Quality Villas in France: The Foundation of Slow Travel
France is a premiere European destination for slow travellers and the perfect opportunity to experience different cultures and lifestyles. An alternative to hotels and Bed and Breakfasts, weekly villa rentals are essentially your own temporary “home. You can experience the surrounding area more intensely since you have the opportunity to become involved within the community where you are staying. This includes shopping locally for groceries, household and personal supplies, stopping by the cafe in the morning, and meeting people within their own village on a daily basis. For some people, renting villas is the only way they travel.
You can find vacation rentals all over France
In France, as in Europe, villa rentals have been popular for decades. Even Americans are catching on to to idea and benefits of slow travel. In France there are rental villas, otherwise known as “gites”, throughout the countryside.
Who rents a villa
Single people, couples, families with children who need extra space, foodies who want to experiment with the local cuisine, people who have dietary restrictions and people who need to visit for an extended period of time.
No concierge or a front desk
Staying in villa is similar to home. There is no concierge to make reservations for you or to arrange tours. You will need to do your own research, reference your own guide books, and organize your own day trips. Typically there is a property manager to check you in and check you out as well as being available for emergencies.
Have your second home in France
Villas are equipped with basic household items such as sheets, typically three towels per person, pots and pans, dishes, and cutlery. Some villas will have a welcome basket waiting for your arrival. In certain villas a chef/cook can be provided to prepare cuisine for elegant dinner parties. In many cases you can have a food hamper delivered to your villa. Many properties also include a maid service.
Book six months to a year ahead
Since Europeans book their villas a year ahead, it’s best to make your arrangements as early as possible, especially if you plan to stay in some of the best places. In addition, planning ahead will give you ample time to organize the macro and micro details of your holiday in France.
Rewarding and memorable trips
Renting a villa instead of a hotel puts your holiday in a whole different light. There is no urgency to go on long day trips as you can explore the local district and to get to know the area well on a series of short trips. You will not experience the exhausting “go, go, go” schedule of visiting multiple cities and tourist attractions that in retrospect appears as a fleeting experience. Instead, you have the opportunity to intimately know a small corner of the world and socialise with the local people on a level that is otherwise impossible.
As a slow traveler, you know you don’t need to see and do everything on this trip as you look forward to other trips to be spent in quality villas in France again and again as you broaden your experience and love of France.