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Andy

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Everything posted by Andy

  1. This is quite an entertaining program based on the guests expectations against the actual provided. The crux is twofold, the marking and the payments and the latter is an eye opener at times, how some can charge in essence what is more than a 4* hotel for b&b I shall never know. If they are making money out of it then c'est la vie.
  2. Totally agree with your view Cendrillon! All owners should stay in their gite(s) for a couple of nights to see what is missing and what might not work layout wise etc....

    Re those replies who have said "guests haven't told us", you shouldn't rely on being told, not everyone will tell you, my view is that you should be proactive and find things before they become issues and put the necessary corrective measures in place...

    None so blind as owners who don't want to know!

  3. No not quite, I could finacially afford to stay in a gite for a couple of weeks if we wished, at the inflated prices being charged, choose not to! Now Easter or early May, that's a different proposition!
  4. Of course they do and thats the challenge! However, turn the situation ariound and put yourself in their shoes, what would you expect? Expectation has changed, renters are demanding more, owners need to understand and manage the expectation! And of course the owner sees the profit reducing. Perhaps the challenge to this is to find a way to add value to the property rather than whinge about it?

    Just my view!

  5. We are camping in August but having read this topic, thought I'd have a look at Owners Direct for August to see what is around out of interest. Lots of availability for the dates I'm planning on and thats for a mid week to mid week booking! That does suggest that bookings are down - perhaps this is largely due to the exchange rate?

    Anyway, the old old issue of supply and demand comes into play - do owners want some income and try and attract some bookings with a discounted price or hold out for what they charge?

    If the former then is a lesser rental income better than no rental income at all as I would assume that there are fixed costs to cover whether the property is occupied or not?

    If the latter, then trying to maintain the profit of the high season weeks might lead to no bookings especially given the wide choice available and cheaper too.

    As a potential renter, given the exchange rate then anything priced in euros is a lot more costly and perhaps dismissed out of hand once above a set rate whereas a rate in pounds is stable. However, what I would expect to see, is the market adjusting to the over supply. So, up to you owners, those with no bookings, you need to make your property more attractive. Those that have bookings, obviously have got things right, repeat bookings must  be hugely welcome in current times!

    Just my view! The reason we are camping - property far too expensive to rent in high season!

    Rgds

    A

  6. I'd think it is the value of the transaction that would count i.e. in this case over the magical £100 mark.

    Rgds

    A

  7. Hi,

    We are a family of 5, 2A, 3C - all secondary school age looking to rent a gite for 2 weeks in August in the Vendee, or South West region. Must have private pool and ideally at least 3 bedrooms. Dates are flexible as is the arrival day.

    Look forward to receiving your details.

    Rgds

    Andy

  8. And to celebrate the launch:

    To celebrate these three new routes, we are releasing 50,000 seats from Bristol for £5 including taxes and we urge passengers to log onto www.ryanair.com immediately, as this offer must end at midnight on Monday.”

    Taken from the Bristol International Airport web site

    Rgds

    Andy

  9. Looking at the Ryanair web site: http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/

    Bristol to Bergerac- commencing 16 May 2008

    Bristol to Beziers - commencing 15 May 2008

    Bristol to Pau - commencing 16 May 2008

    No mention of the 4th route though!!!

    Rgds

    Andy

  10. Todya's edition of the Bristol Evening Post newspaper carries an article that Ryanair are expected to announce four new routes to France from Bristol.

    New idea to where as yet I'm afraid.

    Rgds

    Andy

  11. Dick & BQF totally agree with what you have written.

    Regarding using English credit cards in France consider applying for a card from either Nationwide, Liverpool Victoria or Saga who don't charge any conversion fee - other cards typically charge 2.75% to convert from Euros to Pounds although you may not explicity see the charge.

    Of course all the above charge for withdrawls. A summary follows from www.moneysavingexpert.com

  12. Worldwide Travel/Spending Credit Cards.  Nationwide's credit card uniquely has no foreign exchange loading anywhere in the world.  It charges £2 or 2% for withdrawing cash, but sadly it charges interest on cash withdrawals even when fully repaid.  Yet ‘spend’ on it rather than ‘withdrawing cash’ and you’ll be quids in.

  13. European Travel/Spending Credit Cards.  The Saga card is the winner here, but you must be over 50 to apply.  It’s 0% loading in Europe and 1% worldwide, and its great strength is a low 1.5% or £1.50 for withdrawing cash and no interest charge if you repay in full.  

    Its sister card Liverpool Victoria is top for the under-50s, with identical European Union conditions, except it does charge cash withdrawal interest when you repay in full.  Also it charges a whopping 2.75% load for non-European Union transactions, so if you may spend worldwide, stick with Nationwide
    .
  14. Regards

    Andy

  • Hi Andy,

    I'm member of the travel club through subscribing to Living France magazine -  membership is free for subscribers. As to whether it is worth the £6, I've always found them to provide the best price for a day trip - depends on how many trips you might plan. As to longer trips we use the Camping & Carvanning Club Carefree Travel service, £70 return crossing for car with top box courtesy of Sea France. Membership is required.

    Anything else, drop me a line.

    Regards

    Andy

  • The Travel Club have an offer via SeaFrance of £15 (with car) for a day trip - booked it myself yesterday for next week

    Ebay has several items advertising £10 crossings with P&O....

    Regards

    Andy

  • Eurostar offer available in the Daily Telegraph again - looks similiar to the one run during October last year, today's password is "Intrique" if anyone is collecting them.

    Regards

    A

  • Site at Guines is a Castel's site, La Bien-Assise. From Alan Rogers:

    A mature and well developed site, the history of La Bien-Assise goes back to the 1500s. The château, farm and mill now form the focal point for this popular campsite which is under new ownership. The farm buildings house the facilities and pool complex, with the entrance to a more formal and excellent restaurant, ‘La Ferme Gourmande’ in the mellow farmyard opposite the dovecote. There are 220 grass pitches mainly set among mature trees with others on a newer field. Connected by gravel roads and of a good size (up to 300 sq.m), shrubs and bushes divide most of the pitches. The site’s position, 15 minutes from Calais, the Channel Tunnel exit 6 km. and 20 minutes from Boulogne, make it a good stopping point en-route north or south, but it is well worth a longer stay. Reception opens for long hours to meet the needs of those crossing the Channel and the site can have heavy usage at times (when maintenance can be variable). Used by tour operators (50 pitches).

    Our view, busy during height of season, when we used it we pre booked. Given my experience on the number of pitches available for tourers, I would advice not to turn up on spec. Clean site, bread etc available in the morning. Snack bar and restuarant also. Supermarket in village 5mins away. Used by tour operators. If in the field (not divided by shrubs / bushes), road noise noticeable from farm track during the night.

    Other than that, depending on where you are arriving from Alan Rogers has three other sites for the area or look in the Michelin Green book.

    Andy

  • Announced this morning - may be of interest - not sure of the impact / implications of this so don't shout the messenger!

    Aid awarded to low-cost airline Ryanair Holdings PLC by the
    Pau-Bearn Chamber of Commerce for its London to Pau, southwest France, route has been judged illegal by the Pau administrative tribunal which has ruled the aid must be cancelled, court sources said.

    "The decision which approved financial aid to the benefit of Ryanair without prior notification to the European Commission is illegal and should be cancelled," the tribunal said in its ruling.

    Charter airline Air Mediterranee sought a ruling by the tribunal in  September 2003 because it believed the aid amounted to unfair competition against its own route between London and Tarbes-Lourdes.

    The tribunal said in its judgement that the Pau Chamber of Commerce gave Ryanair 80,000 eur to open its London Stansted-Pau route in 2003, then 11 eur per Ryanair passenger, up to an annual ceiling of 400,000 eur.

    Ryanair also benefited from advantageous landing tariffs, the tribunal said.

    The tribunal said the agreement between the Chamber of Commerce and Ryanair must be "cancelled" or "rescinded" within two months of the ruling, or face a fine of 1,000 eur per day.

  • Travelled for the 1st time with Speedferries recently - out 1st, back 8th all for £34. Bargain price. Agree with previous posts, very friendly staff.

    Big downside over convential ro-ro boats is the time taken to load and unload - some of the manoeuvres req'd to park are very interesting - resembled a floating multistorey car park!

    Also, we have used the ferry to have a hot meal - not an option here although time against this.

    All said, get disagree with the price nor the actual time for the crossing.

    Will use them again in December but for the Summer, it's Sea France as we shall be travelling with a large trailer. Height of Summer £90 return - out and back on the last sailing of the day.

    Regards

    Andy

  • Hi Tootles60,

    I believe that bookings for April will not be accepted until October - well that was the reply I received from them after trying to book myself on-line for the same period.

    Hope this is useful

    Andy

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