Category Archives: France How To

Tips for Using Uber in Paris, Episode 151


Blair Bell and her husband, Tips for using Uber in Paris

On this short episode of Join Us in France we are discussing tips on using Uber in Paris and those tips apply to a lot of big cites in France also. Blair compares the cost of Uber with taxis and public transportation. This was Blair’s third trip to Paris and because she was 34 weeks pregnant, she and her husband decided to mostly use Uber whereas in previous trips she had mostly used other modes of transportation.

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

 Tips for Using Uber in Paris, Episode 151

What You Will Learn in this Episode with Timestamps

2’52 The biggest difference between using Uber in the US and in France is the language barrier.

3’25 Uber Pool vs. Uber Black: If you use the Uber Pool option, because it’s a big city, you will have a lot of people riding with you and it will add on to the time it takes to get where you want to go. Uber Pool is sometimes half the price of Uber Black, so it’s worth it if you’re not in a hurry.

4’05 No Uber Pop in France: Uber Pop is the Uber service with older cars.

4’30 To get an accurate bid you need to set your pin location properly. Sometimes you have to enter the address manually.

6’00 It’s hard to get a good estimate of how long before the driver will pick you up with Uber in Paris because of the traffic conditions.

7’10 Tips on what to do on May 1st in France. Blair suggests taking an organized tour on that day and going away from Paris with a group where everything is organized.

8’33 When using Uber in Paris you will get to use your French, and it’s good to also have the Google Translate App.

9’15 Uber Pool is a better option in the US than in Paris, that could be that it’s because there are fewer Uber drivers in Paris.

9’40 Uber in Paris is cheaper in August than during the rest of the year. That’s probably because it’s mostly tourists calling Uber in August, demand goes down, so prices go down as well.

10’25 Uber is worth it if you have more than two people in your party. To go from one of the Paris airports to either the city center or to Disneyland Paris, it’s definitely worth it. A taxi between CDG Airport and the left bank will run you over 60€, the same ride on Uber is at least 15€ cheaper.

11’35 Comparing the price of metro tickets to Uber in Paris. Blair and her husband took 20 trips with Uber in Paris. Twenty metro tickets for 20 trips for two would cots 60€ if bought in packs of 10 (it would be 76€ if buying single tickets). Those same trips with Uber cost them 185€. So Uber is about 3 times the price of taking the metro.

13′ Install the Uber App before you come to France, you will use the same App with the same credit card.

13’40 French cars also have a license plate on both the front and back of the car, so it’s easier to recognize the car if you don’t know European cars.

15′ Basic French phrases you will need when using Uber in Paris:

  • c’est à gauche = it’s on the left
  • c’est à droite = it’s on the right
  • allumez la climatisation s’il vous plaît = turn on the AC please

16’30 Some things Blair and her husband enjoyed in Paris: Paris Picnic. Blue Bike Tour was great too.

19′ What else did you wish you knew before you went? Uber in August is cheaper, if you go the rest of the year consider mixing things up and maybe using the bus system (see our episode on comparing the Paris Metro with the Paris Bus and details on how to use them both).

19’50 To go back and forth to the airport definitely use Uber. Here is information from the Uber website on where to wait for your Uber at CDG: from terminals 1, 2A, 2C, 2D and 2F, exit on the departure level. From terminals 2E, 2G and 3, exit on the arrivals level. Head outside and wait at the curb. Then enter your terminal and door number so your driver knows where to find you.

21’45 Air France buses between CDG and Paris city center.

Conclusion

Using Uber in Paris is a good option in many situations, even if you’re on a budget. Between the airport (CDG) and the center of Paris Uber turns out to be cheaper than RER tickets for 4 people, it’s also a lot more pleasant. Listen to this episode so you understand the ins and outs of ironing out the pesky details.

If you’ve used Uber in Paris and would like to give voice feedback to be included in an upcoming episode of the podcast, call 801-806-1015.

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Paris on a Budget, Episode 141

Paris on a Budget


Paris on a budget, euro bills and coins

On today’s episode, Annie shares tips for visiting Paris on a budget. Maybe you’re financially challenged at the moment, maybe you’re bringing your kids and don’t need or want anything fancy. Maybe you’re just the kind of person, like me, who likes to feel like you got great value for your dollar, maybe this is a business trip and your boss is cheap.  No matter what your situation is, if you want to come to Paris without burning an irreparable hole into your bank account, this episode is for you!

What do I mean by Paris on a budget? 150€ per day for two people. It is possible to go even cheaper I’m sure, but I can’t help you there. You could hitch-hike and do couch surfing I suppose, not for moi!

Today I’m going to tell you how to come to Paris with your significant other, or a friend, or your kid, and only spend 150€ per day. I am excluding airfare, but am including hotel, transportation, food and entertainment. That’s the minimum for me to be comfortable and have a good time. I am not a fancy person, but I do like to be comfortable and safe, so stay tuned because I’m sure that matters to you too.

The airfare to come to Paris is expensive, but you know, sometimes you get lucky. One of my friend’s sons found an incredible fair to Paris and it was so good he booked it on the spot. If you can can find airfare under 500€ between continental US and France, it’s a great fair, grab it while you can. I can’t give you tips on how to do that other than setup airfare alerts and act fast.

If you enjoyed this episode, also listen to Episode 80 on Free Museums in Paris, and Episode 142 on Paris Metro or Bus?

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

 Episode Highlights

Annie’s secrets for enjoying Paris on a budget:

  1. Travel in Jan thru March or November thru mid-Dec
  2. Always check out hotel price before you book your flight
  3. Once in Paris, the most expensive ticket item is the hotel, then meals, then transportation, then entertainment
  4. Annie’s favorite budget hotel in Paris: Ibis in Charenton-le-Pont
  5. Annie’s food schedule: hotel breakfast, lunch out, snack and wine in the room at night. You can have a nice lunch in Paris for 14€-20€ per person, ask for a “une carafe d’eau s’il vous plaît” for tap water (which tastes fine and is totally safe in Paris and is what most people drink at lunch).
  6. Pack carefully (see packing list episode 137) a charging cable will run you 10€, and umbrella 25€, Advil is 6€ and Band-Aids aren’t cheap either!
  7. Budget hotels don’t supply much: no safe, no extra pillows, no soap, no wash-cloths
  8. Go to free museums (see Episode 80) and splurge on one or two that you’ve really wanted to see, maybe the Louvre or the Orsay
  9. Museum pass is expensive (78€ for 6 days, only worth it if you are sure to see 2 museums per day, not worth it just to skip the line
  10. You can reserve a timed entrance to the Louvre from home and that line is always much shorter than the other two
  11. Transportation pass not worth it , buy a pack of 10 tickets for 16€ and walk a lot
  12. Transfers between bus and metro not possible in Paris, choose  your route carefully using the RATP App
  13. You need phone data, buy that at home with your carrier
  14. Don’t get robbed or ripped off
    • Plan your pockets: you need a safe pocket for your phone and credit cards/cash, always put your stuff back in the same pocket
    • You don’t need a fancy travel pack with titanium lining, you simply need to remember to zip up your pockets!
    • Don’t talk to anyone with a clipboard and don’t fall for the “You don’t want to talk to me? What’s wrong? Isn’t Paris not treating you right?” routine
    • Big crowds and tight quarters: your phone and wallet need to be in your hands
    • Camera around your neck and a note about expensive camera equipment
    • Small backpacks/purses or you can’t get in venues

 

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Tips for Driving in France, Episode 138

Tips for Driving in France


Tips for driving in France, Dawn at the wheel

On today’s show Annie and guests share tips for driving in France. You’ll hear from Stephanie and Dawn from Canada who drove between Bordeaux and Paris and my friend Jeff who drove around Provence and the south-west. All of us together share great tips for driving in France. If you are considering driving yourself in France, also listen to Episode 16 of the podcast which explains more of the rules and the gotchas. Both of those episodes should have you well-prepared for driving in France.

There are times when driving is so much easier than taking the train or even the bus. For instance, if you want to visit Loire Castles, well, you will either have to join a tour or rent a car because all of those castles aren’t exactly in the middle of a city with a train station. Same with Normandy. A lot of the highlights are in the country far from public transportation. If you want to explore the south-west where I am, it’s so much easier with a car!  I am not saying that it’s impossible to visit those areas without out car, but it’s quite difficult. So yes, if you’re a do-it-yourself traveler, you need to become familiar with these tips for driving in France, so keep listening!

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
 Episode Highlights
  • [4’00”] Areas of France that are hard to visit without a car
  • [5’35”] French tip of the week at the end of the episode today
  • [5’45”] Consider joining the Join Us in France Closed Group on Facebook where you can also ask your own questions
  • [7’05”] Start of conversation with Stephanie and Dawn
  • [8’00”] Stephanie was against driving because she’s “risk averse”
  • [8’30”] Dawn found driving in France very navigable, roundabouts make it easier
  • [9’00] Gotcha: if you miss your exit on the freeway in France, you may need to keep driving for a long time before you get to another exit
  • [11’00”] Use either a GPS App or get a stand-alone GPS
  • [12’00”] Don’t forget to edit the settings on your GPS
  • [13’20”] Should you get an international driver’s license?
  • [15’30] Don’t bring too much luggage or it won’t fit in the car!
  • [17’00”] Having a car brings freedom
  • [18’40”] Waze, Google Maps, and Maps work well in France
  • [19’45”] Apps and GPS Make It Possible to Anticipate
  • [21’15] Start conversation with Jeff
  • [22’39”] What if you want to take day-trips from Paris?
  • [23’00”] What out for the speed limit!
  • [25’50”] Roundabouts Behavior
  • [26’50”] Is driving in France stressful?
  • [27’40”] What about paying for tolls?

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