France Guide: Planning Your Trip

Traveling to France can be an exciting and unforgettable experience. From the iconic Notre Dame to the delicious macarons and all the charming villages nestled between, France offers something for everyone. While planning your trip can be a lot of work, taking the time to organize yourself can not only help you make the most of your stay but can also save you a lot of stress and money.

Here is your ultimate France guide to help you plan your dream trip.

Know Your Budget

Before you do anything else, it’s important to understand your budget and what you can afford to spend on your trip. This will help you set realistic expectations and determine the details of your trip such as where you’ll stay, what activities you’ll do and how long you’ll stay in the country.

Below is a breakdown of the cost of some of the most essential parts of your trip:

• Flights: Generally speaking, direct flights to France can range anywhere from $150-$1000 for a round-trip ticket depending on the season, where you’re flying from, and which airline you’re flying.

• Accommodations: France offers a ton of accommodation options from camping and camping vans to luxury hotels. Prices will depend on the type of facility, how many people will be staying and the location.

• Food: Most three-course meals in France will cost around $40-50 per person. If you want to save money, you can always go to the local markets and create the food yourself.

• Activities: Depending on what you’d like to do, activities in France can range from free to relatively expensive.

Choose the Best Time to Visit

When you plan your trip to France, it’s important to think about the time of year you want to visit. Generally, July and August offer the best weather and the most popular attractions, though this means higher accommodation prices and bigger crowds. Conversely, off-peak seasons such as spring or fall may offer fewer crowds, cheaper prices, and especially beautiful weather. However, some attractions may close during the winter months.

Choose Where You’d Like to Stay

France is an incredibly diverse country when it comes to its living arrangements. Whether you’re looking for a campsite to enjoy the nature or a luxurious villa to take advantage of the bustle, you’ll find it in France. Do your research and make sure you pick the best accommodation for you!

Prepare for Unique Criteria

France does have some unique regulations that many visitors aren’t aware of. When you travel to France, you will need to have a valid passport, fiscal stamp and visa, depending on your length of stay. Until the end of 2021, France is also requiring all visitors to have a valid negative Covid-19 test certificate or antigenic test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival. That last decree may change soon, so make sure to check on the latest regulations before you travel!

Research Attractions

Once you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to start planning out your itinerary. France is an incredible country with plenty of attractions, making it difficult to fit everything in one trip. Be strategic and do your research; create a list of all of the places you want to explore, then prioritize them. Once you’ve determined what you make and can’t fit into your trip, you can start pre-booking tickets and making reservations.

Find Transportation

Finding the best way to get around during your trip is also important. France has plenty of transportation options from trains and buses to ferries, cars and of course, the iconic bicycle. Make sure you do some research and find the best option for you.

Know the Language

Though France is a predominately English-speaking country, it’s always polite and helpful to know the basics. To really make the most of your experience, you should learn some of the local phrases, or better yet, take a language course or even an immersion experience if you will be in the country for a longer period of time.

Research Nightlife

If nightlife is a part of your plan, then research the venues you’d like to visit before you leave. France is well known for its amazing restaurants and colorful nightlife, so make sure you check out some reviews and suggestions before you book.

Know the Weather

Like any other place, it’s important to know the weather before you go. Summers in France are unsurprisingly really hot and humid, while winters can get pretty chilly with lots of snow in some areas. Figure out what type of weather you’d like to experience and look up the typical climate before you decide when to visit.

Book Your Trip

The last step to plan your dream trip to France is to book your stay. By this time, you should have done most of your research and you should be ready to book your hotel, flights and activities. Follow the steps in this guide and make sure to keep track of all your records to make sure your trip is both enjoyable and stress-free.

Planning a trip to France takes a little bit of research and some planning ahead, but with the help of this guide, you can make sure to experience all the wonderful sights, sounds and flavors the country has to offer. By knowing your budget, researching attractions and familiarizing yourself with the language, you can make sure your trip is both enjoyable and successful. Bon voyage!