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Traveling Through France’s Rich History: Tips for Retirees

If you’re looking for a place to explore during retirement, consider visiting France. There’s so much amazing history and gorgeous architecture here that you must see to believe. If you’re planning a trip soon but you’re unsure how to enjoy this wonderful place, we’re here to help. This guide will tell you how to get to France and enjoy the country on a budget, how to be safe and stress-free along the way, and the best places to add to your itinerary during your stay.

Get To And Enjoy France Without Breaking The Bank

Depending on where you live, you’ll likely have a long flight to France, and the initial ticket price may be daunting, especially on what may be a limited retirement budget. However, you don’t need to feel like you can’t afford the trip or that you have to go with the first price you see. Shop around. Try discount ticket sites, like Expedia or Priceline, and look at your options. Choosing to fly in coach or a flight with a layover could make tickets more affordable. Also, take advantage of programs you may currently have, like AARP, which often offers discounts on airfare and hotels.

Once you’re in France, you can find affordable ways to get around. The airline Air France often provides seniors discounts for flights within the country. You can save a lot of money by touring the countryside on the train, which many consider the easiest way to get around. When you know you’ll be at one destination for a few days, walk instead of renting a car. You’ll save money, get exercise, and have a chance to slow down and really soak in the scenery.

While you’re enjoying France’s rich history, be smart about how you pay. You can go to a currency exchange and use the euro to get around or use your credit card. A card is convenient, but you need to be smart about what you do and don’t charge on your card.

Avoid taking cash advances from your card company that can have high interest rates and put you in debt. Instead, use the card for items that can earn you miles and rewards. Often, eating at restaurants, purchasing fuel, and buying other specific items can earn you extra points. You may be able to use those points for cheaper flights. Also, purchasing big ticket items, like luggage or tablets, can offer perks, like purchase protection, which may come in handy later.

Stay Healthy And Stress-Free

You worked hard to get to retirement, and you deserve to enjoy an adventure through France without worry or stress. Luckily, there are many ways to make your journey as carefree as possible. Start by investing in travel insurance. A policy will give you peace of mind because it will cover the various things that can go wrong during your trip, such as medical expenses, cancellations, and any loss or delays you might experience. You may not need to use the insurance, but it’s comforting to have it anyway.

It’s also vital that you’re aware of travel scams. Though you’re still spry and young at heart, bad actors may try to take advantage of you due to your age, so stay vigilant. Common travel scams can include thieves and pickpockets, criminals who pose as police officers, faulty ATMs that steal your card information, and internet Wi-Fi scams, among others. Since you can’t know about every potential scam, make it a point to be vigilant in unfamiliar situations, and when in doubt, ask a figure of authority for help.

You’ll likely be excited to rush from place to place as you take in the beauty of France, but you must also keep your health in mind. Before you leave, get all required vaccinations and bring your required medications. Try to choose healthy options when dining and only drink water from sealed containers. You’ll likely be spending a lot of time in the sun, so avoid sunburn or sunstroke by staying hydrated, applying sunscreen, and wearing a hat and sunglasses whenever possible.

Places To See During Your French History Tour

Since you’re in France to enjoy the rich history, there are a few destinations you should add to your bucket list. One of them is the Azay-le-Rideau castle, which is considered to be one of the highlights of French Renaissance architecture, and it’s a joy to behold inside and out. If you like castles, you should also check out the Chateau de Versailles, the home of France’s last king. It is loaded with history and charm, and you can check out at least one of the 1,250 fireplaces inside.

There’s so much great architecture to behold in France, and many of the structures and buildings have been restored over time, so you can really get lost in the details. Add a visit to the Colonnes de Buren in Paris to your itinerary and look at all the fine workmanship in the marble and concrete columns. Another incredible building is the Mont-Saint-Michel, which sits in the bay where Normandy meets Brittany. You’ll be amazed as you soak in the architecture while stopping in the restaurants, shops, and museums.

During your tour, visit some incredible places off the beaten path, like the historical villages in Normandy. You can walk through the area and take pictures. Before you leave, stop by the apple orchards of Calvados country and enjoy a cider tasting. When you’re ready to relax, another off-the-path location is the long sandy beach called Côte d’Argent. You can stroll along the sand or take a bike ride down the trails.


There’s so much glorious history to behold in France. You could spend weeks exploring and only see a fraction of the beauty. When you visit, plan ahead to have a safe trip and stick to your budget. That’s the way to make it a retirement vacation you’ll never forget.


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