Tips for Planning a Trip to France in 2024
France: The country of fashion, wine, and delicate cuisine.
With so much history, rolling countryside, and lovely cities, France is a perfect destination for a European vacation. If you want to plan a trip to France in 2024, our travel experts have some essential tips for making your vacation one you’ll always remember.
Partner with Riverdale Travel to design your ideal French adventure today. Bon voyage!
Research & Plan 6 Months in Advance
Always start planning your trips well in advance – about six months prior, if possible.
This can help you secure deals on flights, hotels, and transportation. You can also use this time to research activities like tours, museums, and other sightseeing. It helps to create a rough itinerary to track when and where you want to go.
During the planning phase, also research the weather at various times of the year and local seasonal traditions and attractions. Not only will this help you determine what clothes to pack or purchase to stay comfortable during the trip, but it might also enlighten you about timely adventures you’re interested in exploring, like viewing the iconic lavender fields during the summer in Provence or celebrating Nice Carnival on the French Riviera in late winter.
Locate Your Travel Documents
If you need a passport or other travel documents, getting that process moving well before your planned trip is essential. If you already have a passport, make sure the expiration date is at least six months past the time of travel. You don’t want to get stuck in a foreign country with an expired passport.
In addition, you should always check if you need a visa to travel to France. Requirements may vary depending on your country of origin and the reason for your visit.
Learn About Local Transportation
During any trip planning, research the type of transportation available in the areas where you plan to travel. In France, there are buses, the metro, trains, trams, and taxis.
It’s also a good idea to check the cost of these transportation options to plan for how much money you’ll need.
Practice Cultural Etiquette & French Phrases
Spend time researching and learning basic French phrases and aspects of French culture. Learning a few basic phrases can help make interactions with the French much more manageable. You can also use plenty of apps and websites to learn basic French.
Some recommended phrases include:
Hello - Bonjour (before 6 pm), Bonsoir (after 6 pm)
Excuse me - Excusez-moi
Good Bye - Au revoir
Pardon me - Pardon
Thank You - Merci beaucoup
Please - S’il te plaît
I don’t speak French. Do you speak English? - Je ne parle pas français. Parlez-vous anglais?
Learn Basic French Etiquette
As for cultural etiquette, here are a few basics:
Be polite and formal. Address men and women as “Monsieur” or “Madame.”
Greet with a friendly Bonjour.
Use “please” and “thank you.”
Be polite while eating – no burping or slurping food.
Eat and drink slowly.
Don’t start eating until everyone has a full glass in front of them.
Avoid small talk.
Try to avoid being in a hurry.
Tipping is acceptable – about 10% of the bill is a good tip for good service.
Research Cultural Attractions
There are many attractions in France, and not just in Paris! There are many churches, museums, beautiful buildings, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower.
Some popular places to visit include:
Palace of Versailles
Arc de Triomphe
Discover Local Events & Festivals
Depending on when you want to travel to France, there may be a local event or festival. These are great ways to meet people, experience the culture, and learn new things about the country. Plenty of events also cater to many interests, so you can find an event about a topic you love.
Some events include:
Monte Carlo Motor Rally (January)
Nice Carnival (February)
Cannes Film Festival (May)
Bastille Day (July 14)
Tour de France (July)
Festival de la Loire (every two years at the end of September)
Fete de Saint-Sylvestre, aka New Year’s Eve
Prioritize Your Health & Safety
Just like in America, knowing how to reach emergency services is essential if something happens.
For travelers in Europe, call 112.
This is the European phone number for any emergency requiring an ambulance, fire, or police services while in a European country. It can also be used by travelers who need to learn the local numbers to call.
In addition, familiarize yourself with the nearest locations of the American embassy or consulate and hospitals.
Plan a Trip to France With Your Personal Travel Consultant
Planning a vacation to a country you’ve never visited can be difficult. That’s why Riverdale Travel agents are essential! Our travel consultants know the ins and outs of traveling in France and can help you plan and book your trip.
Regardless of where you want to go, Riverdale Travel can help you access exclusive discounts and perks for your trip.
Traveling to France for business? We’ve got you covered! Travel in style for work with Riverdale’s exclusive business perks.
Take the stress out of planning a vacation, and contact Riverdale today! We can be reached at 763-323-3665 or schedule an appointment online.