France for the 1st time in xxxx years!

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by thechesters, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. thechesters

    thechesters Read Only Funster

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    We are off to France in a couple of weeks , the first time in years. We booked on LS lines in January ( £73.50 return!)- they do keep changing the ferry times though!
    Anyway, having speaking to a chap who has just returned from France he says we will be shocked at how expensive it is now there. What do other MH people think about the cost of 1. sites, 2. Eating out . 3.Fuel

    ALl info greatly received - top tips etc.

    thank you
     
  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Just like anywhere else in the world, tourist areas are more expensive than anywhere else. Just like here, supermarkets offer the best value on food and fuel. France is full of sites that are free. If you supplement your site use with the free aires then camping costs will be considerably lower than the UK.

    France is a fantastic place to tour and is probably one of the most motorhome friendly countries in the world. Less than half the traffic and large enough to spend a lifetime exploring. Have fun:thumb:
     
  3. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Hi
    we regulally go to France x2 per year, once in the winter and then in the summer. Your friend is quite correct in that the pricees in France have rocketed over the past 12 - 18 months. This is of course due to the appalliung euro rate.
    However you can do many things to ensure that you keep teh cost of hollidaying down. We now take as much food with us when we go. Shop at Morrisons in Dover and make sure you take simple stuff like ketchup an sauces and cereals.

    We never use toll roads, over the years we have learnt just how much they cost. We supplement staying on an expensive site by mixing at staying on aires and also using municiple sites. Municiple sites are usually decently run with good facilities near by.

    Diesel remains cheaper in France and there are without a doubt many things that are still cheaper but not as cheap as they once were.

    Dont let it put you off and make sure you shop around, France remains a beautiful country to visit with friendly people and wonderful scenery/activities.

    Paul.
     
  4. crazylazy

    crazylazy Read Only Funster

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    Any EURO country is expensive at the moment but France is France...I have not travelled in my motorhome in France haven't got so much time as hoped but I have travelled ..( Spain last week for one day ..Soria lovely place) try the supermarkets lots of offers but of course fresh bread wine and cheese and you cannot go wrong! try the Opal Coast it is lovely.

    Have a good trip! stay safe..
     
  5. vindiboy

    vindiboy Funster

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    I have not heard of the OPAL Coast where is it or do I know it as something else ??
     
  6. Lincolnshire Rover

    Lincolnshire Rover Read Only Funster

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    We have been to France 3 times this year and planning on going again in August , yes the cost of living in France has rocketed so we always take as much food and drink ( not wine and beer ) as we will need hopefully .
    Diesel is around .95 / .98 euro ltr using my Nationwide Depit / Credit Card the return rate was around 1.165 euro / £1 = just over 80p ltr so thats 20p ltr less than UK.
    Mostly we use Aires and on occasion Camp Sites using the CC / ASCI discount sites , and not using toll motorways our 3 trips 2 to south of France Cannes / Vias Plage and 1 to Normandy totaled 4583 miles from home in South Lincolnshire using Eurotunnel Frequent Traveller Account @ £96 return the total cost of the 3 trips were just under £1000.00 , what sort of 6 weeks holiday in the UK would you get for that amount of money ?
    For us its France every time :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  7. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Just returned from 10 days travelling down to Sancerre then west to Azay-le-Rideau and back to Amboise before heading north via Rouen to Boulogne.

    Leaving aside the €/£ exchange rate since that is not a reflection of domestic French inflation, I would say that cost increases have not been dramatic. In fact, inflation in France is running at the same rate as in Britain, according to The Economist.

    It seemed to us that some of the fruit and veg prices in street markets are higher than in our local Banbury market. Supermarket prices broadly in line. Most of our 'discretionary' expenditure went on re-stocking the home wine rack and that was certainly cheaper than buying in the UK (ranging from just over €10 / bottle for Pouilly-Fumé to €3.75 for Touraine Sauvignon).

    We ate out 'properly' only once, when our daughter joined us for the weekend. Lunch for three in Tours (3 courses, plus aperitifs, wine and coffee) for just under €60 is, I think, good value.

    Our 'site' fees averaged €6 per night, but that reflects 5 nights on municipales and 5 nights free on aires. Municipales cost us just over €10 per night, but they were in popular areas (near Fontainbleau and at Amboise) but they can be cheaper in less 'touristy' places. By preference, we normally use aires more than campsites so our pitch fees are usually minimal.

    In total, including the ferry but excluding the wine re-stock, our 10 days in France cost less than a week in Scotland at the beginning of May.

    I notice you say you are going via LS Lines; do you mean LD Lines from Dover to Boulogne? If so, and you get their new super catamaran, 'Norman Arrow', you are in for a treat. It is very fast (40+ knots / 50 mph) and clean, but the catering is limited to self-service snacks. However, at barely an hour from Dover to Boulogne, it is the best way over in my view. We booked more recently than you and paid £113, but it was worth it.

    Enjoy your trip.

    Philip
     
  8. thechesters

    thechesters Read Only Funster

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    Thank you all for you replies,. i am not as worried as I first was! Typo error - LD lines and we are impressed with our price but they will keep on swapping our sailing times! :)

    We hope to use the Aires, however husband being husband is a bit wary of them, due to the fact that in the uk you dont really get any thing for free do you .

    Once again thanks for you honest replies and I will keep you posted as and when we get back from our adventure.

    regards
     
  9. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    Having just returned freom France I would say that it is not as Cheap as it was due to the euro rate. However it is not as expensive as this country and I dont think that you get ripped off like you do here.

    I for one will be returning in September
     
  10. koffee

    koffee Read Only Funster

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    Pas-de-calais

    It's the coast from Calais down so you probably do know it
     
  11. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Don't be wary of aires, but do have a look around before choosing one for the night. Some are popular and fill up quickly so try to get to them late in the afternoon, rather than leaving it until the last minute. Many are outstanding, but some are less well positioned and not so desirable. E.g. we spent our last night at Equihen Plage just south of Boulogne and it is right next to the sewage farm.

    I don't think the French regard aires as providing something for nothing. Small local government is much more effective than in the UK; exercised via the Hotel de Ville or office of the Mairie. They regard aires as an investment in making their city / town / village more attractive to visitors who will spend time and money in their community. A lot of aires are really well cared for and are part of the way of life for 'camping caristes'. Here are a couple of examples that are at extremes in size of typical aires. We stayed in Bourges in Rue Jean Bouin where water and electricity are free and parking is in a broad tree-lined street, just a few hundred metres from the cathedral. There were over 30 vans there that night with room for many more. In Thiron Garde (Dept. Eure et Loire) we were the only van on a small aire where there was water provided by a couple of taps set in a concrete block and a dump drain but no electricity. That evening, the local scouts were meeting next door in the sports hall, so we were certainly not isolated. In the morning, one of the locals wheeled the aire's rubbish bin back from where it had been left for the bin men and placed it in the service point. Peaceful, rural and well-cared for.

    Philip
     
  12. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    :thanks2: Jean Luc
    - we are Francophiles but new motorhomers hence we have never used aires - incidentally I've already previously annotated 'All The Aires' with the words 'next to a sewage farm' for Equihen Plage LOL

    - I love this forum, it's really useful for odd info like that, as well as the sensible techno stuff.
     
  13. teensvan

    teensvan Read Only Funster

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    Hi.

    When in France do as we do use the french aire, They can cost between nothing and about 7 euro per night. Most are set in villages, small towns, Marinas, river banks, beachsides,and many other fab places. Get a book called All the Aires France. Do not use the toll road or main road aires. Eating out was never cheap so eat in the van. Fuel is a little cheaper in france if you use the automatic filling stations.

    steve & ann. ------- teensvan
     
  14. thechesters

    thechesters Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the comments,. I am making notes rapidly of the do's and donts. AS we speak husband is fitting the new fiamma awning- just broken the bloomin crank handle!!! so now need to get a new one! This motor home lark isnt cheap is it :)
    :Wink:
     
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