I’m sure everybody has heard the age-old cliché that Paris is the city of love and young doe-eyed girls travel to the city in the hopes of finding a fetching French man to sweep them off their Louboutins and living happily ever after. Now I can’t really speak from experience about finding Mr. Right in Paris but I do think that the city has some sort of magnetic draw to it that just leaves you wanting more.
After making the decision to have our wedding in Hamburg I decided that I would have a ‘bachelorettes week’ for my bridal party (even though by then I was already legally married on paper); I just couldn’t pass up the novelty. If my career in finance or blogging ever failed me (touch wood) I can rest assured that I would be an amazing travel planner.
Even after returning to the city I can honestly say I feel like I’ve only seen a glimpse of its beauty. So here are some of my tips if you are travelling to the postcard perfect city of love:
If you plan on doing any shopping (which you would be crazy not to), make sure you always bring your passport. You can claim anywhere between 10-14% of the price of your purchase back and some places like the Galeries Lafayette will give you a cash refund on the spot if you’re game enough to brave the lines. Just remember that if you do this, you will still need to get the receipt stamped at the airport and post this back to the company or you’ll find that the refund you received will be charged back onto your credit card (which you will provide them at the time of claiming your cash refund).
In fact, Global Blue (the main company alongside Premier that issues your tax refunds) has now introduced a loyalty card, which could save you so much time from filling out your personal details on those tiny receipts that expect you to compress your handwriting so that its almost microscopic.
If you do find that you have a stack of receipts, make sure you fill them out before rocking up at the airport to avoid giving your customs officer a migraine and receiving menacing stares from those in queue behind you.
Always make sure you bring a bag that has zip closure. So if you were thinking of bring your Michael Kors tote then think again because chances are, you won’t be left with anything except for a bottle of water and your pocket guide to Paris by the end of the day.
Pre-book all of your tickets to major sites and if your budget permits; purchase skip-the-line tickets because there’s nothing worse then standing around in line for hours waiting to purchase tickets and then have to line up again to get in to see the attraction. It’ll save you time, frustration and lets face it; it feels good when you waltz past people who didn’t think to plan ahead. I recommend the Eiffel Tower is a MUST to pre-purchase tickets as well as the Catacombs underground tour.
Accommodation can be pricey in Paris and staying at a hotel can quickly deplete your savings when you could be using your hard-earned money elsewhere. I did hours of research online prior to heading over and managed to secure a great two-bedroom terrace with my girls in the St Germain district. It was literally across the river from the Louvre which made morning runs all the better. Check out homeaway.com for a variety of options.
Feel free to email me or drop a comment if you have any questions. Bon voyage kids!