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Rail strikes, summer drinks and avoiding ticks: Six essential articles for life in France

From how to avoid that pesky, disease-carrying insect to the tastiest, most refreshing beverages in France and whether you can plan on a summer of delays and cancellations on train lines, here are the six essential articles for life in France.

Rail strikes, summer drinks and avoiding ticks: Six essential articles for life in France
Travelers walk with their bags on the day of a national strike of France's national railway company SNCF to raise wages (Photo by Geoffroy Van der Hasselt / AFP)

Many of us are feeling the call to evacuate the cities and head for the great outdoors as the warmer weather and sunshine take hold across France. If you’re off on a hiking trip or simply taking your pet for a walk in an area with high grass, you might be wondering about the chances of being bitten by a tick. Unfortunately, these pesky insects can be found across France, though they are more common in certain areas.

If you do find yourself in a particularly tick-friendly environment and you’re wondering how to protect yourself, or you’re simply wondering which parts of France are tick hotspots, we’ve put together a guide for avoiding these tiny insects while in France.

What you should know about ticks in France and how to avoid them

While France is known for being a global gastronomy capital, sometimes a delicious beverage is just as important as a hearty meal.

Thankfully, France has a wide range of refreshing drinks to try, and these warm weather specific beverages are sure to quench your thirst whether you’re sitting on a terrace or along the beach.  

If you find yourself hosting pre-dinner drinks in the coming weeks, you’ll want to consult our list of the best things to drink in France this summer. There are options for everyone, for those looking for alcoholic beverages and non-drinkers alike.

Rosé, spritz and pressé: 5 things to drink in France this summer

Strikes are an undeniable part of French cultural identity. But will this summer be worse than average when it comes to industrial action? After over two years of pandemic shutdowns and layoffs, and amid rising inflation, workers are demanding higher wages. SNCF (France’s national rail service) saw its workers stage a one-day walk out in early July, causing widespread delays and cancellations.

So how much of a headache will travel during the first summer without strict Covid-19 related restrictions be? We’ve tried to look ahead to try to give you an idea of what to expect from rail strikes this summer in France, and whether they’re likely to rumble on.

Will rail strikes in France rumble on throughout the summer? 

Regardless of whether you’re looking to stun with your next Bugatti or simply seeking out a trustworthy Peugeot, buying a car in France as a foreigner might feel confusing, particularly if you do not hold a French driver’s licence.

Living in France involves a lot of paperwork, and so do procedures for buying and selling cars here. However, you might be pleasantly surprised that the process is more straightforward than you might have thought.  

Complete with the list of documents you need to provide, this article will help speed along your process toward your next vehicle.

Reader question: Can I buy or sell a car in France if I have a foreign driving licence?

On the topic of driving, you might be considering heading off to your summer holidays by car this year. With the school year finished, families across France are hitting the roads to make their way to la campagne for some much needed R&R.

Each year, France’s traffic watchdog, Bison Futé, keeps us informed of what to expect in terms of road congestion, offering four different levels of traffic intensity to help you decide whether to pack that extra snack and book for the long ride. 

When – and where – to avoid driving on France’s roads this summer

If you have a television in your living room, you might be able to look forward to saving €138 this upcoming year. The French government recently announced plans to scrap the TV licence, but if you’ve wondered what that money actually goes to and why it might be done away with, you’re not alone.

The TV licence actually raises over €3.7 billion a year for national public broadcasting, so the decision to get rid of it has not been met with applause from everyone. We’ve explained exactly what your €138 had been going towards, and answered your question of how public media in France might end up being funded in the future without the TV licence to help

EXPLAINED: What France’s TV licence pays for and what might replace it?

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DRIVING

Plans to create ‘car-share only’ lanes on French motorways

A consultation has begun on creating 'car-share only' lanes on certain French motorways, in order to encourage drivers to begin carpooling.

Plans to create 'car-share only' lanes on French motorways

Certain lanes on French motorways including the A1, A13 and both the interior and exterior ringroad in Paris could soon be reserved for buses, taxi and cars with more than one person inside.

The government consultation has been launched into plans for six roads in the Île de France region – the A1, A4, A13, A14, A86 and the Paris périphérique – after the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Sections of some of these roads (mainly the Paris périphérique) will be used during the Games as ‘voies olympiques’ (Olympic lanes) during the Games – reserved for athletes, media and others accredited by the Paris Olympic committee at peak times. They will be equipped with traffic cameras and extra signage for this purpose.

However, once the Games are over, Paris authorities have proposed not simply returning the lanes to normal, but instead reserving them for shared vehicles – buses, taxis and any car with two or more people inside.

It will not involve building new lanes, simply reserving certain lanes for shared vehicles. The proposal includes a 12km section of the A1 between Charles de Gaulle airport and the Stade de France and a 13km section of the A13 between Rocquencourt and the Saint-Cloud tunnel.

Paris City Hall has been involved in testing several different methods of ‘carpooling cameras’ that can show how many people are in a vehicle, but it is not yet clear how the shared-vehicle lanes would work.

The French government is trying to encourage car-sharing as a way to lower France’s energy consumption, offering €100 to anyone who signs up to a car-share platform.

You can have your say on the consultation here

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