Travel Tuesdays {Getting to Paris}...

So you have your ticket to Paris.  You are dreaming about croissants and men in berets but have you even thought about money?  I was twenty when I moved to Germany with 500 dollars in my pocket {at that age paying for my own plane ticket seems amazing, let alone saving up $500 while living on my own!}  Sadly that 500 dollars did not transfer over to Euros so pleasantly.  After the transfer I had about 350 Euros.  So check the currency exchange rates to help take away some of the guess work.  

Credit card companies are also another good place to check in with.  Any cards you plan on taking with you need to be contacted about your impending trip.  To make sure you card will work in France and that they do not turn it off because of suspicious transactions.  Look on the back of the card for words like Star or Cirrus.  These are usually internationally accepted but check with the card company just to be sure.  Credit and debit cards are the cheapest way to transfer money. 

Travelers checks may work for some but I have never needed them.  I have always used atm's to get cash with any American card {and I had a bank from a tiny farm town so if my card works-yours should too}   When we were in France we didn't even need cash that much.  We used our debit card automatically and because we bank online and we had our laptop, we could check our balance after every day's transactions to make sure we didn't let the transfer exchange mess up our account {which has happened to me before and can be easy to do}

Parlez-vous francais?  I wished I had tried to learn just a little bit of French before I went.  I was so consumed with the wedding and wrapping everything up that honestly I didn't have time but if I had I would have used Live Mocha.  It is totally free {unless you wanna take the $10.00 travel course}  I really love it and use it now to brush up on my German.

So let's see...We have our tickets, money, and we are learning some French, what are we missing?  Oh yeah, passports!  These are a must.  If you don't have yours, this is something that needs to be done in advance.  It can take up to three months to process the application and get it in the mail.  You can pay extra to have it rushed and it doesn't always take so long but it's better to plan ahead.  

Have you thought about what you are going to pack?  We had to do a little tweaking to Ryan's every day apparel.  His usually uniform of t-shirt, jeans, ball cap, and white tennis shoes is a dead giveaway of an American.  Not that this is a bad thing but it does make you stand out and gives pick pockets a good idea of who to target.  Wanna learn how to dress french?  Hip Paris is a great blog even if you aren't planning a trip to Paris anytime soon.  This blog is full of food, sites to see, and is current on what is new and happening in the city.  I still read it all the time.  Maybe I should add it to my sidebar...

Don't worry about the plane ride.  Ours was around 9 hours.  It is a long time but airplane food has come a long way and so have the movies.  We each had our own screen and a whole menu of movies to choose from.  Remember to bring some cash on the plane {dollars or euros} to pay for things like extra snacks and headphones.  I bring a book and some magazines too so I don't get too bored.  The one thing I will recommend is getting a good neck pillow.  It was so hard to sleep on the plane.  We landed in the morning and couldn't check into our hotel for 6 hours.  So it would have been nice if I had gotten some sleep on the plane.

Once you land in Paris there are three options to get you from the airport to the city.  A commuter train {are you really going to be that brave?!}, a shuttle, or an expensive taxi ride.  We choose option b- the shuttle.  I didn't even think about airport transportation until the day before we were leaving.  Please don't make that mistake!  I messed up all of our reservations and we ended up having our hotel book our return journey to avoid further mistakes.  Your hotel staff will most likely speak English, at least a little, if you email them they can probably do a better job of booking a shuttle then you can.  Or you can also find the shuttle counter at the airport and book one on the spot.  

The airport in Paris is one of the trickiest I have seen.  I found it very hard to get around.  It feels like a maze and you always feel like you are just going in circles.  Eventually you will wind around to the right part, just keep walking.  That's the best advice I can give you {and don't yell at your new husband cause you are grouchy and the time change is getting to you!}

So here we are.  Paris.  We are waiting for our shuttle to take us to the most magical city in the world.   And our story will continue next week!


  1. That's quite a trip going to Paris. I guess no matter how much we come up with a solid plan, a few things really don't go according to it. But, you've had a smooth sail going there. There are a few would-be Paris visitors who are already excited with the trip. Some are already done with saving up (whether they got it from their personal loans or from months of saving up). Others are just waiting for the plane trip!


I am a stay at home mommy so all adult conversation means I get to keep my sanity just a little bit longer...


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