I don’t know about you but I am not spontaneous. Especially when it comes to taking trips or anything that requires the slightest detour from my boring routine (don’t judge me). Firstly, I have to consult with my bank account. Secondly, I have to consult with my bank account and finally, I have to consult with my bank account. Therefore, I find that it’s always better to intentionally plan for trips over a period of time.
In March, I shared my trip to the South of France and I got a few questions in regards to planning a visit, where to stay, where to eat etc. I know summer has come to an end but if you’re planning a trip for next year, I think the time to start the preps is right about now!
Want to take a trip to France? don’t know where to start from? Let’s get into all the questions from instagram.
Visa, Language, Housing
The starting point will always be GOOGLE. Seriously, google the heck away. The answers are always there.
Visa: This all depends on what passport you hold. If you need a visa it’s best to get all the information online through the French embassy. Often times appointment times are booked months in advance therefore don’t wait last minute to schedule an appointment.
Language: People working in the hospitality industry in most tourist destinations or cities do speak English therefore this is not a big problem. There’s also google translate should you find yourself between a rock and a hard place.
Tip: Smile and say bonjour before asking questions. It’s hard to reject a smiley tourist.
Housing: I’m not a fan or airbnb (personal reasons we won’t get into today) but that’s always an option. There’s lots of offers on hotels via expedia, booking.com, and hotels.com. I legit exhaust those options until I find a great hotel with a good price to match it.
Tip: Boutique hotels often have so much more to offer in comparison to chain hotels.
Looking to travel with family.
This will depend on the time of the year. Carnivals, seasonal museums, gardens are always more enjoyable in the spring and summer. There’s so many activities for families especially those traveling with kids during warm weather season. If you’re traveling to France for the very first time with kids, I would recommend Paris first because why not?
Tip: plan your daily itinerary. Don’t leave things to chance where kids are involved.
Best time of the year to visit France.
When the sun is out. The downside to great weather is the crowded streets filled with tourists. If you’re not into crowds, then plan for the south. Although the south doesn’t get to extremely freezing temperatures during the winter, it still does get cold therefore carry a light jacket and scarf in the winter months.
Tip: walking is the best way to really see a city and be part of it. Get comfortable shoes. Find a balance between being a tourist and what it would feel like if you were a local.
Best cities to visit or towns to visit first.
As an adult, I have outgrown Paris. Nevertheless, I still think the heart of France is Paris. I recommend this as the starting point. There is simply so much to do in Paris, there’s no time for boredom.
Tip: For solo travelers, if you want a stranger to take your picture look for one who is holding some form of professional camera.