Go to France in 2023 - YES YOU CAN !
Summer availability for 2023 is being quickly snapped up. Don't wait too long and miss the opportunity to get the holiday villa that you want!
After Brexit there are new procedures to follow, but if you plan this well in advance and with a few straightforward precautions, you can book you holiday villa with confidence.
Things you need to do before you go include:
The EU has made it clear that sea and air travel will not be affected by Brexit, based on the reciprocal effort on both sides in maintaining the existing air and maritime legislation. However, at the time of writing, there are staffing issues with many airline companies which could affect schedules and also longer delays at Dover for access to the tunnel.
You are able to visit France for up to 90 days as a tourist, without needing a visa. France already has agreements with many countries for visa-free tourist travel and Great Britain is not an exception. However you will be subject to normal Schengen border controls.
The EU is in the process of introducing ETIAS (electronic travel information and authorisation system) for those travelling to Europe from visa-free countries. This is to log entering and leaving in order to respect the 90 day stay rule. The date that this will come into force is November 2023. The likely cost of an ETIAS certificate seems to be under £10.
On the day you travel (in or out), you'll need your passport to :
For border controls you may have to show a return or onward ticket and show you have enough money for your stay. There may be separate lanes for travellers from countries outside EU, but it is not expected that there will be significant delays. On returning you may also have to declare purchased goods (and food and drink) with the customs.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) guaranteed the same health care as locals when visiting a european member state. All EHIC cards issued before the end of 2020 will be valid until their expiry date. After that, the UK will issue a new card. The new card is called the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). The UK government advice is that it is necessary for all visitors to take out travel insurance that includes health cover up to at least 30,000€ and covering pre-existing medical conditions.
In all cases, it is always advisable to have Travel Insurance when going abroad. This is only a minor expense compared with the peace of mind both for your health cover, all the usual problems that might arise and particularly for covering cancellation risks. Remember that in France, the law requires tenants of holiday accommodation to have personal liability cover. This is normally included in your travel insurance.
You could need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Europe, as the British driving license may no longer be recognised, particularly the older ones with no photo. These can be bought over the counter at most Post Offices and cost £5.50.
It is necessary to have a "green card" to prove that you have valid car insurance. You would need to get this from your insurance company, so make sure that you allow enough time. The "GB sticker" on you car will continue to be required.
The green card also applies if you hire a car through a UK hire company, although they will have to supply the "green card" and should be set up to do this. If you book a hire car from a French company you will not need a green card.
For British users, free mobile phone sroaming throughout the EU is being phased out. You will need to consult your operator for the charges that may apply. A UK law means that you're protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing...
The GBP / EURO exchange rate will probably be volatile over the coming months, and the financial markets will react quickly to the ongoing effects of the energy crisis and the international political situation.
At the time of writing (October 2022) the Pound/Euro rate remains good at around 1.15€/GBP. If you're worried that the pound may fall between now and the date of you holiday, you can use a "currency card" to lock in your exchange rate, for example FairFX Money Card.
However, don't get over-worried about this aspect. If you take the example of an accommodation rental at 2000 Euros; at a rate of 1.15 it's 1739 GBP, at 1.10 it's 1818 GBP. Is £79 more really going to stop you booking your holiday?
The extent of disruptions experienced in recent years would seem to be unlikely to happen again, as the travel market is now well prepared and vaccination is widespread. You can see our Covid page for any current information. We will update this if any changes appear in the French legislation.
When possible, this is often a more comfortable solution, particularly for families with young children. There are problems from time to time with air travel; strikes, understaffing, cancelled flights, stepped-up border control checks and all the rest. Travelling to northern France by ferry may just be that little safeguard that's worth having. You can still get great weather by choosing the Vendee or the Charente / Charente Maritime - just far enough south to make the difference. For example, the Vendee on the west coast is only a 3 hour drive from St Malo or 4 hours from Caen. See travelling distances to the Vendee from the channel ports.
If you book self-catered accommodation you always save money and can also mix cooking at home and eating out to spread you budget further. A good quality holiday villa means that you will spend less on days out and holiday activities. A villa with swimming pool often means that it is hard to persuade the family to go out ! Check out some of our quality villas with pool in the Vendee.
With volatile tourisme over the past few years, prices are generally on the increase and early-booking discounts may be hard to find. As confidence returns in force, the availability will be snapped up quickly so it's best to decide as early as possible. It's always annoying to find that the fabulous villa that you really wanted is no longer available for your dates!
UK mobile phone roaming charges are mostly back for Europe. Booking a holiday property with free wifi will mean that the whole family can still stay in touch, with Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp and Messenger. Most holiday rental websites will clearly show whether there is wifi at the property. The Vendee holiday villas shown on this page all have free wifi.
It makes sense to prepare things well in advance as there may be delays in getting the documents.
This article has been based on a summary of the information available at the time of writing. Decisions may be taken or events may occur, at any time, that could change the requirements or restrictions for travelling outside Great Britain. In any doubt, please refer to the appropriate government body for up to date information.
The Vendee is probably the best compromise for distance, weather and value for money in France. Need convincing? See some videos of the Vendee.
Choose the right holiday property - We have a range of specially selected holiday cottages, gites and villas in the Vendee. We know every property, so we can answer any question that you may have.
Get the best deals on your ferry, or flight and car hire - It can be difficult to get the best deal when juggling the accommodation reservation and the travel at the same time - a "chicken and egg" situation... We can to hold an option for you on your chosen property while you book your travel, giving you more time to get the best prices. Our Vendee travel page has suggestions to help you as well as distances from the ferry ports to allow you to compare crossings and journey times easily. There are also details of the fly-drive options for the Vendee. The usual budget airlines go to Nantes and La Rochelle, leaving only a short drive into the Vendee.
Get the best service - Our aim is to provide you with a simple English-speaking contact for your booking, with clear pricing and personal knowledge of the properties and the area, offering you ease of booking and the best value for money.
The rental price and displayed charges that you see on our website is the price you pay. No additional "service charge" added to the final bill.
We make no surcharge for payments by card and can accept any card showing the
Visa or Mastercard symbol, credit or debit.
We also accept bank transfers in Euros, with no surchage.
(On the condition that the transfer is made "all charges to the sender")
Don't hesitate to give us a call to discuss your choice of holiday property, the facilites you need, or the current offers:
0033 682 45 16 82
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