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-   -   Transportation in Paris. Any advice? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/transportation-in-paris-any-advice-952894/)

Keiran76 Dec 16th, 2012 03:28 AM

Pfd...hi again. Just wanted to weigh in on the packing discussion. When I was there for a week last month, I only wore two pairs of jeans. One regular and one skinny w my boots ( with gel insoles they turned out to be more comfortable than my sneakers!)
It might sound crazy, but I only wore three heavy sweaters. I just packed different long sleeve shirts or under armor for underneath the sweaters. I switched out my scarf every day...I had one rain jacket and one wool pea coat and I was set. I was happy to have the extra room in my luggage to pack purchases and two bottles of wine. My mom- on the other hand- really regretted overpacking. Too many sweaters, pants and shoes. She had no room on the way home.
So bring your fancy new luggage but just resist the urge to fill it on the way there!

menachem Dec 16th, 2012 12:30 PM

And there's always H&M if you need to buy something you can't do without

ssander Dec 16th, 2012 04:15 PM

I'm with annhig...pants worn 3 days is about right.

So 3 pairs of pants (1 to wear on the plane and 2 to pack) should be enough for 7 days.

My wife and I go for about 7-10 days and take two 21" rollers for overhead and a couple of really small (pocketbook size) shoulder bags for underseat.

SS

StCirq Dec 16th, 2012 04:28 PM

The mental picture of you in Paris for a mere week with a 28" suitcase isn't a pretty one. You're going to have to check that, which means loooong lines at CDG waiting for luggage. I've been on 6-week trips with a 22" rollaboard and had no wardrobe issues at all. What are you planning to bring back that you need that much space? A whole side of French beef?

Three pairs of pants is plenty for a week (including the ones you wear on the plane), plus underwear, a couple of sweaters, maybe three long-sleeved jerseys, two pairs of shoes (including the ones you wear on the plane), rain gear, a warm coat, scarf (you can buy another in Paris if needed), socks, hat, gloves...one dressy outfit IF you are planning on a fancy evening out or two. Make sure stuff mixes and matches well. No one in Paris is going to notice what you're wearing.

I cannot begin to imagine filling up a 28" suitcase on either leg of the journey. It's going to be a real albatross.

janisj Dec 16th, 2012 06:00 PM

"<i>And three pairs of pants? Really? That doesnt seem like enough at all.</i>

Yep.

You are only going to be there 7 days - not 7 weeks (I <i>might</i> take 4 pair for a month long trip but normally not.)

Don't think in terms of distinct 'outfits' - plan on mixing/matching/layering. Even 'over packers' can manage 6 or 7 days w/ just a 21 inch rollaboard.

A pair of jeans, a pair of dark pants (maybe black) that can be dressed up or dressed down. and one other pair that goes w/ which ever tops you decide to take.

A 28 incher is a royal pain.

StCirq Dec 16th, 2012 06:27 PM

Don't take this monster suitcase to Paris "just because you bought it especially for this trip." It's not going to be useful for ANY trip much of anywhere. Sell it back to someone on e-bay or something. Very few experienced travelers go around the world with humongous suitcases. People who know how to travel, unless they're headed overseas for weddings or fancy events or cruises and such, travel as lightly as possible to make their day-to-day experiences as stress-free as possible.

A 28" suitcase is like what, maybe, a rock star who has an entourage of helpers to lug it all around has. It's not at all normal for a single person going on a week-long trip to Paris needs. Seriously, it's a huge liability. A royal PITA. A really bad newbie mistake. And you'll look ridiculous lugging that thing around.

Take a 21" or 22" rollaboard. There's plenty of room in one of them to bring back souvenirs and pack what you need for a mere 7 days. Don't check it. You don't need to. Then you can just get off the plane and get on with your trip.

janisj Dec 16th, 2012 06:40 PM

"<i>Take a 21" or 22" rollaboard. There's plenty of room in one of them to bring back souvenirs </i>"

remember - if you do buy a LOT of stuff, the small rollie case will expand to give you more space on the return flight. But don't be tempted to expand it for the flight to Paris. For one thing, you shouldn't need to - but mainly because once it is expanded it must be checked.

passionfruitdrink37 Dec 17th, 2012 06:33 AM

So I went to my back to tell them about using my bank card. So what i can do is use my bank card at atms for BNP Paribas since they're in some banking alliance or something. The teller also told me it'd be better to just exchange cash with my bank before the trip since they dont charge fees. So now I don't feel so bad about exchanging some cash beforehand.
Abiut the whole luggage thing, my small rollie thing will not be enough to fit my clothes and all the stuff I plan on buying over there, so I don't feel bad about taking the big one with me. I mean I want to bring back a few bottlea of wine with me. Im definetely buying shoes, and purses. Maybe some clothes. I dont know. I'd rather bring the big one with me cause I dont want to have to buy a bag while I'm there cause my stuff won't fit.

Kurosawa Dec 17th, 2012 07:42 AM

don't bring the wine, it is too heavy and you can find better and cheaper french wine in the US. I know it has been said to you already, but I just want you to picture carrying your heavy awkward 28" suitcase down the stairs at the Metro to get on RER to go back to the airport. You will be cursing yourself for not listening to expert travelers and it will leave a bad last impression of Paris. They don't have escalators and elevators everywhere the way they do in the US. Trust me.
3 pairs of pants is plenty or wear 1 pair on the plane and pack 3 for a total of 4 to make yourself feel better.

StCirq Dec 17th, 2012 07:56 AM

<<The teller also told me it'd be better to just exchange cash with my bank before the trip since they dont charge fees>>

Oh brother. We're back to square one. They may not "charge fees" but you can bet your bippie they're making money off you by giving you a terrible rate of exchange...WAY worse than you'd get at an ATM in Paris. You've probably just lost 8-10% of however much you exchanged.

Bringing back wine is a waste of time and a pain in the tuckus.

You're going to be cursing that suitcase before you even get out of the airport.

WillTravel Dec 17th, 2012 09:38 AM

I don't see a big problem with the suitcase, on a trip where they are staying in a single place for about a week, and where they are taking the Air France bus to and from the airport within a few meters of the hotel. It's unnecessary, no doubt, but no showstopper. On a trip that involved lots of public transit with the suitcase in tow, then my opinion would be very different.

janisj Dec 17th, 2012 11:04 AM

"<i>The teller also told me it'd be better to just exchange cash with my bank before the trip since they dont charge fees. So now I don't feel so bad about exchanging some cash beforehand.</i>"

Sorry but that teller knows LESS about traveling overseas than you did before you started this thread (You've learned a LOT in the last 2 months :) )

That is such wrong information. I assume it is BofA because of the partnership w/ BNP Paribas. But it doesn't matter which bank - most snooker folks by saying 'we don't charge fees'. But they don't do this 'service' for free - there is a very large mark up on the exchange <u>rate</u> they use. But that is water under the bridge in your case. Hopefully lesson learned for NEXT time.

And I thought we'd convinced you waaaaay back in this thread why bringing wine back is not such a great idea.

kerouac Dec 17th, 2012 12:14 PM

In the winter, yes even women can get a lot more wear out of clothing than in the summer. So please try your best not to bring too much stuff to wear! If you could come with your bag half empty that would be great -- and allow many things to be purchased if you are inspired to do so.

passionfruitdrink37 Dec 17th, 2012 03:59 PM

I'm not American. So I'm not with Bank of America.
And yes, i'm not going to be filling up the big bag before I get there. There'd be no point.
I'm pretty set on bringing the big one with me.
Just...with the stuff I want to buy and bring back..I feel safer bringing it. Shoes and bags take up lots of space. Expanding my carry on won't cut it, especiallly with the stuff I already am planning on bringing with me. So 4 pairs of pants I guess. A few sweaters. Plus my toileteries. Im also possibly bringing my computer with me. My small is already full at that point.
If it means carryig a bag around I dont mind. Id rather that than not beig aboe to bring stuff home with me.

janisj Dec 17th, 2012 04:14 PM

Oh yes, I forgot you are Canadian. (BofA has a reciprocal banking agreement but a Canadian bank must as well)

"<i>Shoes and bags take up lots of space.</i>"

bags? How many handbags are you taking anyway?

You'll gradually figure it out. Next trip you'll be an old pro at this travel stuff. FYI - I travel to Europe at least once a year, often more - usually for 3 to 6 weeks . . . and never (ever) take larger than a 21 inch rollaboard.

I easily fit everything I need in it - w/ room to spare actually. And no - I don't wear the same thing every day. And no - I'm not a slob who doesn't care how I look. And yes, I manage everything from hiking to Michelin starred restaurants. Usually 3 pair of shoes. One trip I even managed formal (long white gloves and the whole 9 yards) in my little bitty rollie bag.

WillTravel Dec 17th, 2012 04:27 PM

Maybe it's redundant to say this, but make sure you carry on any electronics, including computers. The odds of theft are too great if you check them in your luggage.

gardendiva Dec 20th, 2012 01:21 PM

Passion - What most people have not realized is that because they are all using carryon bags, the wait at the checked luggage is very short. I do not think I have waited more that 10-15 minutes for a checked bag in the last 3 years. I usually carryon a small bag to hold my reading material, valuables, things I will need as soon as I get to my destination and my purse. When I get my luggage at my destination, I keep out my purse and put my carryon bag in my suitcase that was checked. That way you only have one bag to keep track of around the airport and to your hotel. The only rule I have with luggage is that I have to be able to carry it myself.

annhig Dec 20th, 2012 01:42 PM

gardendiva - I agree about the wait for checked luggage, or rather the lack of it.

i think that the advice is based more on the difficulty of handling such a big bag for a lone traveller, and the futility of taking so many clothes for such a short holiday, comparatively speaking.

your tip to put your carry-on bag into the main suitcase when you get it off the luggage carousel is a very good one, though it does involve opening the case at that point, which some of us might not want to do.

of course that makes the main bag heavier; and the OP's bag may well be heavy enough already.

passionfruitdrink37 Dec 20th, 2012 05:12 PM

Gardendiva, i was thinking of putting my carryon into my checked luggage once in Paris, so thanks! I'm not scared of weight or wait. I'm sure it cannot be too long and my luggage has wheels so I can easily roll it. And anyways, I wasn't planning on taking thay many clothes. 3 pairs of pants for the day and a couple of fancy pairs for when I go out. I don't think that's too much.
An acquaintance of mine mentioned to me today that she had been in Paris and people were very rude. She said Paris was overrated and full of snobs. Ha! Oh and she recommended I go to a club called Metropolis for New Year's Eve. Has anyone heard of it?

StCirq Dec 20th, 2012 06:28 PM

<<She said Paris was overrated and full of snobs. Ha! Oh and she recommended I go to a club called Metropolis for New Year's Eve. Has anyone heard of it?>>

Cripes! Ignore it.


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