T ravel like a pro to France and Europe

One important factor to keep in mind when traveling to Europe in the summer is the UEFA European football championship that has taken place every four years since 1960. It a very big deal to the Europeans! Avoid the host country and especially the cities where they host the football game. There will be more than 30,000 fans in town, and the hotels will charge a premium during the game. France is particularly known for transportation strikes and interruptions. During the strike, there will be fewer trains or buses available. France even shut down their train system in 2016 for a few hours during the final football game when France was the finalist, so train workers can enjoy watching the game. Click here to check their calendar 

Your trip planning should begin with transportation and site attractions by browsing their websites. Traveling by train is an excellent means of transportation in Europe. However, the luggage compartment in the train is not suitable for large pieces of luggage, and some small train stations do not have an elevator or escalator. The high-speed trains (TGV) travel from France to neighboring countries. For a few extra Euros, you can purchase a first-class ticket. Since TGVs have seat assignment, it is advisable to look at the train chart posted at their platform or lane (voie or quai) prior to the train arrival, as TGVs are very prompt and only stop for a few minutes to pick up passengers. However, you can move from one car to another while the train is in motion. There is a restaurant on board the TGV, which serves alcoholic beverages and small meals.

European regional airlines are sometimes less expensive than the TGV, but they do charge a hefty fee (40-50 Euros) for luggage. Also, their carry-on luggage allowance is a lot smaller than the American standard. They often make the passenger place the luggage into a small bin, if it does not fit inside the bin, the passenger has to pay a fee to check in the luggage. However, if you cannot carry your luggage up and down the stairs at the train station, perhaps flying is a better alternative.

 

Usually, popular cities in France have a tourism office (office de tourisme) that is normally located in the city center, near the train station, or inside the airport. In many towns, you will find a little tourist train stationed nearby a major attraction that takes you site seeing around town for about 8-10 Euros with self-guided audio in many languages. This is the best way to get a general feel of the town in less than an hour. The local tourism offices provide valuable information regarding site visits, transportation, and tours. Most of them offer online tour reservation or in-person booking arrangements. Their staff members speak English, and their websites are written in English.

Tourist Train

To browse the train schedule and reservation

To browse the trains, hotels, and regional airlines

To browse the trains going to European countries from France

Taxis from and to Paris airports charge a flat rate

Paris is divided into left bank and right bank for taxis fare purpose. A trip from or to Charles de Gaulle airport costs €50 (left bank) and €55 (right bank); from and to Orly airport costs €30 (left bank) or €35 (right bank). There will be €4 per extra passenger beyond four.

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