Remember when I told you about my big travel project (recap here)? Well, I’ve done it. The trip for our extended family is now booked and do you know what? It was bloody hard work, but wow, I’m excited! I’ve now learnt a thing or two about booking a break for a big group, especially around the inclusion of a baby. However, now’s not the time for practical talk. It’s time for the fun stuff!
We’ll be heading to the south west of France, to a tiny place called Salviac. A one hour or so drive from Bergerac airport, it’s close to transport links yet it definitely has a rural feel. It’s a million miles away (obviously not literally) from the bustling city of Paris that I’ve visited a few times. Salviac is also off the main tourist path so we’ve managed to book our flights through Ryanair. Normally their airport locations are annoyingly out of the way, but not this time. Flying with this airline also usually means cheap flights and to some extent they are, but the summer holidays have bumped what would normally be only a hundred pounds or so, to two hundred odd.
I’ve never been to Salviac or even heard of this town so as Chief Travel Organiser Extraordinaire (or something like that), I’m going to be sharing a few of my research finds with you before I go. Feel free to leave a comment on this post or that one if you have any recommendations. I have been known to speak with a French accent (in the safety of my own home and to the annoyance of my friends), so as the only one with a grasp of French I’m also in charge of any conversations with locals. C’est fantasique, oui?
I don’t want to jinx anything, but I am feeling rather smug about our gorgeous retreat. For a number of reasons we left it ridiculously late to book a peak season break, especially for a big group with a date specific one week window and a number of strict requirements (minimum four bedrooms, a big pool, one hour max trip from the airport, two/three hour max flight, stylish, within budget….I think you get the idea).
I trawled and trawled the internet looking for something that ticked all of the boxes and found, well not a lot. Everything that looked promising was booked up. Villas that displayed an available banner turned out to be unavailable once I emailed them to finalise the details. It was frustrating and I very nearly chucked my laptop out of the window. Luckily the Mr stumbled across a French rental company some five hundred pages into our Google search and saved my hard drive (and sanity).
So, we will be staying in a five bedroom house complete with spacious pool, log burners (yes, plural), en suites, a pool table…you name it, it has it. In fact, it looks so dreamy that I still have visions of turning up to find it doesn’t actually exist. This niggle has been embedded even more so as I successfully negotiated a 10% reduction in the price. I say negotiated, but I simply asked for a discount and they said yes. The phrase ‘there’s no harm in asking’ obviously rings true on this occasion.
We’ve hired a car beast people carrier as it turns out my Mr is the only one who feels confident enough to drive on the other side of the road. It requires far too much thinking for my liking, so I’ll leave him to it. However, this is our first overseas car rental experience and from what I’ve read on other blogs and reviews the success of your rental relies largely on luck, rather than a reputable provider.
To some degree this is true so far. The only company that had a car available on our dates displayed a price. Ten minutes later when we checked again the price had changed significantly. Then we clicked on a different link to the page and ended up on the French version of the site, which gave us a hefty discount of a few hundred pounds. If the car is there and the price is as they say then great, but I have another niggle about this one. I foresee a car rental blog post in the near future…
We will be starting our big family adventure in a few weeks, so fingers crossed the French sun will be shining (and the villa will exist). As you’d expect, I’ll take lots of photographs and share them on Twitter (@TaylorHeartsTvl) and Instagram (@TaylorHeartsTravel). If it turns out to be somewhere that I’d recommend I’ll be sure to share a review on here too.
It may have been a mission to find somewhere, but I actually have no regrets about booking it late in the day. I might not have ever discovered Salviac otherwise. Some things are just meant to be.
So, all that leaves me to say is…where will you be going for your summer break? Have you had yours already? I’d love to hear all about in the comments box below. And like I said, if you have any recommendations for Salviac do let me know. Oh, and finally, do you ever have holiday booking niggles? X