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Let's talk about packing for Paris, please

Let's talk about packing for Paris, please

Jan 20th, 2012, 06:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 171
These are all such great tips! Well, except the part about traveling naked. While I do love attention, that may bring a bit more of it than I need.

Tell me, seasoned travelers -- what sort of things are essential for European travel that I wouldn't normally take on a domestic trip? Some sort of electrical converters to charge all the devices and run my hair dryer? What else?
PlumeriaTattoo is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 07:56 AM
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As far as I know, all you need for France is an adapter:


I can't remember using anything else. You can get the adapters here in the States or in Europe.
easytraveler is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 08:18 AM
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I usually take a lightweight 25 inch suitcase for my longer European trips. I do travel by train, doesn't bother me. You can't put suitcases on overhead racks, anyway (not on the trains I take, like TGV, they aren't big enough for even a 22 inch suitcase), so it doesn't matter, they go in the luggage storage place at the end of the car or in-between seats (some are like that). No, they don't check bags for you on trains. I am not a wimp, I lift weights and am in shape, so I have no trouble handling my suitcase by myself. If I couldn't handle it, I wouldn't take it. I also take a smaller carryon bag with the larger 25 inch. But my carryon bag is not another suitcase, it is a small soft-sided bag, maybe 14 inch by 6 inch or something.

I have never used a backpack for luggage on a trip.

I do not buy hardly anything when traveling, I hate shopping.
Christina is online now  
Jan 20th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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PS re your last question, you don't take a hair dryer with you. Hotels have hair dryers, unless you are staying in real cheap places, which doesn't seem to fit with your MO, so I doubt it. Every 3* hotel I've been in has had one in recent years, and I think all the 2* ones, also.

You shouldn't have a lot of devices to charge. I don't take any, but I know some people do, I'm just not sure what as their phones probalby don't work over there.
Christina is online now  
Jan 20th, 2012, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I charge my phone and camera battery. Most electronics these days do not require converters, just plug adapters which are pretty small.....and inexpensive. Buy them at any luggage store in the states.
Judy is online now  
Jan 20th, 2012, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I have traveled to Europe many times over the years and stay for about a month!Each year I pack less and less and my suitcase have become smallerand smaller.This year I am finally going the route of a carryon!
chapla is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 01:19 PM
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Nothing for me. But that's because I don't take a hair dryer, cell phone, digital camera, laptop, or any electronics really, so I don't need anything special in that category. If you do, yes you will need convertors/adaptors.
suze is online now  
Jan 20th, 2012, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 624
I used a luggage fowarding service to send Switzerland bag to Zurich (hiking boots, warmer clothes)... was picked up by them again when we left. I brought a giant rolling bag and a carry on for the rest of the two weeks (Lake Como, Venice, Paris. I want more stuff with me, I guess, but have never felt overloaded or swamped. We also use hotel laundry service at least twice.
laurela is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 02:39 PM
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PlumeriaTattoo on Jan 20, 12 at 10:36am
These are all such great tips! Well, except the part about traveling naked. While I do love attention, that may bring a bit more of it than I need.
Tell me, seasoned travelers -- what sort of things are essential for European travel that I wouldn't normally take on a domestic trip? Some sort of electrical converters to charge all the devices and run my hair dryer? What else?

Here is a list to get you started.
spaarne is offline  
Jan 20th, 2012, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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You definitely don't want to take any of your hair appliances (dryer, flat iron). The currency converters don't really work well for those as they pull a lot of power, so even with the converter, they don't really work. I had a flat iron ruined by trying to use it with a currency converter and many of those are expensive (and don't work well).

I bought a flat iron in Paris that I take when I go there. Use the hotel hair dryer. An iphone is dual voltage (as are many electronics) and you only need a plug adapter for that. A plug adapter should only cost a few bucks.
denisea is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2012, 09:58 AM
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My biggest concern is charging up all our devices - iPhone, Kindle, two cameras. I don't want to fry them, and also don't want to blow a fuse at the hotel (which is an older 2* place). Is there a power strip adapter/converter that can be used?

Also -- this was posted on TripAdvisor and seems very helpful, so I will add it to this wonderful thread full of tips.

PlumeriaTattoo is offline  
Jun 9th, 2012, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 232
Sorry to hijack this thread, but same topic and slightly different angle...

We are lucky to have been able to book a last minute trip to Paris and will be there end of June. When thinking (and internet searching) on an appropriate pack list, almost every site focuses on clothing. Most say that you really need to try and "dress appropriately" and forego the sweatpants or sneakers.

We are pretty laid-back, casual people. It's not that we couldn't afford nicer clothes, we just don't see them as important in the grand scheme of things. We plan to do tons of walking (and eating) and just want to be as comfortable at possible, and also want to minimize the packing. But some sites say it is downright disrespectful to enter some estalishments with the type of clothing I mentioned. These sites say we should expect to not be treated well/looked down upon.

How serious do I need to take this - or need not really worry? I certainly shouldn't liken it to visiting a religious site with inappropriate clothing, should I?

Thanks for any insight.
itspat is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 12:56 AM
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You'll collapse from heat exhaustion if you wear sweatpants in Paris in June. It's becoming warm by then.

You can look however you like, sloppy as all get out if that's your preference. Would you expect to gain entry to a nice restaurant in your home town dressed like that? I expect you will be allowed access to McDonald if that's your sort of place.

Singlet tops and short shorts may well be refused at lots of churches.
cathies is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 04:59 AM
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I don't wear athletic wear on the streets in Paris. I am past the age that short shorts are a consideration.

To stay cool, I usually wear a casual dress and always carry a sweater or wrap, in case it is cool inside. That also takes care of church appropriate wear. I don't wear flip flops...not attractive and not supportive for all the walking. I try to look presentable where ever we go. While I don't think you have to wear top of the line designer clothes, I do want to look nice and appropriate for all occasions.

As I understand it, Parisians wear work out clothes when they are engaged in sport but not around as street clothes. You can still look nice and pack light. Why risk being turned away somewhere because you are dressed poorly? However, if that happens, don't criticize the French for it when you return, it is your choice. I hope your trip is wonderful. I love Paris.
denisea is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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YOu can wear sneakers if you want (there are plenty of attractive ones that are not big ugly white things which many Americans seem to wear in public for some reason I don't get). Don't even think of wearing or taking sweat pants. Well, if you must have them for some reason (to me, those mean fleecy sweatshirt fabric, as noted, it's too hot for those anyway), use them to lounge around the hotel room, that's all. I do take some casual pants for that purpose, but lighter weight than sweatpants.
Christina is online now  
Jun 10th, 2012, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 210
What about black yoga pants? I've been trying to decide if I should bring them. They don't wrinkle and can look great with flats or walking shoes. We are going to Dijon for two days, Provence for a week and Paris for 4 days in September.
I am taking one pair of jeans, a few skorts and tops for the Provence part of the trip. I have black jersey tops, dress and leggings for dinners.
chutney is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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You czn wear whatever you like, but if you're asking if you'll see Parisians in yoga pants outside of the studio.... its pretty rare.
Phread is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 01:53 PM
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Sweat pants are for exercising. Yoga pants are for yoga. You won't see Parisians or folks in Dijon or Provence wearing either unless they're exercising or doing yoga, but suit yourself. You also may swelter in jeans or leggings in Provence in September.

There's a huge gap between sloppy and elegant. What is so hard about throwing on a comfortable dress and a cardigan, or a skirt and cotton top with a light wrap? Or capris and a top? You can be casual and comfortable without looking like you're off to gym class.

Skorts? Really? I guess vintage works just about everywhere.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 02:41 PM
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Actually, we would gain access to most restaurants in our town in just jeans and sneakers. It's pretty laid back here - when I think sloppy, I think more clothes with stains or holes or overly wrinkled. I don't care for most "fashion" and find a lot of it silly (e.g. leather pants), but that is just personal opinion.

The thing is that we know we will be doing lots and lots of walking and probably more casual cafe/bistro fare - and we want to be comfortable and not overheat/oversweat/overitch/overadjust. I don't think we are planning to do a really fancy dinner because that's just not our style. It is more just about sampling a little bit of everything in a lot of different places. And certainly we would want to be respectful in churches and such.

I may have exaggerated a bit when talking about sweatpants. I just meant more stretchy items that, yes, could be worn to run a quick errand and possibly what one would consider "gym" wear without being too short or too skimpy. Our sneakers wouldn't be the garish white ones, but more grey or brown. I know we will be obvious tourists and are not trying to pass off as Parisians, but I am just hoping the city welcomes and embraces that and we don't feel blatantly uncomfortable - seeing as the city has a huge tourism market. I am just trying to understand the whole "getting turned away" thing based on clothing a little better. I may be reading too much into the dress code suggestions I see, though.

itspat is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Take all the dress code comments with a grain of salt..Be casually neat, comfortably attired(Shunnung short shorts and bra like tops) and respectful in churches etc. You will have a great time.It will probably be hot so long pantsmay not be your choice and taking a shawl,pashima, stole (whatever) will solve alot of your concerns as there may be some ac and you might be cold in restuarants.
amer_can is offline  

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