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passionfruitdrink37 Nov 6th, 2012 04:23 PM

I'm 20, but I'm terribly inexperienced, expecially when it comes to travel. I hope I don't come off as a child with all my questions.

DebbieMG48 Nov 6th, 2012 04:40 PM

Do not plan to go to Versailles on your first day. You will be tired from jet lag. Just walk around, get the lay of the land, and relax. Sit in a cafe with a book. Talk to people. There will be plenty who want to speak English if you don't speak French. I have spent a lot of time in France and found everyone to be nice if you say "bonjour" when you walk into a shop and "au revoir, merci" when you leave, and keep a smile on your face. You will have a wonderful time!

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 6th, 2012 04:46 PM

Versailles is for my second day in Paris. My first day, I will not be using my museum pass. I was planning on just walking around and getting a feel for everything. Versailled is the first day, of my four days with the museum pass. Which I won't start using until my second day in Paris.

StCirq Nov 6th, 2012 05:26 PM

passionfruit, you definitely don't come off as a child. You come off as a very mature, thoughtful traveler who is going to Paris for the first time under some rather unusual and perhaps stressful circumstances. I admire your fortitude in dealing with the cousin, the uncle, all the rest. Just go with the conviction that you can do this on your own if necessary, and you will be so well rewarded. You are Going to Paris! It will be wonderful!

denisea Nov 6th, 2012 05:31 PM

passionfruit, you don't come off as a child and we all start off inexperienced but I do hope you are doing a little research on your own! That's the only way to really determine what you really want out of your trip and the must sees, etc...

I really hope you enjoy your trip. Don't worry too much. Honestly, you could just let the day take you where it wants to in Paris. I could totally be happy in Paris just wandering around and people watching in cafes!

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 6th, 2012 06:20 PM

Okay, that's nice to hear. I'm quite self-conscious about coming off as some inexperienced kid.
Anyways, for those of you used to travelling to Paris, is the threat of pickpockets a legitimate one? How many of you have been pick pocketed before? I'm considering getting the money pouch, either the one that hangs from your neck or that ties around your waist.
This is one of the reasons why I want to blend in as much as possible. I don't want to be some thief's target.

Leely2 Nov 6th, 2012 06:28 PM

Are you a city person? Accustomed to riding subways, public buses, etc.? If so, I'd suggest you just use common sense and keep your eye on your belongings, especially in crowded, touristy areas. No need for a money belt or whatever. Though if it will make you more secure, there's no reason not to go that route.

janisj Nov 6th, 2012 08:14 PM

Leely2 is right - if you are from a busy/major city you already probably have a fair amount of 'street smarts'.

But if not - it doesn't mean you are an inexperienced kid - but just inexperienced.

If a money belt/pouch gives you a bit of confidence, definitely use one. But just make sure yo use it correctly. Never EVER access it in public. Think of it as a 'body safe' - your secret. And <u>never</u> lay your cell phone down on a table or counter.

PatrickLondon Nov 6th, 2012 09:36 PM

A useful site for you and your cousin to play around with before you go, which I don't think has been mentioned before:

Plus there are quite a few video clips on Youtube that will give you an idea of how the metro works and what it feels like:

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 7th, 2012 02:16 AM

I am from a city, but thieves are not somethhing I have had to worry about. People are kind of kind. My friend lost her wallet this one time, she had 600$ in cash inside it. Someone founf it and gave it to lost and found and she was able to get it back, money and all. I'm thinking the odds of this happening in Paris are extremely slim.
I think I would be more comforatble with a money pouch, especially because i'd like to keep my money and passport with me at all times. I don't trust leaving my stuff behind in the hotel.

Micheline Nov 7th, 2012 04:18 AM

If when in my twenties some relative had paid for me to stay in a great hotel in Paris II would have been ecstatic. Actually that would even apply now.
You have received great advice here so you should be all set for a fabulous time.
Good for you for planning ahead.
This is the start of a love affair with one of the greatest cities in the world.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 7th, 2012 04:47 AM

The love affair has already begun. Paris has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 7th, 2012 08:22 AM

I think I may just get carnets.

gardendiva Nov 7th, 2012 10:02 AM

I am sorry if my question came across incorrectly. I was asking if you were under the drinking age in France. I do not know if it is 18, 21 or 15. In my state most establishments will not let you in after a certain hour if you are not 21(our legal drinking age). You do not sound like a child but a very excited adult just as I was when I went to Paris for the first time at 43.

As for pickpockets in Paris, they are everywhere. My sister had been to Paris 2 times before I went with her. She gave us the "keep your purse close, etc" lecture when we boarded the plane and when we first left our hotel. On our first ride on the Metro she was pickpocketed. A group of young boys were horseplaying and pushed into her. Luckily they threw her passport down or we would have not known until she went to purchase something. I think that they saw us buy our carnets at street level and knew we were not paying attention. Her purse had a flap that closed with a twist clasp. Somehow they got in the purse without opening it and took her walet in less than 10 seconds. Since it will be cold, keep your purse under your coat. When traveling I use a purse with a shoulder strap and a zipper at the top. I wear it with the strap across my body and under my coat. It will also keep the purse close to you and not get tangled in the turnstiles on the Metro. I do not keep my money and credit cards all in one place. I put some in my wallet and some in a zipper pocket and I usually leave a little in my suitcase at the hotel. If they get some you still want to have some to continue your trip.

StCirq Nov 7th, 2012 10:47 AM

She's 20, and to my knowledge, no one is going to prevent her from going into a club or bar. Heck, my kids were offered wine with dinner at countless restaurants starting when they were about 13.

As for pickpockets, never happened to me in all my many visits. Never had a money belt or anything different from the purse I would wear here at home, but if it makes you feel safe, go for it. I think what makes a difference is 1) speaking French (I have no problem throwing out an insult or toss-back if someone is bothering me), and 2) not wandering around glaze-eyed and texting and reading a street map. Walk briskly with purpose almost anywhere in the world and people will leave you alone.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 7th, 2012 11:44 AM

I'm going to keep my purse close to my person. I intend on not looking like an obvious tourist. My biggest fear is being targeted because I will be looking at a map or something. But I,m usually pretty good with direction, and with the money pouch I'm planning on purchasing, I should be fine(I think with it, id be safe ; I would notice if someone reached under my clothes to grab it.)

I also intend on studying the metro, bus, and rer lines intently. I don't want to leave my hotel without being certain of which direction I'm going in. If I get money s stolen from me, I'm screwed. :)

janisj Nov 7th, 2012 12:11 PM

"<i>I do not know if it is 18, 21 or 15.</i>"

Not <i>quite</i> sure why you seem so worried about the drinking age 'issue' especially since you don't know that it is. (They are both well over the legal drinking age.)

"<i>I usually leave a little in my suitcase at the hotel</i>"

I wouldn't ever do that <i>unless</i> there is a room safe. In the hotel's main safe is an option as well.

Askar01 Nov 7th, 2012 01:10 PM

I always keep some money in my room. Never have anything stolen.

""<i>I think I would be more comforatble with a money pouch, especially because i'd like to keep my money and passport with me at all times</i>""

Keep your passport at your hotel, in your room or in the safe. You don't need to carry it with you.

""<i>If I get money stolen from me, I'm screwed</i>""

If you get money stolen from you, your cousin can lend some to you. If you get your passport stolen, you're screwed.

StCirq Nov 7th, 2012 01:17 PM

Don't EVER leave money in your room! Honestly, that's just terrible advice.

Make a copy of your passport and carry that with you if you think you'll need passport information. I believe French law requires you always to have some sort of ID on you (but not totally sure if that applies to tourists.)

annhig Nov 7th, 2012 02:10 PM

I am sorry if my question came across incorrectly. I was asking if you were under the drinking age in France. I do not know if it is 18, 21 or 15. >>

it doesn't matter - the french on the whole don't care so long as you don't get drunk which is very un-chic.

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