In recent years with the introduction of the channel crossing and competition in the ferry market, traveling to France and to the south of the country has increased in popularity. Many Britons who seek warm and sunny weather opt for south of France. The region is particularly popular with a form of holiday called self-catering in which holidaymakers hire a villa or cottage for the duration of their stay. Such accommodation is by no means cheaper than a hotel, however there are plenty of means to save on your holiday bill.
Finding a suitable self-catering – Self-catering price varies according to the internal spec and décor as well as the size of the property based on number of rooms. For a couple, there’s naturally no point in renting a family size property and if you are intending to spend most of the time out and about, there’s plenty to say about renting a basic unit.
Time of the year – The weather in France is mild for many parts of the year and certainly warm in summer at the south of the country. Substantial savings can be made when booking off-season, either just before in April or May or just after in September and October.
Private vs. travel agent villas – Villas and cottages that are used for self-catering are available to rent directly from the landlord or using a travel agent that acts as the man in-between. Taking the direct private route of sourcing the property directly from the owner is often cheaper, however it is a time consuming task. If you have chosen the direct route, you will be asked to part with a sensible deposit to secure your place. As you are dealing with a private individual, you should limit your monetary exposure and reduce the deposit amount as much as possible. If you have taken the travel agent route, your deposit is often secured under various government schemes such as ABTA ands ATOL. Ask them about their government schemes status prior to making your booking.
Reducing your food bill – Perhaps the biggest holiday expense after the cost of travel is on food. Self-catering comes furnished with a fully functional kitchen making it possible to prepare meals instead of going out all the time. In particular when large groups are concerned such as families, savings are substantial.
Transportation costs – You can save a small fortune and incorporate an element of healthy holiday living by hiring pushbikes and using them as your means of transportation. The area is lovely to explore by cycling. Note that you should first familiarise yourself with the area as in certain places the gradient might prove hard to cycle for some members of your party. If you are contemplating traveling by car, you can bring your bikes with you, otherwise there are plenty of places from which you can rent.
Enjoy your holiday. Written by Affair Travel, London based south of France holiday travel agents.
Photo Credit: Artur Staszewski