ACSI Card V Pre-booking

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Dave and Ginny, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    This will be our first time, but In a few weeks we're off to Spain, travelling through France using Aires and Camperstops. When we get south we may use commercial sites for some longer stopovers and a bit of relaxation! I have the Aires and Camperstop books etc and have just received my ACSI card and guide book which seems great, loads of sites and the web page and GPS etc.

    What I find surprising is that I did a comparison of price searches with both the Caravan Club and the Caravan and Camping Club of which we're members and the price difference between the ACSI card and booking was huge! Just as an example; 3 days at Camping Vilanova Park near Barcelona, 16 Euros ACSI, about £12.85 x 3 = £38.55, with CC £72.66 and with the C&CC £63.85.

    Am I missing something? I can't believe such a huge price comparison which I can only assume is some kinda rip off booking fee?

    What are other member experiences with the ACSI Card, I've heard that Spain can be pretty crowded even in March, am I going to have any problems turning up card in hand without pre-booking?

    Cheers Dave
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  2. HymerB544

    HymerB544 Funster

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    ACSI vs pre-booked

    Hi Dave,

    We made a similar trip last September, on our way down to join a C&CC Moroccan tour. We were used to travelling around France, but playing safe, I booked three sites down the French Atlantic coast to enable us to enjoy and revisit some old locations. With hindsight, I will not do that again. The club did seem to add a premium to the site booking fees, especially compared to ACSI, and once we hit Spain [and all the way back home in November for that matter] we simply chose a site from ACSI, or sometimes an aire, and turned up. No problems, and saved a fortune. No doubt other members will have discovered the same thing years ago, but some things you have to learn yourself. Can tell you where we stayed if you are interested.

    best regards

    Gary:Smile:
     
  3. TheTwoOfUs

    TheTwoOfUs Funster

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    The thing with ACSI is that you get the reduced rates in off peak times. The CC and C&CC just apply the normal rate. We stayed at an ACSI site on the way down to Spain at the start of June and used the same site (in fact the same pitch) on the way back but we returned in the 2nd week in July. We were
    now out of their agreed off peak period and so we paid twice what we had paid going down. So make sure you check out the qualifying dates carefully.
     
  4. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Thanks Gary, we're going down fairly quickly and direct to get some better weather! On the way back though we are intending to travel up the Atlantic Coast so any recommendations would be welcome :Smile:
     
  5. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Thanks for that, we will still be in Europe 'somewhere' during Easter so will watch out for the 'peak' periods, Dave
     
  6. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    Surely it's just that the very large (Europe wide) ACSI are able to offer a large discount whereas the CC and CC&C are offering the standard price plus booking fee.

    Am I right in thinking that the cheap discount rates offered via the ACSI book are not available with pre-booked pitches?

    I know that with Camping Cheques (now owned by the CC) booking of pitches is not encouraged (allowed?) unless you have a Gold Card.
     
  7. HymerB544

    HymerB544 Funster

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    Hi Dave,

    depending upon the time of year, you may not find many sites open, if any. we stayed on the way down at a site just north of St Jean De Monts, another on the Ile D'Oleron, and the last one at St Jean De Luz. with hindsight I would have used aires instead and having visited both Ile De Re and D'Oleron in the past, would choose Re over Oleron, for the small, friendly ports surrounded by seafood restaurants. And I might swap St Jean De Monts for Noirmoutier. Depending uopn the time of day you cross into France, maybe Arcachon would be a good choice as your first stop. Dune Du Pilat is some sight.

    When we came back last year we came across the Med coast as far as Cassis [brilliant] then up the centre, so we could shop for wine in Tain Hermitage, Beaune and Champagne, finishing up on the Somme to revisit the battlefields. This part of the holiday was in many ways more interesting than the previous 7 weeks in Spain and Morocco, mainly because we had finally adapted to travelling without having booked ahead.

    ps: in adddition to the All the aires and ACSI books, someone advised us to get hold of the Caravan Club's guides called Caravan Europe [2, one of which covers France]. It was good advice.:BigGrin:

    Bon voyage!

    Gary
     
  8. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Hi Gary

    Many thanks for the info...I think your line "mainly because we had finally adapted to travelling without having booked ahead", sums up that we can sometimes complicate a simple process! It reminds me of some advice we were given last summer to "just drive until you have driven enough, or if you like the area, pull over, open the book and pick a nearby site or aire", I think probably good advice!

    Many thanks, Dave
     
  9. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

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    ACSI is brilliant! Last year was our first time, too, and our end of season trip saved us a fortune. We got to the Vendee at the very start of the ACSI period and our three days there cost us less than half what the rack rate would have been. Similalry with a week in Brittany on the way back up. There are no catches, it's just a great deal.
     
  10. Ed Excel

    Ed Excel Funster

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    ACSI

    ACSI is essential for off season touring in Europe but if you intend to plant the steadies for any length of time you may find a better daily rate without it. We're generally talking months here but where we are now drops 2 Euro/day after day 15 to beat ACSI.
     
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