Hello All--First Time Traveler

Oct 17th, 2013, 03:51 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 344
You'll be amazed how much you learn from reading a few guidebooks...basics that seem shrouded in mystery right now or that haven't even occurred to you will be explained. I really liked Rick Steves books before I first traveled because of his detailed descriptions of the how-to's of traveling oversees. You also might like the Lonely Planet site as it's generally geared towards younger travelers (which I got the impression describes you). For that reason you might consider a hostel which can be very similar to a hotel and may make it easier to meet fellow travelers.

Paris is an easy city to navigate and is great for a solo trip. Enjoy!
Sidny is offline  
Oct 17th, 2013, 05:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
An apartment is unlikely to be cheaper than a hotel or hostel for a solo traveler. If there are 2 or 3, it might be more economical.

Don't take money with you. Keep it in your checking account and use ATMs for cash. Charge your hotel and restaurant meals. How much money you will need depends on how long you will be there, what kind of restaurants you will eat in, how much local transportation you will need (hotel location is a consideration here), what museums and cultural events you are interested in. This question is best asked when you have a better idea of your itinerary.
mamcalice is offline  
Oct 17th, 2013, 06:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 951
When I travel, especially when I travel alone, I try to find a good balance between structured and unstructured time. I usually plan between one and two actitvities during the day, with the rest of the time dedicated to wandering and exploring. I might go on a walking tour in the morning and then visit one of the smaller museums in the afternoon, for instance.

When traveling alone, I try to give some thought to what I can do between the "closing time" for many of the attractions and dinner, as those hours can get a little lonely in my experience. In Paris, I ended up going to a number of movies. They play a lot of English speaking films and theaters abound in nearly every neighborhood. When you first arrive in the, purchase "Pariscope" at a newsstand. It's a comprehensive weekly listing off all the events, films, exhibits, etc., that are available.

I also went to several concerts either before or after dinner. Classical music is offered in a number of churches for a relatively modest price. It's a very pleasant way to spend an evening. I also went on a nightime bike tour of the city once that was really fun. Of course, I'd note that it's perfectly acceptable to sit in a cafe before or after dinner (or both) nursing a drink and watching life go by, reading a book, writing in a journal, etc. I felt much more comfortable sitting by myself in cafes in Paris at all hours than I ever would ever feel at a bar in the States.

Ah, I'm so envious of your trip. Paris is a wonderful introduction to solo travel. I hope you have a fantastic time.
indyhiker is offline  
Oct 17th, 2013, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,585
Why not start right here? At the top of this page, click on Destinations and check out the good advice from Fodors, which at heart is a guidebook service. It does, after all, pay for the existence of this free forum. There's something ungrateful about mentioning its competitors without acknowledging all posters' debt to this resource.
Once you get a little oriented, you can play around with the Search the Forums function for the answers to frequently-asked questions (How do I get to my hotel from the airport? What's the ticket for the Metro?) Then post specific issues which will draw more interesting answers from other participants.
Good luck and bon voyage.
Southam is offline  
Oct 17th, 2013, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 47,676
Since you have more than a year, I highly recommend starting to do some serious study of the French language. Sure, loads of people visit France without speaking a word of French, but it will add immeasurably to your experience to be able to converse with people in their own language and read signs and menus and such. Without some knowledge of the language, there is always a "wall" between you and the local culture.
StCirq is online now  
Oct 17th, 2013, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,940
The "getting there" part is just a matter of researching a plane ticket. It's very straight forward and easy to do on the internet.

I agree about staying in a hotel, not an apartment for a first time in a new city. Just find the most central location, that is in your price range, with decent reviews.

Some of the advice here is just not right or complete...

Like <> Of course you want to have some cash on your person. I would have both USD (which you can change in a pinch and will need for the air travel portion at the start & end of your trip) and euro for small expenses, local transportation, meals upon arrival.

And it depends on the type of credit card you have, what fees you might rack up if you go with the idea of charging everything on your trip.
suze is online now  
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