Tips for a Great Holiday in France

France is a fantastic place for a holiday. And if you take your tent, touring caravan or motorhome, it can be even better!

If you don't have these, you could book a static caravan instead and holiday in some of the best regions and at some of the best campsites and caravan parks available.

No matter where you go, you are sure you have a fabulous time but are there any tips that could make your holiday even better? Here are a few to ensure you get the very best out of your time in France.

Learn some basic French phrases

It might seem obvious, but not everyone tries to learn a little lingo while on holiday. French is a beautiful language, and the locals will appreciate it if you try your hand at even a little French while you are there. Many French people can speak English well and will happily converse with you in English, but they will love it if you make a little effort to speak with them in their language too.

Not only is it polite to try and use a few basic phrases, but it can help immerse you in the local culture too. If you don't remember much of your French lessons from school, don't worry, you shouldn't need to learn too much. Just brush up on some of the basic phrases that you know you will use a lot. Here are a few to remember, and if you want to learn more, why not head over to Duolingo or Rosetta Stone? This article may also be helpful.

Bonjour - Hello or good morning
Au revoir - goodbye
Non - No
Oui - Yes
Oui Merci
- Yes, thank you
S'il vous plait
- please
Merci - thank you
Excusez Moi
- Excuse me
Parlez-vous anglais
- Do you speak English
Combien ça coûte
- How much is this?

Caravan driving away in France

Tips for driving in France

Driving in another country is always a little daunting, but you shouldn't have too many problems as long as you prepare ahead of time.

The first thing to remember is that in France you should drive on the right. This can take a little getting used to, especially if you are taking your own car. You should invest in extra mirrors where possible to ensure you get the best possible view while driving in France.

You will also need to ensure you carry the appropriate paperwork and other essentials like your passport and driving licence. In addition, you also need the logbook for the vehicle, your insurance documents and proof of vehicle ownership.

While we are on the subject of items you need to carry, it is also a legal requirement to carry a warning triangle, a high-vis jacket, breathalyser kit certified by the French government, and if your number plate doesn't stipulate you are from the UK, you will need a UK logo or union jack sticker too. In some areas of France, you also need to buy and display a pollution warning sticker.

Whilst driving, it is illegal to use your phone or any hand-held device. You also can't use Bluetooth or hands-free devices either. The French authorities are strict on this, so don't get caught out.

One thing to note is that a lot of main French roads include tolls. You can pay these with cash or credit card so make sure you have one of these handy when you travel on the motorways.

Before you travel, check the Euro Tunnel website for the latest information.

Roadside French bistro

Eating and drinking in France

You won't want to miss out on eating and drinking whilst you are in France. It is what the French are known for, after all! One thing to note is that you can sit and eat lunch between 12 and 2pm in many restaurants and cafes, but after this, you may find them closed. They will reopen in time for dinner again, but you may need to find an alternative food option if you miss lunchtime.

Don't miss out on a trip to the boulangerie in the mornings and buy yourself some fresh bread. Buying your baguettes freshly in the morning is still a strong tradition in France, and if you don't have a local bakery, you may be able to order yours from the campsite shop. Fresh French baguettes in the morning, accompanied with a strong coffee, is one of the most delicious starts to the morning you can have.

If you are in a wine region, don't miss out on a trip to a local vineyard. You can buy yourself a souvenir while there and sample some of the delicious French wines available.

Think about when you want to travel

Summer might seem like a great time to visit France, and we can't argue with that - it is a wonderful time where the sun is shining, and nature is at its best. The problem is that it can get quite busy. This is especially true for the more popular regions and towns.

If a busy camping trip isn't something you want, you can easily miss the busy times by travelling either side of the high season. It can be a little quieter in late August and early September when families are back home and preparing for the new school year. May can be a good time to travel too. You can still get some great weather and miss the crowds.

If you have children and can't holiday out of season, don't worry. There are lots of benefits to camping in France in the high season too. Tourist attractions will be open, and campsites with entertainment and facilities will have the most availability.