Packing for an international trip can be overwhelming especially if you haven’t done it before or it has been a while. I hope you find my tips below helpful and relieve a little stress when it comes to packing.
Paris is a bucket-list destination for travelers. It was on the top of my list when I was younger and I finally made it a reality just before my 21st birthday. I have been going back ever since and now consider myself an expert when it comes to the city. It truly is my second home.
The city of Paris can be expensive. I would compare the prices to any major city such as New York City. To help reduce any additional costs from traveling, it’s important to pack everything you need instead of having to pay any additional costs that may eat into your travel budget. I always forget to pack a scarf and have picked up many at Galleries Lafayette in a pinch.
I love a good packing checklist, this packing PDF can be downloaded and printed to help you prepare for your upcoming trip.
Paris is considered to be one of the fashion capitals of the world. If you want to fit in and not stand out as a tourist, you want to dress the part.
Make sure you have comfortable shoes for walking around Paris. There are several ways to get around the city, I think walking is the best. You get to see so much of the city this way. When you compare how long it will take to get to your destination via metro/bus or walking if it isn’t too much of a difference and you have the time, I would walk.
Way before google maps I learned about the city of Paris by walking and getting lost. I love the side streets, passageways, and hidden gems you can discover while seeing the city on foot.
For comfortable walking shoes, I love these Madewell sneakers which are under $100. I wear an 8.5 My feet swell a bit when I walk a lot so it is always great to have some wiggle room. I recommend adding this Moleskin to the back of your sneakers and any other shoes before bringing them to Paris. This adds a little extra cushion at the back and reduces the chance of blisters.
The French won’t be seen wearing heels much around Paris unless it’s for Fashion Week. Heels aren’t the most practical when it comes to cobblestones. Stylish sneakers, flats, and boots are the way to go depending on the season. For flats, I love these from Margaux NYC. I wore these all around Paris in October and never had a problem. These Sarah Flint flats are also a great option. (You can use REBECCAPBA for $50 off your first order) I sized up in both flats to an 8.5.
In the spring/fall, I recommend a good trench coat and leather jacket for transitional weather. Summer can be tricky, it’s good to have at least one layer for rainy days or in case the temperatures drop at night. I love a denim jacket for this. For colder months, a good wool jacket, hat, gloves, and scarf are essential. Winter can be damp and cold.
You will want to prepare for rain during any season. We were very lucky to have some amazing weather in October. This is not always the case. Water-resistant shoes are good to have along with a rain jacket and umbrella.
The weather in spring in Paris can vary from rainy and cold to warm and sunny. It’s best to be prepared with layers, an umbrella, water-resistant shoes, and a coat. I highly recommend packing both a leather jacket and trench coat if you can. These are great layering pieces to keep you warm and dry in the spring.
These Madewell walking sneakers are my favorite for the spring/fall.
The weather in Paris in the summer can be extremely hot. Typically, Parisians leave the city in July/August and escape to the beach or South of France. August can be very empty which is typically when Americans want to travel to Paris due to vacation schedules. A lot of businesses and restaurants will close for the month of August and reopen in September. I always mention that to friends as they are booking trips to Paris in the summer.
I have been to Paris in July and there was a heatwave. It was 10:00 pm and the sun was still out and it was a hot one. I was lucky to have air conditioning in my hotel. Apartment rentals are not always that lucky. Make sure to take that into account when you are making summer bookings.
Pack light layers, linen, dresses, and skirts. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a jacket if it does turn cool in the evenings. I like to travel with a jacket and scarf even in the summer as the planes are always chilly. This is a great way to pack a layer by wearing it on the plane.
The fall is one of my favorite times to visit Paris. In October, the weather can be warm and beautiful before transitioning to colder weather in late October and early November. I have had some amazing weather weeks in the fall. You will still need to pack layers and I highly recommend waterproof boots. Blondo is my favorite brand for comfortable waterproof boots. Blondo boots will have more styles come fall. I anticipate they will restock a boot similar to the one I am wearing in this photo. This was THE BEST selling item of 2021 for me for a good reason.
A hat, gloves, and scarf are essential to keeping warm in the winter along with a nice wool coat. Sézane has some great coats. This one below has been a part of my wardrobe for three years and still going strong. It’s a classic staple. Investing in a high-quality coat is a smart idea if you have the budget.
Contact your bank before traveling to make sure there are no issues when charging items on your credit card or using the ATM.
For security reasons. I keep my belongings at my Paris rental apartment or in the hotel safe. I only bring one credit card with me when I am walking around along with my ID. I keep a small wallet on me with room for euros. Most of Paris accepts apple pay or touch payment. You will run across some places that are cash only so it is a good idea to carry some on you at all times. The boulangerie will take cash unless it’s a larger order and you can use a card. If you are just picking up a croissant, you will need a few euros. Also, this goes for the same for the market. Cash is preferred but if you are ordering a few pieces of cheese or a larger amount of produce/veggies a card will most likely be an option.
Cell service. I can switch my Verizon plan on for $10 a day. If I have a longer trip, this ORANGE SIM card is a great option and very affordable. You just swap out your current SIM card for the ORANGE one and switch it back at the end of the trip. I recommend using Whatsapp instead of text messages so your threads don’t get confused.
Don’t forget the travel insurance. I use World Nomads for trips out of the country.
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