Sunday, 17 May 2015

Travel guide and wishlist: When in Paris......


I'm off to Paris tomorrow on a school trip and I can't wait! Most of the kids have never been to Paris and many have never been abroad so it's going to be great to experience it with them and show them some sights. I first went to Paris when I was 21 and loved it so I thought I would put together a little guide of things that you MUST have which will make any trip easier! 

1. A travel guide and map
So, I was quite naive when I first went to Paris and thought the instructions to find the hotel were simple when it said on their website 'go straight out of the station door, turn left and follow the road'. What I didn't realise was that there were 5 exits at the train station and many crossroads in the area! A map is essential to have in your pocket and helps you plan what you want to see while you're there. The guides also have lots of tips and things you can easily miss otherwise.

2.  Travel Document Wallet
When I travel, I need to know that all of my important documents are there. There's nothing worse that getting to customs or needing your ticket and you have to root around in your huge bag to find the tiny bit of paper. A travel document wallet usually has little sections for your passport, currency, tickets and booking confirmations. They are like large purses and are easy to spot so you can keep everything organised. Perfect!

3. A good bag
You need a good sturdy bag for travelling. Firstly, to put all of your things in while you travel to your destination. Secondly, while you're there you have your map, various cameras, bottle of water etc and you need it to hold all of your essentials. Of course it helps if it looks nice! I love these vintage canvas backpacks that have come back in fashion. I always feel that backpacks can be quite bulky and I'm quite small but these ones fit everything in, are super comfy on the shoulders and they look cute too!

4. Comfy shoes! 
This ones  pretty obvious but you need a good pair of comfy shoes. I have learnt the hard way by wearing shoes that look nice but in fact have left me with blistered, sore feet. Not what you want from your first day out and about. If you are off on a city break, especially somewhere like Paris. you are going to do a lot of walking. Converse are the perfect answer if you aren't a fan of proper trainers and they still can be worn with shorts and skirts too. Win win.

5. A Notebook
This might not be everyones cup of tea but if you like scrapbooking or keeping your memories then you definitely need a little notebook. There have been so many times when I have got home and started to scrapbook and I have no idea what the hotel, restaurant, street was called or which day we went where. You don't to keep a full on diary but it's always handy to have some writing material with you.

6. A Camera
 This is an obvious one. Whether it's a Polaroid like this one, an SLR, a compact or just your phone, I can't stress how important I think a camera is. I love photos anyway and there have been holidays where I have had up to 4 cameras on me (don't judge, they are all different in some way!) If you experience these things and want to remember them then make sure you invest in a good camera. Saying that, there have been times when I've been having such a good time that I have forgotten to take any pictures and that's OK too!

7. A Padlock
OK. So this is exclusively for Paris trips and it's not essential as such but I love the idea! The Pont de l'Archeveche  bridge, also known as the Love Locks Bridge is a highlight for any couple or romance lover. The tradition is that you attach a padlock to the bridge with you and your lovers initials on them and then throw the key into the river, sealing your love forever. Romantic ay? It would be a fun thing for any couple but I'm not sure how good it is for the environment or the bridge itself anymore....

8. An Umbrella (waterproofs!)
The weather can be totally unpredictable and despite your best efforts to keep up to date with the weather forecast, it can often be wrong. When I went to Paris for the first time it was the middle of July so I pictured myself waltzing around the streets in pretty dresses and sandals. I couldn't be more wrong and more unprepared. I have never seen rain to heavy on the first day and I spent the rest of the trip cold and trying to look casual, not frozen, in all of my photos.  An umbrella or a waterproof coat is always a good idea to have in your bag (another reason for a good bag!)

I hope you have found my travel essentials useful! Some may be obvious but I'm speaking from experience of sometimes getting it really wrong and finding myself stuck in a foreign country. 

Happy Travelling Mon Ami!


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