The French city of Paris boasts around 83 million foreign visitors every year. This makes France one of the most visited countries in the world.
If you’re planning on becoming a tourist there soon yourself, you might want to know beforehand what things to avoid and tips on what to do while there.
Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when planning a trip to Paris.
Don’t Look Like a Complete Tourist
Selfie sticks, cargo pants, huge backpacks, and tennis shoes are all things that can make you stand out as a tourist.
Unfortunately, this can attract the unwanted attention of scam artists and others who might want to steal your belongings or money.
Do Blend In
Dress in simple, and well-coordinated outfits. Wear nice jeans and a top with an accessory like a hat or a scarf.
Pair this outfit with fashionable sneakers, flats, or dress shoes. This way you can look nice while still being comfortable enough to walk around town. And you’ll also fit in nicely with the locals.
Don’t Keep Purchasing Water Bottles
Many tourists end up spending a fortune in water bottles on their trip. They’re available all over the city and be very tempting when you’re thirsty.
The problem is that buying multiple water bottles every day can get expensive, especially if you’re planning on a long vacation in the city.
Do Fill Up at The Water Fountains
One tip if you’re looking at saving some cash, is to bring refillable plastic water bottles. There are free water fountains located throughout the city on busy pathways called Wallace Fountains.
The cast iron Wallace Fountains have a unique look and resemble women holding up the fountain. The idea was from Charles-Auguste Lebourg, and Richard Wallace funded the project in 1872.
Don’t Assume Everyone Knows English
You can’t assume that everyone in Paris knows English so knowing the local language could be to your advantage.
Even if they can communicate with you in English, greeting them with a French phrase is often appreciated.
Do Know Common Travel Phrases
Knowing a few simple phrases in French will help you feel more confident when traveling in this foreign country and will improve your trip.
Some basic things to know how to say would be to introduce yourself, find out where something is, and to ask if someone speaks English.
Find some phrases that you think would be the most helpful and practice them. You can work on them alone or with others who are going on this trip with you.
Here’s more information on helpful common travel phrases for your Parisian vacation complete with videos to help you practice!
Don’t Waste Money on an Expensive Hotel When Planning a Trip to Paris
Hotels in the city can be expensive, especially if you’re purchasing multiple rooms for everyone in your family. The prices might get so high that you might feel as if going for the lest expensive hotel is your best (and only) option.
This can result in you booking mediocre to low-quality lodging that you aren’t happy with.
Do Utilize the Locals for Your Stay
There are so many different sites out now that can help you find vacation rental properties to stay in. These homes or apartments feel homey and comfortable which isn’t what you always get with a hotel stay.
If you have a larger family, look for homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms to suit your needs.
They might also come with a kitchen, utensils, and cooking equipment so that you have the opportunity to purchase food and cook it where you are staying.
These local homes usually run equal to if not cheaper than many of the hotel options in the area you’re looking to get a hotel in. This is a way to really make the most out of your family vacation.
Airbnb.com, VRBO.com, and HomeAway.com are all good options to start your search.
Don’t Get Stuck In Traffic
The traffic in Paris can often get really bad. If you’re planning on renting a car or getting a cab, you can get stuck in traffic and spending extra cash on gas or the fare.
Another problem with trying to get transportation in the city is that it can be difficult to get a taxi to stop for you. There are a lot of tourists in the city and only so many taxi drivers.
Do Use the Metro or Try Walking Around
One way to avoid the terrible Paris traffic is to use the metro system. The railway is underground and runs on a timely schedule so you don’t have to worry about traffic at all.
This means you can get to your intended destination normally much quicker than the alternative means of transportation. Using the metro system can also be easier on your wallet.
There is a route planner and scheduler so that you can plan out your trip in advance. This will make the whole process smoother when you get there.
Other ways to get around are by walking or by renting a city bike. This can be useful if you want to get a good look at the city while getting to your destination.
Plan Now so You Can Have Fun Later
Planning a trip to Paris requires a good amount of work and preparation before you leave, but if you follow these tips, you can focus on having a fantastic trip while you’re there.
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