Language

Many people in the bigger European towns and cities speak English, especially airports, railway stations, hotels and restaurants. 
 
As a very general rule, the more rural it gets, the less English spoken. I've only a very rudimentary knowledge of the French language but haven't yet been in a situation where I couldn't make myself understood. Eventually!  
 
The more you TRY to speak French, the more French people will accommodate your failings. With a lot of wild gesticulation and charade you will usually get the information you need and will have enjoyed a great time in getting it. It's all part of the adventure.