Why friends are so important

friends are so important

Reasons why friends are so important

There is a quote “Whoever has a friend, has a treasure”. I don’t think many people will argue with that. Real friends will look out for you, offer you a shoulder to cry on, and laugh at your jokes (sometimes). Whether you realise it or not, it’s your friends that have helped make you the person you are today. Even some of the ones that you are not friends with any more will have been an influence.

Good for your health

If your group of friends has change a lot throughout your life, then you are quite normal. Because life events, like going to college and getting married, move us around a lot. But whether you have old or new friends, did you know that they are also good for your health? Apparently having a close circle of friends can reduce the risk of health problems such as diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. And during lockdown, you’re less lonely when you have friends, so they’re good for your mental health too.

Help reduce stress

Everyone goes through stressful events at some point in their lives. But if you have got people you can count on, then they will make tough times feel less stressful. And spending time with friends can also help reduce stress. They’ll always be there for you. That sounds like the cue for a song.

Group bookings

Travelling with friends can be great fun. You learn more about them and share new experiences with them. Generally, when you are on holiday with friends you do different things than you do with family. We get lots of groups staying with us at Bel-Air Gites. Some travel here together, whereas others meet here for a regular get-together, or to celebrate a special event. Whatever the reason, group bookings with friends or family – or both! – usually means there’s lots of fun and laughter.

Activities for all ages

Our Charentaise farmhouse and rustic-style gites provide comfortable, ‘home-from-home’ holiday accommodation. It’s the perfect location for families with children of all ages, and we pride ourselves on having created a clean, safe and fun-filled haven for children and toddlers. We also have a brilliant games room, where you’ll find lots of toys, games and activities suitable for adults, as well as children.

Exclusive Use

For 2021 we have also introduced our Exclusive Use package. This is ideal for groups of up to 13 people, and we guarantee no other guests will be booked in to any other accommodation during your stay. So if you want to spend time with your loved ones this summer, book now for summer 2021. We have limited availability left for June and September so call today to check availability, and book your best fun-filled holiday ever.

Book now for 2021

Exclusive Use

New ‘Exclusive Use’ Holiday

Exclusive use deal world tourism day bel-air gites

Keeping safe

Bel-Air Gites is a small family-run business and our family live onsite all year round. We fully understand how important it is to ensure that your family and friends are safe during your time here. That is why we want to reassure you that we strictly follow the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the French government. It is also the reason we have come up with our new ‘Exclusive Use’ offer for 2021.

What is ‘Exclusive Use’?

This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are introducing a new holiday package, aimed at giving you some peace of mind during these difficult times. With our new ‘Exclusive Use’ package you can hire both of our large family gites, that can accommodate up to 13 people. You will have exclusive use of the gite complex, including the gardens, children’s play areas and our huge outdoor pool with sun loungers. We guarantee that no other guests will be booked in to any other accommodation for the same dates. In addition, we will provide hand sanitiser sprays and cleaning products around the complex, and in the gites for your added protection.

Peace of mind

For just €2600 per week you can stay in our two family gites, Châtaigniers and Chouette ,with full unlimited access to all our fantastic family facilities. This will give you total peace of mind, and a wonderful time shared with your loved ones. Our special package is only available by booking direct with Bel-Air Gites. Availability is limited due to already confirmed bookings, so call us now to check availability and get a great deal. 

UPDATE : We only have a couple of weeks available in June and September 2021. Call now so you don’t miss out

Travel Advice – Government Sites

Updated Travel Advice – UK, Ireland and France

At Bel-Air Gites we care a great deal about all our family, friends and guests who come out to visit us every year. And we understand that the ongoing press reports and COVID-19 variations are a cause for concern which is why we want to keep you up to date with the latest travel advice. We are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation across various websites for advice on travelling in and around Europe. 

Travel advice - Family of frogs in a caravan

Travel restrictions

Since the beginning of the year the UK is no longer a member of the European Union (EU) which means that, even without the Covid issues, there would be different rules for travelling. In addition, because of the rising number of cases of COVID particularly across Europe, all countries have imposed stricter travel restrictions to try and contain the spread of the virus.

Holiday Insurance

We would like to reassure everyone that’s already booked their summer holidays with Bel-Air Gites, and all those who have made enquiries, that we are still open for business and taking bookings for summer 2021. Obviously if the situation changes then we will contact all concerned parties to discuss any new or existing bookings. We encourage all our guests to purchase the necessary insurance when they make any arrangements for travelling. This year it is vitally important that your travel insurance covers you for cancellations. And your car insurance also needs to cover European travel for the full period that you are staying and travelling in Europe. 

Remember to bring your driving licence, log book (V5C) and valid insurance documents if you are taking your own car. You will need to contact your insurer six weeks before you travel to get a green card that will prove you have insurance.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are planning a holiday in a country in the European Union (EU), and you already have a valid EHIC, then the card can still be used until it’s expiry date. The EHIC covers you for medical treatment if you fall ill or have an accident in any EU country where the scheme is accepted. 

What is the GHIC?

If you don’t have a valid EHIC card then you can apply for the new Global Heath Insurance Card (GHIC). This replaces the EHIC for the majority of UK citizens. Only apply for the card on official government sites. It’s free but some unofficial sites may charge you. The GHIC can take a couple of weeks to come through so make sure you apply in plenty of time.

Passports

Your current passport will be valid as long as it is less than 10 years old and has six months left before it runs out. If your passport is due to run out then make sure you apply in plenty of time before your holiday start date. 

If you are travelling from the UK then sadly you can no longer use EU fast-track passport control and customs lanes. Also, when you arrive in an EU country you should be prepared to show your return ticket. So keep all your documents close at hand. 

Travel Advice in Europe - Taking care of teddy with face mask
Keep Safe

Safety of our guests

The health and safety of our guests has always been – and always will be – one of our highest priorities. At Bel-Air Gites we want you and your family to enjoy your holiday. We also want you feel safe whilst you are here. This is why we provide lots of Covid-19 travel advice and information when you make a booking. There is also detailed information about the French COVID-19 rules in all our gites. And in addition we have implemented some changes of our own, including flexible check-in dates, and allocated areas.

If you have any concerns about travelling this summer, please get in touch with us. Alternatively, you can go to the following websites for up-to-date travel advice.

Safety of our guests at Bel-Air Gites

The glorious heated pool

New measures in place for the safety of our guests

Wherever you go on holiday you want it to be relaxing and safe. In France the government, health organisation and tourism departments are continually updating the information and advice for businesses in all areas. But for the hospitality sector, there are specific measures that must be in place to ensure the safety of our guests.

At present hotels, gites, campsites and other types of accommodation are open without restriction across France. However, all accommodation must adhere to the strict health guidelines issued by the government.

Our priority

The health and safety of our guests has always been – and always will be – one of our highest priorities. At Bel-Air Gites we want you and your family to enjoy your holiday, and we also want you feel safe whilst you are here. This is why we provide lots of Covid-19 travel advice and information when you make a booking, and in all our gites. And it’s the reason why we have implemented some changes of our own.

Flexible check-in dates

You can now check-in on any day of the week. This helps you make travel arrangements which fit in with your busy schedules. So you can travel on dates and times that suit you. It also means that we don’t have all our guests checking-in and out on the same days, which is safer for all our guests. We also have a minimum of 24 hours between check-out and check-in for each gite. This gives us plenty of time to do a thorough clean and change-over, with less risk to ourselves and our guests.

Allocated areas

The safety of our guests and everyone that works at Bel-Air Gites is our priority, and therefore we must impose some restrictions. We have worked extremely hard to try to ensure that the restrictions do not take away from your enjoyment of your holiday.

In the summer months the pool is our guests’ favourite location, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy it. With this in mind, we will now be allocating each gite their own area by the pool, with their own sun loungers. All of the sun loungers will be disinfected every evening, and we will also provide disinfectant for guests to use during the day.

There is a limit of 10 people in the pool area at any one time. So we ask all guests to be mindful of other guests, who might be waiting to use the pool. And please make sure that you take all of your belongings – toys, inflatables and pool towels – back to your gite.

Toys and Games

Unfortunately the Play Barn will remain closed for the foreseeable future. This is because we do not feel that we can guarantee that all games, toys and surfaces can be thoroughly disinfected every night, and during the day. However, each gite will have their own box of DVDs and games which can be used for the duration of the holiday.

The playground and trampoline are still open, and it is up to parents to decide if their children can use them or not. The equipment will be disinfected every evening, and and we will also provide disinfectant for guests to use during the day.

Days out

Obviously there are restrictions in place for all businesses and you need to bear this in mind when you are planning your days out. Cafes, bars and restaurants are open and everybody must comply with the social distancing measures in place. Wearing a mask is compulsory in enclosed public spaces for anyone aged 11 and over. And you must use the hand-gels provided.

If you are planning to travel on public transport you shouldn’t have any problems, as long as you follow the guidelines and wear a mask. Trains, buses, trams and all the stations have safety measures in place to protect members of the public and their staff.

So I’m sure you will agree that wherever you go in France you will be safe. And there is nowhere that you will feel safer than here at Bel-Air Gites in the Charente-Maritime.

Just ask

If you still have questions about your stay here with us then get in touch. Because at Bel-Air Gites we want to assure you that the safety of our guests is really important to us. Just ask. We are here to help.

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Family-friendly holidays in the Charente-Maritime

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