I am SO excited about today’s post. While it’s not my Paris Travel Guide (don’t worry – that is definitely on its way!), it’s some really important tips for traveling to Paris, which I learned on my very first trip this past fall! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my mom and I embarked on the most amazing European adventure in October, and I’ve already posted my Venice Travel Guide!
Paris was absolutely amazing. I remember telling my mom, “This doesn’t feel real,” because everything seems straight out of a movie, and is simply stunning! And yes, it really does look like the Pinterest photos! In fact, we loved it so much that I believe we’re already trying to add it to our schedule for 2019 (fingers crossed)! Now, let’s dive into my tips for traveling to Paris.
1. Exchange Your Money in the United States
My mom and I went back and forth on this for weeks, and ultimately decided to exchange our money once we arrived in Europe. Let me tell you – that was a mistake. Each time we arrived at the exchange counters I think I experienced physical reactions upon hearing just how much money we were losing! We knew that we would lose some money, but it was worse than we anticipated. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. dollar isn’t worth much in Europe, so you’ll have a better exchange rate if you order Euros from your bank at home.
2. Bring a French Dictionary
If you’re familiar with the French language, then you can skip this step. However, if you’re not – I highly advise bringing a french dictionary on your trip. Aside from “au revoir” and “merci,” my mom and I’s command of the French language is very minimal, and resulted in some interesting exchanges! While wrapping up dessert at a delicious French restaurant, I said “un note, s’il vous plaît,” and ended up ordering a second crème brûlée! It was actually a hilarious experience and luckily the waiter was SO nice and understanding! While I would have gladly eaten it again – knowing the proper way to ask for the check would have beneficial!
3. Be Prepared for Tiny Living Quarters
This tip can apply to all of Europe, but my mom and I experienced it the most in Paris. While we had been warned ahead of time, I don’t think I was prepared for just how small the living quarters can be! Luckily our hotel was still very nice and lovely, but it was definitely the smallest room I’ve ever stayed in. Hopefully you’re traveling with someone you get along with, because will be extremely close together!
4. Update Your Uber App
Now, I highly recommend walking as much as possible in Paris – but for those times when you’re just too exhausted (which will come), you’ll definitely want to Uber. This goes back to tip #3, but my mom and I tried taking the French subway, and it was so difficult for us to understand (for some reason Italian transport seemed much easier haha)! Being able to rely on Uber was such a lifesaver, and allowed us take in the gorgeous Parisian views at a much faster pace.
Are there any other tips for traveling to paris that you’d like to share?!
Photos by Lauren Oliver (myself)