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Paris Trip Tips:

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This is NOT my trip report. However, this IS a list of things I learned while traveling and while in Paris. These are things that you may have heard before and some of which I wish I had been told before going:

1. When traveling with teenagers abroad, expect some family drama and roll with it
2. When in Paris, you will walk, walk and walk some more
3. Ride the metro--it is efficient and affordable
4. No matter how many times you ride the metro, your metro map is GOLD- USE IT!
5. Sometimes metro tickets work twice, sometimes you don't need a ticket because the gate has been left open, and sometimes you need a ticket to get out of the station
6. Airport departure from a foreign country (at least at Charles de Gaulle airport) is CRAZY and take a lot of time-- get to the airport EARLY
7. The French LOVE good manners- always say hello, good evening, thank you, and good bye
8. Speaking just a little bit (un peu) of French goes a LONG way
9. Many Parisians working in the tourist areas and restaurants speak English- if you try your French, they will use their English
10. There are scam artists everywhere and are not above using their puppies and/or children to get your money
11. Pickpockets are real
12. Parisians sleep in late, eat dinner late, and stay up late
13. The perfect time for coffee and a break for a pastry is around 5:00pm
14. Dinner starts around 8:00
15. Parisians love french fries (frites). They serve them with nearly everything.
16. Paris can be a dirty city: poop, trash and graffiti-- look past it to see the beauty of the architecture and the culture
17. In France, bread is life. Eat it...a lot...it's delicious.
18. People in Paris don't drink water like we Americans do. When sitting down to eat, order water right away and order many of them.
19. Wait service in any restaurant/cafe in Paris is slow to American standards. Expect it and be patient.
20. It seems that everyone in Paris smokes
21. You really do need to know some of the language of the country you're traveling to
22. French pastries taste as delicious as they look. Try them all!
23. People really do eat baguettes every day and so should the tourists- breakfast, sandwiches, snack...
24. Parisians love ham (jambon)- you'll find it on or in lots of foods.
25. Yes, people in Paris dress nicely but you will not be looked down upon for dressing in nice jeans and sneakers.
26. Take a short 1-2 hour nap on your first day- you'll feel better for it, then get outside and get some fresh air and sunshine
27. The flight is LONG- especially when traveling from the west coast. Wrap your mind around it.
28. Sleeping on the flights is difficult. Be prepared.
29. Stay in an apartment- you'll really get a feel for the neighborhood and the people who live there
30. Bring a reusable grocery bag to use when shopping at the markets for food (if you're in an apartment and have a kitchen to use)

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