Near Misses and a Direct Hit: Driving in France

11 thoughts on “Near Misses and a Direct Hit: Driving in France”

  1. Great article!! So informative and I LOVE your storytelling ability. It’s a joy to read.

    Interesting note on roundabouts. I used to loathe them until I talked to a civil engineer that showed me the statistics on just how many deaths they prevent st intersections. Makes sense when you think about the difference between getting T-boned by someone running a stop sign and getting hit by someone going out of their turn on a roundabout.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting read. I don’t drive but interesting to see the struggles you can have when driving in a foreign country. Roundabouts are pretty common in England but you don’t tend to see them very often in the US, I think California is the main place I’ve seen them from the 12 states I’ve been to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Offering my 2c as someone who has driven in France a lot (for someone who does not live in France).

    #1 Take money out of any ATM at the airport when you arrive – the rates will be BETTER than both buying them at home or exchanging money at a bureau de change – generally your bank will give you the average of the best sell rate of the day. Depending on your bank, and the type of account you have, they may even waive the foreign transaction fee, but even if they don’t you might still come out ahead (quick math: currently the dollar is trading at $.88 against the Euro; withdrawing from an ATM will probably get you within $.01 of that – so let’s say $.87; Travelex, one of the companies that runs those currency exchange booths is offering $.79. This means that if you exchange $100 at the booth, you’re only getting $79, whereas you’ll get $87 if you use the ATM. Even if you have to pay a $5 fee and 3% surcharge for a withdrawal, you break even – if you withdraw the equivalent of $200, you come out $7 ahead ). The only time I have ever (since 1995) brought large amounts of cash with me was on the trip I just returned from because we were told that no ATMs in Sudan would accept our cards.

    #2 if you don’t already put travel notifications on your credit and debit cards before you travel – do; it won’t prevent all mixups, but it prevents the vast majority.

    #3 You might piss off the drivers behind you, but if you’re roundabout-uncertain, stick to the right lane, that way you won’t have to emergency merge before missing your exit; however, don’t ever worry about missing your exit, because you can just go around the roundabout again – there’s no limit!

    You’re making me think I should pen an upcoming post about misadventures on the road in France – I may have a couple…

    Like

  4. I’ll have to think about testing out the bank rate vs. ATM when next we go abroad. Doesn’t solve the problem of simply not wanting to deal with it when I land, but I’d be curious to see how it works out financially.

    Yes, I always put travel notices on my cards before I travel. Definitely good advice. The France thing – the rejections and my cc company’s inability to see them – was such a weird, inexplicable thing.

    Even if you go round and round the roundabout, the person behind you will probably only be pissed off for one go-’round, as they’ll likely exit!

    I’d love to read about your misadventures! They suck at the time but make such good stories.

    Like

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