I had it planned to a T. I’d spent countless hours figuring out my itinerary for my upcoming June trip to France with flights booked and accommodations arranged. And then it happened.
The French rail union announced a national strike. Sadly, strikes are a way of life in France. They happen constantly. As required by French law, the union had to publish when they would be striking and they indicated the specific dates (April 3 to June 28, 2018). As luck would have it, on the day I planned to arrive, some trains would be cancelled. What was I to do? In this post I’ll share with you the research I did and show you some options if there’s a French train strike during your trip.
There you are in a store’s check-out lane and the line is simply not moving because there’s some problem.
- The customer is questioning the price of an item?
- The customer can’t find all the change to pay?
- His Visa credit isn’t accepted, only Mastercard?
Meanwhile, you’re standing there with just one item and you have the exact change to pay, but instead, you wait…and wait…and wait.
We’ve all experienced this: waiting for the person at the front of the line to get their act together. Unfortunately, I’ve BEEN that customer who everyone is mad at….at least in the toll lane in France.
Dying battery? The sign everyone dreads.
Running out of battery power? I could tell you to turn off your smartphone. I could tell you to stop checking your emails. I could tell you to not use Google Maps or any apps that use up power. This is not advice I would follow, so I won’t tell you that. I like using my iPhone to take photos, check the weather, and help me be LESS lost (aka ‘no sense of direction’). If you need to keep your phone charged during your stay in Paris, there are some easy ways to do so. But more importantly, where can you charge your phone in Paris for free?
I will never forget our panic when 4 ladies and I headed to Charles de Gaulle airport. We decided we would take the Paris Metro to catch a train to the airport but discovered there was a strike (again, what else is new) and the Metro to Gare de Nord was affected. Catch a taxi? Good luck in finding one. We eventually did after a lot of searching and panic. This experience taught me that even without a strike, there can be great stress in getting to the airport in the morning to catch a flight. Taxis strike too! So what should you do? Here are my two pieces of advice on how you can have a less stressful departure from Paris:
If I had ONE piece of advice when travelling to the heart of Paris, it’s in this post. As I get older, I have realized that spending a bit more money makes it easier on one’s joints and that when you are travelling from Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris, going the cheaper way is not always the better way.
This week Keith Van Sickle, author of One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence, shares his recent discovery in Provence: the best value wine in France (as compared to the “best cheap wine in France”. That just sounds wrong). I reviewed Keith’s book a few months ago and met up with Keith and his wife in Provence last month. Over lunch, which of course included wine, Keith shared his love of wine as well as his knowledge about finding French wines of good value. After you have read this post you will likely be inclined, like me, to visit Estézargues and stock up on the wines!
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You’ve decided to visit France but there are so many interesting regions that you don’t know which to visit and how many to visit. Once you decide on a few areas, you discover they are incredibly far apart. How do you create a realistic itinerary for your road trip in France that won’t exhaust you? This post will share my answers to these dilemmas as I actually dealt with these questions for the trip I am now on. I spent months agonizing over regions and how to do the perfect road trip in France. Once it’s over, I guess we’ll see how close to perfect it was.