During one of the busiest weeks of the summer holidays we decided to trek across the channel for a road trip around the north of France. I’d imagined us spending a fortune, getting suck in traffic and our accommodation choices being packed. Instead we kept the holiday on budget and had a stress free trip thanks to thorough prior planning (I pre-booked all of the accommodation in advance). All in all it was a fantastic week and we did it for a little over £500! Find out all the costs, our route and accommodation choices below.
What Route Did We Take?
Day 1 – Fordingbridge to Reims via the Euro Tunnel (Folkestone -> Calais)
Day 2 – Reims to Paris and back to Reims on the TGV
Day 3 – Reims to Loire Valley via Epernay
Day 4 – Loire Valley to La Rochelle via the Chateau de Chenonceau
Day 5 – La Rochelle to Le Mans
Day 6 – Le Mans to Rouen via Normandy
Day 7 – Rouen to Calais via Belgium and Bray Dunes
Day 8 – Calais to Fordingbridge via the Euro Tunnel
Miles Driven: 1660
The only change we would have made to this itinerary would be to have stayed much nearer to the Normandy Beaches on day 6. Otherwise this was the perfect balance of driving time and exploring time.
How Much Did It All Cost?
TOTAL = £518//€725
Broken down into…
TOTAL: Accommodation Costs – £175//€245 each (based on two/four people sharing)
Hotels x 5 nights – £120//€168 each (based on two people sharing)
Taxes x 5 nights – £4.14//€5.80 each (based on two people sharing)
Airbnb x 2 nights – £51//€71 each (based on four people sharing)
TOTAL: Food/Drink – £128//€179 each (based on four people sharing)
Dinner – £88//€122
Lunch – £20//€27
Breakfast – £5//€9
Snacks/drinks – £15//€21
TOTAL: Driving Costs – £128//€179 each (based on four people sharing)
Petrol – £63//88 each (based on four people sharing – total cost of all petrol £250//€350)
Parking – £3//€4 each (based on four people sharing – total cost of all parking £12//€16)
Tolls – £18//€26 each (based on four people sharing – total cost of all tolls £74//€103)
Tunnel – £44//€61 each (based on four people sharing – total cost of tunnel crossing £174//€244)
TOTAL: Extra Costs – £87//€12
Booze and food from supermarket for home – £21//€29 each
Return Train to Paris – £26//€36
Big Bus Tour and Cruise – £27//€38
Chateau de Chenonceau in Loire Valley – £12.50//€17.50 each
Where Did We Stay?
Reims – ibis (Centre Gare) x 2 nights £19.95 each based on two people sharing
Perfect location for the train station, discounted parking and modern rooms which were very clean, staff weren’t overly friendly.
Loire Valley – Airbnb Farm House £22.50 each based on four people sharing
Beautiful and charming house set in the middle of the Loire Valley, ample facilities, close to a super market, free parking.
La Rochelle – Airbnb A Boat £28 each based on four people sharing
A completely unique experience, very clean with the expected facilities, free parking, close to the beach although complicated check in.
Le Mans – ibis (Le Mans Est Pontlieue) £18.34 each based on two people sharing
Based outside the city, free parking, huge rooms which were modern and clean, friendly staff and a good restaurant attached.
Rouen – Campanile (Rouen Nord) £18.37 each based on two people sharing
Set out like an American motel where rooms all open outside, basic facilities, clean rooms, free parking, friendly staff and a good restaurant attached.
Calais – Hôtel Kyriad (Coquelles) £18.37 each based on two people sharing
Basic hotel with small but clean rooms, free parking, perfect location for the Euro Tunnel.
I would recommend every property we stayed at, the hotels were certainly budget accommodation choices but for a night or two suited us perfectly. The Airbnb properties broke the week up nicely and were a welcome change to hotels. If I had to pick a favourite it would be the hotel in Le Mans or the Airbnb properties.
All prices have be rounded to the nearest whole number and a conversion rate of 1.4 Eur to 1 GBP has been used. All prices were correct at the time of writing in summer 2015 but please only use this as a guide to planning your holiday budget