Before traveling to France and experiencing the culture, cuisines and amazing scenery, follow these few organizational tips so that you get the most out of your holiday excursion.
First, ensure that your paperwork is in order. Check your passport to make sure that it is current and doesn’t expire while you are away. Verify that you have the proper drivers’ license. You’ll want to reconfirm your airline, rental car and hotel reservations. Contact your local post office and stop your mail or make arrangements for a trusted friend to collect it. Ensure that any bills coming due while you are away have been paid. Prepare a list of emergency contact numbers and check on health insurance coverage should you need medical care.
Plan what you will pack in your checked bags and what essential items, such as medications, will be in your carryon luggage. Ensure that your carryon bags meet the size restriction for the type of plane on which you will be travelling. When packing, make sure that your clothes are appropriate for the season and that you are dressed properly when you first arrive.
Review online travel alert sites or call the French consulate for information on weather warnings, medical precautions or terrorist alerts that may affect security and travel. You will also want to know about any food recalls.
Contact your bank and credit card companies. You will want them to know that you will be travelling overseas so that your credit and ATM cards will work. Have a sufficient amount of Euros to cover your incidentals when you arrive, such as tips and small purchases.
Finally, plan your first few days in France. Consult guidebooks, maps and online tourist sites to determine what you will want to see and do. If necessary, call and book ahead. This way, if an exhibit is due to close or a venue is open only certain days, you won’t miss it. Remember to keep jet lag in mind when making your plans.
A little organization will help you have a positive experience sampling all that France has to offer.