Who doesn’t love to travel? And what better place is there to travel to than Paris, France? Whoa, slow down. Before you start practicing your pronunciation of bonjour and whether or not snails are something you should try; there’s a few things you need to sort out and be aware of first.
Know where you’re going… No really. Know where you’re going.
With the world constantly changing and individuals being opposed to the various changes, one needs to be aware of the financial, political, cultural and economic environment of their dream cities so they don’t find themselves in a warzone. Also, brush up on any laws just in case you find yourself in a jail cell.
Make sure you have the contact details of the closest South African Embassy and to always carry your next of kin’s contact details. You should also know where the embassy and police station are in case your passport goes missing.
You need insurance before you step on the plane though. Taking out travel insurance will cover hospitalization and any other related medical costs. You can also register with Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA). This registration will allow the Department of International Relations and Co-operation to help in case of an emergency abroad. Registering your trip will help the department find you and communicate with your next-of-kin.
And we’re off to Paris
Great. You’ve made it out the country with passport and travel visa in hand. Keep reading to see tips that’ll help you navigate through the city of love.
- Don’t Leave Valuables in The Car
Wherever you’re going, try not to leave any valuables in plain sight in your parked rental car.
- Bonjour means hello
France is a predominately French-speaking country so it wouldn’t hurt to learn a few phrases just in case no one around you speaks any English (or Zulu).
Train is the way to move. It’s safer, quicker and cheaper and the stations have guards on duty. However, be careful when using the RER train as oblivious tourists are perfect victims for theft and pickpocketing. Cabs cost money any place in the world so again- train.
- It’s not 24/7
In smaller Parisian towns, many shops close from 12:00 to 2:00 as well as some banks and post offices so always double-check the hours before deciding to run an errand.
There’s so much to see in Paris- the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and various museums. Plan your itinerary and be conscious of visiting hours. Most museums are open twice a week and don’t close until later than 21:30. When going to a museum during the day, inquire about tours in English.