How to Plan a Trip to France

July 8, 2024

How to Plan a Trip to France

As the founder of En Route to Rêverie I have helped loads of people plan trips to Paris and now we also offer France trip planning as well. I’ve been to France more than any other country in the world. I’ve been visiting with regularity since before I could walk! I studied abroad in Paris and I am in France 4-5 times per year. 

France is a big country and has so much to offer. It can be overwhelming to decide what parts to visit and work to prioritize what you want to see, how to get there and how long to stay in each place. This can be true for anyone but especially first timers visiting the country. 

How to Plan a Trip to France

One of the many things I love about France is how varied the various regions are. They each are unique in their own way and I love helping people understand what they’ll experience in each. From the French Alps to the Loire Valley to Basque Country to the French Riviera to Provence to Normandy to Champagne to Burgundy to Bordeaux to the Dordogne to of course, Paris. There is so much to see, do and taste in each region.

How to Plan a Trip to France

Prioritize Regions

While things may look close on a map, it can be deceiving on how long it might take to get from one place to the next. I personally like having several days in Paris at the onset or end of my trips because I usually fly home from Charles de Gaulle Airport back to New York City. (And of course because I am of the belief that no trip to France is complete without visiting Paris – I can’t get enough of Paris!)

When deciding where you want to explore, evaluate how much time in France you’ll have. And what sort of vibe do you want? Who are you traveling with? Have you been to these places before? 

We often help our En Route to Rêverie clients narrow down their options based on these elements and also based on their budget and availability of hotels we’re recommending to them. 

Where to go in France

Determine When to Visit

Some parts of France are highly seasonal. Enjoy the best of Provencal living in Spring and Summer. Ski in the French Alps in Winter. Paris is of course popular all year long. The French Riviera comes alive in the summer as you can head to beach clubs and swim in the bright blue waters or rent a boat to dive off into the cool ocean.

If you want to seek better prices you’ll want to travel in off season or shoulder season. Peak season is summer for much of France. There’s higher pricing and limited availability when it comes to hotels, tours, beach clubs, dinner reservations etc. So consider what is the best time to visit France depending on where you plan to spend your time. 

green chairs in Paris

Look at Flights

Flights to France can be expensive most of the year often with the exception of winter so you’ll want to look at airlines and airport options. If you’re not flying in or out of Paris you may want to consider Marseilles or Nice which are other major French cities with airports. Nice and Marseilles often have direct flights from ports like New York and Chicago and Atlanta during peak summer season travel. 

How to Plan a Trip to France

Determine Transportation

While public transport in Paris is excellent, you will need to determine how you’re getting around from region to region in France. Do you need to rent a car? Should you buy a rail pass? Are you planning to do wine tasting in the Loire Valley or Champagne tasting on a day trip to Champagne and therefore need a private driver?

Train travel in France is actually great and I love how reliable the high speed trains are. (Provided there are no rail strikes!) I have taken TGV trains throughout France and can recommend it as a good option for many routes in France such as to Champagne or Bordeaux.

What to visit in France

Use an Expert

Before I became a luxury travel advisor with a leading travel agency, I truthfully had never used a travel agent myself. I always loved the planning part of a trip. It was like half of the fun of planning a vacation! I loved researching, creating itineraries and saving places to consider for dining, tours and more.

But not everyone feels that way. Planning a vacation in a foreign country, with a foreign language in particular, for an involved trip can feel really daunting. Having someone help you with the details and make it more seamless can be a huge help. 

At En Route to Rêverie, we make it our business to know the best of France. We have an internal rolodex that we use to personalize your trip to help you have the best vacation possible. The internet is an amazing place and social media as well but search any popular destination in France when you start to try and plan your trip and you’ll be inundated with thousands upon thousands of search results that would take hours and hours – if not days and weeks – to consume and vet. 

Working with En Route to Rêverie will help you plan a trip’s ins and outs, book your hotel, draft an itinerary and more that will help save you time.

We can also source special experiences. Want to go to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris before it opens? We can do that. Want to do after hours tours or access wineries usually closed to the public? We can arrange it. Need special attention paid for a person in your party or celebrating a special occasion? We’ve got you. We have on the ground partners who help us make your travel dreams come true.

France travel tips

Assess Perks

I love the aspect of being a travel advisor that allows me to get my En Route to Rêverie clients VIP perks like complimentary breakfast, spa credits or food and beverage credits, complimentary hotel room upgrades when available, and special other VIP treatment aspects. 

Complimentary breakfast may not seem like much but if you’re staying at a luxury hotel or at a resort in France where there aren’t many options nearby, breakfast can often be around $50 / person. If you’re staying there for a week you’re looking at a savings of hundreds of dollars for the week alone. All because you booked with En Route to Rêverie.


We give our clients guidance on what to pack dependent upon the time of year they are visiting and where they are headed. Here on wit & whimsy I share a lot of Packing Lists that will inspire what to put in your suitcase. Planning ahead on what to bring to France will ensure you have a more enjoyable trip – trust.

. . .

Do you have a favorite part of France? Personally, as much as I have done in France, I still have the Dordogne Valley, the French Alps and a return to Bordeaux high on my list to conquer in the coming years. 

Heading to France? Book En Route to Rêverie with me and get customized recommendations based on your travel preferences to make your next trip the best one yet.


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