Posted on 23 December 2011 by Dan Johnson
Here are nine ways to grab a bargain on your last-minute holiday to France. These tips will help you save on travel costs, experience a foreign culture and enjoy some of the best beaches, seaside towns and attractions in Europe.
Travel to France: best deals
1/ P&O Ferries has Dover to Calais crossings from £39 each way; DFDS Ferries has Dover to Dunkirk routes from only £29 each way.
2/ Brittany Ferries’ western channel crossings cost more but will cut down your drive time – and your petrol and toll costs – once you land in France. Travel midweek and in the afternoon for the lowest prices.
3/ Keep off the A (auto) routes to avoid the tolls. Plan your journey along the N (nationale) routes – they’re not as quick as the motorways but you’ll see lovely towns and scenery, as well as avoiding those toll charges.
French currency deals
4/ Don’t leave your currency change to the last minute, you’ll always end up paying more. Plan ahead because you can save £100s by using a specialist travel credit card, according to Money Saving Expert.
Holiday park deals
5/ Go self-catering to save on your food bill. Spread the cooking duties so everyone gets involved. Even the kids can make ham and cheese baguettes and every dad thinks they’re Le Chef with a barbecue. Siblu includes barbecues with our mobile home bookings on most of our holiday villages (where local regulations allow)
6/ Pick a holiday village where there are lots of activities so you won’t have to keep paying out to entertain the kids (or yourselves). Domaine de Kerlann in southern Brittany has kids clubs, indoor and outdoor pools and sports (only £672, saving £224*). La Carabasse is one of the liveliest family holiday parks in Languedoc on the Mediterranean coast (from £930, saving £309*)
Things to do in France
7/ Go where the beaches are brilliant, because they’re free and lots of fun. France’s west coast is much like the UK’s Atlantic coastline – big sandy beaches, dunes, great seaside towns – but the weather is better! Try the Vendée (Le Bois Dormant only £856, saving £285*) or Charente Maritime (Les Charmettes from £877, saving £292*).
8/ If you’re not a family who fancies spending all day at the pool or on the beach, choose a region where there are lots of attractions. The landing beaches in Normandy, the chateaux of the Loire Valley, the wine routes of Aquitaine – all can be explored for free and are fascinating.
9/ Take your bikes with you. France loves cyclists and you will find well-kept paths – winding along coastlines, through forests – close to most siblu villages.
What can you add?
Now tell us what you think. What money-saving tips do you have?
*All holiday prices are based on Esprit+ holiday homes for two adults and two children for seven-nights departing on 18 August 2012 and include discounts valid until 22 January 2012. All details are correct at the time of publishing but prices are subject to availability. Please visit www.siblu.com or call 0871 911 7777 for latest prices. **All travel deals are taken from the providers’ websites and are correct at the time of publishing. Please visit providers to for full information and to book.