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Italy, France and Spain: Car Rental, Flight Logistics

Italy, France and Spain: Car Rental, Flight Logistics

Old Sep 9th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 165
Italy, France and Spain: Car Rental, Flight Logistics

Hello there! We are 3 couples (55+) that are very excited to be planning a wonderful trip that will be taking us to Northern Italy, Southern France, and Northern Spain (Catalonia) next Sept.2014. The initial planning stages are always challenging for me, as so many variables come into play i.e. booking flights, booking cars, and just researching the different areas etc., etc., that I start to get the shakes!
This is a rough outline:Would like to make our way to Italy where we would like to visit Cinque a Terre, Genoa, and the Cuneo (Piedmonte) region. We are giving that area 1 week, if that makes sense, then on to stay in Uzes, France for a week (which I'm familiar with), before leaving for Barcelona and spending a week there.

Our travel style is casual, and we like to cook in our villa's in the evening, but really like the option of staying where there are options to shop and dine out. A little hustle and bustle works for us. We also like to be on our own schedule and so the rental van works for us. (We have traveled to the AC, Tuscany region, and the surrounding area, so we are used to the roads and a larger vehicle.

Sorry for the long preamble, but I just thought it would be a good idea to fill you in on the overview.

My question to you knowledgeable Fodorites is, do you have any advise on best arrival airport given the itinerary, rental car company, and/or doing a loop in and out of a more central airport as in Marseilles or Montpelier?

Thanks so much in advance for any advice you can throw my way.
ctoner is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2013, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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You should look at Milan as your arrival airport. It's the only airport in the area that will have flights from the US. Pisa has a seasonal flight from JFK (Delta), but might not be daily in Sept.

If you don't mind a flight change in Europe, then consider Turin, Florence or Genoa airports (in addition to Milan and Pisa).

The way to save on a vehicle is to do a lease buy-back program (has to be at least 17 days). There are several different lease programs, but require pick up at major airports (possibly only Milan and Rome in Italy). This helps avoid the expensive drop off fee in another country and the lease rate is usually cheaper than just renting for the same amount of time.
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I think I would fly to Nice, rent a French car (or two), visit your places in Italy, then Uzes, then on to Spain, & fly home from Barcelona. All by car(s). It will involve a car drop-off charge, but for a party of 6 it would be a whole lot less expensive & less hassle than flying within Europe.

Or course you realize that picking up a car in Italy requires that you also purchase CDW insurance (Italian law). Not so in France - your credit card company should be able to provide CDW. Many moons ago I checked with my CC company and they said that I would be covered by their CDW if I rented a car in France and drove it into Italy (and had an accident). However, check with your CC company to verify this.

Six people in a van & driving some mountain roads (Alps) & even some places around the CT, Provence, & Cuneo would be troublesome for me - for many reasons. When we've traveled with close friends, we've always rented multiple cars so if we wanted to set off in different direction or have different plans for the day - we could do so.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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>>Or course
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 03:00 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Thanks kybourbon and StuDudley for your helpful advice. Really appreciate this. Yes, DH and I have been sitting here talking about the 2 cars and have decided that would be best for this trip. Yes, given the terrain and the availability all roads are leading to two vehicles. Thanks for the advice on the car rental idea, kybourbon...I'll be checking this out.

One more thing...would you get accommodation booked for the villas, as the ones we are looking at could get taken fast at that time of year? The flights from Toronto are not listed for this far out, but I would be afraid of losing out...

Again, thanks, so much!
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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We are staying in 4 different "villas" in 2014, and we have already booked them. For our June trip, we booked the place in Nice and also in the Luberon (Provence) about 6-7 months ago. For Sept, the one on the Atlantic about 4 months ago, and the one in the Loire just yesterday.

Book now if you are comfortable with your itinerary. I book "villas" (actually gites & apts) before I book transportation.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 04:13 PM
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Thanks Stu! Your trip sounds wonderful!
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