this weekend has been dire but the trains are expected to get back to normal over the coming days. The probelm is that if they get a taste for such wildcat strikes then obviously it could happen again. Ed

Oh drat - will be doing a day trip on the CF on that day... :/

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