Trying to determine the best way to travel from Beaune to the airport the day of our flight (departs 12:25pm). Have a rental car and was planning on dropping it off in Dijon to take the train but the rental car office does not open until 8am. Is it possible to drop off after hours in Europe and, if so, how?
FWIW, this is a dangerous strategy. You really want to have a receipt that it is undamaged and gassed. It is not fast and easy as in the US to turn in a rental car in Europe and get that receipt. What is there is a giant traffic accident on the highway and everyone is delayed an hour or two? You run the risk of a missed flight by trying to drive so far much of it smack in the middle or rush hour in Paris to get to the airport in time. You need to be in line at 9:30.
Always be in the town of departure the night before a high stakes flight. You should drive to CDG the evening before and stay in an airport hotel that night and be ready to go the next morning. That way your car business is taken care of and you can get to your check in at 9:30 the next morning after a leisurely breakfast and good nights sleep. I would arrive after dinner (having guaranteed the roome) or early in the afternoon drop stuff in the hotel and take the RER into Paris for a lovely dinner and last stroll along the Seine before returning to the airport for the final night.
Agree with Janettravels completely. You'll sleep better knowing you have all your ducks in a row.
Though my in-laws lived in Burgundy, we were always in Paris or at the airport the night before our flights back to the States. Most of the neighbors did the same when flying out overseas.
It's unanimous. And just to clarify one thing Janet said. When she said "you need to be in line at 9:30," she means the line to check in for your flight - not the line at the rental car return. The recommendation for CDG is to be there 3 hours before an international departure, and given current security concerns, it's a recommendation I'd heed.
Thanks for the input. I see there is a direct train from Dijon to CDG that would get us at the airport to 9am. Would you still advise against this?
Sheryl, that morning train is tempting, but I'd still advise getting to CDG, or at least to Paris, the night before the flight. Too many things can go wrong and you don't need to run the risk. I hope you'll have been in Beaune long enough to appreciate the town and surroundings without needing to spend one last night there.
There are about half a dozen good though charmless hotels right in CDG itself (we were happy with the Ibis). Or, as someone suggested, stay in Paris somewhere along the RER B line and take it to the airport early in the morning -- assuming that you can conveniently return the car somewhere outside central Paris (Dijon?) the day before you fly.
I would also get to Paris the night before, especially since your flight is at 12:25. I've taken the fast train from Beaune into Paris (Gare de Lyon) it took less than 90 minutes. My daughter has taken the early train to Paris from Lyon and other cities many times for flights home to visit and has always made it no problem but I wouldn't be comfortable chancing it. It would be a stressful last night in Beaune worrying for me.
We have dropped a car off in Dijon on a Sunday when the agency was closed. It was very easy, park the car, drop the keys in the drop box, go inside to the train. The rental office is right at the train station. In hindsight, I should have taken photos of the car as proof I left it undamaged but I didn't think of it until it was too late. When we dropped our car off the lot was beyond full and there was not a soul around, we just left it in the middle of a lane. A bit worrisome but luckily we had no issues.
Once upon a time we took the thalys from Amsterdam to Paris; it was scheduled to arrive at noon and the trip was 3.5 hours. We were just on a side trip from Paris. The train was full of people who had evening flights from CDG and who thought a noon arrival gave them plenty of time to make a flight at 4 or 5 or 6. someone committed suicide on the tracks just outside of Rotterdam. A crew that kills someone has to be relieved and the delays ended up causing that train to arrive in Paris at 5 pm full of people who missed their flights.
We just are always within a cab ride of the airport for a high stakes flight. If it were a 40 Euro flight to Nice or something, sure risk it, but not at risk of having to buy a full price walk up ticket to the US. You probably make it with that train -- you have to decide how big a risk you will take.