Trip Coach: October 11, 2005 Margie Rynn answers your questions on traveling to France Budget Travel Tuesday, Oct 11, 2005, 4:15 PM Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

 

Trip Coach: October 11, 2005

Margie Rynn answers your questions on traveling to France

Margie Rynn: Hi, I'm so sorry, I'm really late. Is anyone still there? _______________________

Oak Hills, CA: In November, we've scheduled a trip to Chartres. The way I would expect to get there would be by bus and train. When we land at Charles De Gaulle Airport, the four of us will get on the Air France bus that will take us to Gare du Montparnasse for about 11 Euros each. From there, we plan to get a train to Chartres. My only worry is that we expect to be able to get to Gare du Montparnasse by around 3pm and have no problem getting onto a train to Chartres. We do not know how many trains there will be to Chartres in the late afternoon. We do not know if there is any chance of not being able to get a ticket on the train. Since, our room in Chartres is already booked for that first night, we hope that we do not have to be concerned that we could get stuck in Paris. What is all the advice you would have for us concerning anything related to our plans? Thank you

Margie Rynn: You don't say what day of the week you are traveling or exact dates, which could affect ticket availability...In November there are two big holidays, November 1, All Saints Day, and November 11, end of World War I. On those two days tickets might a little harder to come by, but otherwise, I wouldn't think you'd have a problem. I randomly selected a weekday in November for a train Paris-Chartres on the SNCF site and they seem to have trains every hour, sometimes every half hour. It's a good site (the SNCF is the national railway system) and they have an English version: voyages-sncf.com. Plug in your dates and see what's available.

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Sumter, SC: I'll be travelling to France in late April and return late May. I'll fly to Paris and take the TGV to Avignon in Provence for my sons marriage. When is the best time to confirm my flight to receive the biggest bang for my buck? Thank You,

Margie Rynn: When you say "confirm" I assume you mean "buy" -- usually the sooner the better for good deals. April is not the highest of high season, but it is considered the beginning of the high season, so it would be a good idea to buy your tickets as soon as possible, even now. And the hotel. By the way, I used to live in Avignon and your son has picked the perfect season for the wedding -- it's gorgeous at that time of year!

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paris,france: My husband is becomming a chocolatier and wishes take a trip to Paris for some additioonal classes. I have several mileage points and have never used them. Can I use travel points towards my entire family to schedule this April 2006 trip? How do I go about putting this plan together? It will involve my 2 daughters, my husband and myself. Thank you

Margie Rynn: Your best bet is to contact your frequent flyer program and ask them if and how you can use your points for your family. Then plan your trip as far in advance as possible--there are often limited frequent flyer seats on planes and they get snapped up early.

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New York, NY: I'm interested in going to Paris during spring break next year (March 2006). What kind of weather can I expect? Lots of rain?

Margie Rynn: One of the greatly under-reported secrets of Paris is that you can pretty much expect rain at any time of year. Not to depress you, or to discourage you from coming, mind you, Paris is gorgeous even under grey skies. Bring an umbrella and some sweaters, as well as a light shirt or two for those unpredictable brilliant Spring days.

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Rancho Cucamonga CA: What is the most cost efficent and smoothest rail route to travel from Paris to Madrid in summer 06? Any advice on where to get off and take in a day would be great! What web site allows me to navigate our rail options with approx. quotes that far ahead?

Thanks for the leads and info!

Margie Rynn: I would check out sncf.fr. It's the French railway site and it is pretty complete and will let you look at dates, prices etc. I'm not sure what the route is, but if you can stop in Bayonne or San Sebastien (if it's that line, those are nice towns...)

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Pompano Beach, Fl: I am travelling to France in May, starting in Marseille. I would like to see Provence, the sunflowers, the vineyards, the lavendar..Is there a good central location to work from, or should I start in Marseille and work my way north?
Thank you

Margie Rynn: May is a great time to be in Provence, and before the hoards of toursits arrive. Marseilles is a good place to start, but for real provence, you are better off basing yourself in Aix, or even better, in Avignon, which is about an hour from just about any site you want to see in the area. Hotels are a bit pricey in Avignon, so you might want to check out B&Bs in the area, try gites-de-france.com.

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