Thursday, 5 April 2012

Things to Bring on 1.5 Weeks in Paris, Sightseeing

I went to Paris not too long ago and I ended up bringing way too much stuff. I was just going to use my suitcase as carry-on luggage because there is no way I'm paying the extortionate prices of check-in luggage. Anyway, my suitcase was quite an awkward shape so when me, my mother and brother were leaving to come back to England, as the woman checked the size of our 'carry-on' luggage, it did not meet the requirements...we somehow meddled our way to make it carry-on but it was a moment I would not like to relive, holding up the veeery long queue, the angry stares...

1) Bring a secure suitcase that doesn't expand a lot when you put more stuff in for hand luggage!
I would recommend that you get a suitcase reasonably small, to see the requirements of size for hand luggage, check your plane company's website.

The problem with the first suitcase is that if you don't fill it up all your stuff falls all over the place and when you buy things at your destination, it gets bigger, whereas with the second suitcase, it's compact so you can try to put as much stuff in there and it won't expand!

2) Bring a list and a map!
The map prices in Paris tended to be a bit..iffy. Luckily for me, I came prepared and I just borrowed a Paris sightseeing book from the library and used the brilliant map it had! As we did go for sightseeing, before we left, me and my mother conjured up a list of places we want to see. This meant that we avoided disappointment (almost) when we left to come back home and we knew we saw everything we wanted to see! I'm not sure if all maps come with this already, but get a map that shows you the Parisian metro links and what not, it makes life a lot easier!

3) Bring more than one camera 
Tragedy may strike. You may lose the only camera you have. Or it may run out of battery and you have no way of charging it! It happens so don't think it won't happen to you. I only recently got my Olympus bridge camera so when me, my mother and brother went, we were old school and used the camera's on our crappy mobile's. Actually, my mam's phone's camera is sort of very good so I don't knock it! Good thing with us is that we had three different camera's at hand, so it wasn't that bad if my mam's camera ran out of battery, we had backups, bad backups but backups nevertheless! If you travel a lot, I would definitely invest in a very good camera! You'll simply chirp when you look back on the photo's and think 'how did I ever get by?'

4) Don't bring too much clothing!
It is almost guaranteed that if you bring too much clothing on holiday, you're not gonna wear everything. I had this problem, I packed too much and bought too much in Paris hence the suitcase dilemma. Think strategically. Pick you're favourite pair of jeans that aren't heavy, I love the Topshop MOTO ones, pick maybe 2-3 tops that are versatile, a pair of shorts, a skirt, tights, a jumper/cardigan, wear your coat on the way to the airport and you're good to go. Obviously, don't forget underwear and socks and pyjamas! You don't want to bring too much, why would you when you can splash the cash in one of the fashion capitals of the world. Bring an extra pair of shoes if you would like. If you're going for sightseeing purposes, bring trainers or something comfortable because your feet will hurt like hell! Before I left for Paris, I was worried about my clothing that it wouldn't be 'fashion forward' and the French would judge me. They don't care. So if that was a worry for you, let it slide.

5) Bring Toiletries!
Don't forget your beloved toothpaste, toothbrush, loofah, shower gel and other cleaning essentials. If you forget something, don't cry about it, French people need to get clean to so there will be whatever you need just waiting for you. The only thing you shouldn't forget is makeup! Finding the exact products that work on your face can be hard in a foreign country, so just don't do it! I still have the French shower gel that I bought, no one has used it up...

Here's a useful list of junk to put in the trunk... *Note, if you're staying at a budget hotel, bring a travel sized shampoo and conditioner, those hotels tend to be a little steep on the price front!

6) Bring Knowledge
Definitely bring some knowledge about where you're staying. When I went, me and my companions would of saved a ton of money if we knew that there was a Lidl not too far from our hotel. Instead we went to an overpriced grocery store to buy food. Just knowing the area a little before you leave can make your experience so much easier. If you don't want to do that, spend time exploring in the first few days where you're may find some *leprechauns!
*Leprechauns are unlikely in France.

7) Bring a Phrase Book!
This is such an important thing to bring. Before even leaving for France, I would try to memorise some basic words and phrases such as 'Je ne parle pas Francais' (I don't speak French) and 'Parlez vous Anglais?' (Do you speak English?) I still remember these phrases because I just made myself remember. Don't expect everyone to speak English, don't be that person! Even if you speak French awfully, trust me when I say they'll appreciate your effort instead of just bawling at them in English and expecting them to understand. Most people that I came into contact with did speak English but the French are a proud nation, respect that and get a phrase book! *We used the one below!

8) Bring Money
No brainer huh? My mother ended up spending way too much money on our trip. Worth it nevertheless but still too much money. I would recommend you plan everyday if you're into that so you avoid overspending. We kind of just went with it, strangely most of the money was spent on food. If you want to stick to a budget, avoid going to 'fancy' restaurants or restaurants all together! As said in the 'knowledge' section, be aware of any grocery stores near you! My hotel had a microwave to use free of charge so we could of bought microwave meals from Lidl but we were naive and young! I would avoid going to 'budget' restaurants such as McDonalds. It may seem like an easy meal but you'll just end up feeling groggy and tired, as I said, Lidl is big in France (I think) and their prices are great! Don't bring a set amount of money and no credit card! Just make sure your debit/credit card is suitable with the banks they have in Paris.

9) Bring Chargers
 And an adapter! You will need to charge your devices. You will.

10) (Not really a bring but) Go to Disney Land!!!
My first time at Disney Land and it was the most magical experience ever! Don't even question it, you're in Paris, go to Disney Land! I could of just stayed there forever. Fork out a little money if you have to but if you do not go, I will be very disappointed, Paris will be disappointed and worst of all, you will be disappointed!

I took this one with my mam's phone....I'm so proud!!!!

So that raps up this post!!! I hope you have an amazing time in Paris, or wherever you're going! 

Thanks for reading xoxo

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