Travelling with French.

Languages are important. They creates barriers for communication which in turn create restrictions for travel. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Learning a small amount of vocabulary specific to the country you are travelling to can make the biggest difference in your experience.

So instead of pulling out the dictionary for every time you have a question, read ahead and prepare before your trip because five minutes isn’t long when it comes to understanding a completely different language.

The following is a small outline of the most basic terminology when it comes to traveling and transportation. Whether your travelling by train or by plane, it’s great to have a reference handy when a different country.

If you have any suggestions on types of vocabulary or French dialogue please comment below!

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Layovers.

The glass half full of spontaneous travel.

There are so many negative connotations behind flight layovers. People just want to take their sleeping pill, break out the neck pillows and get to their destination. What we don’t do is embrace the unplanned detours, those few hours in a totally different country that you didn’t even expect. I am a big believer in taking advantage of these layovers and you should too. It gives you a taste of the culture and though it may not be enough time, it’s enough to satisfy the travel bug in you.

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Apartments along the riverside of the Seine.

A cosmopolitan beauty.

Recently I spent a layover in Paris, a cosmopolitan beauty that you grow up Googling and idolizing for some odd reason. However once you arrive you find that the exaggeration under sells the wonder that is Paris. We had arrived after a seven-hour flight, groggy but ready to hit the ground running. Though it was only five hours in between our flights and most of the time was swallowed up by storing our luggage and Uber rides, we still managed to see the sights and gain the bragging rights of saying “I’ve been to Paris, beautiful city and I would love to go back.”

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A typical café in Paris, days spent sipping coffee and eating fresh pastries.

Be quick and strategize.

The most important thing when it comes to layovers is speed and planning. If you are not willing to do the research and tracking of the most efficient roots around then you will feel cheated by your layover. When you spend two hours before your trip to look up the places and roads your layover can become one of the best experiences of your trip.

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Details on the Notre Dame church acting as a testament to France’s devotion to religion.

If you are trying to cram as much sightseeing as you can into a few hours, your luggage can’t be the one thing that weighs you down. Check ahead for where the luggage lockers are in the airport that way the second you land you know where you are going and you won’t have to drag your bags while your jumping in and out of taxis. If possible simply take carry-on luggage. This was something I didn’t realize for years but the suitcase that I used qualified as carry-on luggage. With carry-on bags you don’t have to wait for the luggage roundabout and you can get straight to moving though security.

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The tower visible in the smallest of streets, from iron balconies and patio tables.

When stopping in Paris there were two main things I wanted to see. The tourist hotspot of the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame because you can tell everything about a society by the way they practice their faith. With the places in mind, it was just matter of drawing the line between Point A to Point B.

Detail in the smallest of crevices, the Notre Dame a testament to France’s strong roots in faith.

Timing can mean the success or failure of a good layover.

The best time for a layover is during the morning so depending on the length of your flight try to leave during the night. This way you can sleep before having to run off of the plane. You wont complain about how tired you are and opt to taking a nap in the airport but you will wake up refreshed and ready to move.

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A plea for passion on the sides of the river in Paris.

Layovers aren’t a burden but an opportunity, it’s the glass half full of travelling. You just have to put the time in planning what you want to see, how long it will take, and how to get there. So embrace the spontaneous travel of layovers because you could enjoy a country you’d never see instead of sleeping in uncomfortable plastic chairs for half your day.

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The breathtaking tower with intricate curves and arches casting shadows in the sun.