12 Top Paris Packing List Items + What NOT to Bring (2017 Update)

What to bring to Paris


1) Cellphone& Accessories – Be sure that your phone has a camera for taking snapshots of your adventures.Apps that allow you to read books, pinpoint your location, listen to music, and watch videos arelikewise great to have on hand. You are also going to need a cellphone charger and possibly an extra battery for the phone to keep it fully operational.
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2) Paris Guidebook – Some guidebooks now come in PDF files that you can download onto your phone to read whenever you want. If that’s not an option, you’ll need at a light-weight guidebook with a phrase section in the back. The Lonely Planet and/or the Rough Guides are trusted names in the industry and theywork well for most travelers.However, if you are a student or are on a very tight budget, the Let’s Go Guide to Paris is also a good choice.
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3) Rain Gear: Women’s and Men’s – At some point, it’s going to rain. The weather stops for no one. Rain jackets, small umbrellas, and leather coats will also work great for keeping you dry. But you may want to leave the rain ponchos at home in this instance. They’ll make you stand out in Paris and not in a good way.
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4) Sturdy backpack – Rolling suitcases and metro stairways aren’t the best combination.Instead, bring along durable backpack that is big enough to hold all your belongings. Just make sure that your important documents are stashed in inner compartments and the outer compartments are securely fastened in some manner. Like most major cities, Paris has more than its fair share of pickpockets. Of course, you can always bring alonga buddy or twoto help keep an eye on your stuff.
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5) Reusable water bottle – The tap water in Paris is perfectly safe to drink so it’s easy to save money by filling up your water bottle at your hotel or hostel. Of course, you can always buy a drink in a plastic container and refill it with water once it’s empty. But containers that are meant to be thrown away obviously aren’t very durable. If they’re used long enough, they’ll also give your drinks a faintly plastic flavor. So just go ahead and buy a reusable water bottle before you leave. You can always take it along on your next set of adventures.
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6) Dual-purpose walking shoes: Men and Women – If your walking shoes will pass muster in a casual Paris restaurant, you won’t have to pack an extra pair for dining out. Depending on the weather, dark leather boots or stylish sandals would be good choices in this city.
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7) Flip-flops – The showers in budget establishment aren’t always known for their cleanliness. But a potentially grimy situation is easily conquered with a good pair of flip-flops. Travelers staying in more upscale establishment might want to bring them along anyway to wear at either the pool or spa. Flip-flops also come in handy if you plan on later heading to beach destinations in Brittany or the south of France.
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8) Power adapter – If you plug in your North American electronics into European sockets without an adapter, they could end up being fried because our countries don’t use the same voltage. Killing your electronics could obviouslymess up your trip really quick. But fear not! Most adapterscost less than $5 at places like Wal-Mart in the States so there’s no reason not to buy one before you leave. And, if yours does get left behind, your hotel/hostel’s reception desk might have one they’ll let you buy or borrow so you don’t have to hunt around for a store that carries them.
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9) Solid Shampoo and Conditioner – Since they’re not in liquid form, you don’t have to worry about meeting the TSA’s crazy requirements. While these products can initially be pricier than regular shampoo/conditioner, mine withstood about three weeks’ worth of consistent use. You might also want to bring along a travel tin to hold them (and your soap) so that they can be left out overnight to dry. If you shove them in a plastic bag instead, it tends to make a mess.
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10) Quick-drying travel towel – Hostels typically charge a fee for using their towels and some hotels can be lackadaisical about providing fresh ones. Or the ones you’re given might not be fluffy enough to soak up all the water from your hair. In such cases, bringing your own towel is the best option. After all, dry towels can even be used as blankets if you’re desperate. There are lots of options available for purchase both online and off, but you can easily make your own travel towel from a large piece of soft flannel.
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11) Plastic Bags – I tend to travel with an assortment of plastic bags. Of course you need a small resealable plastic bag to hold all your small liquid items (toothpaste, mouthwash, lip balm, etc.) so that they can be surrendered for the preflight security check. Meanwhile grocery bags work great for covering up grimy shoes. This enables them to be thrown in the same suitcase as everything else without making a mess. Plastic bags arelikewise a good way to keep wet or dirty things separate from everything else. I usually take a garbage bag or two specifically for this purpose.
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12) First Aid Kit – This should include bandages, aspirin, over-the-counter allergy medicine, antibiotic gel, anti-itch cream, diarrhea medicine, antiseptic wipes, lip balm, and any prescriptions you might be currently taking. While a lot of these supplies can be found in the prepackaged setsthat are sold in stores, you can easily create a customized first aid kit to suit your own needs. Just keep in mind that some of these items are going to have to go in the plastic bag for liquids and gels that you have to hand over to airport security.
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13) Personal Hygiene Supplies – This encompasses items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, soap, loofas , mouthwash, deodorant, shaving razors, hair brushes, hair ties, face wipeshand sanitizer and so on.Don’t forget to bring along anything that you need to stay clean, healthy, and presentable on your travels. Just keep in mind that most places you’ll be staying will provide hairdryers for their guests to use so there’s really no need to drag them along for the ride.


14) Prepackaged snacks – Unless you’re already in Europe, Americans will have to pass through customs at some point on their way to Paris. While homemade snacks are allowed as long as you’re on American soil, they aren’t likely to make it through the customs barrier. The solution is taking prepackagedsnack items to the airport. Although homemade goodies will always be the cheapest option, buying your favorite prepackaged treats before you leave will certainly be more affordable than anything that’s available to eat at the airport.


15) Passport Holder – A small pouch that can be worn around your neck or over your shoulder is a great way to keep your passport, your credit/ATM card, a bit of petty cash, and any tickets you’ve purchased within reach.
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16) Sweater and long pants and Men’s & Women’s – Even during the warmest months of the year, unexpected drops in temperature have been known to happen. Or you could simply find yourselfstuck in a place that keeps the thermostat lower than you’d like. If you don’t have room in your luggage for a full set of cold weather clothes, be sure to take at least a sweater and a pair of pants. This will keep you from wasting valuable vacation time trying to find something warm to wear.
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Other possible packing list items for Paris


What to wear in Paris


1) Stylish, dark clothing that can be worn in layers.

2) Seasonally appropriate garments. Keep in mind that what you regard as warm and cool temperatures depends on where you live. Check the predicted weather temperatures for Paris against your home region’s then plan accordingly.

3) Shoes that are comfortable and presentable

4) A scarf or two.

5) If your hotel has a pool, don’t forget your swimwear.

6) Tasteful but cheap jewelry to complete your look, especially if you plan on going somewhere nice to eat.

What NOT to take to Paris


1) 🚫 Expensive items of any kind: These tend to make you a target for thieves. Of course, you could just as easily lose them on your own.

2) 🚫 Too many clothes and shoes: You only need about a week’s worth of outfits and two pairs of shoes. Most places of the places that you’ll be staying will have somewhere that you can either wash your clothes or have them washed. This does cost about $5 a load.But doing three loads of laundry is still less expensive than paying for even one checked bag.

3) 🚫 Unseasonable clothing: Look up the forecast for your trip just before you go so that you know what to pack.

4) 🚫 Heavy books: If you must bring reading materials, leave the monster guidebooks and large, hardcover novels at home. The more your suitcase weighs, the more likely it will have to be surrendered for the duration of your flight.

5) 🚫 Beachwear: North American style beachwear such as cut-off jean shorts and skimpy tank tops aren’t really appropriate if you want to fit in with the locals. The only place this sort of thing is acceptable in Europe is actually at the beach and there aren’t any near Paris.

6) 🚫 Sneakers: Particularly white ones. These mark you as a tourist.

7) 🚫 Weighty Luggage: The local constabulary gets very annoyed if you leave your bags unattended for any reason, even if it’s just to walk to the end of the platform to see if your train has been delayed. They might even confiscate your bags in the name of public safety. Of course, unattended bags could also be stolen. So don’t bring along any heavy stuff that you’ll be tempted to set down somewhere, even if it’s only for a minute.

8) 🚫 A beret: Contrary to what you see in old movies, it’s not really the style anymore.

9) 🚫 Camouflage clothes: These tend to mark you out as a member of the military and currently that’s not a good thing in Europe.

10) 🚫 Fanny packs: No. Just…no.

11) 🚫 Anything youmind losing: Don’t take your heirloom ring, Cousin Ed’s camera, that sweater your girlfriend gave you for Christmas, or your even best friend (j/k). They will get lost. Trust me.

FAQs about travel in Paris


1) About how much money will I need on a daily basis to enjoy Paris?

That depends on what you plan on doing while you’re in town since some hobbies are more expensive than others.Even so, a basic daily budget of $80 per day should cover meals, metro tickets, some attractions, and a night in a hostel dorm. Travelers who want their own room should allot about $60 extra per day, just to cover the change in accommodation costs. Of course, splitting the price of a private room with a traveling companion or twocan help your budget in this regard. It’s also worth looking into AirBnb (or maybe Couchsurfing) to cut down on accommodation costs. But,if you’ve got the money, Paris is definitely a place with plenty of spending options.

2) Do I need to tip in restaurants in Paris?

Leaving the coins you’re brought back as change is the standard reward for good service.However, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave nothing at all since waiters’ salaries are already factored in to the overall cost of dining out in Europe. Even so, failing to leave at least a 5% tip in a very fancy place might indicate that you’re a cheapskate.

3) What are some good day trips from Paris?

Versailles is the best known day trip from Paris but nearby Giverny and Chartres are also nice places to visit if you have the time.Another good thing is that all of these townscan be reached using public transportation so you don’t have to rent a car to get there.

4) Is the Paris Pass or the Paris Museum Pass worth it?

The only way to tell for certain is to do the math yourself. However, if you are a marathon traveler who can easily see multiple attractions in a day without collapsing from exhaustion, one or both of these passes might be a good deal. Comparatively, if you are someone who likes to meander and only needs to see one or two iconic places per day, the passes might end up costing you money instead.

5) What is the best way to get around Paris?

The subway is usually an effective means of transportation but it’s a bit pricey. You can still save some money by purchasing your metro tickets in sets of 10 instead of buying them individually.Walking is another good way to get around and it is certainly cheaper than taking the metro.

6) How can I avoid lines at popular Parisian attractions?

Buy your tickets online and in advance. Sometimes doing this will even get you small monetary discounts as well.

7) What is the best time of year to visit?

The weather in Paris is at its warmest during the summer months but the city is extremely crowded from June to August when the tourist hordes descend in full force, causing the prices for attractions and accommodations to shoot upward. Even the locals leave town at this point, if they can.Paris sees far fewer crowds and more affordable pricesduring the spring and autumn months but the weather can be temperamental at times. Spring in particular is known for its wet weather. So perhaps the most reliably pleasant time to visit Paris would be in either September or October.

8) How can I save money while traveling in Paris?

There are plenty of ways! You can:

-Eat out at lunchtime and skip the higher diner prices
-Take advantage of free admission days at some of the museums
-Cook your own meals or at least nosh on takeout since in Europe you pay extra for just sitting down and eating in restaurants.
-Eat the free hotel/hostel breakfast if one is available. It might not be the stuff dreams are made of but it will fill you up enough to get you to dinner.
-Buy carnet books rather than purchase subway rides individually
-Walk between attractions rather than use the subway.

9) Which areas of the city are best avoided by tourists?

Most of the main tourist areas are fine but there are some neighborhoods on the fringes that aren’t a great place for outsiders to stay. In some instances, this is because they’re a long way from the action and there isn’t much to see nearby. Otherarrondissements (districts) are home to large immigrant populations, a fact which some travelers might find worrisome. Given that sections of a city can quickly become much better or worse than earlier reports would suggest, I encourage you to do your own research on this subject before setting out.

Some places to avoid include the areas around these metro stops: La Courneuve, Mantes-la-Jolie, Les Halles,Pigalle, Place Blanche, Strasbourg St-Denis, Gare du Nord, Gare de l’Est,Barbès-Rochechouart, and Château Rouge. However, traveling through most of the subway stations listed hereshould be fine as long as you’re not attempting to pass through them unreasonably late at night. Other places to avoid after dark include the Champ de Mars, the Belleville neighborhood, the Seine Banks, the Bois de Boulogne Park, the Saint Blaise area, and portions of the Rue Saint Denis. Travelers will also want to watch out for pickpockets near popular tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower.

10) What are my options for getting from the airports to the city center?

From Charles De Galle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) airports, the quickest and easiest way to get into Paris is to take the RER subway trains. You’ll just need to keep an eye on your bags because pickpocketing can be a problem on these routes. While there are numerous buses that travel from these airports into Paris, using them can be time consuming process. However, those traveling from Beauvais (BVA) airportwill have to use a bus to get into town if they don’t want to pay for a taxi since there isn’t a convenient train station nearby.


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