There is no doubt that France is one of the most attractive travel destinations in the world. It has everything from the beautiful streets of Paris to lush, green wine country, stunning beaches, the snow-capped Alps to Disneyland and much more. France is a great destination especially for seniors travel, with all kinds of great discounts and cost savings opportunities around the country. Here are our top tips for Seniors Travel in France.
Save money on train travel. France has one of the most extensive rail networks in Europe – you can get anywhere from almost anywhere in the country. SNCF’s (French State railway company) Carte Senior gives people over 60 a 25-50% discount on all train journeys for one year, even if you don’t book them in advance. The card also offers a 30% discount on rail travel in 22 other European countries. Better still, save even more if you book and pay for your rail pass before you leave your home country.
See all the great museums. Many museums and monuments in France will offer discounts of up to 40% for older travelers in some cases. Some sites start discounting at age 65, but if you’re over 60 be sure to ask just in case and bring your passport or other ID if they ask you to prove your age! The Louvre has a special wonderful ??6 entrance on Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 pm to 9:45 pm.
Bring a talkbook. While most of the attractions, restaurants and hotels around Paris have English speaking staff, you may encounter some difficulty if you travel further in France. But between a few basic French phrases from you and at least some English language skills of the local person, you should be able to confuse. I lived in regional France for a while and they love Australians. Before I said anything, I used to speak French “Sorry, I’m Australian, I don’t speak French”. Learn to say it in French – they’ll love you for it.
Change houses. It may not take a lot of pressure, but savvy travelers have been saving tons of money for decades by replacing their home with their destination home. HomeExchange.com.tr has 29,000 homes worldwide, including France. You never know, you might find a chateau in Bordeaux for a song!
Watch the world go by. One of the favorite activities of the French is to sit in front of a cafe and discuss the events of the day over coffee. Try it for yourself and wherever you go in France you can be sure to get a great taste of the local atmosphere. This is one of my favorite activities. Pick a place frequented by the locals and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Fly cheap in France. Air France offers seniors a 10% discount on domestic flights nationwide. The airline also offers 10% discount to people over 62 on select international flights – be sure to ask when booking.
Stay safe. Users of the popular Tripadvisor website recently rated Paris as the world’s fifth most common pickpocket city, so watch your valuables in City of Lights – unfortunately I can vouch for this firsthand.