Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi there looking for some advise for traveling to France we are wanting to go in the summer 2014 but have never traveled abroad before I'm looking for advise on which area to go to and sites that you can recommend there is myself,wife,daughter 12years old and my son 10 years old we also have a small dog that we want to take I'm traveling from Glasgow and will be going for 3weeks all advise welcome thanks in advance Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there looking for some advise for traveling to France we are wanting to go in the summer 2014 but have never traveled abroad before I'm looking for advise on which area to go to and sites that you can recommend there is myself,wife,daughter 12years old and my son 10 years old we also have a small dog that we want to take I'm traveling from Glasgow and will be going for 3weeks all advise welcome thanks in advance Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy

We are doing the same for 2014 as well. Lots of help and advice here. All depends what you want, beach? Culture? Swimming pool?

Lots of people recommending the Vendee & that's where we are off to. We are going to La Yole (in the cc book). Other have recommended places in Trinite sur Mer. In fact that was where we were going, but after the amount of recommendations here we went with la yole.

With regards to the journey, we are doing the overnight from Portsmouth to st Malo. Main reason for this is that it gets you further into France, especially if you haven't towed there before and it thus gives you more time to enjoy yourselves.

Our 2 girls will be 11 and nearly 9, so not too dissimilar.

Good luck, and if you need any help give me a shut, but I suspect some far more seasoned travellers will offer a lot of more valuable advice that I can give!

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

If you intend travelling with brittany ferries, you are welcome to use my discount code. Send me a pm and I will give it to you. I have only been on the continent once and that was last year, I did Southern France, landing in Spain and driving into the south of France. It really was a joy and so much easier than this country. I highly recommend it! I'm booked to go back again in June. Can't wait, so much so, I'm off skiing there next week too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy, some questions to help us guide our replies, as France is a huge country and has something for everyone:

How far a day are you comfortable driving/ how long/ do you both drive?

What are your interests? I assume with kids of that age you won't be spending all your time in chateaux and museums, but do you like sandy beaches/rocky coves/mountain walks/lakes/rivers? Do you want to take kids to Disney/Asterix/Futuroscope?

Do you particularly want France?. The channel is a long way from Glasgow with a caravan in tow. There are ferries from Newcastle & Hull to Holland, for Holland/ Germany/Luxmbourg. Expensive crossings compared with Dover but could be matched by a saving in fuel and overnight stops.

 

Lastly give my regards to Bothwell. Many a happy evening spent in the Douglas Arms when staying at the Bothwell Bridge Hotel, visiting my company's site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think that you need to state a bit more about what sort of holiday you want as France is a big place. Beaches, old towns, modern cities, long drive to be sure of the sun or a short drive as don't want to go far when there. Short hop over to Calais or longer ferry and less driving when there. Give us some information and I am sure you will be given lots of feedback.

 

Oh dear you just beat me to it Not So Big John

Edited by LongTimeCaravaner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He there would be glad of any advise for a trip to France this summer this will be our first trip abroad two adults two kids aged 12 and 10 we also have a small dog

I'm looking for area to visit sites best way to get there ferry/tunnel and if I can take the dog any thing you can tell me will be of great help

Thanks andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Abdul I will be following this as we are planning in going to France also this year,we are going to stop at camp 4 vents as we are taking out 5&6 yr olds to euro Disney.

I presume it will be Dover to Calais then head down,

I have heard of the French having lots of rules though,

Hi vis jackets for all people in car,

Headlight beam adjusters

Fire extinguisher

First aid kit

Warning triangle

If its a twin axle I've read somewhere you have to take proof you don't live in it full time I. e uk council tax bill

Think there's something about speed limit also at certain times/days but hopefully someone may fill us in who has experience going abroad.

 

Not sure what else mate

Dam I phone sorry

HI ANDY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He there would be glad of any advise for a trip to France this summer this will be our first trip abroad two adults two kids aged 12 and 10 we also have a small dog

I'm looking for area to visit sites best way to get there ferry/tunnel and if I can take the dog any thing you can tell me will be of great help

Thanks andy

 

Hi Andy,

 

Speed limits depend on the gross train weight of the towing vehicle irrespective of how much weight you are towing. You may also come across lower speed limits locally signed for down hill sections.

 

Have a look here http://www. caravanclub. co. uk/media/5582430/french%20speed%20limits. pdf

 

You do need to have the high vis jackets for everyone in the vehicle. You may also need to have the diy breathalyzer kits. I'm not sure if this is still the case. I'm sure someone else will confirm.

 

Stick to the limits rigidly, especially on the non-motorway roads, the Gendarmes like to hide around corners with their radar speed guns!
Other than that, it's very easy and pleasant to tow in France with nice smooth and not too busy roads most of the time.
Re the crossing, we always use the tunnel as my wife isn't keen on the ferries. That is very easy and efficient too, can lead to longer drives depending on where you are going. But 35 minutes on the train an you're there. Love it!
Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get the Caravan Club site guide "Caravan Europe 1" apart from listing thousands of sites all the information you need about rules speed etc is there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, firstly, don't worry about it. I went away myself last year for the first time. I took the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao in Spain and drove into the South of France. The ferry has two options, kennels or pet friendly cabins. There are dedicated dog walking areas on board. Personally, I wouldn't do the kennels bit. I don't think it's very fair that they are kennelled for 24 hour crossing myself. Your dog will need a pet passport I believe and certain vaccinations.

 

There are rules abroad and the caravan club will most likely have this on their website. High viz vest is a must, I carried an extra pair of prescription glasses, three (one time use) breathalysers, spare bulb kit, two warning triangles. Reason for this is that if you breakdown and have to leave the caravan, it has to have a triangle behind it. But your car has to have a triangle also.

 

I bought the tags to go on the windscreen which helped me greatly when going through toll booths. Being alone in a RHD car with a caravan on the back would have made it difficult to reach out on the left hand side of the car to sort the tickets and payments. Speed limits are dependant on gross train weight.

 

Some sites are apparently funny about twin axle caravans so if you intend just to travel around, you will run the risk of not being accepted at some sites who are funny about it. If you book in advance then you have peace of mind.

 

If your outfit is over a certain length and you do take the ferry which lands in Bilbao or Santander, you may need long vehicle markers for the back of the caravan. I didn't require them but they are only a few quid for peace of mind.

 

Tomtom speed alerts should be switched off when abroad in France or you risk a fine if the police stop you and find out they are on. However I have never heard of anyone getting'done'. In fact, I was two weeks into my holiday when I remembered that a I hadn't switched mine off.

 

 

The are a lot of little things you need to remember but on the whole it's so much better than the uk. Warmer, quieter and the pools are better, beaches are nicer, travelling around is easier.

 

Enjoy!

P. s, if you do choose a ferry crossing and it's brittany ferries, feel free to pm me and I will give you my brittany ferries discount code for 10 percent off your crossing, Spain or France, it doesn't matter.

 

Cheers

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some points I have found out over the years, although last year was the first time with the van.

 

The speed limits are more generous than the UK but I still stick to our limits as I feel this is safer, and you will notice, most French drivers adhere to the speed limits on the motorways. Always slow down through the towns/villages as per above due to speed traps and safety. The yellow diamond/placename sign indicates speed limit change.

 

Also, on Motorways the speed limit changes if it is raining.

 

Headlamp modifiers - The French law indicates that you must not dazzel oncoming roadusers. How you do this is up to you. Many modern cars headlights can be modified - lots of info on this site. If you need adjusters buy online, you will get fleeced at the port.

 

Breathalisers - the law was not completed to be an offence not to have these, therefore you cannot be prosecuted. Buyat the french supermarkets for a couple of euros for a twin pack if you want to.

 

Fire extinguishers - I personally did not know these were required.

 

The Warning Triangle (x2), first aid kit, bulb kit and yellow gillettes(1 req'd per person)are all required.

 

 

Taking your dog. You should already know you need a passport for each dog. It will cost you at least £30 extra to take your dog over, and a vet visit is needed between 120 and 24 hours before return departure time for worming only. Make sure the vet dates and stamps the passport with his official stamp. This will cost 30 - 45 euro's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pet friendly cabins are only available on Brittany Ferries to Spain, not to France. I would personally leave the dog in the car, even on the French ferries that have kennels, as our dog is used to travelling in the car and feels secure. Dover to Calais no kennels.

 

Rob, just to mentionas you have not said, that the BFOC card only gives the guest 10% off the actual crossing price, not the accomodation or dog fee, if you are travelling overnight.

 

I have just booked up this years crossing with BF, which is 4 and a half times more than last years Dover Calais price. It suits me as I get a good nights sleep, and I like going with BF, but it is a lot of extra cash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't think you was allowed in the tunnel with a caravan or any gas on board?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi rob,is The is count code only available for one person to use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't think you was allowed in the tunnel with a caravan or any gas on board?

You can take caravans through the tunnel, and carry gas for use in the caravan - though staff do usually insist you turn off the gas and give you a sticker to say the gas is off. It's only LPG powered CARS which are not allowed.

 

You don't need a council tax bill for a British registered twin axle. There are a few sites which won't allow twin axles at all, and some sites where a prebooked British twin axle is accepted. It's mainly a rule to deter French 'travellers' who often use big twins.

Edited by ValA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi rob,is The is count code only available for one person to use?

Nope, it's available for anyone. Send me a personal message if you want it and I will send it over to you.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Abdul I will be following this as we are planning in going to France also this year,we are going to stop at camp 4 vents as we are taking out 5&6 yr olds to euro Disney.

I presume it will be Dover to Calais then head down,

I have heard of the French having lots of rules though,

Hi vis jackets for all people in car,

Headlight beam adjusters

Fire extinguisher

First aid kit

Warning triangle

If its a twin axle I've read somewhere you have to take proof you don't live in it full time I. e uk council tax bill

Think there's something about speed limit also at certain times/days but hopefully someone may fill us in who has experience going abroad.

 

Not sure what else mate

Dam I phone sorry

HI ANDY

Hi Andy,

We spend 4 months every summer in SW France (working) and I have never heard of or been asked to provide proof you don't live in it full time (Twin Axle).

You will find that municipal sites will not allow twin axle caravans in at all and this is displayed with a big cross through a picture of such van. They are worried about the traveling fraternity too!

I didn't think you was allowed in the tunnel with a caravan or any gas on board?

Yes there is not a problem for 1 gas bottle in the front compartment but it will need to be turned off and the regulator not attached to the bottle. The tunnel staff will ask you to open the compartment to prove the above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are only required to carry 1 high vis vest,but it makes sense to have 1 for everyone,the vest must be readily available from the front seat of the car.

A first aid kit and fire extinguisher aren't compulsory.

Spare spectacles aren't compulsory but it makes sense to carry them,if you broke your specs and you need them for driving if the police check your licence and you weren't wearing specs you would be done for it.

knarf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vehicles tend to be driven faster in France than in UK and their overtaking technique are different

to ours. Think Frogger the old platform game - they get close to your boot pull out, overtake then pull in

just passed your bonnet.

 

Caravans and Trailers from other European countries travel at Warp speed, heading due south for

the Summer Hols.

 

Last year the French Government took 800 million euros in fines, the UK £30 million.

 

Road deaths are down though from 8000 in 2003 to about 3000 last year.

 

All the above figures are from some general web sites.

 

I have been travelling and driving in France since the early 80's, the French do not like queuing and

once the traffic lights turn to green hit the go pedal to save getting hooted to death.

 

We love France and all it brings with it. Roll on Summer 2014.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank to everyone who has replied I've got food for thought and a bit of home work to do I will let you all know what we are going to do

Thanks again Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi john I'll have a look at la yole and see how I get on at this point I have no clue about any site or area and am just looking for recommendations thanks again andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

If you intend travelling with brittany ferries, you are welcome to use my discount code. Send me a pm and I will give it to you. I have only been on the continent once and that was last year, I did Southern France, landing in Spain and driving into the south of France. It really was a joy and so much easier than this country. I highly recommend it! I'm booked to go back again in June. Can't wait, so much so, I'm off skiing there next week too!

Hi rob thanks for your advise and very kind offer I am going to do a bit more research on which area and if it ferry or euro tunnel

Thanks Again Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy, some questions to help us guide our replies, as France is a huge country and has something for everyone:

How far a day are you comfortable driving/ how long/ do you both drive?

What are your interests? I assume with kids of that age you won't be spending all your time in chateaux and museums, but do you like sandy beaches/rocky coves/mountain walks/lakes/rivers? Do you want to take kids to Disney/Asterix/Futuroscope?

Do you particularly want France?. The channel is a long way from Glasgow with a caravan in tow. There are ferries from Newcastle & Hull to Holland, for Holland/ Germany/Luxmbourg. Expensive crossings compared with Dover but could be matched by a saving in fuel and overnight stops.

 

Lastly give my regards to Bothwell. Many a happy evening spent in the Douglas Arms when staying at the Bothwell Bridge Hotel, visiting my company's site.

Hi john thanks for your advise the honest answer is I have no clue as to what part we want to go we are open to recommendations

At the moment I am leaning a bit more towards the tunnel than the ferry so again I would not mind driving a couple of hrs from tunnel

Even if this was only a overnight and driving maybe 5/6hrs next day would like someplace that is near The Coast but does not need to be at the beech and somewhere near a city or big town for the kids to have some place to drag us round lol

Would prefer France as wife wants to go

As to life in Bothwell as you know it is not overly big so I know you had great times in the Douglas arms but my watering hole is the camphill vaults which company were you up visiting in case it know of it

Thanks again for your advise Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think that you need to state a bit more about what sort of holiday you want as France is a big place. Beaches, old towns, modern cities, long drive to be sure of the sun or a short drive as don't want to go far when there. Short hop over to Calais or longer ferry and less driving when there. Give us some information and I am sure you will be given lots of feedback.

 

Oh dear you just beat me to it Not So Big John

Hi john thanks for advise lot to sort out but at the moment I think I would prefer tunnel and maybe some where within a couple of hrs from there even it was only a overnight stay to travel a bit further the next day I'm not fussed we went to Devon this year and loved it so don't mind once we get to France to do a bit of exploring round about our base

Thanks again Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...