First Time to Paris
It’s the perfect time to start planning your spring vacation to Paris! With all the hustle and bustle of the City of Light, your first visit to Paris can be overwhelming. These helpful tips will help you to be well prepared to enjoy your stay.
- You don’t have to get your Euros before you go. Wait and take euros out of the ATM with your debit card when you arrive in Paris (at an airport or hotel ATM).
- Call your credit card company (ies) to advise them that you will be traveling to Paris so they do not freeze your card or suspect fraud when you make charges. It’s a good idea to bring more than one credit card. Also set up a PIN for your credit card, as you may need that to charge in Europe. Make 2 photo copies of your cards, front and back, keep one with you – separate from the cards and keep one at home. Just in case you need to replace them, you have the details you need.
- Make a photocopy of your passport front page. Keep it in your luggage and not with your passport in case you need to replace it.
- A VAT or value added tax from 5-25% is imposed on most goods and services in EC countries. The rate is 19.6% in France.
- The least stressful way to get to your hotel from the airport upon arrival is to pre-arrange your transfer to your hotel, but the quickest & least expensive way to get to Paris from Charles De Gaulle (CDG) Airport is by taking the RER B train to Paris Gare du Nord. This is personal preference.
- Bring your own washcloth. Most French hotels don’t provide them (but you don’t need to worry about towels).
- You may bring up to $800 worth of souvenirs and goods you purchased back into the US duty free. The next $1000 has a 3% flat fee.
- Check with your cell phone service provider to add an international plan for France to make and receive calls while on vacation, if desired.
- Bring bubble wrap, tape and various sizes of zip-lock baggies to help wrap souvenirs on your homeward journey.
- You may wish to keep your valuables in an undershirt or inside-pant wallet, to keep pick pockets at bay.