Monday, March 17, 2008


1. How did you get to Aix? (Did you fly directly to Paris and then take the train?)
2. Did you purchase a one-way ticket?
3. Did you get any student deals?
4. Do you have any advice on the easiest and cheapest way to get there?
5. About how much were your arrival costs?
6. Did you travel/book tickets with anyone else from the group?


Nicole said...

1) Plane - Flint to Detroit to Amsterdam to Marseille. My roommate flew to Paris and then took the train here - if you buy your TGV ticket well enough in advance, you can get it for cheap, but I never did a comparison to see if it was really the better deal. Her only real complaint about this was that the time wasn't right, so she missed the train she was originally supposed to take to get down here...I'd say to give yourself ample time between landing and your TGV if you're thinking about going this route.

2) I did buy a one-way ticket, and I'd say this is probably not a good idea. Buy a round-trip and change it when the time comes - if you do it on time, you'll pay nothing, or maybe a small fee, but compared to a return ticket in July (I bought mine in December and it was $950, the cheapest I could find), you'll be saving yourself a ton.

3) I bought the first one through STA travel, so I suppose there was a little something as far as student deals go, but honestly it might not make that big of a advice is to just buy the cheapest ticket you can find, whether it's student or not.

4) This question is tough because buying airline tickets is like trying to win the lottery. It's certainly going to be more convenient to travel by plane the entire way, and the fewer connections, the better. Try not to have too many long lay-overs - there's nothing to do in airports, and you're exhausted after the first (or second) flight. I think it's best to just do it all in the shortest amount of time possible.

When you show up at the airport, you've got to get a taxi (there's also a bus that will take you, but I think that's more of a hassle than it's worth - you have to find it and then you've got all of your luggage to carry - first to the bus stop, and then to the dorms, and they're not really near the bus stop in Aix). Just walk out the door and you'll see the taxis all lined up - the handbook says something about calling one, but you have no way of doing that when you get there, and I tried to ask a woman who looked at me like I was stupid.

5) I think the ticket cost me something like $650...but I could be off by a little. Taxi from the airport to Cuques was 45 euro, I'm pretty sure, and that includes baggage costs. Brush up on your small-talk skills - this taxi ride was murder for me because I was a little rusty coming into the trip. Thank goodness she spoke a little English, or it could have gone a lot worse.

6. I did not, but the other 4 Michigan students did, and I know quite a few people from the other 2 universities who did. If you're comfortable traveling alone, then go for it, but if you'd prefer the company, book with someone.

I will say that I felt a huge sense of accomplishment flying by myself the entire way - not only was I alone on my way to a foreign country, but it was also my first plane ride...and I had no problems, apart from finding a taxi when I got there, and even that wasn't that horrific.

Sally said...

1. TO AIX: Detroit to London Heathrow (Change airport in London) then London Gatwick to Marseille. Some advice, try to avoid changing airports. I bought my ticket late so I had to take what was left and prices were high (Round trip $1250) so I also advise getting your ticket early as possible.

2. I bought a round-trip ticket and in the end that didn't work out for me at all because my plans had changed and instead of flying Marseille-Detroit I needed to fly Paris-New York. Unfortunately you cannot change airports as easily as dates on an airline ticket and I had to waste my first one and buy another. You may want to consider this when buying your ticket.

3. Yes, and it didn't make much difference for me.

4. I don't really think STA prices are that great. Check for a student price, or there is always Flying most of the way is probably easier than the train since you will have big bags.

5. Not sure, but I do remember that everything seemed over expensive when I first arrived.

6. I did, luckily, travel with a friend from Michigan. We had a long layover in London and an annoying trip so it was nice to have company.