10 Tips for a Budget Friendly Holiday in France
A budget-friendly holiday in France can save you pots of cash
Your holiday abroad need not break the bank
Planning a holiday in France? Fancy travelling to sunnier climes, sampling fabulous French food and beating the wine taxes? Think foreign holidays are too expensive? Have you really compared the cost of staying at home with a holiday abroad?
Over the last couple of years there has been a great deal of financial hardship and suffering, and some people have reacted by deciding to stay at home for their vacations, however, this need not necessarily be the cheapest option, and for all you Brits, the pound is zooming up against the euro - you'll be quids in!
My top tip - Take a vacation in S W France, and in Limousin in particular
Cut holiday costs and have a look at some of the figures for a budget holiday in Limousin, south west France and compare them with an alternative holiday in your own country. I'm afraid all my examples here are drawn from the UK, but you can check out the transport to France from your home and then take it from there.
For more tips on how to get the best holiday for the least cash - see below ....
Limousin is a budget-friendly holiday destination
Tip No. 1 Limousin is a budget-friendly holiday destination
We chose Limousin because, compared to the rest of Europe, the housing is a bargain. It's also good news if you're planning a family budget holiday. Nobody knows we exist here which is great if you want tranquility, peace, space; Limousin is sparsely populated, there are no crowds, no crime, no hassle. So why does this area represent a holiday bargain?
- Limousin has yet to be discovered as a major tourist destination. The locals are not here to rip you off - we're just grateful if you discover us!
- We benefit from low cost flights
- There are great out-of-season deals
- Low accommodation prices even in the (so called) high season
- Bargain shopping opportunities
- Cheap restaurants serving excellent food
- So many free things to do
- Lots of popular, low cost pastimes
Budget holidays in France are good deals. Prices for hotel, b and b accommodation in France are very reasonable. Gites in Limousin are plentiful, of excellent standard and inexpensive. Restaurants and eating out is cheap and there are plenty of free things to see and do.
A little about Limousin
Limoges is the capital city and St Junien the second town of Limousin. The sous-prefecture of Haute-Vienne is in Rochechouart. Limousin is a land of lakes, rivers, oak and sweet chestnut meadows and wild flower hay meadows. Great for fishing and water sports, walking, cycling and all manner of outdoor activities. It is low stress and an excellent holiday destination for a budget family holiday. Why put up with all the grief of the average tourist trap when you can bring the kids to Limousin?
You step back in time fifty years when you step into Limousin.
More about Limousin
Where is Limousin?
Les Trois Chenes, Limousin, France
Ryanair flies from Limoges airport Bellevue
Tip No. 2 Take advantage of low cost flights to Limoges
There are several low cost airlines that service this part of France. The nearest airports to us are Limoges and Angouleme. We also use Bordeaux, Poitiers, La Rochelle and Bergerac. Check out Ryanair and bmibaby.
Ryanair offers cheap and sometimes entirely free (YES, TOTALLY FREE) flights from Britain to Limoges.
Tips for a Ryanair budget flight:
- Ask a friend to help you navigate the Ryanair web site
- Travel light, they charge for baggage
- Read their baggage instructions very carefully. Weigh and measure your bags carefully. If you cheat you pay.
- Make sure you un-check their insurance if you don't want it. They hide the 'no insurance' option in the middle of a long list
- Un-check priority boarding - it isn't much of an advantage
- Make sure you do you on-line check-in before your flight or they sting you for that at the airport
- Take your own food and drink. You can't take liquids through but you can fill a bottle with water on the other side of security
To give you some idea of the prices, I've take a few samples at the time of writing (January 2011), but you should keep an eye on their web site for the frequent bargains, and yes, in the past, a friend did book totally free flights.
For more information and help with navigation through a tricky web site and on-line booking system Ryanair - What you need to know about cutting costs of budget flights
Rail travel and ferry crossings
Much of the above applies to rail travel and ferry crossings except I doubt you'll get them free. On the other hand, the luggage charges don't apply.
Examples of Ryanair fares to Limoges (Remember this is the basic price, and you have to allow for all the additional charges, fees and taxes)
Wed 9th Feb return Wed16 Feb
Wed 8th June return Wed 15th June
Monday 5th Sept return Monday 19th Sept
Flight and train links
- Aroport International de Limoges
Contact Limoges International Airport for further information
- Eurostar : Tickets, Bookings, Timetables, fares and offers
Eurostar (Official Web site): Train ticket, short break, city break, weekends. Travel to Paris, Brussels, Lille, Disneyland Paris, Bruges, Avignon and more than 200 Destinations form Waterloo or Ashford Station
- Cheap flights to Europe with bmibaby.com
Book cheap flights to Europe with bmibaby.com. Fly to destinations across the UK & Europe. Also find cheap hotels, car hire and insurance.
Cheap flights to Limoges
How to Pack for A Budget Vacation in France
- What to Pack for a Trip to France
What to pack for your trip to France, or trip to Europe, if you're flying on low budget flights is quite a challenge these days. Many people have no knowledge of what their chosen French holiday destination is like, or they have very unrealistic expe
Tip No. 3 Check out car hire bargains
If you stay in Limoges, you can walk around the city or take the bus. You can get a train to some of the towns and villages around Limoges, but otherwise public transport is all but non-existent in the countryside so car hire is your only real option. You can hire a car and pick it up from Limoges Airport or train station for less than £200 for a week, based on a search using a British driver aged 40. Check out the web sites below for further details.
One of the biggest benefits of Limousin is that there is no traffic outside Limoges; no parking problems, no parking charges except in the city centre, and even then I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how little they charge.
Car hire links
- Europcar France : Location de voitures et utilitaires, rservez votre vhicule en ligne et bnficiez de
- Cheap Car Rentals Worldwide, UK and Europe - Car Hire from eRentals.co.uk
- Location de voitures et utilitaires en France en Europe: Hertz
Location de voitures et utilitaires en France
- Avis France : Location de voitures et utilitaires - Accueil
Rservez votre location de voiture en ligne
- France Car Hire - Cheap Car Rental in all French Destinations from Car Hire, France This Way
Car hire in France with cheapest prices for France car rental in all regions and destinations of France and Corsica
Tip No. 4 Take a Kindle
Travel cheap and travel light; why carry all those books when you can take your favourite literary friend - Kindle? I belong to a reading group in Limousin, and our members love, love, love their 'reading devices'. Not like reading from a screen at all, so no eye-ache. If you're a voracious reader, what do you do with all those paper books? Where do you store them all and how green are they? Think of all those trees.
I worried about how much it was going to cost me for the books, but so many are free. All those published long enough ago to be out of copyright, so you'll have a world of Classics at the touch of a key.
New books though, are not all that cheap, but this seems to be an anomaly which sould be rectified, but even so, you're not losing anything, are you?
Tip No. 5 Travel outside peak times
While flights and rail travel are not very expensive at peak times, they are much reduced during the low season. The difference in price between high and low season is much more pronounced for accommodation. The French take their vacations between 15 July and 20 August so try to avoid these times. If you can avoid the whole of July and August, you'll find the charges cheaper still!
Limousin is a picture in spring, and super in autumn and winter too.
Limousin is beautiful in winter too
Seasonal Limousin Links
- Mushrooms from the Wild
Autumn is the time for mushrooms in Limousin, France, but is it safe to eat them? Last year we picked baskets of this delicious wild harvest from the fields around Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast, Videix and made mushroom tarts, soups, cassaroles
- Walking in South West France: Videix in the Snow
Limousin, south west is a wonderful place for ramblers and walkers and long distance and short walks begin from our Bed and Breakfast, Les Trois Chenes in the pretty hamlet of Videix. The roads are empty and the paths numerous. It is also a great pla
Les Trois Chenes GiteClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tip No.6 Take advantage of bargain holiday accommodation
Holiday accommodation in Limousin is great value. To give you a rough idea of what you can expect to spend I've carried out a search on hotels, guest houses, holiday cottages (otherwise known as gites or vacation rentals) and camp sites in Limousin for the cheapest prices to give you an idea of a starting point.
Please note: I am biased, and am blatantly advertising our tourist accommodation, so I've included our tariffs, however, rest assured, I am also trying to give you an honest and clear picture of the pricing structure in the area.
Price check for January 2012
Accommodation 2 people
Double room in Hotel
60 euros (Breakfast Not included)
Double room in Bed and Breakfast
55 euros (Breakfast included)
Gite sleeps 2 adults
80 euros per week
Adult 4.50 euros per day
* * Les Trois Chenes 2 star B&B * *
60 euros Double room per night (Breakfast included)
* * * Les Trois Chenes 3 star Gite * * * Sleeps 7 adults
310 - 635 euros per week
This is for 7 people and we have three bedrooms each with ensuite bathrooms so a family group or number of friends can easily split the cost.
- Bed and Breakfast Les Trois Chenes, Videix, France - 15 Guest reviews. Book your hotel now! - Bookin
Located in the Limousin region, 53 km from Limoges, this former farmhouse offers B&B accommodation in a green, countryside setting.
- Gites de France
- Les Trois Chenes B and B, gite
Bed and breakfast holiday cottage at Videix Haute-Vienne Limousin France near the Dordogne and Charente. Painting holidays in France. Situated between Limoges and Angouleme, near Rochechouart and Saint Junien.
Tip No. 7 Do a spot of bargain shopping
Go on a 'porcelain-by-the-kilo' shopping spree. If you're shopping for that special present, you'll have no trouble finding something to suite your taste and your pocket. You can buy from bijoux boutiques in the centre of Limoges, but why not see if you can find a snip in one of the many factory outlets both in and around Limoges? In some of these factories you can watch the porcelain being made, visit kilns and see displays of materials and the history of porcelain.
Have a look at these articles:
Where to buy Limoges Porcelain in Limousin
Bag a bargain in flea markets and 'Vide Greniers'
Vide greniers, or empty your attic , are big events here and most towns and villages host one every year. The great thing about them is that all the junk is French junk and so looks wonderfully exciting. Here you can buy all sorts of rural and agricultural 'stuff' and go back with a car-load of goodies bought for next to nothing.
Tip No. 8 No such thing as a free lunch ....?
... but there are quite a few good cheap lunch spots in our corner of Limousin.To save cash always go for the 'ouvrier' or workers lunch served in many restaurants Monday - Friday 12h00 where you can buy a slap-up three or even four course meal for about 11 euros. They might even include wine. The supermarket restaurants are also good value. LeClerc and especially the Toquenelle at Saint Junien Carrefour - real French food at cafeteria prices.
Food is a serious matter in France and no less so in Limousin and in the Charente, south west France. The lakes of the Haute Charente have their share of excellent restaurants to suit all tastes.
We also have tons of food festivals, markets and local fetes which revolve around food, wine and other drinks
- Where to eat in France - the Lakes of the Haute Charente
Find restaurants near Rochechouart and Massignac. Food is a serious matter in France and no less so in Limousin and in the Charente, south west France. The lakes of the Haute Charente have their share of excellent restaurants to suit all tastes. Ther
- Cheap Lunch Spots in Limousin, South West France
The trick to spotting a cheap lunch in Limousin, France is very straight-forward and simple - look for the menu for 'Ouvriers' or workmen. You can find these menus at many, if not most restaurants. They only...
- Cheronnac Oyster Festival: Enjoy the taste of Limousin, France
The oyster festival at Cheronnac, Limousin, south west France took place in September 2010. There were local food producers, wine merchants and a grand communal meal. Accommodation was provided by Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast 5 minutes away at
- Vignerons et Gourmands at Saint Junien Food and Wine Festival
The Salon des Gourmets et des Vignerons at Saint-Junien in Limousin, France is the ideal venue in which to discover traditional French food and wine; specialities from every region. Meet the producers, taste and buy real French products.
Tip No. 9 Find free things to do
Now those do exist! Here is a list of fab free things to do in Limousin:
- Walking and hiking
- Swimming in the lakes
- Playing on the beach
- Cycling (free if you have your own bike)
- Following the castle trail - Route of Richard the Lion Heart
- Visiting local markets
- Fetes and festivals
- Porcelain shop and factory tours
- Farm visits
- There are always free exhibitions of art and craft
- Explore towns and villages
- Enjoy window shopping
- Playground and parks for the kids
- Forage for sweet chestnuts, mushrooms and other edible fungi
Events and Festival Links
- Confolens International Folkore Festival | Confolens, France | Whatsonwhen
Confolens International Folkore Festival, Confolens, Folklore
- Festi'band Rochechouart
Every year Rochechouart hosts a gathering of big brass bands that march through the streets and perform at the foot of Rochechouart Castle
- The Medieval Festival of Rochechouart in Limousin, France
Every year the quaint medieval town of Rochechouart, Limousin, France, holds a splendid festival that brings the middle ages alive again, in all its glory. The whole town is devoted to celebrating life as it...
- Christmas Markets in Limousin 2010
Christmas is so romantic in Limousin but information about Marchs de Noel are not easy to find, so here is my list of Christmas Markets in Limousin, France to date. Great for Christmas shopping holidays. Buy Limoges porcelain. Where to stay in Limou
Tip No. 10 Discover bargain things to do
Some things are not entirely free but are great bargains and here are just a few:
- Fishing. Permits are cheap and easy to obtain
- Boating, kayaking, Canoëing and windsurfing at Videix Nautical Centre
- Hire a bike
- The kids will love to play with giant tyre floats and pedalos
This List Will Grow!
There are just so many things to see and do in Limousin and the surrounding departments, even free things, that I'm sure this list will grow and grow so keep your eyes on it. If you have anything to add I'd love to hear from you; just leave a message in the box below.
In the meantime, why not write your own pages on HubPages absolutely FREE? Join now
More about Limousin
- Find an article by Les Trois Chenes
We run painting holidays and courses, a bed and breakfast and self-catering holiday cottage in Videix, Limousin, S W France. I write about our life in France and this is an index / biography of my HubPage profile and articles.
- Office de Tourisme de la Ville de Limoges
- Welcome en Limousin, tourism and accommodation in Limousin, Limoges, south West France, business opp
Fishing for ideas for your stay in Limousin region?Creuse, Corrze and Haute-Vienne : bed and breakfast, hotels, restaurants, places to visit, things to do, estates agencies, insurance company.Welcome en Limousin promotes local tourism and economy to
- A Scrapbook of Limousin France
I'm starting this scrap book today 6th December 2010 with the intention of adding to it so that it will grow, and grow ... Come back tomorrow and see if anything has been happening here in Limousin.ImageLimousin is a land of lakes and we are lucky en
Are you planning a vacation to France?
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- LesTroisChenes: Home: Zazzle.com Store
LesTroisChenes designs and photos of Food & France. Love France? Love French Food? Wide range of personalised gifts and products from aprons to T-shirts.
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