Tips for French Cottages Travellers

Make your next Holiday in France a huge success - see the tips below.

How to book your Holiday in France

The ideal sequence for booking your entire French itinerary should follow this time-line.
Dates are inidicative only of course! Let's assume your holiday is for August 2020.

15 March 2019

Special Events that can't be changed first

FIRST, determine if there are any dates or places that cannot be changed.
For example, a wedding, a visit to a relative while you are there, etc 

14th June 2019

Tours (e.g. Camino Walk, etc)

THEN any tours that have fixed dates that you want to participate in.
If you have a choice of dates for such tours, choose the range that best fits in with the next point below. 

30th July 2019


Because we book up very much in advance (and so would other quality self-catered accommodation) this ideally should be done up to one year in advance. Also bear in mind that most professionally run cottages book in weekly blocks commencing on a Saturday (ours commence on a Friday so you won't miss the Saturday markets). These cycles usually can't be varied in the main season for planning reasons. But you can easily work in with this if you are organised and follow this list! 

30th August 2019

Canal or Sea Cruises

Or, if this is not possible, be aware that you will need to coordinate these with a Friday or Saturday starting day for self-catered cottages. Many of these cruises end on a Sunday which is the worst day to finish because nothing much is open in France on Sundays (e.g. what if you wanted to collect a hire car that day?) It seems to suit the cruise operators more than their clients! BEFORE BOOKING A CRUISE THOUGH, READ THIS.

30 Nov 2019 till 31st March 2020


BOOK AIRFARES. In January (or after) in the year of travel. You can hold off till February or even March, but no longer. In March there is often a couple of weeks of special deals put out by the airlines. Watch out for these.

31st Jan 2020

Hotels for short in-between stops

Book hotel accommodation for peak periods in popular destinations.

27th May 2020

Book Lease Vehicles and Local Flights

You should book LEASE CARS about 2 months before you leave. Hire cars can wait a bit longer. As for internal European flights (Ryan Air, Easyjet, etc), book these and do consult the AIRPORT WEBSITES of your departure city and/or arrival city for very useful information including routes, etc. 

14th June 2020

TGV tickets, Hire Cars etc


After couples, one of the most popular touring parties we encounter amongst our guests are two, or sometimes three couples travelling together. Whether they are spending their whole holiday together or just a part of it, our cottages are the best style of accommodation for such groups.
Let's face it, as much as we love our friends we don't always want to spend every minute with them.
In our cottages there is plenty of room to 'spread out' and have some time apart in your own space, but also to get together again and enjoy and evening meal or an apéro and talk about the day's events. And all in a relaxed and happy manner.
With their excellent locations in the centres of hub villages, one lot can go off exploring the nearby region whilst the other can take time out from touring and just mooch about the house, do some cooking, paint, read a book or wander into the village to enjoy the local life.
And then, of an evening, re-unite to chat and laugh about the day's experiences.
It's just so much better than hotels. It's just so much better than anything!

We're frequently approached by people who are organising a family get-together or reunion, particlarly those with children living in different parts of the world, to ask if we have anything suitable. Our larger villas such as La Mirabeau in the Loire, Le Séjour in the Dordogne and L'Olivier in Provence are ideal for these events.
Not only do they have the requisite multiple bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas but they have other advantages not immediately apparent to these enquirers. One of these, and this is paramount, is their central location in vibrant, living villages. This is rare for large rental accommodations in rural France. Larger rental places are nearly always in the countryside or, at best, on the outskirts of a village. This is not good enough! Why? Because you don't have the same flexibility as when you're right 'within the walls'. You all have to pile into the car to drive to the village or suffer walking long distances that some of the older members of the party, like the lady in the picture above with the walker, may not be able to do. And then if you all go 'into town' for a coffee and croissant and suddenly someone wants to go back early (maybe they feel sick or tired), you're faced with a momentous decision: to all go back, make two trips or what? But with the central locations we offer, this won't be a problem. That person can just wander back home by themselves and let themselves into the house using our code system (no discussions about keys) and have a nap. There are many other advantages too and you will find these discussed at length in our printed brochure. Order your free copy here.

Over 60% of our guests are couples or singles. Some enquirers have an odd idea that our houses are too big for 'just the two of us'. This is not true. They all suit couples, though some of the larger villas mentioned in the section above could be thought of as overkill. (but why not?) Certainly the majority of our properties - both cottages and apartments - are ideal for couples or single travellers. The daily rate doesn't work out much different to staying in hotel rooms or B&Bs but you have the luxury of privacy and space to be together and, on occasion, get away from each other and have some time by yourself. If you get up one day and don't feel like venturing forth into the region on some quest you can stay at home without feeling you've somehow failed to discharge your touristic duties as you would if you stayed in a hotel room all day: holiday guilt. You can just enjoy being 'at home' and trot out into your village as you feel, when you feel like it. Other cottages, which aren't as well equipped, well located or comfortable as ours won't answer this need. With us, it will truly be 'your home in France'.

Practise some basic French

It's easy and fun on this website and you will be amazed how much the people will respect your for it!

Discover the Real France with French Cottages

Discover the Real France
with French Cottages Holidays

Your resource for organising the Best French Travel
Itinerary You’ll Ever Experience.


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North Carlton 3054


Phone: +61 (3) 8658 0799

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