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Trips to France for seniors

There is no doubt that France is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. It has everything from the beautiful streets of Paris to the lush green wine country, glamorous beaches, snow-capped Alps, Disneyland and much, much more. France is also a great destination for senior travel in particular, with all sorts of great discounts and savings opportunities across the country. Here are our top tips for senior travel in France.

Save on train travel. France has one of the most extensive rail networks in Europe – you can get from almost anywhere in the country to almost anywhere else. The Carte Senior of the SNCF (French State Railway Company) entitles those over 60 years of age to discounts of 25-50% on all train travel, even if not booked in advance, for a whole year. The card also gives you a 30% discount on train travel in 22 other European countries. Better yet, save more by booking and paying for your rail pass before you leave your home country.

See all the great museums. Many of the many museums and monuments in France will offer a discount for senior travelers, in some cases up to 40%. Some places start the discount at 65, but if you’re over 60 always remember to ask just in case, and bring your passport or other ID in case you’re asked to prove your age! The Louvre has a special grand entrance for €6 on Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.

Bring a phrase book. While most tourist sites, restaurants, and hotels around Paris will have English-speaking staff, if you venture further into France, you may run into some difficulties. But between some basic French phrases from you and at least some English language skills from the local person, you should be able to get by. I lived in the region of France for a period and they love the Australians. Before saying anything he was speaking in French “Sorry I’m from Australia I don’t speak French”. Learn to say this in French – they will love you for it.

Home exchange. It may not get a lot of press, but savvy travelers have been saving tons of money by trading in their home for one at their destination for decades. HomeExchange.com. it has 29,000 homes around the world, including France. You never know, you might end up with a chateau in Bordeaux for one song!

Watch the world go by. One of the favorite activities of the French is to sit outside a cafe and discuss the affairs of the day over coffee. Try it yourself, and you’re sure to get a great taste of the local atmosphere no matter where you visit in France. This is one of my favorite activities. Pick a place that is frequented by the locals and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Fly around France at a low price. Air France offers seniors a 10% discount on internal flights throughout the country. The airline also offers a 10% discount to those 62 and older on select international flights; be sure to ask when you book.

Stay safe. Users of the popular Tripadvisor website recently voted Paris the fifth most common city for pickpockets in the world, so be careful with your valuables in the City of Lights; unfortunately, I can attest to this first hand.

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