With historical museums, gourmet food, beautiful neighborhoods, and attractive countryside, it’s not hard to tell why France is one of the top tourist destinations. However, for a novice traveler, adjusting to the French culture and the language barrier can be overwhelming.
Nevertheless, do not fret. If you intend to travel to France for an extended holiday vacation, prior preparation will make your life easier. Below are some tips to keep in mind before boarding that plane (or ship) to France:
Learn the Language
While you may get people speaking English in several European nations, here in France, the French are proud of their language. English is not that popular. Therefore, it is advisable to learn the language. You can opt for classes if you have the time, or you can go to YouTube for a few video tutorials to guide you with the basics.
Learn About French Delicacies
Try and learn about what you will be putting in your mouth. Yes, there are delicious bakeries and authentic bistros in France. However, some things don’t translate literally, and the menu may end up confusing. Also, if you have food allergies, it will be a better precaution to learn about food composition rather than relying on the name or its elegant appearance.
Know the Entry Requirements
For EU citizens, they do not necessarily require a passport to travel to France. Also, the visa is exempted for 90 days. For non-EU citizens, especially from the U.S, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Chile, and New Zealand, no visa is similarly required for a stay of up to 90 days (you can get further information here).
All travelers’ passports should have at least one blank page and valid for six months. While traveling, it is recommended to have comprehensive health insurance, though not mandatory. Also, there is a currency restriction for entry and exit. The maximum cash one can transit with is 10,000 Euros.
Watch and Read About French
When traveling to a foreign land, it would be a great courtesy to learn about the place history. You can start with documentaries or a short film. One of the best films that you can start with is a 2006 movie named “Paris, Je T’Aime.”
The multiple stories taking place are great pre-Paris educational content. Plus, the content is split between French and English. Also, if you prefer a book, try a non-fiction one that will give you an ideal context of what to expect.
Beware of Scams
While French has a charming little street, don’t let the charm of the streets make way into your hard-earned money. The large tourist population in France has led to tricksters. For instance, there is a ring Scam and street gambling scam.
For the ring fraud, a stranger would pretend to pick a gold ring. Then ask you if the ring is yours and offer it to you in exchange for money. Beware as that is nothing but a brass ring coated in gold paint. Also, don’t gamble on the street as you walk to get an up-close look of the city. They are organized to look legit and invite unsuspecting tourists to swindle them.
France is a beautiful country, and the French are welcoming. France is huge, approximately the size of Texas. Try and explore the entire country and not just Paris. You can start by exploring Cote d’Azur and Provence regions.