All travelers that book a trip with France Just For You receive a unique personal guidebook (in both printed and digital formats) that is 100% customized for your trip. If you’ve visited France on a self-drive tour with France Just For You, you will probably still have your personalized guidebook as a lifelong souvenir.
We mail out the printed edition to you a month before the start date of your trip, and it contains a wealth of information. This includes:
- Your unique itinerary based on your interests and our expertise
- Information and tips about cultural and social specifics of the French people
- Books you might enjoy reading and movies you might like, relating to France and/or to the theme of your trip or the regions you’ll be visiting
- Essential French phrases to help you during your trip
- Maps and directions to your accommodation and places of interest
This video tells you more about the France Just For You guidebook.
We also thought you may be interested to know how each guidebook is produced!
We work with local printers Éditions La Simarre here in the Loire Valley, where we’re based. It’s a family business composed of a small team of three: Jean-Christophe (the owner), Laurent and Babeth (the employees - also husband and wife). Laurent and Babeth have been working there since Jean-Christophe’s parents were running the company. Jean-Christophe’s mother continues helping out.
Our trip planner, Clélia, went to visit them recently to find out more about how they work.
Laurent explained that all their clients are treated the same, whether they’re individuals or big companies. They give the same care and attention to detail to every job.
He also explained the different steps involved in getting each France Just For You guidebook printed:
1. When he receives the digital version of the guidebook from us, he sends specific high-quality printing instructions to a huge printer.
2. Before the printing starts, Laurent always ventilates the block of paper so the sheets don’t stick to each other. It’s a real technique that can’t be improvised!
3. The book pages are printed 4x4 on a big format paper
4. When all pages are printed, Laurent trims them to size, a process we call “massicotage”. He uses a different, even bigger machine for that. By now, Laurent knows the France Just For You guidebook measurements by heart, since he personally has already made 150 books for us!
5. Once cut, all the pages have to be bound together (“le reliage”) and that’s Babeth’s job, which she does by hand. First she makes two holes with a hammer in the front and back cover. Then she has to make small holes in every page (there are up to 450 pages per book) with a special small machine, before linking them together with a metallic spiral that she presses hard to close. She finishes by adding the elastic that holds the book closed.
6. Babeth wraps each book in craft paper for delivery.
7. Clélia goes to La Simarre printers twice a week during high season to pick up the books.
8. Back at the office we add the books to the travel packs and then mail them to our travelers about a month before they arrive in France.
Clélia said of her experience: “I have to say, I was impressed by the tailor-made nature of the work they do to print the guidebooks. It’s very similar to what we want to deliver to our travelers when planning their trip.”
Handmade, tailor-made, a local company, a family business... it all sounds a lot like France Just For You, doesn’t it?!
If you like the idea of having us plan your self drive tour of France - just for you - we warmly invite you to browse our sample France package tours. All of these can be customized to suit your interests and preferences!