A vacation in Paris will give you memories that last a lifetime. Walks along the Seine, afternoons spent lingering at sidewalk cafes, and the energy of the city will stay in your heart. Paris is known as the City of Lights, and also the City of Love. Here are a few tips for spending your vacation days, the holidays, or any days, in Paris.
If you don't already have a current one, apply for a passport today. A vacation in Paris requires one, and you never know when an opportunity for last minute travel will present itself to you. You will want to be prepared to take advantage of a chance to go to Paris. Most of the larger US Post Offices have a passport division.
Before you book your trip: Check with the airline before booking the actual flight, and if you aren't yet a member join their frequent flyer program. The points add up quickly when you are flying to Paris. Before booking your hotel, be aware that hotels in Paris are different than the hotels in the U.S. The rooms are typically smaller, and not all of the hotels in Paris have elevators. If you have trouble going up and down stairs, a few moments of research before your trip will make your vacation in Paris much more enjoyable.
Contact your bank before traveling to Paris. Most banks will allow you to increase your daily withdrawal limit when you're traveling to Europe. ATMs currently have the best foreign exchange rate, and those euros add up. A centime saved is a centime you can spend on something else.
Pack light to save room in your luggage for souvenirs.
Once you arrive: Try to speak the language. All it takes is a pocket phrase book, and you'll be able to properly greet, thank, and say goodbye to our French friends. Most Parisians speak at least a little English, and while I am far, far from being fluent in French, my efforts were rewarded with smiles and good service. The phrase book enabled me to get my eyeglasses repaired at the optician, order cold remedies at the pharmacy, and be treated well at restaurants all over the city.
Take more pictures than you think you'll need. After your trip is over you'll have plenty of time to delete the shots that didn't come out the way you intended.