Essentials for a Perfect and Hassle-Free French Vacation
The romantic vision of Paris, the calming countryside of France, the beautiful wine regions and the grandeur of the French Riviera are all great reasons to visit the country. Vacations in France can be one of the most memorable days of your life but without proper preparation, it can quickly turn unpleasant. Pay attention to these little tips and your French experience will surely be a fairytale!
The power of speaking French
Oftentimes, you may have heard that the French are rude and the Parisians outright snooty! While it may appear partially true, you have to consider the perspective of the locals. Marching upto strangers and abruptly speaking in an alien language without even greeting is considered rude in France. Instead, why not learn a few French phrases to make a personal connect with the locals?
By simply wishing them ‘Bonjour!’ you are sure to be received warmly. After you greet them, you can politely ask them for help or check if they speak English. Many people are happy to help if you show your interest in speaking their language, even if your French is less than impressive! Bring along a French-to-English dictionary or a translator to make communication easier.
Understanding the people
The first thing you should know about the French is that they are quiet people. Bellowing at the top of your voice in public spaces like restaurants or cafes is considered extremely rude and you will be met with unpleasant looks. Whether you are conversing among yourselves or talking to the locals, be polite and quiet.
Learning the schedule
Whether you want shop, dine or go sightseeing in France, you have to adhere to the local schedule. Instead of wandering aimlessly on the streets of Paris, carry out a small research on the opening and closing time of the local shops, cafes, restaurants and other establishments. Most shops in the country are opened in the morning till noon, closing for a three hour lunch break.
Most museums and shops reopen at about 3 pm. You can make use of this long lunch hour to snack at cafes and restaurants as they are not open after 3 pm. In most restaurants, dinner is served between 7 pm and 9 pm. If you find yourself hungry before dinner, look for restaurants and cafes that say ‘non-stop’ or ’24/7′ as they are usually open throughout the day. However, this does not mean that they are open 24×7!
Saving on Euros
Undoubtedly, France is an expensive place to holiday, Paris being on top of this list. But there are many steps you can take to save each precious Euro! Accommodation is the main cause for worry for many travellers. To cut down your stay costs, opt to stay in vacation rentals, local lodges or try home exchange! Instead of drawing extra cash from currency exchange companies, get cash from a local ATM or use your credit card. You will not only save on commission costs but also get a better exchange rate.
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