Let me start by saying on our Paris trip we were moving at the speed of light before the trip started, and I barely did any research ahead of time. This is what I wish I would have known.
1. POWER CONVERTER
Las Vegas Ladies, I am sure you will understand this: you will need a CONVERTER! There is a major difference in a converter and an ADAPTOR when it comes to having a working U.S. hair dryer! The same goes for the hot rollers. For me, these two appliances make the difference between “chic-stylish-Las-Vegas-designer look” and “frizzy-awful-7th-grade look.” When I plugged the rollers in they started smoking like there was a piece of toast stuck in the bottom of the toaster, and my blow dryer was actually blowing sparks! I’ve never seen this in my entire life! I’m seriously going to have to bury my dryer and hot rollers….such a sad feeling. In the name of teaching be sure you don’t have French rookie hair like this….
2. DON’T RENT A CAR
Fortunately, we did not.
Public transportation is plentiful in Paris, and if you pick even a decent hotel location, walking is so convenient and you won’t miss the beautiful details that whizzing by in a car don’t catch!
Besides, look at the size of this car compared to our dear friend Boyd!
For the best transport mode EVER in France, see our upcoming blog on “TIPS to Paris!”
3. CHANGE MONEY IN THE AIRPORT
We thought this would be simple, but between the language barrier and the fact that not all banks provide this service, this would have been much easier. Many cafés have a 10 euro minimum for plastic transactions, and this little rule prevented me from consuming more many pastries. (Maybe that’s a good thing!?!? My trainer says so each time I’m pushing up!)
4. FIND OUT WHAT YOU ARE EATING
“Squab” means pigeon… Enough said! There’s an app called Word Lens that will come in really handy so that you don’t squabble over eating dirty birds too. We didn’t learn about word lens until we were back on American soil. Let us know how it works. Supposedly you can hold your phone camera over anything in one language and it translates it into another language even in the same font style! So cool and it would help your meals taste a lot better.
On a more pleasant note, these cupcakes are actually bath salts! Careful not to wash out your mouth with soap not meaning to.
5. LEARN SOME BASIC FRENCH PHRASES
“May I use your ladies room?” or “I would like a glass of Chardonnay!” or “Do you take credit cards?”
6. BRING LAYERS OF CLOTHING
Similar to Vegas, the weather can change dramatically from morning to evening in Paris. Wear light layers to stay comfortable.
This is really all you need…
Overall, we found everyone to be very nice and helpful, despite American stereotyping (though there were some stereotypes I did find to be true!). The rumor about the French being rude to Americans we just did not find to be true. I am sure it has a lot to do with how they are being treated. We did witness one American party ordering in a restaurant that really embarrassed us. Guess what they were doing!?!?
Share your thoughts and trials others should avoid in Paris. Comment below.