General Travel Tips
Meeting New People and Seeing New Places
These tips are based on my last 8 weeks of traveling in Europe:
1. Buy/pre-order as many museum/attraction tickets online as you can.
2. Ask the taxi fare before taking off in a taxi, especially if it’s late at night or coming from an airport.
3. Charge your camera batteries every night.
4. If you have a Eurail pass and need to make reservation make them in Europe. It’s a lot less expensive.
5. If you’re climbing a few hundred steps up a tower, monument, etc. go only a clear, sunny day.
6. Learn at least Hello, Thank you, and Goodbye in the foreign language of the countries you are visiting.
7. Turn your cell phones off inside churches, museums, etc. If it rings and you must take the call, do it outside!
8. If there’s a running commentary (live or recorded), be polite and be quiet.
9. Dress appropriately and be respectful in churches.
10. If you’re traveling with children, don’t let them disrupt others around you. If they cry or throw a tantrum, take them outside.
11. If you have a complaint, do it reasonably without yelling and cursing.
12. Regarding pictures:
a. If there are signs saying “No pictures”, don’t take pictures! There’s a reason for the signs. Do you really, really need that picture of Mona Lisa to prove you’ve seen it?
b. Learn how to use your camera before the trip. If there are signs saying “No flash”, make sure you know how to use the camera without it.
c. If you see a couple or family with one person taking pictures of the other(s), offer to take a picture of both/all of them. Maybe they’ll reciprocate.
13. Check local holidays. Since many museums and stores will be closed, you’ll need to have other plans for the day. (Most stores throughout much of Europe are closed on Sunday.)
14. Don’t try to do too much. Leave some open time to just explore.
15. You’re on vacation so relax and have a good time!
PARKING TICKETS? NOT IN AUGUST
This is a Paris parking ticket.
You’ll have a hard time getting one in August, when parking is free- unless you park in a crosswalk (the cardinal sin) in the middle of town.
I was about to pay this one, left over from early July, when I noticed it was not for my own car! Someone had slipped it under my windshield-wiper, hoping I’d pay it without looking.
The way you pay the ticket is to buy a timbre fiscal at a tabac. They look like my next photo.
You stick the large section of the stamp on the parking ticket and mail it off to the Trésor public in Rennes. The small part goes on the second page of the ticket, which you keep as proof that you paid.
To pay for parking in Paris, you buy a parking card at a tabac.
They look a bit like telephone cards.
I sometime keep the old Paris ones, as they are very lovely.
A roof with a view ... NOW CLOSED
La Samaritaine is now closed so this view is no longer available at any price!
They've made it so you are supposed to get something to eat in order to enjoy the view at the top of La Samaritaine department store. We did buy a drink, but you can snap the view from the side without coming to the attention of the "keepers"
La Fayette Gallery
Every Christmas La Fayette Gallery presented in its shop-windows the scenes with moving figures of animals, cartoon heroes and so on. It was the first place where I made a picture in Paris. Here I had my first adventure in the city too. It’s real local custom for me. :-))
Always have your money in a safe location and in additon best to keep one credit card stored in the safe at the hotel in case you lose your money. If your are not an EU citizen, you must have your passport on you at all times, while all EU citizens need either a passport or national identity card. Always make a photocopy of your passport and store in the hotel safe so if you ever lose it you can go to the embassy or your country and get a new one. Paris generally has a moderate climate and although it does snow occassionally in the winter, it really gets extremely cold, while summers are warm but rarely excessively hot. If going in the winter bring warm clothes, but not excessively heavy, while in the spring or fall dress in layers as the weather can be variable. In Paris people tend to be more formal than in most other cities so avoid being too casual as you will stand out as a tourist. That doesn't mean you need to be overdressed, however a dress shirt, jeans, and leather shoes is common for Parisians to wear.