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First-time International Travelers to Paris

First-time International Travelers to Paris

Old Jun 25th, 2015, 06:08 AM
  #121  
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Wow, thank you so much!

manouche, thank you for the photography recommendation!!

drchris, all your posts are very helpful!
I know we were going to contact T-Mobile to see if they have a temporary international plan. Also, that $220 daily budget is excluding our nightly hotel budget!

I'm still researching flights, although I still have plenty of time. I would love to sign up with a frequent flyer program, but since we don't travel often I don't think it would make much sense. Unless, that is, my brother or I go away to college.

We already have our passports, but I believe my passport expired when I turned 17. It's either 17 or 18, so I should definitely check up on that!

Packing light is a great idea, but it will certainly be a struggle!

Thanks again!!
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 06:16 AM
  #122  
 
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T-Mobile has very good month-to-month plans. Provided you have a phone that is compatible with their network and unlocked, you can buy it for a month and then cancel.

I do not buy trip cancellation/interruption insurance, but I always have health insurance and medical evacuation/repatriation insurance. My employer group plan used to cover me for foreign travel, but now I have to buy my own. I use https://www2.sevencorners.com/, but you can also check insuremytrip,com and squaremouth.com. I don't care how healthy you all are, accidents happen. It only takes one false step, and now someone has a broken arm... (wrist in my case).

I believe it is currently taking six weeks or more to get a passport renewed, so you should take care of that now.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 06:40 AM
  #123  
 
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Please do consider signing up for the frequent flyer program of the airline from which you end up buying your tickets as the miles for four people should get you a free ticket within the U.S. that would come in handy if you or your brother go away to college or there is an emergency that requires last minute travel. We try to keep enough miles in our account for the latter as we have family all over and buying a last minute ticket can be really costly. If your parents link a credit card to that frequent flyer account, they will be surprised at how the miles will add up. When our two kids were growing up, we took a family trip to England using frequent flyer miles.

You will learn so much planning this trip that you are destined to become a world citizen. I trust that your parents are proud of you for taking on this task. For me, planning a trip is a big part of the fun.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 06:51 AM
  #124  
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Okay, that's good to hear!

We would definitely buy medical insurance. I've broken my wrist as well, so I know how quickly accidents happen!

I also just checked all of our passports. My dad's is the only one that expires before the trip. So, obviously, we'll have to get on that!
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 06:54 AM
  #125  
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I would love to sign up for a frequent flyer program, and, frankly, I don't believe it would be too hard to convince my parents.

I love planning! My parents are glad it doesn't have to be them, lol. This is just one of the many trips I will be planning in my lifetime.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 07:06 AM
  #126  
 
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Re: passports, forgot to mention how long they need to be valid. From the Department of State website on France:


PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must be valid for a minimum of six months at entry, and valid for an additional three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area. Please note that “emergency passports” issued by U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas may not be accepted for entry into France.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 07:55 AM
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Sign up for a FF program, but truth be told, they are almost impossible to use any more--and we have many thousands of miles. It doesn't cost anything to sign up. One trip would have taken 100,000 miles on a date. And yes, some are less
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 08:14 AM
  #128  
 
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Re: FF programs. They can still be a good value, but you need to be able to be flexible. I am flying biz from the US to Europe next month for 50,000 miles, and coming back the end of October in economy for 20,000. But I'm flying back from Barcelona when I was originally thinking Madrid (not a hardship - I love Gaudi!). I have also found One World FF miles an excellent value for RTW trips in biz. Again, flexibility is key - I wound up flying Colombo-Singapore-Bangkok instead of Colombo-Bangkok last time but had a nice time in Singapore.
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Old Jun 25th, 2015, 08:18 AM
  #129  
 
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Re: food expenses. When we travel, we eat a big lunch and a light dinner. Lunches are cheaper than dinners and it's pleasant to sit in a restaurant and rest up between sightseeing forays. If you rent an apartment, you can have breakfast there and get takeout for dinner. Paris has lots of deli-type stores, with many takeout options.
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Old Jun 26th, 2015, 07:18 AM
  #130  
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Thanks for the information on the passport, thursdaysd! Thankfully, all our passports will be fine once my dad gets his renewed!

Signing up for a FF program is a great idea, but my family doesn't travel often. We might sign up with Southwest only because the infrequent travel would mainly be domestic. When I get older, a different FF program would be ideal.

Thanks Mimar! We will most likely be having at least one meal a day in the apartment.
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