Planning a trip anywhere you are going for the first time can be challenging, and planning a trip to France can be especially tricky since there are many things to address and so many places to see! Do not fret, though; we are here to help. Look through our tips and advice to plan the best of France tours if you are traveling for the first time!
Know The Basics
First of all, make sure you know the most important, typical things about France!
- Language: the French speak French! While they are quite good at English, we suggest you learn at least the most important phrases to help you navigate through the trip. Also, they really appreciate tourists respecting their native tongue and trying to converse in their language. If anything, carry a small dictionary with you!
- Currency: they use Euro.
- Best time to visit: It basically works just like any other destination. The best time to visit is spring and summer due to the nice weather. But keep in mind that it is the most crowded these times of the year too, so if you would like to avoid brushing shoulders as much as possible, we suggest traveling in autumn! The atmosphere is still a bit summery, but significantly fewer people are around.
Plan Your Budget
Naturally, the quality of your experiences depends on how much money you are willing to spend. While France is in no way cheap, it is still possible to travel on a budget. Well, let’s check the approximate prices you should expect.
- Accommodations: if you want a comfortable hotel room or an apartment near the city center in, let’s say, Paris, you should expect to pay about 150 euros per night. There are obviously cheaper options in Airbnbs and Booking, but not by much. On the other hand, if you want to travel lavishly and seek max comfort, the prices can go up to 400 euros per night.
- Food: it might surprise you, but dining in France is a bit cheaper than you might expect. For example, a fast food meal only costs about 9 euros, and lunch is somewhere around 25 euros a plate. Of course, the closer you get to the city’s center, the higher the pricing, but staying on a budget is possible.
- Transportation: well, you gotta get around somehow, right? Luckily, the ticket fees are very adequate here, so you should not expect to pay more than 2 euros for a bus ticket and up to 15 euros for a train ride (if you are not traveling that far, of course)! Taxis are naturally a bit pricier, but you should be okay with buses if you plan your time accordingly.
France is a big country with lots of cities and regions, one more beautiful than the other. Therefore, you must learn to navigate if you do not want to spend your holiday cooped up in one area. Luckily, it is quite easy to do since the systems are very well-developed here!
- Rental cars: the options are vast, and there are plenty of rentals in France. This is a perfect choice if you want to be the master of your journey and travel wherever you want, whenever you want it. However, keep in mind that this luxury comes at a high price!
- Buses: most French cities have a high-advanced system of bus lines that works within the cities, in between them, and in the suburbs. As we have mentioned, the journey is quite cheap, so take advantage!
- Railway: France trains are probably the number one transportation if you wish to travel between different regions and enjoy the scenic sights on the way. The trains are comfortable and quick. Cheap, as well!
Lastly, the key to a good trip is the perfect itinerary. Of course, it requires quite a bit of researching, but that can be fun, too! Let’s look at a few examples.
First of all, you should check the most visited places in the country. While they will be crowded and probably already known to you, they are significant for a reason. For example, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum are always packed, but they are an extremely important part of France’s historical and cultural development.
That being said, we suggest you look a bit further than the most prominent cities and most famous attractions. Your trip would be the most fulfilled if you combined the popular sights and the secluded areas. Let’s say you have a week. To make the most of it, you could spend half of it exploring Paris, Bordeaux, and Marseilles, and the other half traveling to Provence or the French countryside full of vineyards, natural beauty, and small authentic villages.
Be creative and step out of your comfort zone!
There you go! Hopefully, you got what you needed to start with the planning. Remember to double-check when you are done, and be confident with your choices – everything French is divine. Au revoir and good luck!