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passionfruitdrink37 Nov 7th, 2012 03:35 PM

No, I'm not leaving money in my room. I actually just feel so much safer carrying my money and my pieces of identity on me. I mean, the money pouch attaches to my waist, and I put my clothes over it. I don't think it gets any safer than that.

Gosh darnit, I'm excited.

gardendiva Nov 7th, 2012 03:53 PM

annhig, Thank you for the polite answer. I had no idea if there is a drinking age in France. I would hate for this young lady to pay for transportation to get somewhere and they refuse her service because of her age. In my community, establishments are very strict on the rules.

Drunk in any country is un-chic.

StCirq Nov 7th, 2012 04:42 PM

passionfruit, if your "money pouch" is one of those "fanny pack" (sorry, Brits) belts with a big zippered pouch that either sits on your stomach or hangs off your back, I would NOT advise using it. Pickpockets are attracted to those things like darts to a dartboard...and know exactly how to unzip and get into them without you ever having a clue. No, no no, don't ever use one of those (if that's your intention)!

I'm no expert on this because I always just carry a purse, but if you want to conceal your valuables, have them around your neck in one of those hanging thingies or pinned inside your underwear, or pinned inside a pocket (and then figure out exactly what your methodology is going to be when you actually need to get some money out to pay for something - that's one of my big reasons for not getting all paranoid; I don't want to be fumbling around trying to find `10 euros from some "secret place" and make a big showing of where that actual "secret place" is in doing so).

Leely2 Nov 7th, 2012 05:09 PM

One of my friends is a money-belter, or, more accurately, a neck-purser. Even though she is a fairly experienced traveler, she is a both a worrywart and kind of forgetful/spacey. She's the type that would lose her head if it wasn't attached to her body, so it's probably for the best that she keep her money firmly attached to her person. I've taken trips with her and have carried her pocket cash plus my stuff in my purse, and she holds onto a credit card and any "big money" she may be carrying. That makes it easier to pay for things on the fly without having to readjust one's bra.

janisj Nov 7th, 2012 05:12 PM

"<i>I don't want to be fumbling around trying to find `10 euros from some "secret place" and make a big showing of where that actual "secret place" is in doing so.</i>"

To follow on from StCirq's post. That is one reason so many folks who use money belts/pouches get into trouble. A moneybelt/pouch is NOT meant to be used that way. It doesn't replace a handbag or wallet. One should never (ever) have to fumble around to dig out €10 or €20

The belt/pouch is for the items one doesn't need to have accessible but wants to keep safe . . . Things like a passport, <u>backup</u> ATM and/or credit card(s), <u>excess</u> cash, etc. NOT for things like 'walking around' $$/€€, or your ATM card if you plan on using it that day, or your primary cc unless you <i>know</i> you won't be using it.

In 40+ years using one sort or another I've never once had to access it in public.

The main reason I use one isn't from fear of pickpockets (I almost always carry a handbag of one sort or another). I use them mostly because the inconvenience when one does lose something overseas. If I lose my ATM card at home I can walk into any branch and walk out w/ a replacement. If I lose it in Notre Dame or the Louvre it could take a week to straighten things out and receive a replacement.

It isn't that Paris is more dangerous (I'm safer there than in my home town) . . . It is just sooooo far and sooooo many time zones away. To me a money belt is just simple insurance.

Just never ever (EVER!) access it in public . . . w/ simple planning you shouldn't ever need to.

denisea Nov 7th, 2012 05:28 PM

I have never been pickpocketed anywhere. In Europe, I use a small flat purse that I carry across my body. The purse has 3 zippered compartments and I make them harder to open by putting a safety pin through the hole on the zipper tab and pinning the zipper closed. I only carry a copy of my passport...I never walk around with it!

On trains or buses, I always have my hands on top of the purse and make sure that it is in front of me. Be aware of people creating distractions or standing too close. Don't stand in front of the door on the Metro, if possible.

I don't carry all of my money with me at anytime (or all of my credit cards, for that matter). I have not had anything stolen from a room safe. Either way, if you carry all your cash or not, it can be stolen from you...from your room or from your person. But, I don't get all of my cash for the trip at one time and my husband and I split the cash we carry during the day, so that if one of us does get pickpocketed or robbed, the other has some cash. You do your best to avoid crime, but it can always happen. Do what you can to minimize losses.

Don't worry too attention to your surroundings and be smart!

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 7th, 2012 05:58 PM

Ew, no. NEVER fannypack. First off, it's tacky looking and really ugly. And I'm really not trying to draw attention to myself.
Money pouch as in this:

Something like that, that I would fasten against me, underneath all my clothes. In it, extra cash and my passport and credit cards.

Obviously, I plan on having a purse with a small amount of cash in it, an amount which wouldn't screw me over if I were to get robbed. And no, I don't plan on taking off my clothes in public. The money pouch will remain underneath all my clothes.

And, no.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 8th, 2012 03:22 AM

Oh. I went to see about power adapters. They only seem to have one kind. I didn't see anything about a current converter, but I'll look into that. I'm planning on charging my phone, my laptop and my camera. Hopefully, the adapter they sell with work on those items.

janisj Nov 8th, 2012 08:32 AM

You most likely don't need a converter. Cameras/laptops/cell phones are almost 100% of the time dual voltage. If yours are, you'd simply need an inexpensive plug adapter.

menachem Nov 8th, 2012 10:28 AM

@passionfruitdrink37 "Do only expats frequenst those events"

Usually it's an international mix, with quite a lot of expats, but it may well be your introduction to other place and other events and in any case the music quiz night seems fun. Getting acquainted with a group of Parisians can be quite a task and venues like these can be like a stepping stone.

CopperandJade Nov 8th, 2012 10:38 AM

You are putting your trip together beautifully! There is nothing quite like your first trip to Paris and from your posts, I think that it will be great. You seem to intuitively sense how to deal with possible problems/challenges? Or, you will adapt.

You might like this site, which I think is put together by a few young Parisians,

They have published a book. This is the English edition,

menachem Nov 8th, 2012 10:43 AM

Do get the mobilis on weekends, it saves so much money. You do have to ask for it at the ticket window though, you get one, write the date on it and you're good to go.

Do not carry anything you want to be stolen in a back pack or shoulder bag. My rule of thumb is that at all times I need to hang on to my cards, and my passport. All other stuff can be stolen. I've never been pickpocketed in Paris and I'm there a lot. (other city is Amsterdam, same issue with pickpockets) Even in the 18th and the 10th this has not happened to me, maybe I'm lucky.

On new year's day, why not visit a hammam or a spa when they're open and walk the streets. It will be eerily quiet, and if the weather is harsh, there's the baths to warm up and spoil yourselves a bit.

One tip also: there's a skating rink in front of City Hall, you can rent skates there and have a go: also fun.

and one in Grand Palais: quite spectacular

and this seems like an excellent show:

Askar01 Nov 8th, 2012 11:14 AM

<i>"" if you carry all your cash or not, it can be stolen from you...from your room or from your person""</i>


<i>""Don't EVER leave money in your room! Honestly, that's just terrible advice.""</i>

In all modesty I think that it is excellent advice. I'm not saying that the OP should keep all her money in her room obviously but keeping 100€ or 200 € in a locked suitcase would come in handy if ever her purse were stolen from her.
I can't imagine the chambermaid, especially in a 4 **** hotel, breaking into the luggage of the customers.
How many times have you read reports of theft in hotel rooms on this forum anyway?

You really don’t need to carry your passport with you. You would be in big trouble if you lost it. The police have better to do than checking the papers of American tourists and they must have a valid reason to make an identity check. You won’t be caught shoplifting will you? (joking ;-))
If you looked much younger that your age, less that 18, the drinking age limit, you might have to produce some ID to go in a disco bar. A simple photocopy of your passport or your driving licence would do.

Ask the receptionist to keep it in the safe.

Welcome in France! I hope you will have lot of fun.

CopperandJade Nov 8th, 2012 11:19 AM

To add to my post above. There is an embarrassment of riches of wonderful information on Fodors’. I would like to mention two other sites that I enjoy, for different approaches and especially, for the photographs. I am very visual. Since your time is limited, photos may help you to decide on how to use your eight days.

MonicaRichards Nov 8th, 2012 01:13 PM

One thing I would say that you might see in Paris that you don't see in most US cities is troops of gypsies. We didn't get anything stolen, but at one point a gypsy guy who'd seen me buy something from a street vendor and a few of his friends circled me and my daughters when we got separated from my husband (he crossed the street and we missed the light). This was on the Ponte Neuf, where they hang out. Nothing happened but it was creepy. If this happens to you, don't be afraid to yell at them and make a scene. I just yelled "no" and "go away" and they backed off cursing me in French. But it called attention to them and they don't like that.

Christina Nov 8th, 2012 03:00 PM

I've never actually seen troops of them in Paris, but I don't remember the Pont Neuf, so maybe. I don't act like a typical tourist though and don't buy things from street vendors so maybe I just don't notice. This is partly because I've been there enough so I am not carrying around guidebooks, maps, cameras and not going to a lot of the main tourist attractions any more, but of course you will if you are new there.

Of course there are some, I'm not denying that, I've mainly seen them around tourist attractions, the Champs-Elysees, the grand dept stores and a few other spots. Interestly, my last time there (a few months ago), I didn't see them much in the metro tunnels any more (always older women). I cursed one out in French once in a metro car but they had the nerve to ask me why I was being so "mechante" when they were the one harrassing me. Well, I think some people get the idea this is a bigger issue than it is, but if you are naive to travel in W. Europe big cities, you might need to step up your game as to precautions (and not talk to strangers and don't leave your cellphone lying on a cafe table in front of you).

They do have a drinking age in France, but the OP is certainly over it.

I think everyone should have ID on them at all times, for safety reasons if nothing else (actual or at a minimum a photocopy). I know I tend to be more careful than most, but I take ID with me when I go for my morning run, you never know what can happen. Also, one might have information as to their hotel name and address. I have a friend whose sister was hit by a car in Paris crossing the street and was taken to the hospital, it does happen.

Micheline Nov 8th, 2012 03:50 PM

If four is a troop then I've seen them when they tried to pickpocket us on the metro last month.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 8th, 2012 07:17 PM

I will certainly be wary of troops of gypsies and I am going to try not to look like an obvious tourist. Making sure I know where I'm going before I leave my hotel, and I will try and be discreet if I have to pull a map out. Probably just write detailed instructions and directions down on my phone and not bring a map out with me at all.
NOT wearing a fannypack, but a hidden money pouch underneath my clothing for guaranteed safety from thieves.
I will have to take pictures, and that's probably going to give me away, but meh. I need some photographs.

I am extremely grateful for all the helpful tips and the great websites. Thank you all sooo much!
This trip is coming together beautifully. I'm still a bit iffy about transportation though. I know a bit more, but I'm still unsure how much walking I will be doing, or which option is the most economical between the tickets, or daily/weekly passes.

FrenchMystiqueTours Nov 9th, 2012 03:02 AM

I would not leave your hotel without a map. Lots of people pull out maps and check where they are going and the overwhelming majority of them have no problem with pickpockets etc. Don't pull it out in crowded métro stations or other extremely crowded areas though. Even though I know Paris fairly well from living here I still need to pull my map out from time to time and not having a map with you will be a huge disadvantage as Paris is a maze of streets and you will undoubtedly need it at some point.

As far as maps are concerned, don't rely on the free map your hotel will give you as it will only show the largest streets. You can get good detailed maps at any news stand, book store, magazine store and larger supermarkets and it will show all the streets (with names), métro stops and all the museums, parks, gardens, sites and attractions. A nice pamphlet sized map booklet that will fit easily in your purse is called Paris Pratique Par Arrondissement and it sells for 5€ and is easy to find.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 9th, 2012 07:47 AM

Okay, thanks!

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