The key to planning a great French trip is a great French travel book. It not only can help you establish an itinerary, but you can also decide on lodging, dining, and attractions for while you are there. Here are the most indispensable travel guides for your next journey to France.
Rick Steves tells it like it is, and his guide has loads of practical and useful information, not just about the basics like lodging, but also about a country's culture and what to expect. What is great is he will tell you about underrated destinations you might never visit, and the overrated ones that are a waste of time.
Michelin's Green Guide is the absolute bible of French travel. It is especially useful if you aren't quite sure where to stop along the route (it has ratings of locations such as "worth a journey" or "interesting.") The Michelin guides are probably more reliable than any others when it comes to a frank review. A must-have!
France Eyewitness Travel Guide is one of the best overall books about this country around. The best part of this book is all of the pictures, which fill much of each page. The book also has a "visual glossary" of territorial cuisine, as well as floor plans for various attractions.
This France guidebook is light on the images but heavy on the details and content. This is an ideal choice if you want historical information about French destinations, as well as exhaustive listings of lodging, dining, and attractions in France.
This is a classic, updated every year. It has all of the basics and it is a must to tuck into your suitcase. The newer versions also have great extras, like more pictures (desperately needed for years), maps, and magazine-style features with trip ideas in France.
The Frommer's France travel guidebook does a great job saying what's great and what can be skipped. It also provides extensive information about what to see and do in France, as well as great pricing information.