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What lodging site to use for travel to France

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What lodging site to use for travel to France

Old Feb 26th, 2018, 02:42 AM
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What lodging site to use for travel to France

Hi ... what sites are recommended to reserve lodging for a trip to France. I've looked quite a bit at AirBNB, but felt there was too much risk given the strict refund/return policies. Our preference is to rent a house, villa or cabin type location.

We plan to travel for ~ a month to France and stay in houses, villas, cabins, etc for a week at time. We'd like to be somewhat flexible ... but the book months in advance, pay full price, 50% refund policy seemed too restrictive to us.
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 03:10 AM
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You're always going to encounter that if you want to rent a house. If you want to be flexible, book a hotel, or a hotel that offers self-catering flats. Alternatively, wait until the last minute to book, running the risk that you will not find anything decent.
When is this trip, and for how many people?

Last edited by Tulips; Feb 26th, 2018 at 03:12 AM.
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 03:47 AM
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https://www.booking.com
Dont' really see how you can go wrong with this.
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 04:56 AM
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https://en.gites-de-france.com/
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 05:42 AM
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looking at the gites de France website linked by Thursdaysd, the cancelation terms are these:

CGV_ECommerce_Sept_2014_EN.pdf

For a start, to make a firm booking you need to pay a 25% deposit, and if you cancel 21 or more days before the let is due to start, you lose your 25%. Cancel after that, and on a sliding scale, you can lose the lot.

If you want the option of a late cancellation, the Gite de France site is probably not for you.
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 07:58 AM
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Sometimes I think "flexibility" is over-rated. Though I sometimes make reservations last minute in off-season for instance, for a week's stay I'm particular about where I'll stay, often book months ahead to make sure I'll get what I want and feel it no sacrifice to show up. There is rarely anything that will divert me, that I imagine will be better than where I've booked. I think it's nice to choose a place, then not have to think about it again. And although I use Airbnb regularly and tend to also steer clear of the ones with strict cancellation policies, only once have I been unhappy with a choice and abandoned it, losing money. My advice is, if your plans are firm and you see a place you like, the price is right and location good, just book it (unless you're prone to changing your mind, in which case acknowledge it & take your chances).
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 08:32 AM
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Trip insurance?
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody View Post
Trip insurance?
I love to know which travel insurance company covers "flexible" travel plans and resulting loss of deposits.
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 11:16 AM
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If your preference is to rent a house, villa or "cabin," then you need to have some understanding of what the owners of such places need, and it's not "flexibility."
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 11:44 AM
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We've reserved 70 gites so far through Gites de France. You have the option of purchasing cancellation insurance - which we have done lately because of my 97+ year old FIL. Only about 5 of the proprietors speak English - although we don't try real hard to speak to them in English because my wife speaks France. We have friends who have been following in our footsteps with renting gites for the past 15 years or so, and they do not speak French at all. Google is their friend corresponding with the proprietor via e-mail. I'm guessing that they have rented about 30 gites - 6 last year & this year.

If you rent through the main Gites de France office for the specific department - they usually can correspond in English - but you really don't correspond with them much except for the initial reservation. For about 10% of the gites we've rented, all correspondence is with the gite proprietor.

Here is something I posted several years ago.
Renting Gites through the Gites-de-France web site

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 01:56 PM
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Like the OP we like flex, and over the years have found that booking.com is the best way to get that. You will not have as much choice as others who book months in advance, but we have always found something. A few summers ago we have planned to stay in Bordeaux for 1 month in July, booked ahead with an agency, etc. but the first night the apartment above us had a catastrophic plumbing leak in the ceiling above us and the rental agency had to cancel and give us our money back but that left us homeless at the last minute. So we ended up using booking.com at the last minute to arrange an rental apartment in St. Remy and even with only 1 days notice in July we are were able to get something acceptable. We hadn't planned a Provence summer but had one
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MmePerdu View Post
I love to know which travel insurance company covers "flexible" travel plans and resulting loss of deposits.
"Cancel for any reason" insurance can cover 80% of forfeited deposits, airline change fees, etc. It ain't cheap.
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by dorm57 View Post
Hi ... what sites are recommended to reserve lodging for a trip to France. I've looked quite a bit at AirBNB, but felt there was too much risk given the strict refund/return policies. Our preference is to rent a house, villa or cabin type location.

We plan to travel for ~ a month to France and stay in houses, villas, cabins, etc for a week at time. We'd like to be somewhat flexible ... but the book months in advance, pay full price, 50% refund policy seemed too restrictive to us.
In addition to Gites de France you can try Bed and breakfast, cottage and holiday rental in France and https://www.france-voyage.com/touris...mune-23174.htm
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Old Feb 26th, 2018, 04:25 PM
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We used VRBO for a farmhouse and found a stunning place in Verdun on booking.com but they had their own website so used that and had no problems. The VRBO asked for a security deposit but after they met us they told us we didn't need to leave a deposit. I guess since we were an older couple. I loved it even though it was in the boonies. We used it for our WW1 sightseeing base. Verdun was a temple that had been shelled during the war but restored. I love finding gems like that. We buy trip insurance but mostly for getting us home in an emergency. I do factor in the cost of accommodations. I used squaremouth last trip.
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Old Mar 7th, 2018, 06:47 AM
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Thank you for your responses. While we understand the conundrum of the owner trying to secure a lodging vs the renter trying to be flexible ... I still wish to reduce risk should cancellation be necessary from my side. We didn't consider trip insurance as my opinion is that there must be sites with: great properties, numerous listings and all with flexible cancellation policies.

That stated, with our planning, we've spent hours going thru the different sites ... vrbo, airbnb, booking.com, et al. And contrary to one reply above (something about what owners need, and it's not "flexibility") we found many great places (homes, villas, etc) via homeaway.com wherein the cancellation policies were more flexible and much better for us. And so ... we've booked our lodging using both booking.com and homeaway.com.

Ciao ... Dorm

Last edited by dorm57; Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:58 AM.
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