Planning A Trip To Paris!
Next month will be my first trip to Paris and Barcelona! Five nights in Paris followed by a short flight to Barcelona and three nights there. Unfortunately, my desire to travel is currently greater than the balances in my award point accounts. Therefore, I went ahead and paid for this trip. There will be no points involved. I came across a website called www.europeandestinations.com and decided to try it out. It was a package deal, you pick the dates and the locations and they recommend hotels and flights and give you an overall price. We selected Paris and Barcelona and the total package price came to a little over what I was able to find just the flights for online! My friend and I decided to give it a try and took a slight risk in doing so. I did some research on the company prior and although there were some mixed reviews there was enough positive to go for it. Luckily so far it seems to have worked out and I can see my flights on Delta’s website. So even if both hotels fall through I’m not out a whole lot of money. We were able to see the hotels before booking and looked up reviews on tripadvisor.com and similar websites.
Since our trip is now set, it’s time to start looking into details for the Paris portion! I have several friends/coworkers who have been to Paris and all had great suggestions. Ultimately I am currently trying to narrow down my list to the “must dos” and the “if we have times”. For now, the musts are: going up the Eiffel Tower (chessy, yes, but it is a must), visiting The Louvre, a day trip to Versailles, Notre Dame, Luxembourg Gardens, Arc de Triomphe and Parc des Buttes Chaumont.
My friend and I made lists of what we absolutely wanted to see and what we were hoping to see. After evaluating our lists, we determined that it makes sense for us to buy the Paris Museum Pass. This pass allows access to several of the places I listed above, and many of our hoping to see places. We intend to buy this at the airport or elsewhere once we are in Paris, as I’ve been told it is marked up for shipping and resale if you purchase before your trip. We will likely combine this with a Paris Metro Pass, which we will also purchase upon arrival. We may also try buying a “carnet” or group of 10 metro tickets and seeing how often we ride it in the first couple days. We considered the Paris Pass, which is a combined Paris Museum Pass and Metro Pass with many other extras, but decided based on our lists of what we intend to do it was not a good deal for us.
We also looked into whether we needed to prepare for our trip and get euros ahead of time, or get some once we get over there. Many of the resources I found online recommend going to an ATM once you are overseas to get euros, as many banks charge horrible fees/conversion rates to get them ahead of time. As a worst case, we will use an exchange counter at the airport if we need to. Luckily I have my no foreign transaction fees Citibank Hilton Reserve card with chip and pin, so I should be able to use that a decent amount over there.
I have a little time before the trip to plan more, and will fill in as I learn more details (or if any of this turns out to be a horrible idea). Right now I am concerned with finding a jacket, as it is nearly impossible in South Florida. If you ever want to mess with someone – just go to a store in South Florida and ask for a winter jacket.
If you have any Paris or Barcelona tips for me, feel free to comment below!