Travel Tips for France
If you are among the lucky people who are planning a trip to Paris or the French Riviera this summer, you may want to keep in mind the cultural and rudimentary differences between your culture and that of the French. Fashion and dining schedules are unique in France, but so are the basics, such as language, money and electricity. The following tips may help new travelers in navigating French terrain.
Before booking your flight and hotel, remember that a passport is required to travel to France. A passport is only good for up to a ninety day stay. If your trip is going to last over ninety days, you will need a visa to stay in the country.
In popular tourist cities, such as Paris, Nice, and Cannes, English is widely spoken, but French is the country’s official language, and learning basic phrases like Hello (Bonjour) and Thank You (Merci) will go a long way. Shopkeepers don’t mind speaking your language if you make an effort to speak theirs.
The currency of France is the Euro, which is the currency of the European union. This makes transactions easier when hopping between European countries. If you pop over to neighboring Switzerland though, be forewarned, they are still using the Swiss Franc.
The weather in France is very similar to that of the United States, colder in winter, warmer in summer, but the changes in temperature tend to be milder than those in the U.S. Averages between forty-five and sixty degrees are common in the Spring and Fall, between sixty and eighty degrees during the summer, and in the thirty to forty-five degree range during the winter months. Even during the summer, it never hurts to pack a light jacket for chilly nights, and, keep in mind when planning your wardrobe, some religious sites do not permit people to enter who are wearing shorts or shirts without sleeves.
Like in the U.S., tipping is expected and at the discretion of the guest. Often, hotels and restaurants that cater to tourists will include a fifteen percent service charge, but if it is not included, around fifteen percent is customary.
When packing, don’t pack that hairdryer unless you are also packing a converter. France runs on 220 volts. In the United States, our electricity runs on 120 volts. You can find some decent converters at hardware stores, or a universal one that can be adapted for any country, is available at Brookstone.
Though visiting another country can be a culture shock, these very basic tips will get you a comfortable start in France.
Travel Tips for France