France is a wonderful country. It offers something for everyone. This beautiful European country has a long and rich history as well as a world-renown cuisine. So, it is not really surprising that every year 90 million people visit France. An astounding figure when you consider that represents around 10% of the world’s tourist traffic.
If you have not visited yet, I would urge you to do so. To help you to enjoy your visit, I have put together this short planning guide.
Sort Out Some Travel Insurance
Visiting France? Sort out your travel insurance. France has an excellent medical system. But, it is only free to use for residents of the country. So, you will need good quality travel insurance.
This is necessary even if you are a European citizen and have an EHIC card. Using this card enables you to access medical care while in France. For this, you pay nothing because your home country foots the bill. But, it only covers emergency care.
Besides which the EHIC card does not cover medical repatriation. The cost of this can be huge. In fact, it can cost thousands of dollars, even if you do not have to be taken far. The longer the journey the higher the cost, an American can easily face a bill that runs into tens of thousands.
Get a Visa
If you need a visa to travel to Europe, apply for one as early as possible. These days the process is not complicated, but it is better to get this job out of the way because delays can happen.
Plan Your Itinerary
Working out your travel itinerary at an early stage is the best way to get as much out of any trip. France is a big country, so determining what you want to see is going to be important. It will inform other big decisions like whether you need to hire a car.
If you do not know much about France and what it has to offer, looking at example itineraries that other travelers have already put together. There are plenty available online, for example, this one. They are a great source of inspiration.
Buy Tickets in Advance
Planning in this way enables you to pre-book your attraction tickets. This will save you both time and money.
Use a Travel App
To help you to keep everything organized, consider downloading and using a travel app. TripIt is one that is integrated with French airlines etc.
Having everything you need in one place will help you not to miss anything. Your smartphone is the ideal choice for this information. After all, you carry it everywhere you go. But, it also makes sense to make a paper copy of your itinerary, booking references and ticket numbers.
It is not hard to arrange all of that information so that it fits on one side of an A4 sheet. On the other side, you can make a note of things like your passport and visa numbers. As well as useful phone numbers, for example, your credit card provider and details of your travel insurance. This can easily be folded into a small square and slipped into the little pocket that most jeans have. It is a safe place to keep this sensitive information.
The above is covers the basics. Of course, you will need to create a packing list that is tailored to your needs. You can do this by going online finding a good one, downloading and editing it.