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Flying into Paris and flying out somewhere else...

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11. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 499 posts) 16w

It's difficult to provide more specific recommendations without getting a better idea of your plans.
We could only surmise a few things from your original posting.

When I first read it, I figured that you'd be renting a car, since you said you "don't want to waste time driving back to Paris." Where you rent and return the vehicle is a factor in deciding what airports you should use.

There are unanswered questions as well. For example, do you only want to visit Provence? If that's the case, then Marseille (MRS) is an option, either from Charles de Gaulle (CDG) or Orly (ORY) . You can then either return to Paris from Marseille, or any other airport in southern France, to catch your flight home. Or, as I suggested, fly nonstop from Nice to JFK on Delta.

If you are unsure of where you want to go in southern France, consult the suggested itineraries of travel guides such as Frommer's, or the itineraries of tour companies. Choose the places you want to visit. Map out your proposed itinerary. Use Kayak.com to determine if there's an airport in the city you want to fly from. Most, if not all, routes lead to Paris. Fares are reasonable.

12. Posted by OldPro (Respected Member 219 posts) 16w

There is no need to make a big meal out of this. You want to visit Paris for a few days and the south of France for a week or so.

The answer to that is SIMPLE. Buy an open jaw ticket from Delta to fly either to Paris or Nice and return from the other. It doesn't take days of discussion or debate, all it takes is decisive action on your part.

Phone Delta, tell them your dates for departure/return and ask them which way will work best for you with an open jaw ticket. JOB DONE.

As for where to spend your time in the south, I would suggest staying in Antibes and renting a car for a few days of your time there to visit anywhere that after reading a guidebook on the area appeals to you. Maybe St. Paul de Vence or Eze for example.

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Jun-2016, at 10:06 by OldPro ]

13. Posted by nutsnbolts (Respected Member 155 posts) 16w

Quoting berner256

It's difficult to provide more specific recommendations without getting a better idea of your plans.
We could only surmise a few things from your original posting.

When I first read it, I figured that you'd be renting a car, since you said you "don't want to waste time driving back to Paris." Where you rent and return the vehicle is a factor in deciding what airports you should use.

There are unanswered questions as well. For example, do you only want to visit Provence? If that's the case, then Marseille (MRS) is an option, either from Charles de Gaulle (CDG) or Orly (ORY) . You can then either return to Paris from Marseille, or any other airport in southern France, to catch your flight home. Or, as I suggested, fly nonstop from Nice to JFK on Delta.

If you are unsure of where you want to go in southern France, consult the suggested itineraries of travel guides such as Frommer's, or the itineraries of tour companies. Choose the places you want to visit. Map out your proposed itinerary. Use Kayak.com to determine if there's an airport in the city you want to fly from. Most, if not all, routes lead to Paris. Fares are reasonable.

Berner you brought up a good point.

Honestly now that I look at it, something my wife and I usually do is select cities that we would be interested and then plan a route on how we would tackle it all if possible with the given amount of days. I'll admit I didn't do that and I guess when I posted this, I was looking for a high level suggested itinerary based on two things I knew...that is we want to see Paris for 2 to 3 days and then spend the rest of our time (7/8 days) in the south of France.

I didn't realize how large the "SOUTH" of France was and I guess I was also looking for the airport to leave from in the South of France instead of going back to Paris. I am learning more and I think I do have to perform some due diligence first to understand what we want to see. I'm being ignorant by just stating I want to see Provence and thinking Provence is the entire South :)

Flying nonstop from JFK to Nice is EXPENSIVE. However, i do like the idea of starting off in the South and ending up in Paris. I see there are several "major" airports in the South and I guess whichever way we go, would determine the airport.

I guess the question I'll ask is, where in the South should I focus on as a first time France traveler? Where to get the most experience in 10 days.

14. Posted by nutsnbolts (Respected Member 155 posts) 16w

Quoting OldPro

There is no need to make a big meal out of this. You want to visit Paris for a few days and the south of France for a week or so.

The answer to that is SIMPLE. Buy an open jaw ticket from Delta to fly either to Paris or Nice and return from the other. It doesn't take days of discussion or debate, all it takes is decisive action on your part.

Phone Delta, tell them your dates for departure/return and ask them which way will work best for you with an open jaw ticket. JOB DONE.

As for where to spend your time in the south, I would suggest staying in Antibes and renting a car for a few days of your time there to visit anywhere that after reading a guidebook on the area appeals to you. Maybe St. Paul de Vence or Eze for example.

Thanks, yeah I read up a little more about open jaw tickets. I'm sure I'll figure the flights out in no time.

As far as your suggestions for the south, thanks for those suggestions. I'll look into it.

About a car, I did mention that I would like to drive from Paris to the "south" but it seems like this trip is literally like 5 to 8 hour drive. Sorry, misjudge the size :)

Would you recommend any "base" location where I can get a car and enjoy the South within driving distance.

15. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 499 posts) 16w

You should use Kayak.com or Google/flights to recheck the fares.

The open-jaw fare from JFK to Paris (ORY or CDG); returning nonstop from Nice (NCE) is $693 on Delta/Air France. It's $636 R/T from JFK to ORY or CDG. So the $57 difference is not substantial. I put in a hypothetical departure date of Sept. 7; and a return date of Sept. 19.

The one-way fare on Air France from Paris (CDG or ORY) to Marseille (MRS) or Nice (NCE) is $56. That's reasonable. It may be cheaper than driving; saving time, too.

As mentioned before, you should determine what you want to see and do; and map out a route. Find out what the vehicle charges are. One suggestion is to travel around Provence by car; then, if you like, use public transportation (primarily trains) to go along the Cote d'Azur. For ideas, check this Web site and others: http://www.frenchriviera-tourism.com/get-informed/getting-around-the-cote-d-azur-06_2706.html.

If you go the public transportation route, perhaps you should fly into MRS first, rent a car to drive around Provence, return the vehicle to Marseille, then use public transportation to take you to Nice. Or you could keep the car all the way. Parking, however, could be an issue in some places. When I visited the Cote d'Azur, I mostly used rail transportation to get from place to place.

For rail schedules, check this Web site: https://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml

So there are of options to consider; and you have time enough to plan. However, since you'll be in Paris during the Autumn Festival, it's wise to book accommodations there sooner rather than later.

Hope this helps. I leave next Tuesday for two months in the Himalayas, where I will have limited, or no, Internet access.

16. Posted by nutsnbolts (Respected Member 155 posts) 16w

Quoting berner256

You should use Kayak.com or Google/flights to recheck the fares.

The open-jaw fare from JFK to Paris (ORY or CDG); returning nonstop from Nice (NCE) is $693 on Delta/Air France. It's $636 R/T from JFK to ORY or CDG. So the $57 difference is not substantial. I put in a hypothetical departure date of Sept. 7; and a return date of Sept. 19.

The one-way fare on Air France from Paris (CDG or ORY) to Marseille (MRS) or Nice (NCE) is $56. That's reasonable. It may be cheaper than driving; saving time, too.

As mentioned before, you should determine what you want to see and do; and map out a route. Find out what the vehicle charges are. One suggestion is to travel around Provence by car; then, if you like, use public transportation (primarily trains) to go along the Cote d'Azur. For ideas, check this Web site and others: http://www.frenchriviera-tourism.com/get-informed/getting-around-the-cote-d-azur-06_2706.html.

If you go the public transportation route, perhaps you should fly into MRS first, rent a car to drive around Provence, return the vehicle to Marseille, then use public transportation to take you to Nice. Or you could keep the car all the way. Parking, however, could be an issue in some places. When I visited the Cote d'Azur, I mostly used rail transportation to get from place to place.

For rail schedules, check this Web site: https://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml

So there are of options to consider; and you have time enough to plan. However, since you'll be in Paris during the Autumn Festival, it's wise to book accommodations there sooner rather than later.

Hope this helps. I leave next Tuesday for two months in the Himalayas, where I will have limited, or no, Internet access.

Berner thank you very much for this. A very very helpful post. This gives me a better idea overall.

So i understand this, going directly south would be the first thing I guess, leaving Paris on the return trip. I'll look into more details as to what we want to do specifically. I'm sure we'll have more questions as to what is reasonable to accomplish.

Any other things off the beaten path that you can think of ?

17. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 499 posts) 16w

Some of my friends, who don't have much time to travel, like to rent an apartment or a house and use it as a base for driving around an area. You might want to consider this, too. There are lots of vacation rentals in Provence. Ask friends; or check around the Web sites for recommendations.

I find that YouTube is a useful tool in planning trips. Watch some of the videos, including road trips in Provence and other places in southern France.

I suspect there are few "off the beaten" path places in popular destinations as Provence. But ask locals for recommendations of where they would take family and friends. The more you ask, the more you'll know. Once in Darjeeling, I asked two sisters of the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa's order) for directions. Instead of telling me, they took me there, showing me a part of the city; and invited me to come a day later for Mass in their mission house, which I did, meeting some of those they helped.

You'll have a wonderful time in France!

18. Posted by OldPro (Respected Member 219 posts) 16w

Paris and Provence are not off the beaten path nutsnbolts.

At this point, other than other people's preferences (such as mine for Antibes), what you need to do is read up on Paris and Provence and decide what YOU are interested in. Then you can come back and ask more specific questions rather than generalities which you could find answers for in any guidebook or online tourism site for yourself.

19. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 499 posts) 16w

Nutsnbolts, you should read Scott McCartney's excellent article on driving rental vehicles overseas, particularly in Europe. It appeared in today's (June 9) Wall Street Journal.

20. Posted by OldPro (Respected Member 219 posts) 16w

Here is a link to the article.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/renting-a-car-in-europe-watch-out-for-speeding-tickets-1465405665

I did find one comment in the article interesting berner256, "Imad Khalidi, chief executive of Auto Europe LLC, a Portland, Maine-based wholesaler of European car rentals, says cameras have proliferated in France and “it’s a huge problem in Italy,” where warning signs are only in Italian."

First, the 'huge problem' part. A huge problem for who? Answer, those who speed. Well, I'm all in favour of fining drivers for that. Second, the signs are only in Italian. Well, what language would anyone expect them to be in if you are in Italy?

Ignorance is no excuse for a tourist who chooses to drive and unfortunately, laws and traffic signs are not universal. It does make some sense for someone who plans to drive in a country to find out what the laws are and what the signage used looks like. European signs in this case are often quite different from N. American (the OPs home area) signs.

But even within N. America laws and signs can differ. Some signs differ between Canada and the USA and even from state to state laws can differ for things like a right turn on a red light for example. If you come from a state where it is allowed, you may well find yourself getting a ticket for making an illegal turn in a state where it is not allowed. There is not likely to be a sign at every intersection showing a right turn on a red is illegal either.

If we think about it, it is impossible for any state or country to somehow warn every visitor about what differs to what the visitor is used to at home. The onus therefore must be on the visitor to make themselves aware of what differs before they choose to drive.

I'm not sure just what message the writer of the article was trying to give. Is it just a 'be aware of this' message do you think? He calls the cameras a 'new kind of tourist trap' which just might be a simple play on the cameras or an intentional complaint that it isn't 'fair' to tourists. He says US travellers are often unprepared but doesn't then go on to say, 'it's your job to be prepared'. Again, is it implying that somehow, their ignorance of the law somehow is being taken advantage of to get their money?

I don't see any clear message in the article or any point actually being made. It's information without a purpose as I read it. I would think it would have better served the reading traveller to say, 'here are some differences you should be aware of and it is your responsibility to act accordingly.'

Here is an article that I think is much more comprehensive and gives good advice as to what you should do.
https://shabbysuitcase.com/2015/04/07/driving-in-europe/