& formalities: before you travel to France
to travel to France,
passengers from other European countries must be in possession of a
valid ID card. For countries outside the European Union, and EU
countries like the UK where there are no ID cards, a valid passport is
required. For many countries outside Europe, a visa is required. For
further details consult this official
French foreign ministry website in English.
France by car:
if you plan to travel by car from the UK during a holiday period,
pre-booking your Channel crossing (Tunnel or Ferry) is essential; but
at other times, you can normally just turn up and buy a ticket. But
before making any booking, check out these tips and
warnings about "cheap" travel offers.
Don't be taken in by offers of "cheap ferries" on third-party booking
sites. The best prices are usually those you get by booking directly
with the ferry companies. See Ferries
to France .
France by air:
there are a large number of regional airports in France, with flights
from the UK and other countries. You can find a list of appropriate
regional airports on the regional directory pages of the Gitelink France directory.
France uses the Euro. The easiest way to get holiday money (and often
the cheapest) is to withdraw euros from an ATM (hole in the wall, cash
dispenser) as soon as you reach France, or evenin the departure area at
a major UK airport. Most French ATMs accept foreign cards (Visa,
Mastercard, Maestro, etc).
gites, small hotels, campsites. If you need to make a deposit for
accommodation, some premises will accept credit cards or Paypal; but
for those that do not, it is usually possible to make an "IBAN"
transfer, which is quite simple and not expensive. Ask your bank for
are strongly advised to make sure that they have health insurance cover
before travelling to France or any other foreign country. For France,
UK visitors should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC),
which has replaced the old E 111 form; see this UK Department
of Health webpage for further details.
there are hundreds of internet sites offering direct booking for
hotels, but beware of sites supposedly offering the "cheapest deals".
Check out a few sites before you book. For holiday cottages, which are
an ideal solution for a relaxing break in country village, visit Gitelink's regional directory pages or look for gites on our interactive gites maps. For Bed and
Breakfast, visit the Gitelink / BandB-in-France.com
website, or go directly to a regional page with the B&B by
links on the left. The Gitelink directories offer a choice of holiday
cottages and B&Bs with either British, Dutch or French owners.
France is perhaps the most varied country in Europe,
terms of natural and climatic diversity. Check out the different regions of France
and also Undiscovered
(Technically, if you have UK or EU registered car, you do not
need a green card to travel to Europe, just your UK car insurance
certificate. Your insurer should be able to provide you at no cost with
a "European accident statement form", which should be used in the event
of an accident. However, it may well be that your standard UK insurance
only provides you with third-party cover once outside the UK; in this
case, if you want full comprehensive cover, you will need to get the
extra cover from your UK insurer for the time you plan to stay abroad.
Consult your insurance company on this matter, or the AA.
Click here for more information on driving in France
phones in France :
if you are planning on remaining accessible via your UK mobile phone
while abroad, make sure that your phone is able to connect to French
networks for both incoming and outgoing calls. NB It is illegal
(as well, of course, as dangerous)
to use a mobile phone while driving a car or vehicle in France.