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How to get there from here

Most will fly into Paris (airport code CDG) and take the train to Rennes or St. Malo.  There are flights into Rennes or St. Malo proper, but travelers are encouraged to look into the prices of these and weigh them against the TVG from Paris CDG airport.  From Rennes and St. Malo there are busses available, as well as the taxi option(around 90euro as I write this, split 4 ways not a terrible option) and of course, rental cars.

UPDATE: I’m updating this section after doing a few weeks of additional research.  While flying into Paris and then enjoying the TGV to Rennes is an option, I am starting to believe that flying directly into Rennes may be the best option for most.

Looking at the updated and posted TGV train and airline schedules, there may be issues using the train option.  Basically it comes down to very tight connections.  The earliest TGV from Rennes to Charles de Gaulles Airport(CDG) leaves around 6am and will get you to CDG about 930.  That leaves you about 2 hours to get the most common and cheapest flight out of CDG for the US.  In our past experience thats not nearly enough time...

You best train ride option would be the evening before your flight to drop off your rental car at the Rennes TGV station, take an evening train to CDG, get a cheap room out at the airport and then grab a shuttle to the terminal for your flight in the morning.  This option should run about $1200-$1300 a person, round trip.

Or, you can spend a little more money and fly directly into Rennes Airport(RNS).  Most flights will get you into Rennes mid morning, and fly back out around 7am.  From my digging in the schedules and fares, this should run about $1350.  My hunch is that the cost will go down as we get closer, as fares usually do, but the small extra amount sure makes this a much more attractive option.  For some reason, rental cars picked up at Rennes Airport are also slightly cheaper, it is a hidden TGV fee issue for service at the train station.

Of course, its all up to you!  An evening or two in Paris certainly doesn’t suck, and I’m sure the seasoned travelers on the email group will have lots to add on that topic.

Flight Information

flightstats.com has a very handy search by airport tool which shows arrivals and departures by Airline and includes the Gate info.

Expect airfare to be somewhere around $900. There's no hard and fast rule for when to find the best international rates, but generally speaking, 3-9 months in advance is a good range. Keep an eye out on prices. If you find a good rate, share it on the Dinan gmail list to let everyone else know!

Train travel in France

Trains in France are quick, clean, and fairly convenient, once you've got them figured out. You do need to be careful. You can find a huge sway in rates between websites. Some give an average rate which can be severely inflated by the prices for overbooked train rides purchased just prior to departure.

Seat61 is a very handy website which gives you just about everything you need to know to survive mass transit in France. It's a good idea to purchase your train tickets for the trip to & from the airport prior to leaving the US so it's one less thing that you have to worry about once you get there.

The best way to book train tickets is by using the handy dandy TrainlineEU app on your phone. It allows you to purchase and confirm tickets on the fly that you can print or pick up from machines at the train station. Super easy and cheap.

At a glance, tickets from CDG airport to Rennes are running $59 each way if purchased 90 days in advance. That's a 3 hour non-stop.

Getting around DinanCyclist

The apartment is conveniently located, so once you get there from the airport, much of what you will want to see is within walking distance.

Local Trains

Local trains are a great option for getting around Brittany. Once we are on site we will swoop into the tourism office for all the appropriate train schedules. Here is a bit of what we found so far:
Local Trains

Bus Travel

As with the local trains, we will have all the local bus schedules researched and available at the apartment. In the meantime, here is a link to the local services:
Local Buses

Car rental

Dinan, being out of the major public transportation network we will be relying on cars for a lot of our day trips and sightseeing. 

Driving in France is much like driving in the US, with a few notable exceptions.  But first, let’s look at the options for getting your car in the first place.

Most US car rental agencies will let you rent directly from their websites.  Our first trip to Nice we did just that and had no major issues.  Your other option is to rent from a clearing house like Auto Europe.  I can’t say I know if there is much of a price difference, from my searching they seem to be very comparable to US vendors.  The one thing Auto Europe may have is a more accurate list of the European makes and models available.  For Nita and I, it is necessary for us to go through Auto Europe because of the long term nature of our rental, or we would probably go with our more familiar US vendors.

Before you book your car with liability insurance, you may want to look into any insurance coverage your credit card companies may offer.  For Nita and I, our American Express offers full liability coverage for our 42 day rental for a cost of $29, saving us over $900 over the rental agencies cost for the same coverage.  Definitely worth looking into...

Once on the ground, getting your car at the airport is pretty much like here in the US.  Hit the kiosk, do the paperwork dance and get moving.  BTW, don’t be shocked if there are small additional charges when you pick up your car, the EU has funny rules on little taxes, fees, etc.

Before you leave the rental lot, be sure to check your car for a reflective vest and a reflective triangle.  The vest MUST be located in the interior of the car, either zipped up on the drivers seat back, or stored in the glove compartment.  The triangle can be in the trunk.  Most say to keep the vest zipped up on the seat back as the local cops are often eager to stop tourists for an easy ticket.  The vest must be put on before you exit the car for any emergency roadside issue that may come up, as well the triangle must be put out.

Most of the driving regulations you probably already familiar with.  Here are a couple links to current driving regs in France:

Driving in France Wiki

Why Go France Driving Guide

Discover France Driving Guide

I also strongly recommend the Drive Around Guidebooks available in paperback from just about everywhere. We had one for our drive from Nice to Avignon in 2008 and it was a great resource to have along.  As of April 1, there are none available for the Kindle, dammit.

Your standard, state issued driving license is perfectly acceptable in the EU.  We opted to go to AAA for an International Driver’s Permit for the trip.  Basically its just a legal translation that allows the police wherever you are to have some clue what your US license is all about.  Consider we issue 50 different state versions.  How on earth would a French cop have any clue if yours is actually real?  The IDP isn’t a must have, but not a bad thing just in case.

One important thing to remember is that the legal limit for drunk driving is about half of most states in the US.  The general rule we found our friends living by is one drink equals no driving.  It sounds harsh but the punishment for drunk driving is extremely severe.  Be smart, be careful.

We stole this from the Rick Steves webpage, hope he doesn’t mind!

"Thieves target tourists' cars — especially at night. Don't leave anything even hinting of value in view in your parked car. Put anything worth stealing in the trunk (or, better yet, in your hotel room). Leave your glove compartment open so the thief can look in without breaking in. Choose your parking place carefully. Your hotel receptionist knows what's safe and what precautions are necessary.

Make your car look as local as possible. Leave no tourist information lying around. Put a local newspaper under the rear window. More than half of the work that European automobile glass shops do is repairing windows broken by thieves. Before I choose where to park my car, I check to see if the parking lot's asphalt glitters. In Rome, my favorite hotel is next to a large police station — a safe place to park.

If you have a hatchback, leave the trunk covered during the day. At night, roll back the cover so thieves can see there's nothing stored in the car. Many police advise leaving your car unlocked at night. "Worthless" but irreplaceable things (journal, memory cards full of photos, etc.) are stolen only if left in a bag. It's better to keep these things with you, or if need be, lay them loose in the trunk.

Be alert to "moving violations." In some urban areas, crude thieves reach into windows or even smash the windows of occupied cars at stoplights to grab a purse or camera."