Top Ten Mistakes When Traveling to Paris

by Traveling Professor on February 6, 2014

Top Ten Mistakes Made When Traveling to Italy

Not Understanding Basic Social Protocols Sometimes travelers think Parisians are rude.   But this is because Parisians think travelers are rude because they don’t follow their essential social protocol of saying “bonjour”, “s’il vous plaît”, and “merci” when appropriate.  After all, we are in their country.parisfriends

Being a Target for Pickpockets Unfortunately, Paris is loaded with pickpockets, so much so that the guards at the Louvre went on strike to protest:  http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=bd7b5fb0-66c5-481a-89c8-bb9b7b835413.  Don’t carry passports or excessive amounts of money around.  Protect any valuables you may have with you.September2010Tour

Not Using Professional Guide Services Guides in Paris are licensed and are required to take exhaustive examinations in order to get and keep that license.   They are knowledgeable professionals.   Guidebooks and audio guides cannot substitute for the professional guide experience.  The problem is, guides are expensive.  However, there are group tour programs that tourists can join up with.

Staying in a Hotel Outside the Historic Area In selecting a hotel, location and location and location is the most important factor.  I like the Latin Quarter/St. Germain neighborhood.

Not Trying Local Foods To me, eating local foods is one of the essentials reasons I travel.  Try the escargot, boeuf bourguignon, crepes, kig ha farz, raclette and oeuf mayonnaise.  Like I say, if you wanted to eat a Applebee’s, you should have stayed home.

Not Taking a Day Off While it is important to plan an itinerary, I think it is important, especially in Paris, to set out one day while on your vacation, with no plans at all.   See where your metro pass and legs take you – it might be the best day of your trip.

Going on Large Group Tours My friend, the well-known travel expert Arthur Frommer once compared those large 30-40 person group tours to “death”.  If taking a group tour, make sure it is with about a dozen people at most.

Not Using Public Transportation First of all, you gotta be nuts to try to drive in Paris.   It amazes me how many people refuse to take the bus/metro and will only walk or take a taxi.

Not Buying the Museum Pass To me, the primary advantage to the Museum Pass is the VIP, no-wait-in-line admission to all the great museums.   If you go to probably 2 museums a day when using the 6-day MP, you will save money on admission fees.  Also, you tend to go into museums you would not normally go into if you did not have the pass.    Note: avoid buying the Paris Pass – not a good value.

What’s Your Tip on Things To Avoid in Paris?

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