The pound took a big leap upwards when Brexit finally took place. It reached 1.2 € to the Pound on the 12th of December 2019, a level not seen for many many years. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the rate is more volatile, changing rapidly on every government announcement.
France, and particularly the Vendee, remains the ideal destination for families with children due to its accessibility by car and being far enough south for good weather. Along with most of western France, the Vendee has not been hard hit by Covid-19, making it a relatively safe overseas destination, particularly if you choose individual accommodation at a holiday rental villa.
The exit negotiations are continuing and the UK government expects that sufficient progress will be made to allow an orderly exit at the end of 2020. Most of the issues on freedom of movement that may affect holiday travel are now clear, so in practice little will change for going accross the channel, as long as there are no ongoing border restrictions due to Covid.
See our Brexit article for the additional requirements that will be in place for travelling to EU countries.
The cost of equivalent self catering accommodation for a holiday in the UK can be significantly more, not to mention the overall cost of living which is still lower in France. A survey suggests that daily holiday costs are still over 20% less in France than for a holiday in the UK. The Vendee is relatively inexpensive compared with other tourist areas of France, and it is the second most popular destination in France for the French, after the Cote d'Azur. And remember that a self-catering holiday is typically half the price of an average hotel stay.
On Vendee-Gites.com We quote our rental accommodation prices in Euros, meaning that the price you pay for your holiday accommodation is fixed and guaranteed in this currency, and with no surcharge for payments by card. As we are a company based in France and presenting mostly French owned properties, we are unable to offer payments in Sterling or other currencies.
The old “currency surcharge” scam has always been present in the travel market, with somewhat arbitrary amounts being added to the prices that you were quoted in Sterling at the moment of booking and bringing further uncertainty as to what you will pay when it comes to settling the balance of your holiday.
Some of the "on-line booking" systems proned by major holiday rental brands add a commission or booking fee that you have not seen until you try to make the payment...
When you book in Euros with us it's simply the real exchange rate and any fees that you get from your bank when you make the payment - no hidden charges.
Our company operates in a way which ensures that you are getting as close to a book-direct price as possible and in many cases the properties in our range are priced at the same rate through us as you would get direct from the owner.
Our aim is to provide you with a simple English-speaking contact for your booking without the high fees that many rental agencies apply, offering you ease of booking and the best value for money.
What you get from us:
The right holiday property - Cottages gites and villas specially selected to meet the needs and preferences of British holiday-makers – and we know every house, so can answer any question that you may have. Many of the holiday properties are advertised exclusively on our site and not available elsewhere, giving you access to an untapped resource of quality self catering accommodation.
Comprehensive local knowledge - we are based in the Vendee and can provide you with any further information you need to help you choose your ideal holiday property.
Easy booking - A booking system that is as simple and efficient as possible, with payments by card and all correspondence in English.
Bargains outside peak season -
For those who are not tied to school holiday dates, many of our cottages, gites and villas offer reduced rates for smaller groups outside the peak season, further enhancing your buying-power.
See Vendee cottages, gites and villas with reduced rates.
Considering the convenience, paying by card usually involves resonable fees compared with bank transfers or raising a bank cheque in Euros.
The fees for card payments vary from one card or bank to the next, so it's best to consult your bank or card provider to see what the exact charges are.
Cash on holiday – It is usually cheaper to organise your cash spending money in advance rather than draw it out of cash machines in France. A specialist broker will generally give you a better rate that a high street bank and you avoid the high fees applied to ATM withdrawals (can be £2 to £4 on a £100 withdrawal). See Travelex for example. Or this one: Money Corp
You can get a specific Euro payment card from CAXTONfx - better exchange rate and no fees.
We make no surcharge for payments by card and can accept any card showing the
Visa or Mastercard symbol, credit or debit.
We also accept bank transfers in Euros, with no surchage. (On the condition that the transfer is made "all charges to the sender")
The prices of ferry travel can vary significantly and you need to shop around to find the best deals. This can be difficult when juggling the accommodation reservation and the travel at the same time - a "chicken and egg" situation...
We can hold the option open for you
Note that we are willing to hold dates for you while you book your travel, giving you more time to get the best prices. Our Vendee travel page has suggestions to help you as well as distances from the ferry ports to allow you to compare crossings and journey times easily.
Properties on our site also qualify for discount ferry rates through the Chez Nous Travel Service. Just click on the Chez Nous links on our travel page and you will automatically get access to discount prices from Britanny Ferries and P&O Ferries.
There are also details of the fly-drive options to the Vendee. The usual budget airlines cover Nantes and La Rochelle, leaving only a short drive into the Vendee.
Food shopping in France – Super and hypermarkets usually offer the best prices, compared with smaller shops. The main supermarket chains all seem to have a three-band pricing system – the usual top priced brand names, plus a range chosen for good quality and value for money (eg: products tagged as ““Saveurs U” at Hyper-U) and a budget range of the basic necessities (eg: products tagged “Bien Vu” at Leclerc). Obviously to a certain extent you get what you pay for, but for a simple product, like sugar for example, the budget range is a good choice. For wine, whilst it's fun to visit wine producers and buy direct, in fact the best deals are often to be had at the local hypermarket...
Restaurants in France – Restaurants outside the tourist hot-spots will always give better value for money and the best economy is always in the set “menu”, rather than a-la-carte, sometimes being up to 50% less for a similar meal. Prices at good restaurants are still excellent value in France compared with the UK.
Fuel in France – You will usually find the cheapest petrol and diesel at supermarket pumps and these usually have a 24 hour card pump which is an added convenience.
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