Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood exemplify the great nation of France, in its people, its food, its outlook on life, power and work. France is the most visited country in the world, and for great reason. With some of the world's greatest historical monuments, richest museums, most delicious food, France is also one of the most beautiful countries on earth. From the narrow alleyways of Paris's Left Bank, to the graceful Dordogne, to the yachts and summer beach parties on the Riviera, to the French Alps and the wine countries of the Loire Valley, Burgundy and Bordeaux, France delights the eyes as well as the rest of the senses.
The three large US international carriers all offer multiple flights direct from the US into Paris' Charles de Gaulle (CDG). Delta, American, and United all fly from most of their main hubs, providing multiple flights a day with potential for award travel. Delta's partnership with Air France add numerous additional direct flights to Paris per day available to Skyteam members, while American and United points holders can also look at connections via their Oneworld and Star Alliance partners.
Summer availability in particular can get very tight, so we recommend beginning to search for award ticket availability as many months in advance as is practical. In addition to using standard carriers, we recommend also considering Alaska MileagePlan points for discount AA award bookings, as that can be a great use of Alaska miles. Additionally, Singapore Krisflyer award points can be used for Star Alliance awards as well as Virgin Atlantic flights.
If you have a lot of Chase Ultimate Rewards points an interesting option is to transfer them to Aer Lingus and connect to Paris (or other cities) via Dublin. And high value American Express Membership Rewards redemptions can be made via Air France, Delta & Singapore Air for travel to France.
You might be surprised, but really the art of optimizing miles and points involves knowing when NOT to use them, and instead use cash. (Domestic US flights are often an example). While AwardSecrets are huge fans of award travel, travel within France is often easier and cheaper by rail. SNCF, France's national train service, operates an extensive and convenient network all around the country. Train times can often rival flying time, and train tickets are often reasonably priced.
There can be some extraordinary value hotel awards to be found in France. We see award availability in early summer at the incredibly chic Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme for EUR €931 per night, or 30,000 World of Hyatt points, an incredible value of 3.5 cents per points. Note that Hyatt is a transfer partner of Chase points. Marriott members may consider the Hotel de Berri in Paris' classy 8th arrondissement is a good deal for EUR €452 or 85,000 points. And if you're heading to Cannes for the Film Festival, try the Carlton Intercontinental for 60,000 IHG points or EUR €250.
We have 3 tips for what not to miss in France
Tip #1: Cheese. Charles de Gaulle is famous for saying "How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?"
Tip #2: Wine. Many of the world's finest and most famous wine estates are in France.
Tip #3: Time. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Linger. Take 2 hour meals. Nap, Enjoy