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Caravanning In France..........the Costs!

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Ok, need to make sure i am doing this correctly before i take the plunge.

 

Normally we caravan in the Uk, but this year we want to try France, so we found the site, worked outs cost of pitch and ferry crossing, and it's very reasonable.

 

We obviously have the extra fuel costs due to travelling further, but that's to be expected.

 

But, i have just found out my car insurance will not cover us, need to purchase 'extra' cover.

Then, we will need recovery and travel insurance just in case. CC can offer this, for me the wife and 3 kids. ......£165 for a 2 week trip that covers car and caravan.

Now, things start to add up, we will also need passports for the wife, and the 3 kids too. Have no ideas on those costs, but it's not likely to be cheap.

What other costs are there we will likely to find. .....if any ? Is there anything we have overlooked?

 

just need to add to that,

travel essentials, triangle, bulb kits, breathaliser, hi viz

then camping essentials, hookup plug, polarity changer and tester.

 

anything else?

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Passport costs:

 

Standard Service

Adult £71. 25 Child £46. 00 (normal passport cost) - Post office check and send costs more.

 

Your car insurance for two weeks in Europe shouldn't be too much extra - many policies include this as standard these days.

 

The Caravan Club insurance should cover recovery for car and caravan. Fuel will be (slightly) cheaper if you have a diesel car. You'll need to purchase a warning triangle, high vizibility vests (one by law, one per passenger makes sense, work out how to change the direction of your headlights (some can be altered from within the cabin, others by a dealer, and others by attaching beam benders or black tape), you'll need a European adaptor on some sites. Some now use the blue euro plug, but others will need a two pin adaptor, and you may need a longer lead as some hook-up bollards are quite a way from the pitch they serve. Make sure you have enough gas with you - as you'll not be able to buy the same type of gas containers and connectors in France.

 

Other than those I don't think we have to pay out anything else. We take our normal credit and debit cards for spending - credit cards for supermarket bills,restaurants, fuel, and large spending, and debit cards for cash withdrawals for smaller spending. We're fortunate in that they are both fee free.

Edited by ValA

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Five Star. .....thanks for that. :D

 

Wife mentioned about NOT using credit cards and getting a pre paid card as they appear to be cheaper. My concerns would be the thought of spending them without need, just to use them up. We watch the pennies at every opportunity, not a bad thing in today's climate, but some people think that we are just tight! :angry:

 

I suppose the first year's travel, with the cost of passports is to be expected much higher, hopefully the experience will be a pleasant one and we can make full use of them in the coming years. I just can't bring myself to paying for a package holiday. ...............................................well not yet anyway! :rolleyes:

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Do you still need a couple of breathalysers ?

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There's still debate on that - motorcycling forums say 'No' but everywhere else says 'Yes' - but apart from in the British press there seems to have been no more news from French sources!

 

We don't bother with a pre-paid card for exactly the reason you quote - a temptation to spend what you put on it! Have a look at Money Saving Expert for details of the best cards.

 

We've been camping/caravanning in France (and Europe) for thirty-three years - and though I can't guarantee you'll love it, I think I can count on one hand those people who say they'll never go back!

Edited by ValA

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thanks for the replies, I just want to make sure i am covering all bases before I take the plunge! I am booking this with both my parents AND the mother in law coming along too!! I really must be mad, but heh if not now then never.

They will be staying in a static type thing (that's another headache to book lol) but I am just making a list, that is just growing!!

I am sure the whole experience is going to be a fantastic one, just want to make sure I plan it properly to avoid causing huge problems later.

 

ouch. .......£66. 30 for 2 weeks car insurance. ........good ole swift cover!!! :angry:

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Blimey - you need to be asking the Meerkats to help you out with a cheaper quote which included European cover next time!

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Blimey - you need to be asking the Meerkats to help you out with a cheaper quote which included European cover next time!

 

too damn right!! wouldn't mind but my sister has worked for them from when they first started. ....................but can't get us ANY discount.

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Plan your route to avoid toll roads if you can. The cost mounts up! You can check prices on-line. http://www. autoroutes. fr/fr/les-principaux-tarifs-2012. htm but there are many sites to use if you don't like this one. Add in an extra cost for 2013 of course.

 

As ValA says - I'm sure you'll enjoy it and return many times. We have over more years than I'll admit to.

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Plan your route to avoid toll roads if you can. The cost mounts up! You can check prices on-line. http://www. autoroute. ..tarifs-2012. htm but there are many sites to use if you don't like this one. Add in an extra cost for 2013 of course.

 

As ValA says - I'm sure you'll enjoy it and return many times. We have over more years than I'll admit to.

 

good point, forgot all about tolls. I know there is a trade off with less tolls, more travel times, but obviously there are many different routes. Have notice Michelin do a nice one, gives you 3 different options, seems about £25 -£45 in tolls is the going rate. Avoiding them all together is possible, but travel time would not be worth it. At the end of the day, if I have to pay £40 in tolls for a less stressful and more relaxing drive, then that bit i am happy to accept. Last thing i need to do is arrive wound up and pulling my hair out!!! I can do that home here going to the shops lol

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I am booking this with both my parents AND the mother in law coming along too!! I really must be mad, but heh if not now then never.

 

 

You will definitely need these breathalysers, legal requirement or not ;-)

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You will definitely need these breathalysers, legal requirement or not ;-)

 

lmfao. ....yes i was thinking more like 'sod it, get drunk, get arrested. ......that'll be a cheaper and better holiday' lol

 

(just joking about D&D before i get jumped on)

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Look into prepaid cards further, they can save you money if you choose the right one. Why spend the money on them just to use it up? We came back from France last year with still 80 Euros on it, last weekend we put on £150/180Euros ready for this year, the cards will last for ever as long as you keep it current.

We used the TESCO/TRAVELX card, it costs nothing to draw money at ATMS abroad.

Edited by lunarloopy

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We use post office credit card. No fees and good exchange rates. Keep it just for abroad and always been accepted so far. Pay it off on return so no interest charges. Otherwise advice so far is good.

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Compared with UK Motorways avoiding towns you have pay for and they are expensive, so what you save on fuel you lose on tolls, others routes are hard work? If you want to holiday take your wet weather clothes as the chance of good weather is not that much greater than UK? It is true once you have been you will return, probably to drive brought on he way to another country?

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Yes - As a few people have sensibly noted avoiding tolls can be counter-productive. Sorry if I mislead!

 

I never avoid motorways! For the reasons others have pointed out but paricularly to speed up my journey.

 

Do remember however, that if you are travelling faster that usually means more fuel - just another thing to factor in if you are very concerned about budget!

 

When heading for the Mediterranean I simply want to get there - meandering/sighseeing can wait for my leisurely, wander anywhere, return. I will leave home on a Friday this year and be comfortably at my destination close to Le Lavandou for Sunday mid morning. The alternative cross-country drive might take a couple more days.

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We use post office credit card. No fees and good exchange rates. Keep it just for abroad and always been accepted so far. Pay it off on return so no interest charges. Otherwise advice so far is good.

 

We do the same. I've had the P. O. card for about 10 years and only use it for trips abroard. You can also pre-load it before you go and draw cash from the machines without penalty

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A lot of what you are mentioning re costs will last you for donkeys years, so yes, it is a first year hit.

 

Save a fortune by using toll free dual carriageways etc - we never use toll roads in France due to cost, and minimal use in Italy too for the same reason.

 

If you are spending a lot on a bank card, then a fee free card will save you a fortune. Whilst people will say it is only 2% or £1. 50 plus 1% etc, it all adds up when paying for fuel etc.

 

We use a Norwich and Peterborough fee free DEBIT card linked to a curent account - saved us about £70 in September and offers good rates too. I wrote an articale about fee free cards - see here - but there are others available and you should do your own research etc.

 

Russell

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Passport costs:

Standard Service

Adult £71. 25 Child £46. 00 (normal passport cost) - Post office check and send costs more.

 

Sorry Val, but new passport costs are: Adult £72. 50 (£81. 25 if using PO check and send service) and Child £46 (£54. 75 for PO service).

 

Child prices cover children up to age of 16 yrs and passports are valid for 5 yrs only - adults are for 10 yrs.

 

Please also be aware that adults will need a passport interview so please allow 6 weeks when applying.

 

Glen.

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And do not forget the very useful ;) European Health Insurance Card (National Health equivelant in EU) it is free,

http://www. nhs. uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic. aspx

or

www. dh. gov. uk/travellers

 

might be useful

 

Bonne Chance

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Now, things start to add up, we will also need passports for the wife, and the 3 kids too. Have no ideas on those costs, but it's not likely to be cheap.

 

.

Unlikely many people in UK don't have passports.

 

have they never been out of UK.

 

Passports generally last 10 years, so even if they are £72. 50 each, divide that by 10 years, just £7. 25 a year.

 

Gra.

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Have you got any Tesco vouchers? that will save you a few Bob on the crossing.

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Ok, need to make sure i am doing this correctly before i take the plunge.

 

Normally we caravan in the Uk, but this year we want to try France, so we found the site, worked outs cost of pitch and ferry crossing, and it's very reasonable.

 

We obviously have the extra fuel costs due to travelling further, but that's to be expected.

 

But, i have just found out my car insurance will not cover us, need to purchase 'extra' cover.

Then, we will need recovery and travel insurance just in case. CC can offer this, for me the wife and 3 kids. ......£165 for a 2 week trip that covers car and caravan.

Now, things start to add up, we will also need passports for the wife, and the 3 kids too. Have no ideas on those costs, but it's not likely to be cheap.

What other costs are there we will likely to find. .....if any ? Is there anything we have overlooked?

 

just need to add to that,

travel essentials, triangle, bulb kits, breathaliser, hi viz

then camping essentials, hookup plug, polarity changer and tester.

 

anything else?

 

here is a list for you to look at.

do not go without full cover, I E: red pennant from caravan club or similar.

if you can go out of school hols or say 16th august onwards you can get good deals on camping cheque and ACSI

for ferry and sites

 

 

cheers rodders B)

TRAVEL KIT. doc

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Might also be a good idea of carrying a spare water pump and fuses for the van, and spare fan belt for car.

 

Plenty of sunscreen just in case.

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thanks for all the advice people, and yes strangely enough my wife does not have a passport, well not a valid one anyway. My 3 boys (aged 3,6 & 9) have no passports and i only have one for work purposes. Strange i know, but if it were not for my parents, i'd still be vanning in the UK, and not even attempting France.

 

I have sorted out Red Pennant cover, travelling that far without cover would be mad, yes £165 for 2 weeks does seem alot, but will be pennies in comparison to the costs if anything does go wrong!!!

Tolls will be kept to a minimum, I have the usual TomTom sat nav, but will be pre planning the route on paper anyway, just in case. That way we can make sure we stick to either dual carriageways or motorways. If it costs an extra £20 to save time and fuel, and alot of stress then that seems reasonable to me. Cutting costs must not mean cutting corners!

Spare pump etc is a VERY good idea, had one go a few years ago, was a struggle getting a new one in this country. .......imagine that in France so for what its worth, one will be going along just in case!

We seem to be getting a great deal on Ferry crossing with DFDS vis the CC, we go in mid June and return at the end, £65 return which i think is very reasonable considering the size of our unit, and CC do claim to price match anyone else!

 

My list is growing, but if i plan it now, we can cover items monthly, spreading the cost of our main holiday, with all the others we have (we use van at least 10 times a year at minimum) so it's always a juggle, and anyone with young kids will understand what i mean when you have to plan around birthday parties!!!! Seems I have no compassion according to one of my sons when i planned a weekend away, that collided with his best mates birthday. ................tut tut daddy, should have known and checked family planner hanging up is what the wife says!! lol

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