People the world over dream about one day traveling to France. There are some many things to see in this country that you might not be sure where you start. After spending a bit of time here, you might end up deciding that it’s a place you never want to leave. But before you can get to this point, you first have to prepare for your first trip there. So to help you do this and make the most of your time in France, here are three tips for traveling to France for the first time.
Learn As Much French As You Can Beforehand
While it’s always a good idea to learn at least a little of a country’s native language before you visit there, this is especially important in France. According to Rick Steves, a contributor The Seattle Times, there are five phrases that you should be sure to memorize before you make it to France. These include “thank you,” “please,” “hello, ” “goodbye,” and “excuse me.” You’ll be using these phrases a lot when speaking to the people of France. And even if you don’t know anything more than these five basic phrases, people will be much more willing to help you and communicate with you if you’ve at least made an effort to speak in their native tongue.
Don’t Only See Paris
Arguably the most popular and famous city in France is Paris. This City of Lights is known throughout the world for good reason. There’s so much to see and experience in this city alone. However, you’d be missing out if you only saw Paris the entire time you were in France. According to Nicola Williams, a contributor to Lonely Planet, the Loire Valley, French Riviera, Provence, Champagne, the French Alps, and more are all worth spending some time and money to visit as well. So while Paris might take up the bulk of your trip, make sure you explore outside of the city as well.
Skip The Expensive Chain Hotels
When finding a place to stay during your travels around France, you might be tempted pick to stay at a chain hotel that you recognize or are familiar with. However, if you choose to go this route, you could me missing out on a lot of the actual French experience. According to Kelby Carr, a contributor to Trip Savvy, some of the best choices for lodging in France are smaller hotels or even bed and breakfasts. If you stay in these establishments, you’ll be able to interact more with the French people and see what it’s like to truly live in these areas. These are experiences you can’t get by staying at the larger, more expensive chain hotels.
If you’ll soon be going to France for the first time, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you plan a fun and adventurous trip.