Luggage and bags:
Depending on where your going to stay I suggest pack light. It doesnt mattter or your luggage or bags but carrying everything around regarless of traveling through the country side, or city hopping, carrying a large amount of luggage is a major pain in the ass.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable shoes are a must since you will be doing more walking then a New Yorker! ..and you want to walk, the sites are to fantastic to miss not to. Also bring evening shoes in case your going to go and hit it up at some clubs. During the summer a light jacket is all you need and of course a beret to go with that dashing french scarf you'll be forced to buy at the Galleries Lafayette!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Luckily we didn't need anything major on our trip just some midol and bandaides. And ladies i highly suggests you bring your own femine products because it's very difficult looking for pain killers and tampons with all men shop keepers!
Photo Equipment: A basic 35 mm camera or a digital one will do simply fine
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring a bathing suit just in case....if you never been to the "beach" in Paris you'll be QUITE surprised lol. But I did happen to see a few couples swimming in the river- not to mention they were drunk.
Miscellaneous: Have a marvelvous time!!!!!!!!
If your feet aren't happy then you aren't happy. So it's a good idea to invest in a really great pair of walking shoes when planning a trip. Don't forget to walk around in your shoes for at least 2 weeks prior to that trip so that your shoes get a chance to form to your feet & your feet get a chance to get used to them.
Here's a great website for you: www.nordstrom.com
This should enable you to get an idea of styles and pricing. Prices seem to range from $60 - $200.
They have the following stylish walking shoes that seem to make the tops of the lists for travelers who plan to walk a great deal while in Europe:
Ecco (especially the boots)
Also excellent choices, although not on the Nordstrom website:
SAS Free Time
Photo: August 2005
Luggage and bags:
Leave space for souvenirs, very important.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfy shoes! Very important. A lot of walking goes on in Paris, and if you wear uncomfortable shoes, you will be sorry.
Photo Equipment: Bring lots of batteries / your charger / film! You will take tons of pictures. Since I was on a 11-day trip, I chose not to bring along my professional camera. For situations like these, a basic point and shoot camera will do the job. My Canon Powershot took amazing pictures!
On that note, an electrical adaptor is a must! DO NOT try and plug the wrong type of electrical cords into the walls. Bad. I found a nice adaptor by Lewis N Clark.
Miscellaneous: Lots of money, of course. You will spend more than you thought. Credit / Debit card users, make sure you call your company to let them know you will be traveling. You don't want your card to be shut off for "identity theft." Also, if you wish to use your cell phone, find a good international plan! AT&T has an add-on that works very well, at a low price.
Also remember, many of the things you want to bring are unnecessary or can be bought in Paris! Don't sweat packing too much!
I brought good walking shoes. There are lots of cobblestones that are hard on you if you wear heels. I also wore jeans and black pants. Basic neutral colors seem best if you don't want to stand out. In the winter bring a warm coat and wear a scarf. An umbrella is a must.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring basic headache and cold medicine. I got a cold while there and had trouble describing my symptoms to the pharmacist. All I knew how to say was "je suis malade". I couldn't tell her I had a sore throat. The pharmacies are clearly marked with a neon green cross.
Photo Equipment: A good camera is a must. Bring plenty of film and if you use a lithium battery, make sure to bring and extra!
Good comfortable shoes. The only way to really get to see all of Paris is to walk up and down the streets. Not to mention the walking in the museums. Sneakers will definitely set you apart from many other world travelers. A pair of comfortable walking shoes are a better choice.
Photo Equipment: You can't go to Paris without lots of film or digital memory for your camera. Don't forget that the power is different so you'll need to have a converter so you don't blow out your batteries while recharging them.
Miscellaneous: A French phrase book. You don't have to speak perfect French to communicate in Paris as many people there speak fluent English. That said, you should still consider learning a few phrases.. hello, please, thank you, etc. If you try, people will be more apt to help!
Luggage and bags:
As little and as light as possible, you will be on the move in the most exciting, electrifying city in the world.
My best purchase was a SMALL, microfiber day-bag with shoulder strap that fit snug under my arm.
Dave's "girlie-man" bag
Here went the map, kleenex (see toiletries), guidebook, pen, small digital camera and bottle of water.
Also a slim money-belt "wallet" that hid under my outer clothes for passport and money/credit cards to frustrate the thieves on the Metro, at Eiffel Tower, Pigalle, and Versailles.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good professional and broken-in walking shoes (Mephisto, Ecco, Dansko, with arch supports, whatever works for you). Don't underestimate this tip. Your feet will KILL you if you do.
Also shirts/blouses made with synthetic, wrinkle-resistant fibers. One decent black outfit for the opera, upscale dinners, etc.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Lots of Euro coins for public toilets. Don't leave the hotel without 'em. Put some kleenex in your day bag also for tp.
Photo Equipment: Hi-res (8Mb or better if possible) digital camera for personal shots, or a good solid 35mm with haze filters & lenses if you're really a serious photog.
A small portable tripod for night shots is a must unless you have the ability to freeze/turn to stone when you push the shutter - maybe "image stabilization" feature fixes this. Bring/buy beaucoup batteries or a euro rechargables kit
Also (just my opinion) don't waste valuable film or even finite digital "bits" on digital hand-held shots of the standard tourist spots like the Eiffel tower when you can download better ones anywhere, ... unless being able to "prove" you were there is important to you.
I buy high quality photos / postcards for the standard places (Eiffel, Arc, etc.)
My personal photos that I took and share here were of special, personal people, places & moments I don't want to forget.
When in doubt though, shoot it. It's amazing how much your pix and your journal mean to you a year later.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Don't forget your Metro Map
Paris Metro Map
This is for online: Paris Metro Map online
ask for a petite hard copy "plan de métro" when you buy your first carnet of 10 tickets or carte orange:
Miscellaneous: Marling Menu Master for France.... menu translator that will liberate you from English-speaking tourist traps and open up the heavenly delight of local cuisine.
A biggie: I am so glad I remembered to bring & keep a journal:
I could write feelings, impressions, and info into my journal at night in my hotel room. I forced myself to use it every day.
It was like gold to me about 6 months after I returned.
Also: Carry a small writing pad & pen at all times so you can communicate in an emergency: ("Écrivez svp?")
My favorite Paris Map - Michelin's Paris Plan et Index (resolution 1/10,000)... an excellent waterproof fold-up map with all info and just the right size.
Last (for now): a small phrase book with survival phrases in French (especially helpful in train stations under moments of stress when you forget all your French).
Good luck. Au Revoir!
Cobblestones are terrible for your feet so be sure you bring a couple of well-fitting, comfortable shoes. Interchange the shoes as necessary. However, if the pointy toe/stiletto heel look is for you (I like it too), hey, go for it. Just be careful:)
In winter (for women) it is not only necessary but also nice-looking to wear knee-high boots. However, to be practical, make sure the soles are non-skid and the heels not too high.
Luggage and bags:
I always take an extra foldable bag. You always come back with more than you left with.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: No matter what they say about not wearing tennis shoes....take them anyway. You absolutely need the MOST comfortable shoes for walking!!!
A small umbrella is an absolute necessity.
Color coordinate your wardrobe so that all the tops go with all the bottoms.
Jeans are fine. Wrinkle resistant fabrics are best. Dress in layers. It may start cool in the morning and warm up during the day.
If you are going in spring or fall...take something in case it is HOT( like a camisole)...this happened to me twice in May & Sept.and carry it with you everywhere..
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: take tylenol or excedrin with you....some of these type of over the counter meds require prescriptions in France.
Make sure you have at least one pair of comfortable walking shoes, especially if you plan to see Paris on foot. The distances between the various monuments may seem small on a map but believe me they can be miles apart.
Miscellaneous: If you plan to stay for more than 3 days, it's worth buying a Paris Travel card and a Museum Pass.
The travel card is valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days and can be used in the metro and the buses. If your card covers all zones you can actually use it to commute between Paris and your airport, which will be a lot cheaper than taking a taxi or a coach.
The Museum Pass is for 1, 3 and 5 days and not only can be used in the museums but many other monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Conciergerie etc
If you are from the UK, you can purchase them from the website below.
Leather boots are a favorite of women during the winter months as they serve the dual function of keeping feet warm & dry while also looking fashionable. As stated before, this was in response to the age-old question of what they're wearing in Paris. THIS is what they're wearing in Paris. Basically, people seem to wear what they like, the things they feel best express themselves. Thankfully, fashion in Paris is not so rigid that there is a code of what one must wear in order to fit in. But the message stated here is do dress nicely and do dress what pleases you.
Here they're wearing lace-up boots, buckled boots, funky two-toned boots, boots with skirts, with pants, with capris, jeans tucked in, and even the fashionista pointy-toed ones like I saw on the young pretty Asian woman in the Metro.
Photos: February 2006
People are always asking "What are they wearing in Paris?", I suppose this is because they want to fit in. So in response to that I took some "fashion photos" of things that were prevalent in the city. Last trip, I noticed a plethora of what we call "Chucks" or "Chuck Taylors" here in America(for the Chuck Taylor logo on the side), those classic basketball shoes made by Converse, those shoes favored by the punks when they can't afford expensive boots or shoes by Doc Marten.
I was gratified to see them again in this city along with some brightly colored, very european sneakers. The first 3 photos were taken in the Place de la Bastille, the 4th photo was taken in the Marais. The 5th photo of the 66euro Chucks & 100euro gold Nikes was snapped at Ici Courir on the rue de Rivoli in the Marais, also.
Photos: February 2006
Make sure to where extra socks, especially for all the walking that you will do! My wife has two pairs of socks on and she still got blisters!!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Cream for the blisters (fortunately another VT member, tini58de, gave us some cream that helped with the pain!)
Photo Equipment: More film and a video camera if you have one
Miscellaneous: Band-aids for those blisters!
Luggage and bags:
small day pack
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: sturdy comfortable shoes...you will do lots of walking
I took one pair of comfy running type sneakers and a
good pair of walking sandals--brand name "Born". I
had purchased "Clarks" but prior to the trip found them
uncomfortable. The "Born" sandals were comfortable from
day one. You can find them on the "Net" I happened to
find them at TJ Max.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Remember the 3 ounce rule on the airline---its inforced all
over the US and Europe.
If you forget somethng there are Pharmacies all over town.
Photo Equipment: A digital camera is the way to go!
Miscellaneous: I visited in May---I was glad I brought one lightweight sweater and
jacket---evenings and early mornings were cool.
My observations on what people were wearing:
real honest-to-god cowboy boots or fashion-statement boots a la Robert Altman’s film Ready to Wear (Pret-a-Porter). Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get any photos of the cowboy boots - pity. As always, you can find boots of all kind during the winter months worn by Parisians. This is what some of the cool suede boots looked like this winter.
Again, enjoy the "fashion photos"!
Photos: February 2006
Luggage and bags:
Baggalini sells a fold up shopping bag that is lightweight and very useful.
They also sell a coinpurse with 5 different zippers for all that foreign currency you will be getting.
I also use their purse which I have included in one of the photos.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I bring "Finn Comfort" shoes to walk in. See http://www.finncomfort.com/Contact/index.cfm
They are comfortable leather shoes, and are handsewn and made in Germany.
If interested to know more, contact me for advice. I am posting a photo for you too.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Many vitamens here are only by prescripton in addition to 2% VAT taxes.
Bring the ones you bought on sale in the USA, as they will be much, much cheaper.
Photo Equipment: All electronic equipment in the USA is cheaper than in France.
Miscellaneous: If you want to make yourself some guacamole in Paris during your six month vacation, bring your own cans of El Paso chopped jalapeno peppers. Jalapeno peppers are a rarity here, and without that, there will be no guacamole as a welcomed break from all that cheese, wine and baguette.
Also, if you use sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish in any of your receipes, bring it, as it isn't sold here.
If you are pregnant and love dill pickles, bring that too! Parisians don't have any of that either.