France is a beautiful country full of exceptional wonder and beauty. For many of us, it’s right on our doorstep as members of the EU, and for everyone else it’s well worth the trip. The only problem with international travel is that if you forget something, it’s much harder to go home and pick it up. Preparedness is key to ensuring that you have the perfect trip you’re looking for. With that in mind, here are some of the essentials you need when travelling to France.
Your passport is obviously the number one thing you simply cannot forget. You can’t leave your country without it and you can’t get into France if you lose it. Remember that most passports are only good for 10 years, and that it can take some time to get a new one if yours is out of dates. Make sure that your passport is still valid, and that you keep it on your person. You don’t need to worry about taking your passport with you while out and about in France – if you want to keep it safe when out and about, simply ask to leave it at the hotel’s reception when you leave for the day.
Tickets & reservations
Your tickets are obviously very important too. If you’re in the UK you’ll have a choice of plane, ferry or train, helping you keep your options open as to how you get to France. If you’re travelling from further afield you may need book your flights further in advance to ensure that you can travel when you want to. Remember to book your hotels in advance too – Paris, like all major cities, can book up fairly quickly.
Your car insurance (if you’re driving)
If you’re driving a car registered in the UK or the EU, you need to make sure that you have your national car insurance certificate with you should the worst happen. Just make sure that your insurance provider covers you for accidents abroad. If you’re travelling to France from a non-EU country you may need a green card. Make sure you look into this before you travel if you’re looking to hire a car or drive in France.
Euros, chargers and a champagne stopper
The Euro, as you may know, is the currency used in France. While you’re getting your Euros there are a couple of other things you may want to grab, such as a travel adaptor and a guide book. There are plenty of apps you can get offering guides, tours and maps too, so don’t forget to check! One thing to remember is that in France you have access to a plentiful supply of cheap champagne. If champagne is your thing, don’t forget to bring a champagne stopper in your luggage.
People get sick – that’s just a fact of life. If you find yourself prone to headaches, diarrhoea, hayfever or anything else you would normally take medication for, it’s a good idea to stock up on these before you leave. It’s better to have a not need, than need and have to head to a foreign pharmacy and test your French while you’re ill.
As a European in Europe, an EHIC is utterly indispensable when it comes to emergency healthcare. Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will allow you access to state-funded healthcare, potentially saving you a lot of money should an accident befall you. Your EHIC is also very important when it comes to extreme sports, too. If you’re off skiing, snowboarding or rock climbing in France, you will probably find that your private health insurance states that you need a valid EHIC in order for you to be fully covered. Find out how to apply for an EU health card here.
A sense of adventure
Whether you’re heading to the Louvre or relaxing on a beach in Biarritz, a sense of adventure is a must. With everything else taken care of, it’s time to make your final preparations. Pack your bags, write up your itinerary and get ready for your travels to France. Bon voyage!