Update - Winter 2021-22
We are expecting the travel situation to stabilise in time for summer 2022 so that holidaymakers in the UK and Europe can travel to France without significant restrictions, as long as they are fully vaccinated at the time of travel. However, we cannot be 100% sure this will be the case! So far during the pandemic all villa owners we work with have been understanding of this situation. In circumstances where travel has been impossible, we worked tirelessly with our partners and clients in 2020 and 2021 to sort out each and every booking satisfactorily. We will do so again in 2022, if that is what it takes.
See below for latest France entry requirements. We strongly advise vaccinated travellers to carry a paper certificate of vaccination as well as an app-based travel pass. (If your home country is not listed please check your government's foreign ministry website for information.) NB Please check the government website for your country of residence regarding requirements to return home.
BELGIUM & LUXEMBOURG:
It is vital that you have adequate travel insurance in place for your holiday. Please visit our Insurance page for details of what is required and recommended.
ABTA has recently launched a new travel insurance product, which includes medical cover for coronavirus - ABTA Travel Sure.
We strongly advise using official advice - i.e. government sources and regulatory bodies - at all times. These links are robust:
Q. Can I cancel my holiday?
A. Package travel companies and insurers will typically take their lead from the FCDO and whether it is advising against 'all but essential' imminent travel to a particular destination. 'Imminent' usually means within a few days of planned travel. If travel to France is possible and you choose to cancel then normal cancellation terms will apply, i.e. your deposit/monies paid will not be refunded.
If the FCDO is advising against 'all but essential' imminent travel to France, or if there is a lockdown in France or the country where you live, owners/accommodation partners will provide a credit note to the value of your payments to date so that you can re-schedule your holiday at the same property for a later date in 2021 or 2022. Since we are acting as an agent for the owner/accommodation partner, it is their terms that apply and we will advise you of their conditions at the time of booking.
Q. What happens if my flight (or ferry) is cancelled because of Coronavirus travel restrictions?
A. You should contact your travel provider directly for advice.
Q. What happens if there is a Coronavirus outbreak in the destination whilst I am on holiday?
A. You are advised to follow the rules and guidelines of the local authorities at your destination. Your insurance policy may well cover this eventuality under their "Curtailment" clause - please check before you travel.
Q. I'm over 70 and concerned about the government's advice surrounding self-isolation. What can I do?
A. If you have a future booking where your accommodation can be fulfilled, our normal booking conditions and cancellation charges apply. We recommend that you speak with your travel insurance provider to see what cover you have in place in light of the latest government advice surrounding self-isolation. If your GP has advised against travel, and they have provided you with official documentation to confirm this, you should also speak to your travel insurance provider for advice.
From 1st January 2021, the transition period for the UK leaving the EU is at an end, and new travel regulations will apply. Do have a look at ABTA's excellent latest travel advice page which provides helpful & important information regarding visas, transport, travel documents, pets and insurance including EHIC & GHIC. This BBC article also provides a useful summary of travel to the EU after Brexit.
GOVERNMENT BREXIT ADVICE
The latest published Government advice on Brexit can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/brexit and there is also specific infomation on visiting the EU after Brexit here: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021
VISAS & PASSPORTS.
You do not need a travel visa for trips of less than 90 days.
Your UK passport will still be valid, but please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your arrival date. You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10-year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining.
NEW GHIC CARD
EHIC cards remain valid so long as they are still in date. They are being replaced by GHIC cards which are available free of charge via the official web link: NHS GHIC. It is recommended that you apply at least 2 weeks before your travel date. You should still take out comprehensive travel insurance.
TRAVEL ADVICE FOR DRIVING IN FRANCE
A UK driving licence will be valid in the EU and you will not need to obtain an International Driving Permit, except in some instances where you are only in possession of a paper licence. UK citizens wishing to drive their own vehicle within an EU country are required to obtain and carry a Green Card for insurance. These cards can be requested from insurers and may incur a small fee. If the number plate of your car is not configured with a GB sign, you are required to attach a GB sticker when driving in the EU.
For more information, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/driving-in-the-eu.
The AA's provides helpful general travel advice for driving in France: http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/.
TRAVEL ADVICE RELATING TO PETS
The current pet travel rules apply which means that, as previously, you will need a UK-issued pet passport in order to travel to France with your pet. From 1 January 2021, the UK will become a 'third country' as far as the EU is concerned and then new rules for travelling with pets will apply.
According to press reports, you will still be able to use your contract minutes, texts and downloads whilst abroad. Please check with your mobile phone provider before you travel to check whether the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same as in the UK.
FOREIGN OFFICE TRAVEL ADVICE FOR FRANCE
|Travel Services||Travel Guides||Holiday Admin|
|Flights||Biarritz||Agency Ts & Cs|
|Ferry||Biscarrosse||Arrival & Departure|
|Rail Travel||Cap Ferret||Cleaning|
|Travel Insurance||Hossegor||Rental Guidelines|
|Airport Transfers||Lacanau Ocean||Security Deposits|
|Stopover Hotels||Moliets Plage||Travel Insurance|
|Local Hotels, B&Bs||Saint Jean de Luz|
|Driving in France||Arcachon Bay|
|France Survival Guide||Bordeaux|
|Holiday Weather||France Basque Coast|
|In-villa Pampering||Landes Coast|
|Ile de Ré|
|Food & Wine|
For stop-over ideas & famous sites to visit try this great resource:
100 Things To Do in France
Clients of Alternative Aquitaine can book their travel arrangements directly with the supplier - we've provided a few signposts below...
Airport Transfers in Aquitaine: Sea Lifts transfer to/from airports, railway stations and ferry ports as well as offering chaffeur services during your holiday. Child and baby-seats available free of charge. Fleet includes mini-buses.
Another option is Europe Transfer who offer 10% discount to Alternative Aquitaine clients. Pop on to their website to book direct using code AA10. Europe Transfer is an independent transfer company providing luxury yet affordable airport transfers from Biarritz, Bordeaux, Bilbao and San Sebastian to destinations throughout Aquitaine and north west Spain. We provide a transfer that forms part of the holiday rather than just getting you from A to B and so we offer clients a business class style transfer at affordable prices. We do this through the quality of our vehicles and drivers, together with added features such as WiFi, iPads packed with films and Netflix, headphones, USB charging points and cables. We also offer clean MaxiCosi child and baby seats free of charge, for those requiring them. Our VW Caravelles seat 8 passengers, with leather seating, individual climate control and plenty of luggage space.
Ferry Crossings: Brittany Ferries offers multiple options for cross-channel routes, plus the long crossings to Spain - very handy for the south west corner of France!
Car Hire: Holiday Autos is a well-known brand name and has excellent coverage at low-cost flight destinations in France. Sixt is a good alternative. To cover yourself against extortionate car hire excess charges, you could buy an annual policy from Insurance for Car Hire.
Rail Travel: Very few clients think of the train when planning their travel to France. But we think this is a very civilised option, taking you all the way to south west France and you arrive in a relaxed mood. Biarritz and Arcachon are rail-friendly destinations.
Airport Parking & Chauffeurs: Purple Parking is the UK’s largest airport parking operator, and has specialised in car parking for the business and leisure travel market for over 18 years. You can park your own car at the airport, or choose a chauffeur collection service. Parking4less is used by over 50,000 people each year to book their airport parking and airport hotels at Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Stansted and Birmingham airports.
Travel Insurance: The Voyager policy has been designed exclusively for self-drive holidays to France and mainland Europe and it has the security of being underwritten by AXA Insurance - one of Europe's largest insurers. Flexicover is an established travel insurance provider which has been trading for 25 years.
TRAVEL ADVICE FOR LESS MOBILE CLIENTS
We know all of our properties very well and pride ourselves on having visited every location in our portfolio. If you or any member of your party have any special requirements, we would be very keen to ensure that we find a holiday property that will be suitable for your needs. Please contact our offices on +44(0)1395 576655 or email email@example.com before completing any reservation to ensure compatibility for the holiday that you choose.
There is a very useful Checklist for Disabled and Less Mobile Passengers available on ABTA's website.
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