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Old Jul 17, 11, 5:55 pm   #1
 
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Round trip vs Open Jaw (Italy and France)

I posted a longwinded thread in the general "europe" subforum and didn't get any responses, so I'm going to narrow my question and ask here in France. Hopefully some specialists specific to these countries may be better able to direct me.

I'm planning on flying into Grenoble for a conference, but hoping to also travel to other areas of France, and Italy (possibly even to Venice). For a 10 day trip, does it make sense to do open jaw (into perhaps Lyon and out of Milan/Venice) to JFK or IAD, or would it be much more cost effective to do a round trip and pick a more central location (Geneva?) and make a loop using rail? I'm basically looking for the most cost effective method that makes sense. Any suggestions for how I can book Open Jaw and which airlines to do so?

(Much more detailed info in other post: Flights from Eastern US tofrom France/Italy/Swiss)
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Old Jul 17, 11, 7:10 pm   #2
 
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It usually, but not always, is cheaper to not fly an open jaw but, that being said you need to take everything into consideration like time saved, rail cost, etc. If it were me I'd fly in and out of GVA and concentrate on France and Switzerland.

Think about renting a car. The driving is easy and you would see a lot more. It's an easy 2 hour drive to Grenoble from GVA and about a 3 hour drive from GVA to ZRH. There's so much to see in France and Switzerland. I mention Switzerland because of your husband's wish to visit his favorite cheese maker. You could stop at Gruyeres on the way and have the best raclette and fondue.

You say, in your other post, you want to be cost conscious and then say you feel it's easier to drive a few hours to fly out of a specific airport. I just did a quick check in late Aug on US and the flight from PIT to GVA is only $40 more than the flight from IAD to GVA. It will cost you more, in time and money, to drive both ways than it would be to just fly from PIT. The open jaw into GVA and out of VCE is about $100 more. I did not check out any other airline. I know, at least with US, it's a very early flight out of LYS, like 5am.

To price an open jaw on US just click multi-city and figure out what is best for you. With only about 7 days, since three will be taken up with a conference, I really would stick to France and Switzerland, or even just France if your husband wouldn't mind giving up his cheese maker. If you decide to do VCE I would definitely do an open jaw. A rental car wouldn't be advisable in that instance.

Have a wonderful trip whatever you decide.

Bobette
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Old Jul 18, 11, 2:28 pm   #3
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I agree. Do an open jaw, rent a car, or take a train, and see some of Europe. Life is about experiences.
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Old Jul 19, 11, 1:18 pm   #4
 
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The open jaws i have done, even istanbul/italy and a lot of france/italy,or italy france. they have had basically the same price as a RT.

However, the cost of drop off when moving a car from one country is usually a huge amount of money. worth taking the train to get over the border, usually.

by the same token, iad/mil usually costs the same as iad/vce, or blq.
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Old Jul 21, 11, 1:45 pm   #5
 
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Thank you to all three of you who responded here!

b1513 - Thank you for your detailed response. Your rental car idea is great, but I am very nervous to deal with international traffic and signs in an unfamiliar language (been to vietnam and it has scarred me for life). In addition, I quite enjoy rail travel and neither DH or I has the stress of driving. I also checked (and for approximate dates this year) I found USAIR has a nonstop form PHL to Zurich for $650 (incredible!) if we do Thursday/Tuesday departure/arrival. Great suggestion on how to find the flights!


We are in the process of narrowing it down to 2 different itineraries. Basically one is that B1513 suggested (FR/SW), flying into and out of Zurich rail to france and around Switzerland.

Second is more along the lines of what stimpy and slawecki suggest. Open Jaw into Lyon, conference and visit sw france then across into Italy and out of Venice. (no Switz)

Right now DH is going to see about what all is around and in Switz for him, if it looks promising he can meet and greet with some of the cool cheesemakers there Fr/Sw is more likely, if not, then Fr/It it is ;-]

Thank you very much for your help and suggestions!
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Old Jul 21, 11, 1:49 pm   #6
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Driving in France is very easy and mostly the same as the US. There shouldn't be any domestic drop-off charges (I've never had any with Avis) if you rent in Lyon and drive around the south and visit what interests you. Then take a train to Italy, Switzerland, etc. Play it by ear and keep your options open. You can always get last minute train tickets and car rentals.
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Old Jul 21, 11, 2:58 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
Driving in France is very easy and mostly the same as the US.
Good to know. Thank you. I'm liking the idea of a more spontaneous trip, too. ;-]
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Old Jul 28, 11, 1:18 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
Driving in France is very easy and mostly the same as the US. There shouldn't be any domestic drop-off charges (I've never had any with Avis) if you rent in Lyon and drive around the south and visit what interests you. Then take a train to Italy, Switzerland, etc. Play it by ear and keep your options open. You can always get last minute train tickets and car rentals.
Just a word of warning for people that may not have the "gold" affiliations that get you free open jaw drop off in country.
Pickup and dropoff at different locations costs extra.
There is a thread somewhere in this forum that has the link to the site where you can do an international "return" for the hire companies at normal rates so you effectively reposition their cars for them.
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Old Jul 28, 11, 2:32 pm   #9
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Originally Posted by JRGAY View Post
Just a word of warning for people that may not have the "gold" affiliations that get you free open jaw drop off in country.
Pickup and dropoff at different locations costs extra.
To repeat myself, that is not always true domestically. At least not with Avis and Hertz here in France. It doesn't matter what your status is, in many cases you can drop off at a different location without any extra charge.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 5:17 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
To repeat myself, that is not always true domestically. At least not with Avis and Hertz here in France. It doesn't matter what your status is, in many cases you can drop off at a different location without any extra charge.
avis.fr
5 days in August smallest class
Calais to Toulouse Euro 333.76
Calais to Calais Euro 258.99

Or do you use a different Avis site in France?
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Old Jul 29, 11, 6:01 am   #11
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Avis.com

Pickup at LYS, return to LYS 179
Pickup at LYS, return to Chalon Sur Saone (or Beune, or Le Creusot, etc) 179.

As I said above, not always true. It depends on the locations.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 11:07 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRGAY View Post
avis.fr
5 days in August smallest class
Calais to Toulouse Euro 333.76
Calais to Calais Euro 258.99

Or do you use a different Avis site in France?
There lies your problem.

AVIS.com , US resident , sub-compact, Aug 3- 8 :

Calais DT to Toulouse SNCF 139.81 EURO
Calais DT to Calais DT 139.81 EURO

My own experience with Hertz/Avis in Europe is that there is no drop charge for domestic return. Guaranteed true if you rent through brokers or use the rail-drive programs.

Last edited by beep88; Jul 29, 11 at 11:16 am.
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Old Aug 13, 11, 10:29 pm   #13
 
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For a savings of about 33% over Avis, try Nova.

www.novacarhire.com
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