Self Drive in France
Europe is eternally blissful and so are the beautiful French villages. But an important aspect while visiting France is, do you get to witness the real charm of French lifestyle, history, culture, and landscapes while exploring big cities like Paris? France is much beyond Disneyland and Eiffel Tower. And like us, if you’re a part of the squad looking forward to tranquil trails and quaint villages of France, then you need to opt for Self Drive while in France.
Well, that’s what we did and it was for the first time Internationally!
The pristine landscapes, charming views, historic mansions, you explore while discovering your paths, will make your exploration around France, completely memorable.
Though opting for self-drive internationally can be a little challenging, but once you are prepared for it, along with some refresher about the country rules, you’ll be all set in few hours with the controls. To capture this beautiful journey (and not just the destination) provoked us to opt for Selfdrive. And for this, we opted to rent out a car from Avis Rental.
Related: Have a look at Car Safety rules while traveling
Renting a Car for Self-Drive in France
Having a child with us, we took the Child car seat (mandatory for children less than 10years) along with a Navigation system. But in case, you have your own GPS, then it would come in more handy, as you better know how to use your GPS. In case you don’t have your device with an International data plan, then you can go for the GPS Navigation system from Avis Car rental.
1. You have a vast range of booking options, right from Budget category to luxury models, from self-driven to chauffeur-driven, from normal fuel cars to electric cars. Even the Manual and Automatic options are available. Though, we would suggest you opt for Manual ones, as these are more popular and adapted in France, compared to the automatic versions.
2. The booking was very swift and the pickup and drop were really easy. Even the staff at the pickup and drop point were courteous enough to answer all our questions and guide us.
3. We opted for an Insurance package with Theft coverage to be assured of our car and belongings. Avis Car rental has various Insurance packages basis your requisite, which you can choose over the counter itself while picking up your preferred car. Having Insurance got the requisite feel of “safe and secured” while driving Internationally.
4. We had Indian origin license, which worked perfectly there, though it is always advisable to carry International Driving License (we had International DL too)
5. Avis has an array of partners, with which you can earn lots of rewards.
They have services in 170 countries with apt coverages, so I’m certain, many of our readers would be aware of their flawless services and brilliant car fleet already.
Here are the reasons, why you need to opt for Self-drive in France:
1. Explore the Unexplored:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by” – Robert Frost
If you’re a real explorer, do this! These off-beaten trails in France are simply breathtaking. Our first drive was from Paris to Normandy Region, and the drive was amazingly scenic. No crowds, vast grasslands, tall trees, clear sky, swift roads! Don’t you think it was a treat? We stopped by at our convenience, coz the most stunning landscapes are yet hidden from the normal tourists, and that’s when you meet tranquility.
2. Visit and spend more time on less touristy points:
While the world is cluttering the streets of highly touristy lanes, how about you spending most of your time in exploring less known? If you have your own car in France, you can eat what locals eat, like Crêpe at the market stall, instead of a fancy restaurant. Get your hands on the small villages and towns in the Normandy region of France. Visit Saint Mont Michel, on the day of High tides. Pull out a day to visit the beautiful and historic castles of Loire Valley and surroundings. You need not be in the hands of a tour operator for the food and places to see. When in France, see what locals do and enjoy every small moment.
3. Try out your hands on the exclusive bakeries:
France has ample bakeries, right from the fancy ones to simple, cost-efficient ones. And while you are driving in the lanes of small towns and villages, get your hands on the tarts, Pâtisserie, freshly baked flavored loaves of bread, colorful macarons, and more. The aroma of these bakeries are infectious, believe me. We had our first raspberry tart in the lanes of Étretat and that was a tempting start. Hadn’t we wandering around calmly in those streets, we wouldn’t have ever got this taste.
4. You have all the time for yourself, optimize that flexibility:
Most of the time, for the major attractions (well you can’t miss them too), we were much earlier than the tourists. The reason is simple. We used to leave much before the first bus was expected to arrive. And we had some quality time even at the overcrowded places. With Kids, having a car is the best option. Start from your Airbnb or Hotel room, once your child is comfortable. You can even return back to your hotel if your child feels uncomfortable or wants a small nap. You have all the flexibility to turn out your vacations into a happy one.
5. Stop, and enjoy the pristine and unspoiled nature:
This is a tip for the whole of France, and you can enjoy this only if you have your own car. Stopping at nearby Apple orchids, hopping out to get clicked as you spot a perfect landscape, adoring the vineyards, is definitely what you should do while in France. You are your own guide now, so take the privilege to design your itinerary, just the way you like it.
This self-drive was quite liberating for us. To help you all understand more about the France Traffic and driving nitty-gritty, another post will be up very soon.
Keep following us for updates on our France trip at our Instagram handles,