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What to put in your suitcase when travelling in France

France is a country with a temperate climate on the whole, with a mountain type weather in the Alps and the Pyrenees and a Mediterranean climate in its south. Spring, as the time of year when the days start to get longer and warmer, tends to be the most pleasant and comfortable season.

The winters are mild and the summers pleasant in France's western regions, though it can rain at any time of year and it can get chilly in the evenings, especially in the north. The further you travel east, the more the climate becomes continental in character: cold in winter, with snow at times, and hot in summer. Around the edge of the Mediterranean, the climate is warm, dry and sunny in summer and sometimes rainy in spring and autumn. If you are planning to take advantage of the region's fine, sandy beaches, remember to take both sun cream and some kind of after sun treatment. Important note: it can get pretty windy!

When visiting the mountains during the winter sports season, ensure you have warm clothing with you! And anyone planning to go hiking should make sure they have good quality walking boots/shoes, waterproof clothing, and a fleece to wear in the evening.

Whether you are visiting France to make the most of its natural landscapes or to explore its cities, make sure you remember to take your camera with you so you have lots of wonderful memories to take back home with you!

But don't worry if you happen to forget to take anything. You can get everything you need in France and most international chain stores have branches in the country's large towns and cities.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of items to take with you on holiday. Feel Feel free to adapt it to the time of year you're travelling and your own particular holiday destination of course.

  1. A rucksack in which to store things you buy, your beach equipment, or a packed lunch/picnic for your hike.
  2. Sun cream and an after-sun treatment if planning to spend your holidays by the sea, go skiing, or participate in sporting activities … and a pair of sunglasses.
  3. An umbrella (though you can of course buy one of these once there)
  4. Light clothing in summer and warm clothing in winter
  5. A scarf for protection against the wind
  6. Hiking equipment so you can tackle some of France's walking routes
  7. Swimming trunks/a bathing costume for the beach, the swimming pool, spontaneous bathing in lakes or rivers, and an easy-to-carry towel
  8. Good quality shoes for walks in the countryside or around towns and cities in all weathers
  9. Sandal or flip-flop type open footwear for the beach and to wear in summer
  10. A camera so you can take create lasting memories of your holidays, and an extra memory card so you can take rapid-fire landscape shots and photos of buildings/monuments
  11. Your passport or other form of ID
Marielle Awad
62 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018
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