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Booking flight tickets to France: where, when, and how

By Jean
Reading Time: 4 minutes
flight tickets france

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Planning to study and live in France? Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Parisian culture, experience the vibrant life in Lyon, or enjoy the coastal charm of Nice, booking your flight tickets to France is the first step towards your adventure.

This guide will help you navigate where to book, when to book, and which airports to consider, especially for students coming under a visa.

Where to Book

When it comes to booking flight tickets to France, there are several reliable options to consider:

  1. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs):
    • Expedia: Known for its extensive search capabilities and package deals.
    • Kayak: Great for comparing prices across different airlines.
    • Skyscanner: Popular for its flexibility in searching for the cheapest flights.
  2. Airline Websites:
    • Booking directly through airline websites like Air France can sometimes offer exclusive deals and more flexible cancellation policies.
  3. Search Engines:
    • Google Flights: Excellent for tracking prices and identifying the best times to fly.
    • Microsoft Bing Travel: Known for finding lesser-known deals and offering comprehensive price comparisons.

flight tickets france

When to Book

Timing your booking can significantly affect the cost of your flight ticket. Here are some tips to help you get the best deals:

  1. Book in Advance: For international flights to France, it’s generally advisable to book 3-6 months in advance to secure the best rates.
  2. Flexible Dates: If your travel dates are flexible, use tools like Google Flights to explore the cheapest days to fly. Mid-week flights (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) are often cheaper than weekend flights.
  3. Off-Peak Seasons: Traveling during off-peak seasons (late September to November, and January to March) can result in lower prices and fewer crowds.
  4. Monitor Prices: Set up price alerts on platforms like Skyscanner and Google Flights to get notified when prices drop for your desired routes.

When to Arrive

We recommend that students choose a landing date on a weekday, between 8:00 and 18:00. It’s best to avoid national holidays or weekends. Arriving on these days could delay your move into your new accommodation. Additionally, shops may be closed, preventing you from doing some errands.

flight tickets france

Which Airports

France has several major airports, each serving different regions and cities. Here’s a breakdown of the key airports for international students:

  1. Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG): The largest airport in France, serving as a hub for international flights. Ideal for students heading to Paris, Lyon, or other northern cities.
  2. Paris Orly (ORY): Smaller than CDG but also serves international flights. Convenient for those traveling to southern Paris or nearby regions.
  3. Lyon-Saint Exupéry (LYS): A major airport for those heading to Lyon and surrounding areas. Offers a mix of international and domestic flights.
  4. Nice Côte d’Azur (NCE): Perfect for students heading to Nice or other destinations along the French Riviera. Well-connected with major European cities.
  5. Marseille Provence (MRS): Ideal for students bound for Marseille and the Provence region. Offers a variety of international and domestic flights.
  6. Bordeaux-Mérignac (BOD): Serves the Bordeaux region with a good selection of international and domestic flights.
  7. Toulouse-Blagnac (TLS): Convenient for students heading to Toulouse and the Occitanie region. Well-connected with several international destinations.
  8. Biarritz Pays Basque (BIQ): Best for those going to Biarritz or the Basque region. Mostly serves European destinations but offers seasonal international flights.
  9. Montpellier-Méditerranée (MPL): Suitable for students heading to Montpellier. Offers a range of domestic and some international flights.

flight tickets france

Additional Tips for Visa Students

  1. Book Round-Trip Tickets: Booking a round-trip ticket can often be more economical and meet visa requirements. For some of you, proof of return travel may be required for the visa application.
  2. Check Baggage Allowance: As a student moving to France, you might have more luggage. Ensure your airline offers sufficient baggage allowance or consider shipping some items separately. Also, make sure to check what you can and cannot bring into France when packing: https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/things-you-cant-bring-into-france/
  3. Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance is crucial. Look for policies that cover cancellations, health, and belongings. We recommend WorldTrips (part of the Envisage Global Insurance Group), as a reliable insurance broker. For more information about the insurance premium and all the details of the coverage, visit the following online page: https://gogofrance.com/en/health-insurance-for-students-in-france/
  4. Arrival Planning: Arrive a few days before your program starts to acclimate and settle in. This also gives you time to handle any visa-related processes upon arrival.

Booking your flight to France as an international student doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By choosing the right booking platform, timing your purchase wisely, and selecting the most convenient airport, you can start your French adventure on the right foot. Bon voyage!

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