Paris -> Avignon Train Questions

Old Apr 14th, 2006, 05:46 AM
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Paris -> Avignon Train Questions

Hi all!

I'll be traveling to Paris and through Provence at the end of July/early August. I've managed to lock down all hotel reservations (finally), but I'm still a bit confused on trains.

We will need to take the train from Paris to Avignon on a Thursday and pick up a rental car for the rest of the week. As far as I can tell, we need to pick up the train at the Paris Gyre Lyon and take it to Avignon TGV. Does this sound about right? We are staying at the Hôtel Sainte Beuve in Paris (9, rue Sainte Beuve). Is there another station from which to leave? The TGV site confuses me just a bit. We are actually staying in St Remy, not Avignon - is the Avignon station still the correct place to end?

If so, are you able to pick up rental cars at the Avignon TGV station? I have not yet reserved a car (recommendations for a good place to try would be much appreciated), as I'm not sure where to tell them I'll be picking it up.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Jamie

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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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Hi!

I just made these same reservations. However, we're flying into CDG and taking the TGV from there and then taking the TGV back to Paris (Gare Lyon) for the second week. There are car rental agencies at Avignon TGV station but you would make your reservations prior to leaving on your vacation. Auto Europe is a car rental company that many on this board recommend. However, I needed a 7 passenger van and that was not available online. St. Remy is probably 30 - 45 minutes from the Avignon train station as I recall.

Just make sure your TGV reservations are to the Avignon TGV station rather than the City Centre station (I think that's what the station is called); otherwise, you'd have to transfer to the TGV station to pick up your car.

Good luck and enjoy!!

Joy
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 06:08 AM
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Jamie, you are correct on all points. We used kemwell auto (kemwell.com) as their prices were the best. It is a block or two walk from the station in Avignon. Have a great trip.
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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If you are flying in CDG then you can leave from the airport rather than going into the city. The name you would use for your departure station is " Roissy" and arrival is Avignon TGV. There are several rental agencys as the other poster mentioned. I like europcar.
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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You can book your ticket online at sncf.com up to 90 days in advance of your travel date(s). While the regular price for a 2nd class ticket from Paris to Avignon is E79.20, PREM'S (discount) tickets can be as low as E25.00. The key to getting them is to book as soon as the 90-day window opens. You print them yourself.
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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One more thing: You can book tickets on the new iDTGV up to 120 days in advance.
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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Thanks so much for your responses! I hadn't realized you could book tickets so far in advance. I'll definitely look into that - money saved on tickets is more spending money!

Now...off to research rental cars...
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 07:29 AM
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Best car rental is AutoEurope. They will usually match any better price you get. they are a broker so the actual car may be from Avis, EuropCar, etc. They are excellent to deal with. Keep shopping for a prem fare if one isn't available right away.
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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i did this route (TGV from Paris to Avignon) very recently, April 7, the rental car offices and their lots is conveniently located steps from the train station exit. the TGV station is just minutes outside the periphery walls of Avignon. i booked my car thru kemwel for 5 days, came to a $226 for a compact size car with a free upgrade to next car size. national rentacar had a free upgrade special. we ended up with a Citroen 5 with covered trunk, a nice car for the price. the only unpleasant surprise i had was the amount of tax collected by the local office in nice when we returned the car. we paid an additional $40+ for some taxes than are supposed to be collected locally. my understanding was this tax that has to be paid locally i.e. in france is less than $2/day. kemwel has a price match guarantee, i'm not sure if they artificially made their rates very competitive by purposely not adding some taxes that they are supposed to collect. in any case, i am very satisfied with the way national rentacar handled a missing side mudguard cover that we lost. we returned the car with this missing, they noted it but did not charge us for it. when the national car employee asked my husband about the missing rubber trimming, my husband could only say that it must have been stolen. my takeaway as you shop for a place to order your rental car is clarify the tax situation, and if possible have it in writing or noted somewhere if you are paying any add'l taxes other the the road tax collected locally which is no more than $2/day. hope this helps.
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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jcolem: ....we're doing pretty much the same Leaving next Tuesday, will be taking the TGV direct from CDG to Avignon. Although I have used AutoEurope countless times, we found that Budget has the best rates by far....we have a compact for eight days at 226 euros inclusive of all taxes. We'll be returning through Avignon, also. St. Remy is about 20-25 minutes from the TGV station. Where are you staying in St. R? Plenty of good choices.

Stu T.
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 08:53 PM
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"One more thing: You can book tickets on the new iDTGV up to 120 days in advance"

I think that has changed to 150 days according to Kevin of Mas perreal who usually is right, you would want to be a month late and miss it.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 03:05 AM
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The date for booking iDTGV in advance is not fixed. It is a minimum of 4 months in advance but right now it is 5 months . That changes from time to time.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 03:07 AM
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I take that back. They opened reservervations through September 15th back at the beginning of March. So its a bit up to their whim. You can subcribe to their mailings and they send an email when they open up bookings.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 06:39 AM
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MorganB, Can you recieve e-mail in english and if so how do you subscribe?
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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We are doing a similar trip next month and if you are a member of AAA as we are, you will be in luck.
We researched all of the trains (TGV and local), wrote down the departure dates, train #s, destinations, etc. I printed the info and we brought it in to our local AAA agency. The travel agent just picked up the phone, called Rail Europe, ordered our rail passes and made our reservations on the TGV trains). Naturally both agents were thrilled that we had already done the 'dirty work' and we felt better having them do the rest for us. We did this on a Saturday and I picked up our packet with the reservations (and also our museum passes) the following Wednesday.
We will also pick up our car from Avignon and rented from Autoeurope. I wound up speaking to a couple of their agents who informed me that kemwel is their 'sister' company. Pricing was pretty much the same at that time.
Michèle
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 08:10 AM
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The information pages on the iDTGV site say booking is allowed up to four months in advance. However, I was curious enough to plug in an arbitrary date for early September. Sure enough, just as MorganB said, I could have booked a ticket.

While it's certainly convenient to book through Rail Europe, that convenience comes at a coat. Point-to-point tickets are cheaper bought online directly from a national rail company because there are no booking fees. And the only way to get discount tickets, if available, is to book online.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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Oops. That should have read "cost," not "coat."
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Steve, As far as I know they are only in French. I signed up at voyages-sncf.com.
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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We felt the one fee was worth the aggravation and I beg to differ on only getting the discount prices online. It was one of the first questions we asked the AAA agent and the prices quoted to us (which we paid) were the same we had seen online.
Michèle
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Old Apr 15th, 2006, 07:56 PM
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I agree with you that one-stop shopping eliminates a lot of time and aggravation. However, I think we're comparing apples and oranges. You bought railpasses and had Rail Europe make your reservations. The online-only discounts I was talking about are for point-to-point tickets.
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