Traveling to France can be such an exhilarating experience. Some people save up their whole lives just to get the chance to visit this amazing country. It is among the most visited countries in the world even though it is not always renowned for offering the warmest of welcomes.
Because of this, being a first timer in France can be challenging in more ways than one, especially if you are not from Europe. Here are some tips to take note of to make that trip more enjoyable and less stressful.
Not Studying Up on French Culture before Visiting
Let us face it, English is the world language as it is spoken almost everywhere and by almost everyone. However, that is not the case in France. Yes, most French people speak English, but some are quite taciturn when it comes to communicating in another language.
It is highly recommended to learn a few essential words or phrases or bring a French-English dictionary. Basic knowledge of the French language can greatly help you along your shopping, dining, and your overall travel experience. Plus, the locals will love you for it.
Know when to shake hands or greet with a kiss. Friends are expected to greet each other with a double kiss on both cheeks. You may think this is the norm, but it is not. A handshake is enough or better yet, a simple “Bonjour!” will do.
You will rarely see French people wearing gym outfits on the streets, nor do they wear overly extravagant attires when uncalled for. They love being stylish and donning sensible clothes and shoes. This means you have to take your fashion sense a notch higher, especially when dining out.
Rick Steves France Travel Guide is a great resource to learn more about France before visiting.
Visiting Paris and Only Paris
Visiting Paris is a must for everyone traveling to France, after all, you have never been to France if you have not visited the Eiffel Tower. That would somehow be a bit dismal as there are a lot of beautiful and breathtaking cities the country has to offer. However majestic the City of Lights can be, it is a huge mistake not to visit the other cities as well.
Not Travelling by Public Transport
Taxis are expensive in France, so going by bus or train would be the way to go. They can take you anywhere, are reliable, and much cheaper. Makes for an even greater adventure, too.
Spending More Money than You Should
You can enjoy a marvelous vacation in France without breaking the bank. You just need to know how to do it. For example, try the smaller hotels that would provide you with more warmth than the international ones.
There are a lot more you need to know, so it is a very good idea to stock up on these tips. Think of your trip to France as going to any other country, even your own. Be polite, curious, open, and courteous. These are not harsh rules, just reminders on how to make that trip to France more memorable and enjoyable without looking like a rookie.