Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Transportation in Paris. Any advice? (

janisj Nov 25th, 2012 07:52 PM

"<i>If you spend over $250 euro, . . . </i>"

On <u>things you take home</u> (and anyway, it isn't necessarily €250) . . .

Since your main budget is €500, don't worry about it. Just another confusing thing on your plate . . .

Some of that RS article is just silly. It could be explained in 1/10 that many words . . . but almost certainly you won't buy anything that qualifies.

StCirq Nov 25th, 2012 08:19 PM

Forget the VAT issue unless you're spending a lot of money on stuff to take home. You won't, so it's another non-issue.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 25th, 2012 08:25 PM

I am planning on bringing gifts back
Should I worry about it?

Kurosawa Nov 25th, 2012 08:28 PM

check the link and make your own educated decision. You have to keep in mind that Fodorites do not know all the facts pertinent to your situation. The link actually shows that the minimum for France is €175.01 or US $245. It may be important for you to get close to 20% of $250 back.

janisj Nov 25th, 2012 08:32 PM

"<i>Should I worry about it?</i>"


Are you taking expensive gifts home? Probably not. souvenirs? $50 or $100 worth of souvenirs will not get you a VAT refund.

<u>Don't worry about it</u> (and don't read that RS article since it will only confuse things)

StCirq Nov 25th, 2012 08:36 PM

Well, yes, it may be worth it. But may I offer another piece of advice? This is YOUR trip. Don;t get suckered into "bringing stuff back" for people. Let them make their own trip to Paris and get their own stuff. If you genuinely want to bring things home as gifts for people (who haven't asked for it), that's one thing. But do not feel compelled to take home trinkets for people who haven't bothered to put together their own trip to Paris. You should have souvenirs for you, not for people who never went there.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 25th, 2012 08:47 PM

Well, I'm planning on getting just small things for my friends and family. Key chains, tee shirts. Perfume for my mom, maybe some wine for my dad(I can bring alcohol back, yes?)
Also some macarons, although I'm not too sure how long they would last.
I do want to go shopping for me as well. Anyways, I'll look into this VAT thing.

StCirq Nov 25th, 2012 08:54 PM

Yes, you can bring alcohol back, but there's hardly a thing you can buy in Paris that you can't find right here in the States, unless you have very serious and studied tastes in wine.

T-shirts don't make any sense to me - who wants to wear a Paris t-shirt if they haven't actually been to Paris? Who wants to wear one anyway? Key chains - OK, nobody ever sees them anyway, but why?

Save your money and eat/drink better. No one will have any clue where that t-shirt or keychain is 10 years from now, anyway, trust me.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 25th, 2012 09:01 PM

I'm getting flack if I don't bring stuff back. I'm not a wine person, but my Dad wants some French wine, so, advice? :D

janisj Nov 25th, 2012 09:04 PM

"<i>Anyways, I'll look into this VAT thing.</i>"

DON'T. You are getting semi obsessive about things. T-shirts, key chains, miniature Eiffel Towers -- <u>will not get you a VAT refund</u>.

Unless you are buying your Mom a €200 bottle of perfume, you don't need to worry about it.

PatrickLondon Nov 25th, 2012 09:10 PM

How much of a connoisseur is he already? What sort of wine does he like at the moment? That might help narrow the choice, at least as between whether he'd be happy with something with a fancy label from the supermarket, or would be expecting a well-known premier cru at the other end of the spectrum.

StCirq Nov 25th, 2012 09:11 PM

You're getting too much flack in general, from all members of the family. Tell your dad to go to his favorite wine store and buy whatever's on sale. You need to learn how to deal with "getting flack." And your dad needs to know that hauling a bottle of wine over the ocean isn't exactly a picnic, and is totally unnecessary.

It would be completely impossible to give you, or your dad, advice on a particular bottle of wine, anyway. What does he drink? Red? White? Rosé? From what region? What vintage? What year? Wine isn't simple.

He can go online and order the best stuff imaginable right here in the USA...and you don't have to carry bottles through the Ag line.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 25th, 2012 09:23 PM

He likes red wine.

janisj Nov 25th, 2012 09:39 PM

there are thousands of red wines. He can buy better than you can afford. Don't take wine back home.

Unless you plan on taking a oenology class while you are there - doubtful. Otherwise it is a silly idea for a 20yo first timer to even consider it.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 25th, 2012 10:05 PM

I've been doing a bit of research for bargains when shopping. Have any of you had any experience with Chercheminippes?

StCirq Nov 25th, 2012 10:34 PM

Nope, don't know that and am not interested. Suggest you focus on visiting Paris, not on buying souvenirs for people who aren't visiting Paris. Let them take their own trip. If you want to shop, do it for yourself.

kerouac Nov 25th, 2012 11:00 PM

Some areas of Paris (Notre Dame, rue de Rivoli, Sacré Coeur) have a zillion souvenir shops. You will easily find all of your small gifts (keychains, t-shirts, etc.) in any of them. Wait until you've been in Paris for a few days before you start to buy stuff -- you need to get a feel of what the correct prices are first. The illegal African vendors that you will see selling Eiffel Tower keychains on the sidewalk pay 2€ for a bag of 50 -- so you will have a big bargaining margin of you want to buy junk like that!

kerouac Nov 25th, 2012 11:03 PM

Oh, and of course there's the Christmas market for buying junk, too. Here is how the one on the Champs Elysées looked on Saturday:

nyse Nov 26th, 2012 04:31 AM

I may be mistaken, but the closest PFD has come to answering the many queries about hotel payment is back on November 3:

"<i>I'm under the impression he isn't expecting money from us, I mean, my cousin made the reservations with him and I wasn't aware. So I'm not sure how much it will be, or even if he expects me to give him anything. Either way, I most certainly cannot afford it.</i>"

I opened this thread to see why a transport question would generate 400+ replies, going on two months. If trolling, it's being done very, very effectively.

denisea Nov 26th, 2012 04:52 AM

I can't believe how much info is on this thread and it is still going.

I also do use hotel safes without problems. There is no 100% safe way to handle cash when traveling but I don't think it is wise to carry all your cash with you at one time. I would take what you need for the day, and put it in two different places on your person. The rest, for me, would go in the hotel safe.

If you don't have small bills and lots of 1 and 2 euro coins, ask your hotel to change it for you. If you got your money from a US banks, you will likely have 50 euro bills and they can be hard to break.

If you want to buy macarons, Laduree has a location at CDG. Easier to buy them there.

I am not a souvenir/trinket person but we love to bring back mustard from Maille. It is so good. Hediard is also a good place to shop for small, yummy French things (the little brown butter biscuits are addictive). It is not exactly inexpensive but they have lots that make nice gifts. Fauchon is also another good spot to shop for macarons, candies and other fun gifts. All of these shops are located around Place de la Madeleine. La Maison du Miel is another idea, for honey and beeswax products. Mariage Freres, Maison du The for all things tea and they make a Christmas blend (as does Hediard). Maybe options for a gift for your Mom, that might end up costing less than perfume. Perfume can be hard to buy for others, since it is so personal. Just a thought or two for gift ideas.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:21 PM.