This is how it looked like: our roadtrip through France. We did all this without a car, using only the public transport and trying to keep it as cheap as possible. If you’re interested in doing something similar, keep on reading. I’m going to explain how we were able to do this, step by step. My friend is from Argentina and was visiting Europe and we decided to discover France together. We met up in Rouen to start our adventure.
We did most part with Flixbus, a company that has grown in the last couple of years, it offers cheap transport through a big part of Europe. It is a great alternative for trains, which are very expensive in France. Just to give you an example, you can take the train from Marseille to Aix-En-Provence for 30 euros; meanwhile Flixbus takes you there for only 10. Another alternative for Flixbus in France is Ouibus. This only works in France and offers basically the same thing, the prices are very similar. We also used public transport for short distances; these ones normally cost 2 or 3 euros.
Okay, so this is important to read before you go: hostels aren’t common at all in France. Once you find one, you’ll find out it is very expensive. This goes out to the solo travelers
out there, have this in mind before leaving. I fully recommend to use Couchsurfing in France, since it is safe here but, try to find you’re host on time since the French people have a very organized agenda. A good solution is Airbnb, works very good and is the cheapest way to travel if you’re not traveling alone. We traveled in June and July, this is the peak season so, prices were a bit higher but, we usually spent per person per night between 20 and 30 euros.
The weather in France depends a lot on where you are going. Obviously, in the winter, the whole country is kind of cold. If you go to the North, you’ll have to be lucky to see some sun, this in winter and in summer. Well I guess we were lucky, we had, during three weeks of traveling, only 2 or 3 days of rain. 2 of them were in Paris and the other one was in Saint-Malo. I think the best way to prepare yourself is to check out the climate in the North before you’re leaving, since this is the most unstable one. In the South you should be good, warm and sunny weather is very common.
4) Let’s talk beaches
France has a very large variety of beaches. We did North and South, this means we got to see the cost of the north sea and the cost of the Mediterranean sea.
What was our favorite? Both. Yes, I know this answer is not helping you decide where to go but they are just very different to choose one. We were very lucky with the weather in the North, and I guess this helped a lot. The beaches are mostly rocky and the water is calm and blue. The tourism on this side of the country is still less than on the other side, which makes it a lot more pleasant to be on the beach. But there is nothing like the French Riviera, the hot temperatures and the crystal clear water, gives you the holiday feeling you are looking for.
5) Extra Tips
- France can be an expensive country; take your passport with you in case your home country is part of the European Union. In France, members of the EU get offered a lot of discounts!
- Bring your credit/debit card. Don’t bring to much cash, it’s safer and you can pay by card almost anywhere.
- BRING YOUR STUDENT CARD!! It’s amazing how many touristic attractions offer student discount
- Connect with the locals. France can make you feel lonely from time to time, use couchsurfing or meet people in hostels, because your experience will be so much better and the French will be glad to teach you some french words :).