World In Paris
Paris Travel Tips

Travel Essentials List: What’s in our Travel Day Bag for Exploring Paris

One of the most important things to know before traveling to Paris is what to pack.

Apart from clothes, shoes, and toiletries, your Paris Packing List should include a travel day bag with some travel essentials for exploring Paris.

 

The best day bag for Paris and what to put inside will depend on your plans in the city. Whether you are going to Paris for sightseeing, shopping or meeting friends, we give you the list of Paris essentials, what to pack in a day bag and our best tips.

 

TIP: Check what to wear in Paris during the Spring-Summer. You can find the Fall-Winter edition here

Tips for Choosing your Travel Day Bag for Paris

One of our best tips when visiting Paris is to travel light, with a few travel essentials. There is no best bag for walking around Paris, it all depends on what you are going to do in the city during your trip.

 

If you are visiting Paris for sightseeing, we recommend a crossbody bag. Crossbody bags are perfect sightseeing bags. They are stylish and they don’t mark you as a tourist. They are also big enough for carrying the main day trip essentials but not too bulky.

 

Ideally, you want a travel day bag with anti-theft features. Unfortunately, pickpockets are not uncommon in the Metro of Paris or around the main Paris tourist sights.

Our favorite models are here below. You can read more about anti-theft travel bags and find other models in this post.

Best Anti-Theft Travel Bags, Safe Travels, Secure Travel Bags, Best anti theft cross body travel bag, anti theft crossbody travel bag, Best theft proof travel bags, Best anti theft shoulder bag #travelgifts

 

If you are visiting Paris for activities like museums, shopping, exploring the arrondissements of Paris, or meeting friends, go chic and take a tote bag for walking around Paris.

I use and I recommend this vegan leather tote bag, which is also available in black and deep red. I like its casual style and there is plenty of space inside for my day trip essentials, with an inner pocket for small items.

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If your Paris travel itinerary includes one or two-day trips around Paris, I would definitely think about a small backpack instead of a shoulder bag.

Day trips from Paris usually require a few extra necessities and backpacks have more capacity and ensure a better weight balance on the shoulders.

Backpacks are not necessarily a synonym of tourist as there are many great brands proposing urban, stylish backpacks. In Paris, you will see many locals, women, and men, carrying beautiful backpacks to go to work or for their daily travels.

Again, we recommend an antitheft backpack for safe travels and peace of mind, especially if you are going to take the metro of Paris. The most known brands are Travelon and Pacsafe. XD Design also has beautiful models for urban travelers.

 

Check our anti-theft backpack review and choose the best anti-theft backpacks for safe travels, best theft proof backpacks, travel safe, anti-theft travel backpack, secure backpacks

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Without antitheft features, there are two popular brands in Paris.

Kanken backpacks are the latest trend in Paris. The brand is a little bit expensive but the backpack is made of top quality materials, it is dirt resistant, water-resistant and you can use it for years if you want.

I personally have the 16L model, with a separate compartment for the computer, so I can use it for going to work or for my day explorations around Paris.

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Herschel is another popular backpack in Paris. Locals love the quality of its materials, its vintage touch, and beautiful colors.

 


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Paris Travel Essentials List

Paris Sightseeing Checklist 

 

What to pack in a day bag for exploring Paris?

In addition to normal bag contents which consist of walletphonedocuments, and the keys of the hotel or the apartment in Paris, I don’t go anywhere without my cameras (more about this below), sunglasses and an insulated water bottle to avoid single-use plastic bottles.

Also, it is a good idea to pack in your sightseeing bag a foldable umbrella for the rainy days in Paris, and some snacks. For example, I always have black chocolate in my bag.

 

In addition to the Paris travel essentials mentioned above, I always carry a small Moleskine notebook and pen to write thoughts or inspiring quotes, especially when I visit a museum or an exhibition. I have the Moleskine Classic Notebook, the same model used by Picasso or Ernest Hemingway just to name a few. There is a Moleskine City Notebook dedicated to Paris.

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Day Trip Essentials Checklist

The travel essentials list for day trips around Paris is similar than the Paris sightseeing list but with some additional items.

When going on a full-day tour it is also good to add a travel coffee mug (to avoid single-use coffee cups) and some reading for the train rides. I always take my Kindle Oasis e-reader because it is light and I can store hundreds of books.

Kindle Oasis e-readeris the best of Kindl (Amazon format), with a high-resolution display (7″, 300dpi) for an optimal font presentation. This E-reader supports JPEG, GIF, and PNG formats and audible audio format (AAX), which is a plus.

 

In Paris in the summer I usually pack a light scarf or a light cardigan. These items are good to have if the temperature drops while you are out for the day.

 

Finally, it is a good idea to pack a travel power bank for your phone, e-reader, and other electronics.

 


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Paris Photography: Our Cameras

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Canon 5D MARK III

This is my main camera, a Canon 5D Mark III. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a professional camera, grade 22.3 megapixels, full-frame digital single-lens reflex (DSLR).

This is one of the best professional cameras on the market right now, it is like the Ferrari in the cars’ world! Canon recently launched a newer version of Canon 5D, the Canon 5D Mark IV, but everybody agrees that it is not as good as the Canon 5D Mark III.

This is a very expensive camera and I only recommend it if you want to get serious about photography.

Also, it is quite heavy (1.5kg) so not everybody is ready to carry that weight for taking pictures.

This Canon is not my everyday camera. I carry this camera only for Paris day trips, weekend getaways from Paris, or when I want to enjoy Photography in Paris.

You can buy the Canon 5D Mark III separately (only the body). I bought the kit shown in the carousel, with an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens.

Sometimes I also carry an EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, when I want to have some fun with macro photography.

If you like Canon cameras but you prefer a less expensive model, we have a couple of friends who are very happy with a Canon 70D.

 

Fuji X100T

Like many photographers, I always like to have a camera on me. My Canon is really too big to slip into a handbag and my phone has its limits.

I recently bought a Fuji X100T that I love. It slips everywhere, is discreet and ideal for street photography. 

Warning: this is not a camera that I would recommend as your main camera in the sense that the lens is fixed (28mm equivalent 35mm) and not interchangeable.

Personally, I like the quality of the photos produced, its vintage look and its “old-style click” when I take pictures makes me giggle. Even if its handling is a little complicated at first, once you try it you will adopt it quite easily.

NOTE: the carrousel above shows Fujifi’s newest model, the Fuji X100F. The Fuji X100T is being replaced by this new model, with additional features. I did not feel the need of having the latest model and I bought the very last Fuji X100T available model in the shop.

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC

This one was my everyday camera before buying the Fuji X100T. Norbert bought me this camera (three cameras was too much!) so you will still see pictures taken with this camera in World in Paris.

In the past, I had a Panasonic bridge and I loved its Leica lens, my pictures were always very colorful! The Leica lens was the main reason why I decided to buy another Panasonic.

I chose the Panasonic DMC for its already fantastic reputation. In regards to its predecessor, the TZ60, it has fewer pixels (12 million pixels against 18 million pixels) with the same size of the sensor. This means that the individual pixels are larger which make it better at night.

 

Now you know what’s in our travel day bag for exploring Paris. What about you? What’s your Paris travel essentials list?

 

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  • Megan Jerrard
    01/23/2018 at 11:02 pm

    I like the idea of going chic with a leather tote – this to me is what Paris is all about! And I love the idea of traveling around Paris with an e-reader (a) I’m thinking this could be fabulous for having travel guides / sightseeing information loaded onto it, but (b) nothing sounds more incredible than relaxing along the Seine with my favorite read. Thanks!

  • Hannah
    01/23/2018 at 10:11 pm

    Two snaps for both being a Canon fan and a Moleskine fan! I carry my 70D along with two prime lenses as what I call my ‘handbag camera’, as it is lighter than my 5! I’ve had moleskines for years, and have a Paris specific one, that I have been adding to every trip! This is a great comprehensive list – thank you!

    • WorldInParis
      02/01/2018 at 10:58 am

      Both a classic, Canon and Moleskine are the best! 😉

  • Rosemary
    01/23/2018 at 5:18 pm

    These are great tips for getting the most out of your Paris stay. The day bags are awesome but would want to make sure they are secure enough from pickpockets. The e-reader is a great way to carry your guide book around. Great suggestions. Thank you!

  • Skye Class
    01/23/2018 at 1:14 pm

    Well, I can’t say I would use the tote or clothes, but the Canon 5D III and moleskin notebooks are definitely on my wishlist. I just lost my notebook recently with all my notes from the year, and I’m a little devastated, so getting a new one is important at this time.

    • WorldInParis
      02/01/2018 at 11:00 am

      I need to do the male version of this post next time, lol 😉

  • Janine Thomas
    01/22/2018 at 2:14 pm

    What great tips! Funny, I also have a moleskin notebook that I carry around when I travel. I always forget about an umbrella.I think that I should take your advice and invest in a foldable umbrella! I just usually hope that the weather will be perfect and as you have said….. it rains a lot in Paris!

  • Anu
    01/21/2018 at 6:44 am

    The most important thing in my bag is my mobile phone, my wallet with some money and a water bottle. This is followed by cameras and kindle. If it a place where I am unlikely to get vegetarian food then it is some nuts in a box. I used to travel with a DSLR but switched back to a lighter camera as it is getting too tough to carry it in all places.

  • Danik
    01/20/2018 at 6:14 pm

    Great tips here especially the cameras. Not sure if I could fit in woman’s clothing..he he. Those bags at the top of the post look ideal especially if putting some picnic items on a summers day and then sitting on the grass underneath the Sacre-Coeur and checking out the view.

  • Fiona Maclean
    01/20/2018 at 12:24 pm

    I use a Panasonic micro 4/3rds camera for all my travels. It’s a lot lighter than a bridge or full size dslr. I’ll be interested to hear what you think when you’ve got used to it for a while. And I completely agree with the recommendation of a tote – it looks chic but seems to have infinite packing space!

  • Michelle
    01/20/2018 at 12:15 pm

    Great info about the best items to pack when exploring in Paris on a day trip! I love carrying a tote bag on sightseeing trips in cities – they are so comfortable to carry around and can hold so much! Great ideas for what to take on the trip too, I especially like the coffee travel mug!

    • WorldInParis
      01/24/2018 at 12:11 am

      Yes tote bags can be like Mary Poppin’s bag but I do my best to keep it light. There’s lots of walking in Paris!

  • Sab
    01/20/2018 at 11:49 am

    I have a Kobo, too and I can second it, love this ebook reader! I haven’t been to Paris yet (despite I traveled to more than 60 countries!) but I will bookmark your guide for my ext trip to France, this is very useful! Thanks for sharing!

    • WorldInParis
      01/24/2018 at 12:10 am

      Cool to know that you are also happy with your Kobo! 🙂