If you are planning to visit Paris for more than a couple of days and want to see more than the Disneyland Paris and the Eiffel Tower, you will need to make more preparations than usual. You will have to make sure that you stay on budget, get used to the culture, and learn from your trip. Whether you are arriving in Paris on a working holiday, part of a bigger European adventure or just need a culture change, there are plenty of ways of making the most out of your stay without having to go around with a list of attractions people tell you to check out. Below you’ll find a few tips on how to prepare for a long holiday in Paris.
If you are planning to stay longer than a month and not from a European country, it is possible that you will need a visa. If you do, you can apply for this before you arrive in France, so you can save time, money, and hassle. You should check out the foreign visa requirements before you travel and get in touch with an agency that can take care of the paperwork for you. Alternatively, you can use a travel agent or order the service from your airline, but it is better to get everything in place before you arrive, as bureaucracy in Paris can be slow.
While most people speak English in Paris, they don’t really like using it. Therefore, you will have to show that you have made an effort to stay on the good side of the locals. You don’t necessarily have to get one-on-one private lessons; simply use an app or website. Duolingo can get your French up to a good level of speaking and understanding in just a couple of weeks if you put in time and effort. Moreover, you can get bonuses, such as chat up lines and local phrases if you are doing well in your course – oh la la!
Public Transport Research
The Paris metro is the easiest way of getting around in the city. Locals use it and it runs late at night and early in the morning, unlike some underground systems elsewhere in the world. You can save money on getting around if you study the public transport network in Paris before you arrive. This will also help you find the right location for your accommodation and attractions that you want to visit, so you can quickly, easily, and cheaply get around.
Long Term Accommodation
Staying longer than a week will make it too expensive to book a hotel. Instead, you can get a bed and breakfast, or – if you are staying even longer – rent glamour apartments in the capital and live the high life in Paris without blowing your budget. You can find great places near the city centre, but you must do your research and find out more about the area before you decide to make a booking.
Car Hire to Explore the Country
While the metro and train service is great in Paris, you might want to visit one of the famous champagne or wine regions in the country, and getting there without a car will be difficult. You can arrange car hire at the airport, but this will cost you a lot. Alternatively, get in touch with local companies and get them to deliver the car to your location and pick it up after you finished your country tour. It is also crucial that you check whether your driving license is valid in Paris and whether or not you will need to leave a deposit for the duration of the car hire. Also, ensure you take out relevant insurance policies, as you don’t want to have to pay a massive bill if you have an accident.
Learning Food and Drink Names Comes Useful
While you are staying in Paris, you will need to eat out and go shopping. Most restaurants will not give you an English menu, so it is best if you study the names of food and drink, so you at least have some idea of what you are ordering. You can’t live on fast food chain meals for weeks, and you might want to try the famous original French cuisine, too. Get a food dictionary to avoid disappointments when your food arrives.
Learn About the History to Find the Best Places to Visit
France is full of history. Whether you are interested in the history of fashion, art, or the French Revolution, you will have to do your research when preparing for a Paris trip. You can create an itinerary based on what interests you, and see the most important attractions that will help you understand the events and their causes better and connect with the French culture and traditions.
Outfits Matter a Lot In Paris
As a fashion capital of the world, appearances matter In Paris, and you will have to try and look your best while you are staying in the city. With designer boutiques and fashion shows on almost every corner, you will have a huge competition if you want to make a statement. Women in Paris pay a lot of attention to their hair and their outfits, the colours and the accessories, so you need to make an effort not to look out of place if you are planning to stay for more than a couple of weeks. It is a good idea to sit down in a shopping district and watch people walk by to get a sense of the Parisian fashion.
Make a Wish List
To prepare for your trip, you might also need to create a wish list, so you cover everything you were planning to see for a long time. You can study online guides, blogs, and travel magazines to find must-see attractions. Even if you are studying or working, you will have to make the most out of the time available and visit some of the scenes, historic places, and unique shop that will make your holiday so much more enjoyable.
People who visit Paris will tell you that a couple of days or a week is never enough to see all the attractions. If you are lucky enough to have more than a week to explore, make sure that you arrive prepared and with a plan. Learn some basic phrases, study the fashion and the cuisine, and enjoy the adventure.
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