A trip to France can be one of the most memorable experiences you’ll have as a traveler. It’s a beautiful and romantic country that everyone should visit at least once.
France is also a country of culture and high art and it merits repeated trips to experience it as it deserves.
As is the case with any other trip abroad, visiting France can also be rather stressful if it’s not planned right and if you don’t make the proper preparations.
Have the Proper Documents
The best way to explore France is on your own itinerary and therefore you’ll need your own vehicle or at least rent one. In order to do that, you’ll need an international driver’s license for France. It’s an easy enough document to obtain and there are no tests or exams involved.
The permit is issued by the same institution that issues a national license and it’s valid for a year if you have a national license that’s up to date as well. There’s also a small fee and the permit can be ordered and renewed online and while you’re abroad.
The Strike Schedule
There’s a strike and civic disobedience culture in France. That means that strikes and public protests are common and there are often delays in public services and public transport. If you’re staying in one of France’s major cities experiencing these protests can be a part of the trip and a taste of local life, but it can also be a source of frustration.
Make sure to do your research and figure out if there’s a major strike near you during your stay. It will help you prepare better and make plans accordingly. There’s also a chance to avoid the protests altogether depending on how lucky you are and what city you’re visiting.
Have Some Cash on Hand
It pays off to have some cash at hand. There are numerous payment methods available in restaurants, bars, and most other venues, however, you should still have some cash available as well.
That way you can tip in cash, which is customary and you get to be prepared if something goes wrong with the card payments. Some smaller restaurants and cafes won’t accept cards as a payment method and those are often the ones you want to try in order to get a real French experience.
Reserve Vacation Rentals Early
France is one of the most popular countries in the world for tourists. Millions of tourists visit it every year and it’s important to reserve your rental in advance to make sure you don’t lose it and to save as well.
Rentals also offer refunds if you cancel your offer within a set window of time. Therefore, reserving a rental on time allows you to change your mind or cancel your plans beforehand without losing your deposit. Chances are you’ll also get a better rate if you reserve the rental before the busiest tourist season, and those savings tend to add up.