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You booked your flight to Paris and you saved the money for your dreamed Paris trip. Finally, you are going to depart in the next couple of weeks!
Though preparing for an international trip is exciting, it can also be very stressful in the weeks and days leading up to your departure. After the core of the trip (the fun part) is figured out, there’s still a lot to cover.
Two-three weeks before the trip is a good time to double-check if you are ready to depart. This Paris pre-trip checklist will help ensure that you’re totally ready to go when the day of your flight arrives.
Apply for any Official Documentation
An important point of this international travel checklist is the official documentation. Depending on your country of origin, you may need to apply for a visa to travel to France. Start researching this as soon as possible, since it could take weeks to obtain a Schengen visa.
Also, it is important to check that your passport is still valid and the expiry date has at least six months to expire after your return from Paris.
Make copies of your Official Documentation
In case your passport is lost or stolen, you will be thankful to have a couple of printed copies of it. This will make the process of getting a new passport much easier.
You should keep a copy of your passport in your handbag and a copy in your checked bag. Also, it is a good idea to scan the first page of your passport (and the page with your visa, if necessary) and email it to yourself.
Gather any other important documentation, like international driving license, medical prescriptions (if needed) and more.
Don’t leave home without buying travel insurance. While traveling, anything can go wrong – from lost luggage to stolen things or injuries – and if something does happen, you will be thankful to be covered by your travel insurance.
Today, travel insurance is so affordable and easy to buy that it’s foolish not to invest in travel insurance. We highly recommend purchasing your travel insurance for Paris and France through Safety Wings.
Safety Wings offers competitive pricing, flexibility, and great coverage. One major aspect that makes Safety Wing stand out from other providers is that you are able to sign up for insurance from the road, even after you’ve started traveling and it is also possible to extend your insurance period after the issue date.
The signup process is completely online, quick and easy. You can read more information about Safety Wings here.
When you are traveling to one of the most visited destinations, Paris, it is important to book your accommodation in advance. We always find that the sooner you book, the cheaper and better they are!
You can start by checking out where to stay. There are 20 districts of Paris, each one with its own character and charm. To help you decide what arrondissement of Paris is the best for you, have a look at our Arrondissements of Paris Quick Guide.
For booking our accommodations we always use Booking.com. Whether we’re booking a hotel, hostel or your own apartment, Booking.com has always the best deals and options.
Ensure you have planned how to get to your local airport. Allow enough time to get to the airport so you can check-in without stress.
At least a few days before your departure, you should have a plan for getting from the Paris airport to the city to make sure your trip starts off smoothly.
Depending on the airport in Paris, there are different transportation options, public and private. Below, the transportation guides for the two airports located on the outskirts of Paris.
Before your departure, do research on where exactly your accommodation is, and what the easiest (or cheapest) way to get there is.
TIP: We like Welcome ‘s transfer services, with good cars and the best English speaking drivers
Ensure you have your travel money set up, especially if you are traveling from a non-euro country. Some people prefer changing the money in their home country while others prefer changing on-site or relaying in their debit /credit cards.
If you plan on using your cards abroad, let your bank(s) know where and when you’re traveling so they do not block your cards while you’re abroad. If you don’t, they might consider your transactions suspicious and freeze your card, leaving you without access to your money. Finally, transfer funds to your traveling accounts.
If you are going to use local ATMs, it works out cheaper to withdraw one lump sum than a few lower amounts. Also, it is a good idea to check beforehand what are the fees at French ATMs. You can read about ATMs in France, cards, and fees in this article.
Plan a Rough Itinerary
In a city with so many things to see and do, don’t go in blind, without any sort of plan at all. Before your trip to Paris, do some research on what you’d like to do and then make a rough itinerary.
Purchase Tickets for the Most Popular Paris Attractions and Book Day Tours
Tickets for the main Paris tourist attractions like Eiffel Tower, or Louvre Museum need to be purchased well in advance since they could sell out. Also, it is also interesting to know when it is the best time to visit the main Paris tourist attractions to avoid the crowds.
Does your Paris Checklist include many museums and other paid attractions? Then consider a Paris tourist pass. Have a look at our Paris Tourist Pass comparison and if you decide to buy one, do it online before your departure.
Check if there are any Local Events going on
Do you want to give a local touch to your Paris trip? Concerts, festivals, holidays, and sporting events are some of the potential happenings you won’t want to miss!
Local customs & Etiquette
Another advice on this Pre-Travel Checklist is to read up on the local customs & etiquette. Interesting things to research are how to dress in Paris, how to greet people and the dining, how much to tip, and the drinking etiquette.
Also, it is interesting – and much appreciated by Parisians – to learn some basic French vocabulary. Remember to start any conversation with a “bonjour”, and you will get nothing but friendly people in Paris.
Communications is another important thing to be included in your travel abroad checklist. Call your network provider to ensure your phone has been unlocked to enable other SIM cards to be used and also unlocked for international calls.
Consider the Rental of a Portable Pocket Wi-Fi Device
Despite most of the hotels in Paris propose free Wi-Fi, it may be a good idea to have your own portable pocket wi-fi device. This enables you to have ready access to data and the internet also when you are out of the hotel, without the hassle of trying to find free Wi-Fi.
As you are aware, free Wi-Fi can often have dubious security, plus having to continuously find and then log in to each Wi-Fi hotspot can be a hassle.
We would consider seriously the rental of your Wi-Fi device if you are renting an apartment in Paris.
For our travels, we use and we recommend SkyRoam. SkyRoam provides portable wifi in 130+ countries with a secure, encrypted network and 4G LTE speeds. Skyroam proposes Flexible WiFi plans: WiFi by the Day, Month or GB.
Paris Packing List
An important chapter of your Paris Travel List is the Packing List. Check our Paris packing lists, for all the seasons and for men and women, to ensure you have everything you need. Lay everything you plan to take out on your bed and review your own packing list to confirm you have the essentials.
Be sure you are packing good walking shoes – you are going to walk a lot in Paris! – and also pack some important accessories like a foldable travel umbrella, sunglasses or a scarf.
Travel Adapter /Voltage Converter
Another thing we never travel without is a travel adapter, for different shapes of wall outlets. If you still need to buy one, we recommend this adapter which is compact, compatible with most (if not all) countries around the world, and it includes a USB port, as well as the regular plug, so you can plug in many things at once!
If you have a single-voltage device—and that voltage differs from the voltage level at your destination—then a voltage conversion accessory is necessary. France, for example, uses C, E plugs, with 230 V, and 50 Hz frequency.
One Day Before Your Departure
This Paris pre-departure checklist ends one day before your trip to Paris. These are the last items to tick off your Paris travel checklist:
» Check that there are no transportation strikes in France or anything that could disrupt your travel plans. Review your Airport transfer options.
» Reconfirm flight or train Times. Check out the latest published flight or train times online.
» Reconfirm Critical Bookings, like accommodation or for important events.
» Check the weather forecast. A couple of days before your departure, we recommend checking the weather forecast for Paris and adjust your packing list accordingly.
» Gather up all of your confirmation emails. Whether you prefer to print out all of your flight itineraries, accommodation confirmations, transportation tickets, etc. or to keep them in a file online, it’s important to get organized. We recommend having all your confirmations in one accessible place, physical or online
» Charge All Travel Gadgets. Put all travel gadgets items on for a full charge overnight. Ensure items are in a prominent location so they are not left behind. Don’t forget your chargers!
» Set Alarm if you need an early wakeup. If your flight is in the afternoon, you can also set an alarm for the latest time to leave the house.
If you have gone through all the items of this Check List International Travel now you are ready to go! Bon Voyage, we wish you a great trip to Paris!