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French Travel-Related Words and Phrases

1 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of French Words and Phrases for Traveling

Traveling in French-speaking countries can be confusing if you can't read the signs or understand the instructions you're given. Learn some useful travel-related words and phrases in French before you begin your trip. You'll save time and reduce your frustration level.

Here are a few general travel-related terms that everyone should know.

passeport [m] (passport)
valise [f] (suitcase)
une valise (suitcase)
coffre [m] (trunk)
un sac à dos (backpack)
un sac (bag)
des bagages (baggage)
un billet (uhn bee-yeh) (ticket)
une réservation (reservation)

Making travel arrangements

While traveling in a French-speaking country, you often need to make or change your travel arrangements. Whether you are scheduling a flight or a train trip, the following words can help you with the reservation and ticket-buying process.

aller-retour [m] (round trip ticket)
aller-simple [m] (one-way ticket)
siège [m] (syezh) (seat)
gare [f] (train station)
train [m] (train)
vol [m] (flight)
aéroport (airport)

The following phrases are some of the most common questions that you might need to ask when making travel arrangements in French-speaking countries.

  • Je voudrais réserver un billet (I would like to reserve a ticket.).

  • J’aimerais prendre le vol de sept heures. (I would like to take the 7:00 flight.)

  • Je voudrais acheter deux billets pour New York. (I would like to purchase two tickets to New York.)

  • A quelle heure faut-il arriver? (What time should I arrive?)

  • Combien coûte le billet? (How much does the ticket cost?)

  • Nous avons trois valises et deux sacs à main. (We have three suitcases and two handbags.)

  • Est-ce que je peux prendre ce sac en cabine avec moi? (Can I take this bag as a carry-on?)

  • Avez-vous un rabais pour étudiants? (Do you have any discounts for students?)

At the hotel

Although many of the larger hotels in French-speaking countries have English-speaking staff, you rarely find that in the smaller hotels and in the smaller towns. The following phrases can help you make or change your hotel reservations.

  • Quelles chambres avez-vous de disponible? (What rooms do you have available?)

  • Je voudrais une chambre pour deux. (I’d like a double room.)

  • Est-ce que la chambre a la climatisation? (Does the room have air conditioning?)

  • Je voudrais une chambre avec douche et WC. (I'd like a room with a private shower and toilet.)

  • Je voudrais avoir un lit à une place. (I’d like to have a twin-size bed.)

  • Nous voulons annuler notre réservation. (We want to cancel our reservation.)

  • Service en chambre, s’il vous plaît. (Room service, please.)

  • Quel hôtel est moins cher? (Which hotel is cheaper?)

  • Est-ce que l’hôtel est loin de la gare? (How far is the hotel from the train station?)

  • Vous devez régler la note avant midi. (You need to check out by 12:00.)

Travel-related verbs

When talking about traveling in French-speaking countries, it helps to know the right verbs to express what you want to do. The following are common French travel-related verbs.

voyager (to travel)
rester (to stay)
voir (vwahr) (to see)
réserver (to reserve)
annuler (to cancel)
arriver (to arrive)
partir (to leave)
chercher quelqu’un (to pick up someone [from the airport, for example])
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