18 Jan FAQ’s people ask me about Paris trip…
Q: What do I pack to wear on my trip?
A: Because I usually try to carry on my luggage on the way over and I wear purchases made once I am there, I tend to pack light. Probable wardrobe for this January trip when it’s very cold and potentially rainy includes:
- Long black light weight trench coat – wear on plane
- Black pashmina that will serve as scarf and umbrella – I don’t ever pack one because they are too difficult to use on the streets. I prefer to cover my head with a scarf – wear on plane
- Black Merrill shoes for plane and comfort shopping days
- Black or brown flat boots – will decide when I pick final color theme
- Four lightweight tanks – white and black
- One pair black dress pants
- One pair of brown dress pants
- One pair of dress jeans
- One pair of black comfortable pants to wear on plane both ways
- Two cashmere sweaters – one black, one tan
- Two colorful scarfs
- 4 pairs of nylon stockings
- hat and gloves – bring on plane since when we land we take public transport and will be waiting at cold train station for a few minutes
- One dressy blouse or sweater for dinner
The idea is to stick to a color theme that is flexible and can be incorporated into new purchases that you will want to wear immediately. Since I pack in an expandable suitcase there is plenty of room on the way back for new items.
Q: How do I get from the airport to the hotel?
A: Over the years I have tried different modes of transportation to get into Paris the quickest and most pain free ways possible. Bottom line – traffic is bad day or night and when you arrive tired it always seems to take longer than you want. Like any large city, the right taxi driver will make you or break you. Just face it, they are in charge – they are the boss and you are there for an interview. Look sheepish and they will become bored with you and talk on their cell phones really loudly laughing and insulting the idiot tourists in the backseat who have no idea the difference between a croissant and a muffin. Act cocky and they will bring you to your knees financially by taking the most circuitous route to your destination. If they like your look and attitude then you will be treated to an expeditious ride with some history and sightseeing thrown in on the side. Tip: Greet them with a warm friendly Bonjour, making eye contact and ask if they can PLEASE take you to such and such address. Also, say Merci a ton! Bottom line – respect the cabbies or pay the big bucks!
The past couple of years Gal Pals have taken to riding the train from CDG into Gare de Nord and switching to the Metro into St. Germain stops that are closest to the particular hotel we are staying at. Be aware that certain stops have a wicked lot of stairs so this also validates packing light on the way over. This process is much easier than you think and it’s an interesting way to see the real Paris. Tip: Look up train routes to your hotel online first and have them at the ready before you buy your tickets. Look like you know where you are going at all times and for heaven’s sake keep your valuables guarded – pick pockets spend all day on the trains looking for us pigeons!