Tuesday, March 20, 2012
During the past week Linda and I have been busy sending emails to each of the hotels we have reservations with to confirm that "yes" they do have us on their books! My emails were a bit more complicated because our bank reissued our credit card in December and I had to send out that information also. We made the reservations last October; so very important to reconfirm!
The Peugeot 308 SW Diesel automobile is now paid for and waiting in Paris. It is a brand new automobile through their lease/buyback program for European travelers who are staying for a minimum of 17 days...the following explanation is from their website:
How the Peugeot Buyback Lease Works:
The buyback lease in some ways can sound too good to be true. After all, how can they give you a brand new car for less than you'd pay for a traditional rental? The reason it's a good deal all around is that locals must pay a higher tax on a brand new car. Non-EU residents are exempt. So you get the new car, avoid the tax, and they can sell it afterwards for less. You are technically buying the car, and then they buy it back from you after your lease period.
Since we will be driving from April 24th to May 24th...it's a perfect deal for our trip. We'll return the car at Charles de Gaule Airport on our way back into Paris for our final six days. This program also solves the problem of the fact that most rental companies will not rent to a person over the age of 75 years...and Jim falls in that range. They are not concerned with that issue and you also have an all inclusive insurance policy that comes with the car program.
Jim and I have used this program at least four times on previous trips. This time it's a larger automobile since there are four of us and we also have GPS for the first time. Hopefully that will replace the job of navigating from maps that are generally out of date! I do hope her English is good! Oh yes....we always give our GPS a name...usually a female....the one at home is "Miss Daisy"...and we'll have to think of one that we all like for our trip...Linda...if you're reading this...start thinking!
On the Euro issue we decided to buy some from our bank so that we don't have to worry about the 550 Euros we need for the first day....to pay the balance of our rent for the apartment. Cash is required. The 50% deposit was paid last fall when we reserved the apartment. We checked the rate online and it was 1.32; we headed to our bank intending to purchase 1000 Euros but although they assured us there were no fees for customers...the rate was 1.39! When questioned they said that those published rates are the rate for transferring millions of dollars into Euros.
So we elected to only get 500 and use the ATM when we arrive for the balance needed. Jim is sure the rate is going to go down in the next two weeks...I'm not so sure that it won't go up in the next two weeks. One of us will be able to say "I told you so!" We actually have Euros left from our trip in 2010 and our good friends Shari and Dave sold us their change that they had left from their trip last summer. So if you plan to pre-purchase money for travel; remember that the rate of exchange is much higher than published and you need to do it several days ahead as they have to order the funds for you. This is the first time we've pre-purchased funds as we always use the ATM after we arrive in Paris and will probably continue to do that in the future.
Only twelve more days to go......