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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings everyone,

My wife and I have been dreaming on living in the French Riviera for an extended time (30-89 days).

We are planning on traveling there next spring and renting a vacation rental. We stayed in Bandol the first time we visited the French Riviera. We absolutely loved the weather, food, and French culture. However, with 3 children under 7, we were thinking Antibes would fit our needs well. I would love any suggestions regarding where to reside.

I have a number of questions regarding staying in France for that period.

1) Our children are homeschooled. Will the French authorities have a problem with them not being in public school during our stay?

2) If I am reading the French consulate webpage correctly, we will NOT need to apply for any Visa if we are staying for under 90 days. Please correct me if I am wrong.

3) We have Blue Shield of California PPO for our health insurance. It is a great plan. However, if there any resources y'all could recommend that discuss having health insurance in France?

4) Are there reputable rentals that book for months at a time, rather than vacation rentals online that book per week?

5) Is it worth it to have an automobile in Antibes?

Thanks for any help!
 

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If you'll be here for less than 90 days, there should be no visa issues. And, for that matter, no issues with the kids and their schooling. It's assumed that if you're here for 90 days or less that you're not actually resident here - so the school issue is between you and wherever your permanent residence is located.

Take a look at your Blue Cross policy and see what they say about medical emergencies outside the US. If they cover, then fine. If not, you'll want to look into a travel policy - perhaps with repatriation coverage. (I.e. if you or anyone in your family were to have a serious accident or illness while overseas, a travel policy with repatriation would take care of you until you were able to be transported back "home" to the States for longer term care.)

A rental of less than three months is probably unlikely to go by the month. By definition it's more of a vacation rental. But take a look at the usual sites to see what's available.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of CA: They might cover you. Read your policy carefully. I expect you'll need to go onto the Blue Cross website to find out what sort of, if any, foreign coverage you have. We had to call them to make sure that we had coverage from Blue Cross of Massachusetts. You might also want to check out GeoBlue by Blue Cross. Coverage is different in each of the states it's offered. It offers excellent coverage for vacations at a reasonable rate. I remember it was offered in California but didn't read the particulars as we're not from there.

Car in Antibes: With 3 kids, I imagine it could be difficult getting around. If you're in a city with public transportation, you may be OK. But if you're not, a car would be quite valuable. When we bought our house in France for use during month-long vacations, we rented a car at the airport when we arrived and drove to/from our house. Monthly rental rates are fairly good and some US credit cards (AMEX and British Airways Visa) provide international damage insurance (though not personal injury) on rentals of 1 month or less. If you rent in Nice, for example, you can return the car once a month and re-rent it.

Best of luck.

Ray
 

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For car rental for your stay try Renault Eurodrive, Peugeot Open Europe and Citroen DriveEurope - you get a new car at significantly lower rates than normal rentals. Just google any or all of these 3.

Note though that driving to the beaches and parking in July or August can be a major headache, however I note that you are planning your visit for the European spring. That aside, leasing a car for the period of your stay will give you significant freedom to enjoy all the area has to offer.

Your rental will inevitably be a vacation rental. Google 'vacation rental France' or 'holiday rental France', or 'location saisoniere' if you speak French, or try VBO. Most owners will consider giving you a deal for an off-season stay of up to 3 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies EverHopeful, RayRay, and EverHopeful,

My wife and I are old souls, even though both just about 30. I had no idea Antibes could get so busy! Hmmmm. Well, we loved Bandol when we were there. It had that small French town feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Wow! Thanks so much for the advice. This will help immensely. We would be open to staying in a more quiet coastal town (maybe Bandol again). Also, could you suggest some other "more inland" communities besides Cantaron? I am looking there on HomeAway, but not many rentals. We really would love a very safe community with lots of young families to get to know.

We will probably adjust our plans to be in south France from early May to early to mid June. Will it be busy at that time?
 

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...Also, could you suggest some other "more inland" communities besides Cantaron? I am looking there on HomeAway, but not many rentals. We really would love a very safe community with lots of young families to get to know...
You may want to check AirBnB.com for that area. We've found wonderful apartments and houses in France and Italy with them so far. And prices have been quite good.

One can negotiate the prices they request with the AirBnB hosts. I'd think if you let them know you wanted to stay for a month or more (unless it's at the height of the season), you might have some room to negotiate.

Best of luck.

Ray
 

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Just a warning re AirBnB - it seems the French Govt might have it in its sights for 'concurrence déloyale' (like Uber).
 
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