After months of anticipation, your long-awaited Parisian adventure is finally here. Everything is booked and paid for, the neighbour’s agreed to look after your cat while you’re away, and you’re as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. But before you can travel France, there’s one dreaded task standing in your way: packing.
When you’re travelling to France, it can be hard to know what you absolutely must take and what you can leave behind — if only your suitcase were bottomless and airlines didn’t charge excess baggage fees! So to help you pack all the essentials (and only the essentials) for your French holidays, here’s our guide to packing for Paris.
1. Clothes. Paris is the fashion capital of the world, and the French are matched only by the Italians in their devotion to looking immaculate whenever they step out in public. Looking your best is important when travelling to France, but you’ll need to balance fashion with the need for comfort when you are on foot and sightseeing in Paris. Select a few outfits that combine style with comfort, and remember that no one is going to remember if you wear the same clothes you had on a few days earlier.
2. Toiletries. Want to feel fresh after sitting on a plane for 24 hours? It’s amazing what brushing your teeth and applying some deodorant can do. Planning a night out at an exclusive Paris restaurant? You’ll need your makeup to get all glammed up. Toiletries are an essential consideration for any French holiday. This gorgeous pocket hairbrush with mirror makes the perfect addition to any suitcase, while this pretty pouch can hold all your makeup. But don’t pack too heavily on toiletries — sometimes it seems like every other shop in Paris is a pharmacy, so you can stock up when you get there.
3. Travel kit for the plane. A toothbrush, a good book, earplugs and an eye mask can all make a marathon flight so much easier to stomach. Throw in this luxurious and lusciously soft pure cashmere blanket to ensure you stay warm and get as good a night’s sleep as is possible in an economy seat.
4. Your passport. Of course, you won’t want to make the mistake made by thousands of travellers every year and forget your passport, so dress your all-important travel document in this gorgeous cover from Pylones. Bright, bold and beautiful, it’ll protect your passport and train or airline tickets as well. We also stock matching wallets, glasses cases and iPhone cases if you want to co-ordinate your look and keep your belongings safe.
5. An umbrella. You’d be surprised how often an umbrella comes in handy when travelling to France, so don’t get caught out in an afternoon shower. Pack this gorgeous lady in blue and be prepared to attract plenty of admiring looks.
6. Walking shoes. It’s quite easy to get around to many of the main Paris attractions on foot, and walking around is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of any city. Make sure you pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes that won’t turn your feet into a blistery mess, but don’t forget a stylish “going-out” pair as well.
7. Electronics. Music, reading and photography are three essentials on every holiday. Your iPod or smartphone can handle the tunes, while it’s up to you whether you pack a separate camera or use your phone camera. Books are another must-pack, but make sure to load books onto your tablet to save space. This colourful iPad cover is perfect to brighten up your boring black or white tablet, so add it to your packing list.
8. Adapter. If you want to charge any of your electronics when you arrive in France, you’ll need an adapter to let you tap into the local supply. You can pick these up at the airport while waiting for your flight.
9. Secure your luggage. Lost luggage when you’re overseas is an absolute nightmare, so attach this stylish tag to your suitcase. Not only will it deter thieves, but it will also help your luggage stand out on crowded baggage carousels. A sturdy padlock, such as this pretty in pink creation from Pylones, will also ensure your belongings arrive safe and sound.
10. Space. One of the highlights of French holidays and sightseeing in Paris is the shopping. From chic designer clothing boutiques to quirky little homewares stores, you’ll find heaps of stuff you’ll simply have to bring back home. Try to leave as much space in your suitcase as possible, or even bring a second bag just to fill up with all your purchases.
TOP 3 ITEMS NOT TO PACK
1. A bumbag. Nothing screams ‘Look at me, I’m a tourist’ quite as loudly as a bumbag. They attract pickpockets rather than deter them
2. A hair dryer. Hotels everywhere have them so leave yours at home.
3. Towels. Again, these take up a lot of luggage space unnecessarily.
So now you know what you need to take to travel France, get packing!