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How To Prepare For A Trip To Paris

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After four years of marriage, my husband and I realized that we had never spent more than 3 days just by ourselves on a holiday/vacation! So we just decided that we should go on a vacation, just the two of us for at least a week. Where do we go? We had always fancied going backpacking in Europe. But going to Africa or Peru or the rest of the world was also equally tempting. We just started exploring all options, but soon found nothing beats Europe in terms of cultural experience, convenience of transfer between different countries and ease of planning. So Europe it was. We didn’t want to explore a lot of countries in a short time because we would not experience anything. So, we decided not to explore more than two and finalized on Paris, a classic choice and Amsterdam, which must be explored when you still feel young.

paris lit up at night

Paris getting lit up, view from Eiffel Tower

Fashion district, City of Lights, City of Love these are a few synonyms for the capital of France aka Paris. If you are an European art connoisseur, who I am not, Paris is definitely the place to be and explore. 

Although lacking in expertise, I highly regard and admire European art and architecture. Apart from being known for its arts and architecture, Paris is also considered a global hub of fashion with its many high-end boutiques and fashion leadership, its cuisine, its role in global economy and sports. Well I will leave the rest of the details regarding history, art and culture to Wiki now and walkthrough my experience.

So lets begin…

I always believe planning is the key to optimization. I love surprises in theory, but given a chance, I always want to know what is coming, so that I can be prepared. So as soon as we had decided on the place I was on Internet, googling and Wiking all I could find about Paris and Amsterdam.

Guided Tour or Self Tour

Guided tours are widely popular. You go with a group, you won’t miss exploring any points of interest, everything is taken care of and the only thing you need to do is show up. This is a very easy way to explore a new place. The other option is to explore on your own, where you actually experience the city and not just visit the city. But, we always want to make optimum use of the opportunity, so a nice balance is the best. Keeping these things in mind, we decided just to pre-book flight and accommodation and explore Paris and Amsterdam on our own. 

eiffel tower paris
Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower paris at night
 Lit up Eiffel Tower

Get a Fair Deal From A Travel Agency

We got a fair deal from Flight Centre from one of the travel agencies.

Getting good deal is all about a combination of thorough research, time of the year and duration of stay. There are many agencies that provide these services including Flight Centre, MakeMyTrip.com, Transat Holidays etc. Depending on the point of origin and time of the year, a 7 days accommodation with flight tickets (North America / India) would be approximately $3000 for two.

When To Plan A Trip To Paris

The peak season would be June – September. By September end, it gets a bit chilly.  Early September is a fairly good time to go as the crowd will be smaller and the temperature still pleasant.

The Power of Smart Phone

Never underestimate the power of a smart phone. Thanks to smartphone, I was able to explore a lot of apps that allowed me to plan the trip, navigate within the city, gave a lot of tips on what to do what not to do, quick tutorial on local languages and a lot more!

glimpses of paris
 First glimpse of Paris, Old map of Paris
River Seine facing Cité, Entrance to Louvre Museum

Useful Mobile Apps

Some of the Mobile applications (Apps) that we used are Fodor’s and Paris City Guide – Tvtrip. There are several free Apps so you can always choose the one that best suits you. We just loved the TVtrip one as it had a digital map and also using the location settings of my mobile, we were able to spot ourselves in the map, without using data plan / Wi-Fi. Also, this app allows us to pin places that you want to explore and you can plan according to the proximity of these places.

I will be just covering Paris in this article. I must confess, we did a lot of research on Paris, but did too little on Amsterdam. Nonetheless we had an awesome trip. 

Louvre museum and paintings Paris
 Louvre Museum and the famous paintings, Paris

Come back to have a virtual tour of the most famous Paris....!!!!

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Guest Post by Akhila

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