So you are planning a trip to France? That’s awesome. France is one of my favorite vacation destinations and having spent quite a bit of time over there, I know how to help you plan how to get the most out of your trip and have a dream vacation enjoying this fabulous country.
Learn a little bit of French before you go. This is the first and most important tip. Even though many French people especially in tourist destinations do speak some English, many of them are not comfortable with English and will appreciate your effort to speak French. It’s simply the polite thing to do.
Have a general idea about where you are planning to go. France is so rich with castles, museums, restaurants and other great sites that you really need to plan out roughly where you will go before you arrive or else you will be overwhelmed.
Get some maps of Paris, Nice, Marseille or any of the other cities where you are planning to go. Although you can buy them there, it is better to look over a map of the cities before you arrive.
Read a book or two on French culture. The French people have a different mindset and attitude than Americans and most of the English speaking world and it will make your trip much more pleasurable.
Check the weather in the region of France where you are going the day before you leave. The weather in France can vary greatly and it will make your trip much more enjoyable if you are prepared to handle the weather.
Pack light. I cannot emphasize this enough. The French do not travel heavy and they will be very annoyed by you trekking all over the place with three suitcases. Plan to do laundry often and limit yourself to the absolute bare minimum. Furthermore, the trains in France have limited space and very narrow isles which make carrying large suitcases nearly impossible. In addition, many of the quaint French hotels have stairs with no elevators.
Read Rick Steve’s book on France and plan at least one hotel stay at a unique quaint bed and breakfast or family owned hotel. These are the best there is and will give you a chance to truly experience French culture.
Talk with others who have already been to France and seek out their advice.
While you are in France take some time to relax and enjoy French culture and life.
Spend the money dining for a real meal at one or more higher class French restaurants. You will enjoy the experience and get a taste of true French cuisine.
Follow these tips and your next trip to France whether it is your first or your twentieth will be fabulous.