The staycation has always been a popular option for French people, with many shunning foreign holidays in favour of a trip to coast or the rural regions of France. And as the world's most visited country, France certainly has plenty to offer, from stunning beaches and scenery to beautiful cities and adventure holidays in the countryside.
But new research conducted by respected pollsters Ifop reveals that for the majority of the French even that is now frequently out of their price range.
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The survey of 1,003 people conducted for social justice organisation the Jean-Jaurès Foundation revealed that 39 percent of people said they had frequently had to cancel holiday plans over the past five years because of a lack of money and 26 percent said they sometimes had to.
“A real sociological fault line appears in the level of access to holidays,” says Jérémie Peltier, Director of Studies at the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.
“The lower middle class joins the most disadvantaged classes in their inability to reach the level that consumer society sells us, in everyday life as well as in holidays.”
One reason offered was the sharp increase in the price of a camping holiday – traditionally a cheaper option for families on a budget.
France has 893,305 campsites, but while in 2001 nearly two thirds of them were in the cheaper one or two star bracket, now only one third are.
There has also been an increase in the building of cabins or bungalows on sites – a more expensive option than taking your own tent along.
Figures in French newspaper Le Parisien show that a 25 m² bungalow costs a minimum of €854 per week in a 4-star campsite in the Siblu chain of campsites. For a more spacious two-bedroom apartment, its around €1,400.