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.
Book your dream dinner online, if possible, as soon as you have your itinerary set. If your epicurean delight does not have an option to book online, make sure you contact the hotel concierge to book for you. I use La Fourchette for online bookings.
When booking your room take into consideration if you sleep late or a light sleeper. If so, do not book a room with a balcony because the early morning trash pick-up will drive you insane!
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.
Pack a small folding bag (see photo of green and purple pattern foldable tote) into your luggage for souvenirs purchased abroad because European security will not allow you to carry-on the same bag you did going over. For example, the luggage photo shows my two lime green Victorinox pieces that both were carried aboard to Paris, but were not approved for carry-on for the way back to the US. Instead, I carried the green and purple tote, and my purse on the return trip and checked the rest.
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.
Skype is a great way to keep in touch from Europe for free. Download and test before the trip. If you have an iPhone, use WiFi and Facetime with loved ones.
Check your cell phone plans to make sure you have International calling included or purchase a throw away phone when you arrive.
Start brushing up on your French! 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 Kemtro – both are Apps available through iTunes.
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. Make copies, one to leave at home and one to put in the hotel safe in case you lose yours while abroad.