Travel

Thoughts about traveling to France summer 2019

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 14th, 2019 8:59 pm
[OP]
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Jun 11, 2005
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Woodbridge

Europe 2019

Looking ahead to next summer.
We’d like to go to Europe.
We’re not sure where and considering France or Spain or Italy. ......just one country, not all of them.
When would flights be at the best rates?
Are certain cities better (cheaper) to fly into as we are flexible.
21 replies
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Aug 18, 2005
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Spain is the cheapest of all of them, unless you might be going to rural France or something.

Use Skyscanner or Google Flights to watch for flights and find the most cost optimized itinerary.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
[OP]
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Jun 11, 2005
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Woodbridge
When would flights be at their cheapest? Do most people book at 6 months out in order to secure the cheapest flights?
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S U wrote:
Aug 24th, 2018 7:38 am
When would flights be at their cheapest? Do most people book at 6 months out in order to secure the cheapest flights?
1. Flight price is not biggest part of Euro-trip.
Talking schematically:
One can get to London for 400 and spend 2K for hotel/food.
Of 600$ flight to Barcelona and 1K for hotel/food there.

Spain, Barcelona, Madrid -- probably best combination of
affordability, history, Gaudi, food, sea, life...
Other affordable place is Prague. Classical centers -- London, Paris, Vienna
are relatively more expensive. Italy, Greece -- history, culture and sea.
Croatia is great for Adriatic sea resorts.

Cheers! Cava + Jamon !
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S U wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2018 11:19 pm
Looking ahead to next summer.
We’d like to go to Europe.
We’re not sure where and considering France or Spain or Italy. ......just one country, not all of them.
When would flights be at the best rates?
Are certain cities better (cheaper) to fly into as we are flexible.
S U wrote:
Aug 24th, 2018 7:38 am
When would flights be at their cheapest? Do most people book at 6 months out in order to secure the cheapest flights?
Just did 5 weeks in Europe, on a river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam and then Belgium and Germany afterwards. This is the first time we took a European vacation in the middle of Summer and it will be the last time we will do that.
This summer has been unusual for Europe. A heat wave of record proportions. It has been so hot the rivers were so low that we could not do the entire trip on one boat. We had to change boats 3 times as they could not travel because of the low water levels in certain parts.
Also, it was very crowded, no matter where we went because of the number of tourists. Summer is very "kid" orientated, hence, prices are higher.
As others have said, the airfare is the least of your expenses. Car, gas (it was 1.80 euros per litre average) and hotels are quite pricey. Most smaller center hotels will not have air conditioning so, 39 C days can be quite uncomfortable evenings and nights too. Food was quite expensive too. We did not eat in expensive places and our average lunch was about 30 euros and dinners were about 50 (including wine or beer) for the 2 of us. It is best to find hotels that include breakfast.
Have been to Spain and yes, it is a bit cheaper than Italy and England but, in cities, they area ll pretty well the same. Benefits of staying in a city is that there are more hotels to choose form and most will have A/C. You can easily do day tips from cities too.
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S U wrote:
Aug 24th, 2018 7:38 am
When would flights be at their cheapest? Do most people book at 6 months out in order to secure the cheapest flights?
Paris I find is cheaper as the flight is slightly shorter and there's a lot of capacity. Followed by Spain (Barcelona specifically) and then Italy. But we are usually talking generally a difference of $100 or so. I would not determine a trip to Europe based on which destination has the cheapest flight.

Budget $1000 pp for a flight (and you can easily find direct flights to any of these countries for less that would be a mid range price). Also your dates make a big impact as May/June/September is cheaper then July/August.

You need to figure out WHERE you want to go. You can make any trip to as economical or as extravagant as you wish regardless of destination.

If you are booking things like cruises, tours, multi city itineraries you can sometimes also get them pre-packaged. Have a look at Air Canada Vacations/Transat Holidays as they offer this. You can book early (in winter 2019) and usually will have a price drop or some other incentive (as in reserve the trip for $250 and final balance is due 45 days prior).
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Summers in Spain and Italy can be quite brutal with the hot temperatures and the crowds. You haven't really told us what you want to do, what you're interests are, how you like to travel, and most importantly, what your budget is. That being said, pretty much any European country has its fair share of rich history, outstanding architecture, good nightlife, quaint villages, access to nature (whether its mountains, lakes, or beaches), etc.
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just keep camping on RFD until a flight deal (sub $700, if ure flying out of YYZ) comes up that's heading Paris, Amsterdam, anywhere Spain, Portugal, or eastern Europe.

Icelandair, TAP, or Aer Lingus would likely be your best bet.
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How long are you planning to go for? What are your interests? What made you consider France, Italy and Spain over other countries (Germany, England, etc.)?

I think you need to give a little more detail for people to help make recommendations
[OP]
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Jun 11, 2005
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Woodbridge
We were hoping to travel to France this summer - 2 adults and 2 kids.
Our plans are as follows, in no particular order:
-spend 4-5 days in Paris
- acouple of days in Lourdes
-using a relative that lives in Marseille as a base and visit cities around the Riviera.
-considering a cruise that leaves from either Marseille or Barcelona

However, with all that is currently going on in France, we are hesitant to begin making these plans.

I’d like to hear what others think of visiting a country experiencing turmoil.

TIA
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How do you like heat w/ AC? It will be hot. It will get booked up where the French vacation.

The area around Lourdes is spectacular (french side of the pyrenees). I'd say a half day in town is more than enough (I've been 2 or 3x not for pilgrimage).

Avoid the main cities (or Paris) and you will be fine.

There are some places nearby Marseille you can get to in a day and back but the traffic can be particularly horrendous, especially in summer. Don't expect fast drives or easy parking (that's why I love the off season). A lot of the spectacular cliffs and wilderness areas may be closed due to fire risk.
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At this point, I wouldn't be too worried about the current.... unpleasantness... in France. It will pass, but is part of the culture to strike at least once a year for most jobs - and I'm not kidding. Strikes and protests are a common event in French cities, and you more have to worry about when French Air Traffic Controllers are going on strike, as it disrupts flights (I think they did it 3 times in 2018).

Again, it will pass, and as long as you listen to the news and know what areas to avoid if there are protests, you'd be fine. My co-workers spent xmas and New Years in Paris, and just avoided the tourist areas during the weekends, where the yellow jackets (or more accurately, the trouble-markers taking advantage of the situation) were.

Edit: There are a few good reads about the Strike Culture, such as: https://www.thelocal.fr/20160331/why-ar ... -on-strike
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There’s usually less union activity in the summer as most workers take their holidays and resume strike and demonstrations activities in the fall. Paris is empty (except for tourists) in August. The south will b packed. This “Gilets Jaunes” movement is different and no one really knows where it could go. I’m sure it will be over by the summer though, but could get worse before it is over. The things you see here on the evening news is nothing like what’s shown on French TV.

A recommendation I give everyone is to always spend your last night at the airport and book that as soon as possible to secure the best price. Relax there on your last afternoon and evening (there’s a big mall near the CDG airport, called Aeroville) where you can make last minute shopping and take your time going to the airport the next morning, stress free. Once, I was returning, and a major transportation strike was called for the day of the flight. I was so glad I was at the airport the day before. (This was not in the summer though).
Celebrating 16+ years on RFD!
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I was in Barcelona when they had their "illegal" vote. There were lots of cops, apcs, and helicopters flying around, and lots of demonstrations we saw. It's a massive city and couldn't really tell there was that much tension. When we watched the news later and it showed cops beating up voters we were like "holy f++ck" . We would have never guessed that was going down.
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they always have strikes and riot so its nothing new. Just stay away from them and look at the news. they usually do it on the weekend anyways.
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