Last week I visited Paris for the first time and I’m still on a high from the experience. Since getting back home, I’ve been reflecting on my trip and what I did (and should have done) to ensure my vacation was as seamless as possible. Here are my tips on how to kill it in Paris.
- Beware of sketchy Airbnb hosts.
My first day in Paris was spent trying to track down my host to get him to come check on the heater, which I later found out (by his own employee) was down before we got there. Just to paint a picture, it was 30 degrees outside that day and the apartment lead to an outdoor patio. Luckily Airbnb helped me resolve the issue and get my coins back so I’m not completely anti-Airbnb (yet), but the situation could have turned out a lot worse.
- Call your bank and phone company.
Usually I only carry cash when I travel, but something inside told me to carry my credit card in case of an emergency so I let my bank know when I would be traveling so they wouldn’t put a security lock on my account if I used it. And since I did indeed have an emergency I’m so glad I did. I wasn’t as concerned about my phone options since I’m already set up on an international plan from previous trips, but where I dropped the ball was not calling to discuss new options available. My service was so bad I could hardly even flex on the gram. I later learned that for just $25 I could have had high speed data. FAIL.
- Get your squad together.
The great thing about a squad is that everyone brings something different to the equation. I’m not sure what I brought lol but our group was a perfect match. We all got along even better than I expected. Lucky for us a part of our girl squad was Maya, whom we partnered with prior to arriving to help us plan out the details of our stay. Paris is a huge city and like most it can be easy to waste a lot of time roaming and trying to find things. Maya helped us connect with local photographers and chose aesthetically appealing locations to shoot. She also helped us get in contact with press contacts who were coordinating events for Paris Fashion Week. She was a HUGE help with resolving our Airbnb issue for which I am eternally grateful!
- Get food recommendations in advance.
Maybe it’s just me, but I was not impressed with the food choices in Paris. I spent the first two days so hangry that I actually ate McDonald’s TWICE (don’t tell my bf tho cause last time he tried to get me to eat McDonald’s as a last resort I almost took his head off). I could see why certain pipo would like French cuisine, but I like my food a lot more flavorful than what I was getting at first and there’s only so much steak-frites a girl can eat. After two days of suffering we got some recommendations and found some great spots for the next few days.
- Remember comfortable shoes are cute too.
I’m a fashion girl so a photo shoot (mini or full blown) is bound to break out wherever I go- and in Paris it did. When packing for my trip I kept in mind that there is nothing more annoying than lugging around and extra bag and stopping to change shoes because you don’t want to walk around in heels all day. I built most of my outfits around shoes I knew I would be comfortable walking through the city in like these Air Force 1’s.
- Belt Bag or Bust.
I was so paranoid about being pick-pocketed that I spent a lot of time wondering why a person was too close or too friendly and constantly checking my purse and pockets for my things. I did carry a belt bag, but it was pretty much only large enough for cash, cards, and chapstick so I had to carry a purse as well. Next time I’ll be more prepared with a bag large enough to fit my phone and passport as well.
- Go with the flow.
I traveled with planners who prepared a day-by-day hour-to-hour itinerary for our trip. I’m not that girl. So I kept an open mind and went with whatever my friends wanted to do each day. There were so many things I wanted to do and I knew I would never accomplish it all in one trip so whatever we did my attitude was “Bitch I’m in Paris!” I was down for whatever.
- Ride the metro.
I SPENT SO MUCH ON UBERS and it was so unnecessary. I’m from New York- I’ve been using the subway to get around since as long as I can remember and I got so bougie with the ubers out there. I took cash with me and was so proud of how much I brought back home until I checked my account and saw how many fares I charged. It would have been much smarter to buy and unlimited travel pass.