France 2022?

Old Feb 14th, 2021, 04:07 PM
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France 2022?


We have been saving and lightly planning for a couple of years now. Family of four, would like to spend 2+ weeks in France in the summer of 2022. Looking for some advice.

1- Would you start seriously planning this trip? (looking at accomodations/sights/museums, etc)

2- If you think it would be a safe time to travel, when would you start booking accomodations? We're hoping to find places on VRBO or similar site - not hotels.

We have a general outline for our trip. Start in London (6 days), then to Normandy or Brittany (4-5 days), Loire Valley (5 days), finally Paris (8 days). Nothing set in stone and the number of days in each location can be changed. I think now it would be a decent idea to start looking at accomodations in each locale. Not making a final decision, but which area/city. Then start looking at specific apartments from there. We plan on renting a car in the Normandy/Brittany using the car around there and the Loire. No car in Paris. Is the ferry the best/easiest way to get from England to Brittany? Thinking the overnight Portsmouth - St. Malo ferryYour thoughts? Everything is so up in the air right now. Thank you for your thoughts.

Stay safe - Robert
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Old Feb 14th, 2021, 04:57 PM
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1. You're right - everything is up in the air. I always enjoy the planning so I see no need to defer that too much. But there remains huge uncertainty about safe travel. We will likely push our travel plans out to 2023 (we want to travel in the European spring) but won't make that final decision until mid-2021 (at which time we would decide whether travel in 2022 is possible). The real answer is that nobody knows.

2. I normally book our accommodation about 4 months in advance (and feel like I'm really the early bird) but normally closer to your travel dates is often fine. I often find that smaller places don't publish availability more than about 6 months in advance. If you have a special property in mind, then you could book earlier. Note that I typically don't travel in summer (usually May/June or Sep/Oct) and summer will be busier in some places. There are a couple of points which might vary things though for the next few years: pent up demand as few people have been able to travel; and some places having closed due to the financial hit.

Your plan sounds very nice. Enjoy!
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Old Feb 14th, 2021, 05:33 PM
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For accommodations, here's what I use:

Bed and breakfast, cottage and holiday rental in France

You can browse on those sites as you start your planing to get a sense of cost.
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Old Feb 14th, 2021, 06:07 PM
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I wouldn't even start looking at/for accommodations until maybe this Fall. Because so much in the hospitality / travel industry is up in the air . . . Not just accommodations, but air routes (even airlines), train schedules, tourist attractions etc . No one knows which will survive and be operational next year. By maybe Sept/Oct you'll have a much better idea of where you can go, what you can see, and where to sleep . . .

But you can definitely start planning your basic itinerary,
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Old Feb 14th, 2021, 06:21 PM
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. . . meant to add - when you do finally get around to booking accommodations, you probably should plan on a hotel in Paris instead of vrbo or airbnb or any apartment. Well before the pandemic Paris made most private rentals illegal. There are some legit properties (if they have the city registration # prominently displayed in their listing/ad) but the majority are/were illegal and the 'apartment landscape' will be 100% different when people can travel again. Just being listed on vrbo/airbnb does not make it legal. ApartHotels like Citadines are not a problem.
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Old Feb 14th, 2021, 07:22 PM
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I agree with janisj. You can start the macro planning... deciding on what to see, how long you need or want to spend in each place/area, getting a general idea about transport options, making lists of possible lodging, etc., but leave the micro planning (reservations, tickets) until you get much closer to your dates and the Covid picture becomes clearer. Obviously, lots of things could change in the next 18 months, both good and bad, and what you plan now might be made moot in a year. Some epidemiologists say the virus and/or its variants will be around for years, and there could still be local/regional outbreaks even with widespread vaccinating and (hopefully) increasing herd immunity. As much as I love cities, I would probably spend less time in them for now. But that's me and my level of risk acceptance. Your view may be different.
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Old Feb 14th, 2021, 10:59 PM
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Plan the sights you want to see but do not plan any accommodations yet. When you see in the news that restaurants, bars and theatres have reopened, you can start looking a bit.
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 03:12 AM
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I wouldn’t hesitate to rent an apartment in Paris. I had no trouble locating many legal apartments in Paris on AirBnB. Just make sure you check to see if there is a license number listed. I just checked about 5 or 6 right now and everyone of the apartments had the number.
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 04:06 AM
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For what it's worth--some years back we enjoyed a 3 week trip around France by car.
As I recall:
3-4 days Paris
1 day in Bayeux, Normandy
1 day near D-Day beaches
2 days in Loire (by the third chateau, they start to look the same, and one's memory confuses them..."which one was Chenenceau?"
3 days around Bordeaux
4 days around Sarlat
1 day traveling over to the Vaucluse
2 days Vaucluse
3 days Burgundy
Back to CDG
I know to some, that's a lot of pack/unpack, but it worked fine for us, and we got a nice taste of the various regions of France, which enabled us to zero in on one or another region in subsequent trips.
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 07:13 AM
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Pre-pandemic, my wife I went to France twice a year, spending 1 month on each trip and we usually stayed 2 weeks in a single gite then 2 weeks in another gite within 3-4 hrs of the prior gite. We've done this since 1999 when we retired early so we could travel more. The majority of all trips were in June & Sept.

We normally booked a gite 8-12 months in advance (12 months for the very popular locations - like Provence.)

Our favorite regions are Provence & the Dordogne. We've spent 22 weeks in Provence & 13 weeks in the Dordogne.

Followed by the Cote d'Azur/Nice Hinterlands, Brittany, and the Languedoc.

We LOVE chateaux and have spent 8-9 weeks in the Loire chateau region. But as tomboy mentioned, if you are not a big chateau fan - you might get "chateaued-out" after 3-4 chateaux. We are not big fans of the cities & villages in the Loire area (except Chinon), and the countryside is not as scenic as other regions we have visited. Perhaps head further south to the Dordogne/Sarlat region - but spend at least 4 nights there.

I have written several lengthy itineraries for different regions in France. Attached are my Normandy/Brittany and Dordogne itineraries.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 02:02 PM
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We were suppose to be in Scotland/UK in two months time, but obviously had to cancel due to the pandemic. We've rebooked our VRBO accommodations (same ones as before) to the following Spring, 2022. They're 100% cancellable so we're comfortable locking those in. We'll book flights this Summer, which if cancellation is necessary, we get a credit. We've already got $5000 in credits so we may as well use them, haha. Something to consider is that once travel DOES open up, the demand is going to sky rocket and we dont know what prices will look like. I work as a TA and even I don't know what we're going to be looking at a year from one. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst
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Old Feb 15th, 2021, 04:51 PM
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>>>Something to consider is that once travel DOES open up, the demand is going to sky rocket<<

I wouldn't 100% count on that. Many people won't want to get on an airplane for several years, nor be in a foreign country when Covid erupts again (it will, IMO).

Stu Dudley - with 4 Europe trips cancelled already, and another one to Scotland this May which will probably be cancelled. And 2 trips booked to France in Sept & Dec this year.
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Old Feb 16th, 2021, 05:58 AM
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Thank you all for the replies.
Michael - I appreciate the links to accomodations.
I'm not looking for details such as specific places to rent just yet, but seeing prices will help us plan our budget (Of course, I know things can certainly change). Like mentioned before, we are "macroplanning". Just the big stuff. Where we want to visit, about how long in each city, and major sites/muesums we want to visit. I hope we are all able to travel safely soon.

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Old Feb 16th, 2021, 06:09 AM
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I normally have a holiday in France every other year for the last 40 years. Your plan is basically Normandy, Brittany, Loire and Paris which is fine in general. Of these I might consider a car in Normandy and Brittany as trains are not great in those areas. I would fly into Heathrow or Gatwick, train into London and then into France. Train down to Loire is possible if a little slow but that decision is more about what you want to see. I find the whole slog Brittany to Loire a bit of a faff.

Alternatives may (who knows) include flights into Brittany or Normany local airports from Stanstead. It has worked out well for me and it helps keep the baggage down. Normandy has a lot to see and the area between Paris and Normandy is especially interesting. Brittany is a bit more wild. Loire is river valley and there are train lines down much of the middle and western end.
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Old Feb 26th, 2021, 02:27 PM
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I am starting to loosely plan a trip to Europe for 2022. If I were you, I might switch things up a bit and take the Eurostar from London to Paris. After your eight days, take the train to Vannes (or somewhere in that vicinity), rent a car and do the rest of your touring around Brittany and the Loire. Then return the car and take the train back to Paris for your flight home. At least that is what I was thinking of doing. Does the ferry allow walk on passengers? That is something to look into.

I am about to pull the trigger on a rental in Goult for October 2022 because the owner emailed me and said that her calendar is already starting to fill up. So, that is one thing to think about also, there is going to be pent up demand from people that have had to postpone trips.
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Old Mar 4th, 2021, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by progol View Post
I wouldn’t hesitate to rent an apartment in Paris. I had no trouble locating many legal apartments in Paris on AirBnB. Just make sure you check to see if there is a license number listed.
Last month, the City of Paris won its final court battle to fine violators of the city´s laws again short term apartment rentals. The decision from the Court of Cassation, France´s highest court, echos the findings of the European Court of Justice, allowing Paris to collect 50,000€ fines from each of 420 violators and to continue with efforts to curb short term apartment rentals which have increasingly exacerbated the lack of housing problem for citizens.

How this directly affects listings on Airbnb, or any number of short term rental services is not yet clear but future rentals will be limited to:

1. owner/occupants offering their personal apartments for a period not to exceed 120 days a year.
2. owners of commercial apartments of which there are currently only a few hundred in Paris.

Anyone can request a city registration number for an apartment. A registration number itself is not a guarantee of legality, it only means that an owner submitted a request. Many apartments currently listed on short term rental sites do not meet the above conditions. It might be reasonable to assume that many of the apartment rental offers one currently sees will begin to disappear as the city once again picks up its enforcement efforts.
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