Category: France How To
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This is join us in France Episode 253 Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and join us in France is a podcast where you’ll hear pragmatic advice for your next trip to France. On today’s episode, I talked with my guest, David Steinberg, about creative ways to save money on your flights to Europe and France. Of course, what he did is he used miles to book open job flights. And you know what? It sounds like a good plan to me. What are open your flights? Let’s say you live in Boston, you might fly from Boston to Paris, then make your way down to Barcelona by train or by car or even using a European airline like Jet Blue or whatever, and fly home Barcelona to Boston. If you draw this on a map, it kind of looks like an open jaw, which is supposedly why you know this method got its name. It turns out that This open job or multi city booking is really cost effective. So long as you don’t ask Delta or united or American Airlines to also fly you between Paris and Barcelona. You’re buying two one way tickets, Boston to Paris and then Barcelona to Boston to follow our example. This used to be a terrible idea, but it’s not anymore, even if you’re booking with low cost airlines apparently. So next Sunday, I’ll publish an episode about low cost travel within Europe. And in that episode, we will also talk about low cost airlines between the US and Europe like wow, air, Norwegian and level that will be with another guests, but the two episodes are really, you know, complementary to each other. So I’ll publish them close together. So yeah, multi city or open jaw. That’s the way to go. And so let’s talk about it but let me make clear that the It does not work in the travel industry. He’s a regular traveler like you and me and Show Notes for this episode are at join us in France. com forward slash 253 to five three, where you will also find David’s excellent guest
David and welcome to join us in France. Bonjour any. It’s so nice to talk to you. Thank you for your patience if we’ve had problems with this call.
today. We My pleasure.
Today, we’re going to Talk about your experience with doing kind of interesting finding interesting methods to lower the cost of international travel. Can you explain a little bit more about this?
Sure. Um, what what I’m going to talk about a little bit is we did a multi city trip to Europe, and especially coming all the way from the west coast of the United States, it’s pretty our most expensive part of the trip is usually getting there. So we booked what’s called an open jaw a ticket, and it’s called Open job because it sort of resembles an open jaw if you draw it on a picture. And the idea is booking into one city, traveling around and then flying home out of another city. And so oftentimes, you see chalkboard questions around Oh, I’m going to Paris and then I’m going to Barcelona. How long should I allow for getting back from Barcelona to Paris and BB Most people think in that way, I have to book a round trip out of the city I’m going to
write because for decades, that’s what you had to do, or you pay a fortune,
a fortune. And really, especially if you’re traveling with miles, so a lot of us use credit cards and other things to save up miles. And then we redeem these things. The airlines mostly don’t care. And so a great trip to plan is flying into Paris, and out of London, or flying into London out of Paris, or flying into pair or out of Barcelona or Madrid. As long as the airlines have a partnership, you know, whether it’s sky lead or or some of the other ones, they tend to be very friendly that way,
right. And also what happens is, the mistake I used to make all the time is that I would book my tickets originating in Toulouse because I’m always doing this in the opposite direction. So I’d say I want to go from Toulouse to Salt Lake City and it would give Terrible prices. But if you change it Paris to Salt Lake City, and then just take a train or do a low cost airline to get to Paris, Wallah, it’s much cheaper.
Yeah, for sure. And so we are trying to book a trip on miles and found the easiest for us. And it completely depends on direction. So we couldn’t go for example, London and then flying home on of parents. There wasn’t anything available, but we found the reverse true. So we kind of just reverse planned our trip, we move into Paris. I spent a week then took the Eurostar which was fantastic to London, and then spent a week in London and and actually when we went to some other places in the UK and then flew out of London and it was very easy.
Yeah, that sounds good. And how much do you figure you saved by doing it that way?
Well, for us it was a lot of we didn’t save the money because it was the same cost of miles, but what we really saved was time Right, because getting to and from an airport or trying to get back to the city, for instance, if we’d gone to Paris and then tried to go to the UK and then had to go back to Paris, right? That would have been probably more money and a lot more time. And really, most of us, us travelers who are not yet retired. When we go on these trips, our most precious commodity besides money is time. We’re always trying to beat that, you know, one more day in a museum. So, you know, it kind of makes it makes it easier. I can’t wait for the day when I don’t really care. And when they offer me, you know, $2,000 to get off the plane. I’m going to do it.
Right. Right. Right. So what was it like taking the Eurostar? I don’t think this is something that has come up a lot in in the podcast, it’d be interesting to hear your experience there.
So first, it was really good. We were a little nervous going under water for that long, but you don’t really notice it. And so I advise book Wellington advance this is not one of those things where it gets cheaper The closer you get in though there may be some fares like that it’s the longer you booked in advance when they open, the better it is. And you depart out of garden Nord, and get there early because there is immigration. So you basically go through immigration for the UK in Paris, okay, and the line gets very long. And I will say this people are know how to queue on the UK side. Maybe a little bit more nice and polite, the other place,
I know where you’re going with this.
But once you get through, they ask you why are you visiting the UK and you get through and then once you’re in London, you don’t go through anything you’re done and you’re in the center of London so you’re not going through an airport and dealing with those kind of issues. You you get off the train and They have a right to, you know, search your luggage if they ask you, but they don’t, they might just get in a cab and go wherever you need.
Right? Right. So yes, God, you know, is a zoo. No matter Yeah, you’re going. So I don’t know. But I would be tempted to say give it two hours. Because it’s really busy. It’s very big. So you might have a bit of a hard time finding the right spot where you have to go to begin with. And then obviously, there’s the Immigration and Customs stuff, which I mean, if it’s for a whole train, that’s going to be thousands of people.
Yeah, it they do process it pretty quickly. And someone told us 30 minutes but we were there an hour in advance and that was good thinking you can’t get too early because you’ll just sit around but right. You know, and if you know what you’re doing, it’s easier of course but we found the trip great and would do it again and we do it again in the other direction. It’s just we haven’t done that yet.
Right? So was the signage good in God enough to get to two? Okay. Okay,
very simple. You know, we Google Map did ahead of time because we it’s funny when we were in Paris, we ended up in three or four different train stations, you know, once when we went to see Barney and other one to rants, and then another one for the trip to London, and it was very confusing, you know, if you don’t know where these are, some of them are across the street from each other. But once you know where you’re going, it was very, very simple.
Okay, that’s good. So so maybe I should also ask you about kind of some differences between your experience in Paris and in London, because there might be people who are wondering, hey, should I I can only do one, which one?
Well, this is joining us in France. So
you know, they were such different experiences. We we had never been to Paris before. But my wife grew up in London. And so the main trip for us Was Paris and we had such an amazing time we stayed in central man and we walked at least 10 miles a day and goodness you know people talk about that and I think you can certainly do Paris if you don’t want to walk there’s many options the metro the the massive Uber buses but Leon purpose prepared and we walked and walked in and let me tell you it was I think we broke our Apple device that didn’t believe how many miles
10 miles I think I’ve never done that. I’ve done 10 kilometres but not 10 miles That’s amazing. That’s impressive. You must be fast walkers it
really it just didn’t. We, we we just decided most of that note was this summer it was hot but also comfortable enough to walk and we felt like well let’s just keep going. And the city is such a great walking city and and that area. So It was perfect for us.
So what what was your hotel? You said it was soon as you have MMO What was it?
Yeah, this was the hotel Melissa team. And on Rosa Jakob, and a very, very nice, quiet hotel. amazing staff that that was the highlight for us. Every time we walk in the door, Mr. Damien would stand up and greet us by our names. And after a while, we said, Please sit down, you’re making us embarrassed, you know?
It was a reasonable place, and
so centrally located and that area can get very loud at night. And we didn’t have that issue. But you know, two blocks of way from just everything. And
just very helpful, very wonderful.
That’s wonderful, you know. And so what is some of the things that you enjoyed in Paris,
though? We loved the museum’s We especially light or say and Rodin gardens were incredible. We had our first experience of what I’ll call wine denial. So we went and bought a picnic at a little store near the museum. And they said, Well, this is parents, you can take wine anywhere. Well, that’s true, except when you’re trying to get in line to go visit a museum. Oh, yes, we brought a picnic with us. Then the security guard saw our bottle of wine and laughed and said, I’m going to keep this here for you. Don’t worry. It will be here when you come back. Oh, nice. And it was when we came back. They all made a joke and said that they drink it but they didn’t. So sometimes you get a bit of funny advice, like yeah, you can take wine, a lot of
rights. But if you got to drink in the street, not well, this is
a bit of a of a complicated issue for Paris because the city of Paris doesn’t want to crack down on visitors having a good time and enjoying some wine, or whatever. I mean, obviously, they don’t want Do that, but they don’t want public drunkenness either. So it depends who’s doing it. And it’s really pretty sad because this The rules are different. But if you’re a homeless person who’s drinking, they’ll probably give you a hard time. But if you’re just a visitor enjoying a bottle of wine with some friends or your spouse or whatever, they probably won’t say anything. So yeah. But Americans in general are very liberal with their wine drinking in public. French people don’t do that so much. Unless they’re, ya know, so you know?
Yeah, well, and not if we’re going to sound like alcoholics. We’re really not but we have. Our second favorite thing was we weren’t going to go to the roof. We just felt like it was so crowded. Maybe we’ll skip it. But we found a tiny little store called maize maze on yard. And all these little delicacies and salmon And we said, Would you make us a picnic? And she said, yes, absolutely come back. So she made us a whole picnic and with a little bottle of champagne another bottle told, told us to go across the bridge and picnic sort of on the grounds of the blue. And we did this was a Friday night and it was just spectacular. Oh yeah. eating the food and drinking those champagne and we happen to have the museum past with us. And all of a sudden we said, well, you know, we’re here. Why don’t we just go inside? It’s a Friday night and it was relatively uncrowded. I mean, now you need a timestamp. I know your listeners are aware of that. But yeah, you know this. You didn’t need it. And we walked inside we knew exactly what we wanted to see, which was Napoleon departments. And you know, we we we drink champagne was Napoleon. It was a good time.
So were you able to bring your bottle of champagne into the room?
No, no, we had finished it. Okay.
You had already. Okay. Yeah, that would have been surprised.
A small bottle.
Yeah, yeah, sure not. Yeah. Oh, very nice. That’s that sounds really good. You have on your on your list also, which I’ll put up so people can see your guest notes. You have a restaurant that you recommend?
Yes. We wanted a special anniversary dinner. And they recommended said Samba, which was like, the person called it a gastronomic experience. So it was a seven course meal. And they just choose it for you. So it’s it’s modern. It’s not old friendships modern. And you you sit down and they just start bringing you things and everything was fantastic. Ah, ok. So it’s one of those. Yeah, I don’t know how we buy that seventh course. I don’t think we wanted to see food again. But it wasn’t really. It wasn’t like super large quantities. It was just everything was a Taste of something new and different. And I even tried for a while, which I wasn’t going to do, but I couldn’t resist them. Right.
If they bring it to you like, well, I might as well try it.
Yeah. And my wife really didn’t want that. So for, you know, sort of ethical reasons, she said that to them and they brought her something else wasn’t a problem. This people were so accommodating wherever we went. Really,
very nice. Very nice. So that would be a place you recommend for a special dinner.
Yeah, absolutely. And our other favorite things we went to she far neat much with the help of your podcast, we knew what to do in advance. We bought the tickets online in advance. We are very active. So we got there and took the train and then immediately rented bicycles. And that was the best decision if you can do it, because everybody else got on this shuttle bus like a crowd of people. Yeah, and We had a nice leisurely ride in from Vernon across the bridge to ship Arnie and walked up with our prepaid tickets. As the mine enjoyed a couple hours there, you know, Monet is one of our favorites and it was crowded no matter what time you go in the summer. We got there very early. It was very crowded. Yeah, but we had a nice time. But the best part is, on the way back, we stopped for lunch at restaurant body, which is part of a little hotel and it was our pace. And we were able to, we really just had this little tiny dirt road to ourselves on the back. And we stopped at the old mill. I don’t know how to say that in French live.
Yes, love you move on.
And also a Chateau there. That’s a Norman castle that’s been sitting there empty for years. It was like reminded us of a Monty Python movie and just just the two of us, nobody around. And we biked back to the train station in time to To go home and was a fantastic day,
that’s great. Tell me again the name of that restaurant because that’s not in your list.
It is the restaurant bowtie BAUDY and it’s, they have a hotel and then right across this little lane is a garden where they serve in just a great lunch.
Okay, so is that in? You have a new year is that in? In Germany? Yeah. Okay, so. Okay. Yeah, I
mean there when you take the bus you don’t see these things because it’s about a block and a half away. And yeah, you know, we were able to do that and then we visited a small church and a cemetery where a downtown London a down English World War Two crew was buried and it just use you miss these little things if you if you end up on a on a bus with somebody.
Yeah, that’s true. No, that’s true and, and cycling is not I mean, it’s not very far. It’s maybe what five, six kilometers And it’s quite flat. I mean, yeah.
And since we went there so it’s kind of funny because the you get the bicycle at a bar and you know, you pay this guy and you go around the corner and get your bikes since that time, they’ve now installed a bunch of kind of electric. You go up with your credit card and you just grab a bike. Think they have some competition there are now Okay, there’s there’s a lot more options whereas before, you know, you kind of give your you give your driver’s license to the guy behind the bar, and then you hope you’re going to see it.
So is this what you did? Right?
Yeah, that’s exactly what we did. And we made it okay.
Yeah. So, so somebody is renting out electric assist bicycles. I think
they’re, they’re either electric assist, or it’s just the kind of place where the bikes are all in a row and you put your credit card in and get them icicle. Okay, okay. Yeah,
I don’t know if it’s actually an electric bicycle. Yeah. Someone would have to see it’s been, you know, year and a half so yeah.
That’s cool. That’s cool. And and it looks like you also went to Hans.
Yes. Now this I, we did a half day guided tour because I didn’t want to drive again with the drinking But still, you know, I want to be safe and we booked a tour half day. I could have booked a three day tour. It was the most fantastic thing. I loved being in the caves. I love seeing how things were made. And by booking a tour, we were Brynn tour three private houses were it was just us, literally us and the guy and the master of the champagne house. Wow. We didn’t get on a like a tourist train or we just we just tasted the champagne and and walked around and learned about the process. And it was an incredible day and then he drove us to the vineyard to themselves and That was our anniversary day too. So we couldn’t have had a better day. It’s wonderful. That and it was an easy trip again, the TGV is so fast. Yeah. You know, you get to the train station, you’re on it. And then in 45 minutes, you’re in rants. And we had a lovely half day there of champagne and the rest we went to the cathedral. Yeah. To see the windows. Were just fantastic. I, I can’t recommend it enough.
Wonderful. Wonderful. Okay, so we ended up talking about Paris a lot more and we did the open job, but the open job trick is, I’m next time I have to do a big trip. That’s what I’m going to. That’s what I’m going to do because I’ve done paying thousands for
tickets. It’s so near Francis part of, you know, has relationship with delta and TLMALM. And so that’s it. You know, you can, as long as they’re kind of partners there. You usually can do when you go to book it, you would say multi city trip. They don’t call it open jaw on the website, because people would be confused. But again, especially if you’re paying with points, but even without points, often you’ll find the same. The same price as if you were doing a round trip ticket, and sometimes less Believe it or not.
That’s very good to know. Okay, did I Did I miss anything? Is there anything else you want to discuss? Did we cover it?
I think we covered it. Thanks again to your podcast. We’re going back last time we went without the kids this time we’re taking our daughter and we’re spending a week in Paris in an apartment and then we’re breaking our own role. We’re not doing an open job. We’re taking the TGV down to have a young and spending two weeks in Provence and one of your listeners recommended Lucille Yes. And so we’re renting a villa there and then TGV back to Paris. Wonderful. And again, based on recommendation spending the night at a hotel in CPG, and then flying out in the morning. So we’re not doing open job because the train in this case it makes much more sense.
Yes, yes. Well, I mean, that’s it has to be, you know, a good solution for what you have in mind. And everybody does it differently. But it’s good to mention to people that there’s this open job possibility. And there’s also several discount airlines now that do direct flights between the US and France. I don’t have all the names that on my fingertips, but Norwegian is one although it’s not so stable.
Not so good. Yeah. I think what, what, what, what most people should do and so we’ve had several friends do this as they book an open jaw so maybe flying into Paris and out of Madrid. And in between there, they can take a lot of European discount airlines that are much cheaper. You know, we get shocked when we come from the US s&c Wait, you can fly from London to Madrid for 40 euro. Yeah. You know, so we don’t have quite the same discount air airfare here. Right? Yeah, sometimes it’s okay to go ahead. You
know those you have to book in advance. Like if yes, it’s easy yet. You know you really have to book quite a long way in advance Ryanair also does discount stuff, but I hate them with a passion. But, but yeah, there’s several of our fans has a has a discount airline too, but I can’t remember what it was called right now. If I remember I’ll put it up. I’ll put it on the website when I figure it out. So it’s on but
you’ll have to wish us luck because this next trip in Paris was obviously no car. But we’re renting our first car in France and I’ve been young for two weeks so it should be an adventure.
Just remember no speeding you cannot go you’re going to over the speed limit. It’s nothing if it says 90 go 90. That’s it. Yes,
And they will send you a ticket at home if you forget.
The one thing about open job one more thing. Yeah. A lot of people prepare for the airport they’re flying into but don’t end up looking at the airport. They’re going out. So for example, we flew into Charles de Gaulle and out of Heathrow, two very different experiences. Yeah. So it’s important to remember that in advance to get to Heathrow and go through the process, there’s very different than going to Charles de Gaulle, they both have their interesting features. And so if you’re doing open job, remember to look in advance what it’s like to check in, how far in advance you have to get there, what kind of transportation etc.
Very good. Thank you so much, David. You have been very patient
for my pleasure. And I hope this helps somebody and I’m sure you will. We can’t wait to hear more.
Have a wonderful next time in front Paul says lovely you’re gonna love it and driving in France is pretty easy. The biggest problem you’re going to have is parking.
Yes, I know.
All right now Cebu
Oh fine. Thank you.
Thank you, Tom Fox, Stephen Bennett, Johnny Riccardi, and Karen Edsel for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week. patrons enjoy several rewards including membership into a secret Facebook group, where I answer your questions as soon as they come up. They can also hire me to be their trip consultant and help them work out details of whatever they want help with. Visit patreon.com forward slash join us PATREON. Join us no spaces or dashes to see the different reward tiers and thank you so much for giving back. My thanks also to Amanda Brinckerhoff, and Roslyn Peterson for sending in a one time donation by using the green button on any page on join us in France. com that says tip your guide, donations of $20 and over also get you an invite to the secret Facebook group. And Amanda wrote Annie, thank you so much for this podcast. I love learning about France and constantly make notes on ideas for future trips. The tip in this short podcast about the Napoleon the third apartments was spot on. I never knew about them, even though I’ve been to the Louvre three times. Previously, I was on a quick trip to Paris, but I decided to make a visit to the loo or just to check out the apartments. You sometimes forget the Louvre it was an actual occupied palace, and then you visit this wing and Wow, it was beautiful. Thank you again and keep those little hints and tips coming. Thank you very much, Amanda. Yes, I will keep them coming. My parents self guided tours on The Voice map. are selling well and getting good reviews and because of the success via tour is starting to sell them also, these are the same tours, they all run on The Voice map app, but there are different ways to buy them. I recommend podcast listeners buy them through join us in france.com forward slash audio tours because as the tour creator, I reserved the best price for my listeners. But lots of people buy them directly through the voice map app as well. And now you’ll be able to buy them through the via tour website to the thing is via tour has its own ratings and reviews process. So people who see my tours on via tour right now see zero reviews. So if you buy the tour any of the tours on via tour, please write a review it would be super helpful actually please review the tour no matter where you buy it because pretty soon TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet will also start selling them. And they probably have their own siloed ratings and reviews systems as well. I’m really pleased with the number of ratings and reviews I’ve gotten on The Voice map app. It is really encouraging to read that people, whether they listen to the podcast or not love taking these tours, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I just need to keep getting the word out about them. And of course, I appreciate any help you can give me their word of mouth is always the best way. And if you’d like to support the show without spending a penny that you wouldn’t have spent otherwise, before you go shopping on Amazon, go to the bottom of any page on join us in france.com and click on the Amazon ad because you came to Amazon through join us in France. I get a small commission and it doesn’t cost you a penny more. Same thing with the booking.com ad for hotels room and thank you so much doesn’t cost you any extra. But it helps me pay the bills for this podcast. I will be closing down the addicted to friends close group on Facebook at the end of October. So if you’re in the addicted group but not in the join us in France closed group, please move over. Why? Well, I want to spend less time on Facebook story of my life as predicted now that I’ve tightened the rules for coming in to the close group on Facebook. The growth has been slower, which is what I wanted. Also, I want to recommend a podcast series to you. It’s called the missing crypto queen. I know people very good people, very smart people who were taken in by scams, and this series exposes one of the biggest scams ever. It’s well worth a listen and it’s only seven episodes. I’ve rarely burned through podcast episodes as fast as that one and I haven’t done as much as I wanted to This week because of it, but anyway, it’s called the missing crypto queen. I want to send a shout out to Patricia for capturing the wild cat comport.
She’ll know what I mean. And this cat is now in the loving hands of her original family. That was not easy. Congratulations Patricia. In the meantime, my own cat has jumped on my lap for the very first time ever. yesterday. She’s four so this took a while. I’m still all aflutter about that because this cat normally she likes to watch everything we do but from a distance. The second we get close to her she runs off. So that was a big move on and then this part and then this is part one that’s hard to say. If she ever jumps on my lap while I’m watching TV, no she means business. Now the Labradoodle does that every day but the cat not the weather is too great here in to lose money. Much of France has had lots of rain last week, but we didn’t. But don’t worry. I’ve been putting out water for the blinds the birds, the hedgehogs because they get thirsty too. I don’t eat snails which might be strange for a French person to say, but the hedgehogs they eat snails and they eat slugs are the young great, I love them. I want more of them. If you want to recommend the podcast to someone who already listens to podcasts, tell them to search for join us in France. And as a matter of fact, anyone can do that anywhere, including on a browser or Spotify, Alexa, whatever they if you look for join us in France, you will find us because we’re everywhere. And thank you for listening and spreading the word. Send questions or feedback to any at join us in France. com. Have a great week of trip planning and I will talk to you next week. Join us in France travel podcast is written and produced by Annie Sargent and copyright 2019. By addicted to France. It is released under a Creative Commons Attribution non commercial no derivatives license
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