First time in Paris? Here are 10 Tips for Pre-Planning…

Pre-Paris

  1. Spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish on this trip – get in as many famous sights as possible, shop til you drop or wine and dine?  This drives how you will spend your time and allows you to focus planning your itinerary and wardrobe accordingly.
  2. Book your dream dinner online, if possible, as soon as you have your itinerary set.  If they don’t have an online option, make sure when you get to your hotel you ask the concierge to book for you.  I use La Fourchette for online bookings.
  3. When booking your room take into consideration if you sleep late – then don’t book a room with a balcony because the early morning trash pick-up will drive you insane!  Read about my favorite hotels in the 6th arrondissement (cool cafes and brasseries) for recommendations.
  4. Exchange enough money into Euro’s for taxi money for the ride to/from the airport once in Paris.  Some exchange banks in the US airports give you the option where they will buy back your unused Euro’s upon your return without a fee.
  5. Pack a small folding bag into your luggage for items purchased abroad because you can’t take a bag larger than a large purse or backpack back on the plane with you.  European security will not allow you to carry-on the same bag you did going over. 
  6. Check to make sure the battery is working on your digital camera and that you have a large memory stick so you can click away with reckless abandon.
  7. Skype is a great way to keep in touch from Europe for free.  Download and test before the trip.
  8. Check your cell phone plans to make sure you have International calling included or purchase a throw away phone when you arrive.
  9. Start brushing up on your French or get busy learning the basics with Rosetta Stone or use a free App on your cell phone.  I use FrenchLITE by iTranslate on the go and for the Paris transportation info I use RATPLite – both are free Apps.
  10. As soon as you book your ticket, check to make sure your passport has not expired and then make sure you pack it in your carry-on!  If so, go online for info on US Passports.

2 Comments
  • Gray
    Posted at 13:11h, 21 September Reply

    Quote: “Pack a small folding bag into your luggage for items purchased abroad because you can’t take a bag larger than a purse back on the plane with you. European security will not allow you to carry-on the same bag you did going over. ”

    –Are you KIDDING??? This could be a dealbreaker for me. I don’t plan to purchase anything in Paris, beyond maybe a scarf but I always bring my knapsack on the plane with me so I can carry my valuables (aka my DSLR camera gear) with me (not to mention snacks, water, a book to read, etc.). I will not check my camera in my suitcase. Please tell me you’re kidding.

    • Weekend In Paris
      Posted at 14:06h, 21 September Reply

      You can carry a purse and another item, but not larger than a large purse – another words, large enough for your camera, but not a typical suitcase we carry aboard US aircraft. That is why I pack in an expandable suitcase to check every item not necessary on the way back and then have a spare small bag with my purse for essentials.
      Does this help clarify and ease your worry?
      Hope so!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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