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My summer adventure!!

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dublin
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My summer adventure!!

Hi everybody im hoping i can get some advice. I am off for July and August and i want to go travelling around the south of France. First i want to go to Nice, Cannes, Monaco and all the little villages in between. Then i want to work my way across to Marseille. If possible and if i have any money left i would like to keep travelling around the coast to see how far i can get, would love to go to Biarritz.

I will be going on my own and i wanted to use Nice as my base for exploring Cote d'Azur, is it safe for a loan female traveller?

My budget is £2000 so do you think i will be able to do it, i will be staying in hostels and using trains and buses.

I would really appreciate some recommendations and pointers as i have never done this before

Thanks

Guildford, United...
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1. Re: My summer adventure!!

Provided you are fairly careful you shouldn't have any problem. By and large France is safer than the UK and Ireland. For many years I worked with Asian students who often did the sort of thing you are planning and no one ever came to any harm, even though it would have been very obvious that they were foreigners.

You can base yourself in Nice in order to cover the stretch between Cannes and the Italian border and then move further west at it takes your fancy. Public transport is incredibly cheap, one euro for all fares for quite a distance out of Nice, and reasonably efficient if you are not in a hurry. I am not young or female but I often wander around Nice in the late evening and see young women who are clearly relaxed about going where they need to get to.

You are lucky in that you have not been affected by the decline in the value of the pound. Fresh food is available at similar prices to those in Ireland but with much better quality. Bread, cheese and fruit can keep you going very well in France, with an occasional restaurant meal for around ten euro.

I am sure you will have a great time. Just wish I had been brave enough to do something similar before the need to earn a living took over my life.

London, United...
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for Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer
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2. Re: My summer adventure!!

LB has about said it all, but just to add, don't assume your personal safety (about which you can be pretty confident) extends to any cash you are carrying - pickpockets are a pest here, especially on those cheap but crowded buses. The papers routinely report on this kind of petty theiving, especially on the tram, and I myself lost a wallet to a thief on a packed Nice - Monaco bus. Invest in a secure means of carrying any cash like an under-clothing money belt (and not the whole £2000!) Its best to access money periodically via cash machines, which are plentiful. Its just common sense really.

Nice
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3. Re: My summer adventure!!

I see folk wandering around Nice wearing obvious money belts in Nice and I feel they might as well have painted a 'I'm carrying money' sign on their foreheads.

There are ways of wearing moneybelts invisibly - check they don't show through clothing - that's the number one mistake I see

Next big mistake is to fish about in the money belt in the street or inside shops, restos etc and draw attention to yourself and no, turning vaguely to the side does not make someone look less obvious.

Take money out and have some in an ordinary purse for planned purchases -if its necessary to get more money from the stash remove the money in the loo or somewhere discretely

another mistake -though not applicable if travelling alone-is to talk about the money belt loudly saying things like - 'its ok honey I have 500 euro-dollars left in the money belt.' Or 'gee the money belt is giving me a sweat rash.' Thieves understand enough english to spot likely targets.

I haven't heard of anyone having their money belt stolen in Nice though, since pickpockets don't want confrontation but I think there is no point wearing something for 'security' and basically flashing it around.

Nice
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4. Re: My summer adventure!!

As far as travelling alone is concerned, this area is really safe for women. It not like Italy where men can sometimes be a bit too leery and forward

I wander around alone late at night and never see any trouble. [I'm female and people tell me i look a lot younger than I am] I am not concerned about my teenage daughter or son wandering around at night either, beyond the usual parental concern.

I will however be concerned about them when we go back to scotland for a holiday/to visit family later in the year because of the much higher risk of aggravation and harassment and random violence from drunk neds.

Obviously take the usual precautions- don't get drunk or take drugs, keep on well lit streets if walking at night, don't take short cuts if you don't know the area , don't flash money around,

The trams are safe at night and run till about 2am .

There are plenty of back packer hostels and very cheap hotels in Nice so its a good base for exploring the area -and most of the transport has Nice as a hub

Buses are great and very cheap

and in July/august you also have the opportunity of the carte Isabelle on the sncf trains which is a day rover ticket -costs about 13 euros and you can use it as far as tende in the mountains, st Raphael , and ventimiglia in italy

To make your money go as far as possible don't eat breakfast at the hotel etc go to a bakery [many have little cafes attached] or a local shop or market to get stuff.

Cheap food is easy to find such as paninis, omelettes, , crepes, sandwiches and salads and pizzas, plus Nicpois specialities like socca [chick pea pancake]. You can also buy cooked rotisserie chickens in lots of places and most rotisseries will let you have a half chcken]

Plan a bit beforehand in terms of budget and what you really want to see/eat/do to make the money go further but I'm sure you will have a brilliant time.

London, United...
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5. Re: My summer adventure!!

Quite right, there is a more than subtle difference between a tourist "bum bag" and a proper under-clothing moneybelt. Without giving away secrets, my preference is for the shoulder-holster, "Dirty Harry" style but without the .44 magnum - under the shirt. I defy any pickpocket to get in there!

I also worry why French men aren't as leery as Italians. Their women are just as attractive. Perhaps someone has a theory?

dublin
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6. Re: My summer adventure!!

Thank you all so much for the advice and encouragement. I am excited now!!

London, United...
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7. Re: My summer adventure!!

Yes it really is safe, just make sure you follow all the usually precautions. I travel by myeslf in France often and its absolutely fine.

Do though learn a little french as it will help you along the way. Just restaurant ordering and some food vocab will help a lot. If you use a taxi at any time write down the address where your going to and make sure you ask "Combien?" (how much?) before you get in it as it can often avoid you being ripped off,. driver taking to many wrong turns or simply the scenic route and charging you for it etc!!!!and they may think you're french when you get in!

8. Re: My summer adventure!!

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