France Trip Planner: 8 Easy Steps for Planning a Trip to France 2024


Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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How to Plan a Trip to France

If you’re planning a trip to France, you will want to read this France Travel Planner. This France Trip Planner covers everything you need to know to plan a trip to France, including the best time to visit France, where to go, what to do, how to move around, and more.

Do you need help with your France trip planning? So let’s get started! Here’s how to plan a trip to France you’ll never forget in eight easy steps that works for any kind of trip — no matter how long you’re going for! Just follow this checklist, and you’ll be off to France in no time!

READ MORE – here are the best quotes about France to feed your wanderlust from home!

France Travel Planning

France Travel Planner 2024 Content:

  1. Best Time to Travel to France
  2. Do You Need a Visa for Your Trip to France?
  3. Where to Go in France
  4. Booking your Flight or Train Tickets to France
  5. Don’t Skimp on Travel Insurance
  6. What to Do in France
  7. Itinerary and How to Get Around
  8. Share Your Itinerary, Review, and Start Booking

1. Best Time to Travel to France

France Atlantic Coast

Of course, it is always a good time to travel to France! But if you are flexible with your travel dates, the best time to visit France depends on what you’d like to do.

If you want a beach holiday in the French Riviera, then it’s best to go in late spring or during the summer. Summer (late June and July) is also the lavender season in Provence, while in winter (January and February), you will find great skiing in the French Alps or the French Pyrénées.

If you’re planning a city sightseeing trip, then the shoulder seasons are best (spring or fall) as there are fewer crowds. Although it is lovely to travel to France during the festive holiday when there are some wonderful Christmas markets to explore.

If you are on a budget, avoid summer and winter holidays, bank holidays in Europe, and school holidays in France.

To help you decide on what time of the year to go, read about the seasons in France. Then, the following articles outline where to travel in France by season:

You can also decide to plan your French trip around one of the major events in France this year.

2. Do You Need a Visa for Your Trip to France?

EU nationals and citizens of Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland only need an ID card or passport to visit France.

For tourists from around 60 countries, visas are not required for stays of less than three months. This list includes countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Israel. For stays longer than 90 days, contact your nearest French embassy or consulate for the exact requirements and start the process as soon as possible.

Other people wishing to travel to France as tourists have to apply for a Schengen Visa. This visa allows unlimited travel throughout the entire zone for 90 days.

3. Where to Go in France

France Pattern

With France being such as diverse country – there are so many wondering things to see and do. Of course, if this is your first trip to France, then some time in Paris, the capital, is a must. However, if you’ve had multiple trips to France or you plan to travel to France for an extended holiday, then you’ll be able to choose a few different regions to explore.

You can find out more about the different regions in France in this guide to the French regions. This article will lead you to various in-depth articles about each of the regions in France.

If you need help determining where to go in France, the most popular destinations (other than Paris) are as follows:

French Riviera Located in the South of France and with Nice as its “unofficial” capital, the French Riviera is a picturesque stretch of coastline extending from around Toulon or Saint Tropez to Menton and includes the Principality of Monaco. The French Riviera is a luxury destination known for its beaches, coves, and pretty villages.

Loire Valley Nicknamed ‘The Garden of France,’ the Loire Valley is situated in the country’s center. The region is well known for its historic towns, Château de Chambord, and other impressive Renaissance castles, remarkable gardens, and wines. Also, thanks to its proximity to the capital, it is possible to visit Loire Valley on a day trip from Paris.

Normandy Normandy is a region in Northern France with coastal towns and WWII sites such as the D-Day landing beaches. Other main attractions include imposing castles, the rocky island abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, Rouen with its beautiful Gothic Cathedral, and Giverny.

Alsace This historical and cultural region of Eastern France shares a border with Germany and Switzerland.  Alsace is well-known for its wines, picturesque villages, and fairytale Christmas markets, with Colmar and Strasbourg as the most beautiful cities to explore.

Provence From the glorious lavender fields to the UNESCO World Heritage walled city of Avignon, here you’ll find Roman history, stunning hilltop villages, and landscapes that inspired Cezanne.

Each of our French regions is truly unique – with differences in culture, traditions, heritage, gastronomy, and wine, which makes visiting them all an absolute delight!  I’ve written more on our regions in my guide here.

4. Booking your Flight or Train Tickets to France

Air France Strikes

If you are considering other means of transport in France, check out our quick guide to transportation in France.

Flight Tickets to France

Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris Orly (ORY) are the main international airports to travel to France.

If you don’t wish to visit Paris, check the list of French International Airports; perhaps you can find flights to an airport closer to your final destination.

Lately, we have been using Omio to book our flights. Omio is very easy to use and has different filters – time, number of scales, departure time – so the research and booking process is straightforward.

Train Tickets to France

If you visit Paris or France from Europe, high-speed trains are a good and definitely a more eco-friendly option. Train travel is also a great way to explore the main destinations in France – check out our France by train guide.

To book train rides in France, we recommend Omio. The website is straightforward to use, it is in English, and they propose interesting promotions from time to time.

Our readers from the UK and Australia, however, prefer Trainline, probably because it has its headquarters in London, UK. Trainline is also in English and works more or less like Omio.

So there’s the Omio team and the Trainline team, but you should always find the same ticket prices.

5. Don’t Skimp on Travel Insurance

It’s important not to skimp on Travel Insurance when you are planning a trip to France. Unfortunately, things do happen when you least expect it, so you really need to be insured. Make sure your insurance policy covers you for things such as theft, loss of luggage, medical issues, and flight cancellation.

HeyMondo offers travelers insurance that combines medical and travel-related coverage for single trips (leisure and business trips), annual multi-trip, and extended stays (with COVID-19 coverage included). Use this link to get a 5% off.

SafetyWing has super affordable plans for budget travelers. While marketed as “Nomad Insurance,” you can take out a policy for as little as five days. Plus, you can sign up for insurance even if your journey has already started!

You can also compare plans, prices, and coverage with Travel Insurance Master, a comparison site that will find the perfect fit for you amongst the world’s leading programs. Travel Insurance Master is also the best place to look for senior travelers.

Schengen Area Travel Insurance

For those who require a visa to enter France or any other Schengen country, travel insurance covering repatriation and medical expenses is compulsory. The necessary visa to enter Europe will not be issued unless you provide proof of suitable coverage – Look for the best coverage for you with Travel Insurance Master.

6. What to Do in France

Calanques de Piana - Corsica
Christmas Markets in Alsace
Hotels with Pool

In determining your France itinerary, you’re probably best to start with a list of all the wonderful places you want to visit. 

Perhaps you’re a wine lover and want to visit all the best French Wine Regions. In France, wine travel is immensely popular, and for good reasons, given the country produces some of the world’s best wines.

Maybe you’re interested in learning more about the history of France, in which case visiting the country’s most beautiful castles should be on your France travel plan. In France, you’ll find castles of all different architectural styles, from medieval castles to Renaissance châteaux, surrounded by manicured gardens as well as crumbling castles (my favorites!).

Of course, France also has some beautiful cities to visit, with an enticing mix of scenery, historical sites, architecture, museums, and great food. From the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel, there are also some gorgeous coastal towns in France. In these picturesque little towns, you can enjoy good food, wine, and long walks on stunning beaches.

Paris 2024

Olympic rings Paris

In 2024, Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The French capital wants to share the Olympic fun with the rest of the country, with various events hosted in other French cities. So, if you’re considering a trip to France in 2024, what better opportunity to visit than during the Paris Olympics 2024?

From Nice to Tahiti, here’s the list of the Summer Olympics 2024 locations – other than Paris and its region – to combine sports with sightseeing. Check out the Paris 2024 Schedule for what to see and when in each of the Paris 2024 venues.

Need even more inspiration for things to do in France?  You can always start with our guide on the best 50 things to do in France. This guide covers the most iconic, popular, beautiful, fun, awe-inspiring things to do in the country grouped by geographical area.  Now all you need to do is tick a few of them off your list!

7. France Trip Planner: Itinerary and How to Get Around

Orleans France

Defining an itinerary will be one of the most important tasks while planning a trip to France.

As a general rule for planning your route, choose one destination – a city or area – for a 3-5 day trip to France. If you have a week to 10 days, then visit one to three places, ideally in different regions, for more variety.

For a 2-week trip, your France travel plan could cover three to four destinations.

Train Trip in France

Train travel is ideal if you want to visit the main cities in France, perhaps with some day trips or tours from these main cities. For more information about trains in France and how to work, check out our quick guide to Train Travel in France.

Road Trip in France

Taking a road trip in France is just about one of the coolest things you can ever do. With a car, some good tunes, and the best company, you are set for one of the most memorable adventures in your life. Check out all our road trips in France which cover all the French regions.

If you are hitting the French roads for the first time, have a look at our quick guide to driving in France, with information about French roads, requirements, and driving rules.

When we need to rent a car in France, we usually check DiscoverCars to find the best deals. Both sites cover the major and local brands (like Avis, Hertz, Europcar, and more) and compare prices for you Check out our best tips for renting a car in France.

If you are planning a longer trip in France and Europe, consider Auto Europe’s long-term car rentals and short-term lease options. They offer the best rates available for trips of one month or more.

If you need help crafting your French road trip itinerary, check out our France Road Trip Planner. With this e-book, we help you explore the best of France by car with the least amount of effort, and it comes with fun road trip ideas, from the wild Atlantic Coast to the pristine lakes in the Alps and the sunny villages in Provence.

Group Package Tours in France

Package tours of France can be a fantastic way to avoid the stress of planning your own trip. They are also great if you would like some company along the way.

Even as independent travelers, we like to browse TourRadar – the world’s most trusted online marketplace for multi-day tours where you can browse hundreds of package tours by different operators, and by date. Then filter by your interests and age group and read detailed reviews.

8. Share Your Itinerary, Review, and Start Booking

Sometimes, trip planning can be overwhelming, so it is good to share your itinerary with friends or family to get input and advice. Is it too much? Not enough? Are you missing something interesting on the way?

In our private Facebook Group, France Bucket List,  you can just do that! We are locals in Paris running a Facebook group for francophiles and people planning a trip to France to share their questions, stories, photos, and memories of France.

Ask questions and get inspiration for your next French holiday, from where to go or itinerary review to things to see and do in France. If you are looking for tips for the Summer Olympics 2024, you are also welcome!

We specialize in Paris (World in Paris), France road trip itineraries, train itineraries, city guides, and wine travel (France Bucket List). You will also find the latest information about transportation strikes in France.

Once you have fine-tuned your French itinerary, start booking your hotels.

Join France Bucket List Facebook Group

When it comes to booking your bed in France, the best site to search and compare different accommodation options in Europe is  because you have everything from hostels to luxury hotels. What I have found quite regularly on is that you can get a room in a small hotel for the same price as a hostel. Research makes all the difference! – Click here to start booking your hotels in France with

If you want to take day tours, you can find great ideas with platforms like GetYourGuide and Tiqets. When I travel in France solo, I find it easier to book with Tiqets, as most of the proposals on GetYourGuide require a minimum of two travelers to book a tour.

There you have it, our ultimate guide on how to plan a trip to France. Whether this is your very first time in France or one of many trips to this wonderful country, this France Trip Planner 2024 will help you craft a trip to France you will never forget.

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