Planning for Paris - a Love Story…
Let’s be honest, the countdown to a trip can be a bit overwhelming…
You’re very excited for your Paris travel adventure, but perhaps have developed a bit of a "love-hate" relationship with the preparations and anticipation. Fear not, P'Nichers, let's work together to make this busy time a little bit more of A Parisian Love Story.
There is a lot going on and you're super excited about your trip (me too!) This is just simply not a moment for multitasking.
Any small distraction while planning for travel can lead to drama down the line, so try to carve out specific time to craft your to-do lists. I even have a "Trip Planner Playlist" to set the mood (it's wordless, background café music) for planning.
Hopefully, you will consider doing the same or similar. Make a cup of tea (or beverage of choice), some treats, and set aside an hour or so to get your most efficient travel task lists created.
This is your time to start dreaming about and planning for your Parisian getaway - make the most of it!
Ready... Set... Plan!
Below are some general to-dos for before your travels. These are not set in stone and some may not apply to your lifestyle, wishes, or needs. This is just a simple guideline to get you on the way to crafting your Parisian adventure in the most efficient way.
Month or Months Before Your Trip
· Ensure your passport is valid
· Ensure time off from work finalized
· Obtain any visas needed
· Book air travel
· Book accommodations
· Obtain travel insurance
· Begin day to day itinerary plan
Set Goals & Have Fun!
· Craft capsule wardrobe packing list
· Check vaccine requirements
· Pre-arrange any prescriptions
· Set up auto pay for monthly bills
· Learn basic French phrases for travel
· Arrange child / pet / plant care
· Save money / create budget for trip
· Download useful travel apps
· Inform bank / debit / credit cards of your international travel dates
· Pause mail delivery (for longer trips)
Week or Weeks Before Your Trip
· Any residual items from above list
· Scan / photograph important documents (passport, etc.)
· Make space on devices for photos
· Convert cash currency
· Arrange transport to / from home airport
· Arrange transport to / from Paris airport to accommodations
· Arrange international phone service
· Pack toiletries and prescriptions
· Press and begin to pack clothing
· Break in your shoes!
· Contact your home alarm company
· Sign up for STEP - The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program - run by the US Department of State, helps the embassy contact you if urgent
· Book any excursions / advance tickets
2 - 4 Days Before Your Trip
· Any residual items from above lists
· Set up electric timers on house lights
· Organize and set aside all travel documents
· Triple Check child / pet / plant care
· Pack your carry on bag
· Finish packing clothing
· Personal care routine (haircut, wax, eyebrows, mani / pedi, etc.)
The Day Before Your Trip
· Dispose of Perishables / Trash
· Check in for flight /
· Final pack and weigh your luggage
· Set up out of office / away email
· Press / lay out travel outfit
· Charge all of your devices
· Go to bed early to accommodate the change of time in Paris
· Clean your house - you'll be happy to return to your tidy li'l château!
Not on the list, but worth noting... the night before the trip, I leave a sticky note next to my suitcase with items that *cannot be forgotten before departing home. Top of my list: quadruple check passport is in my handbag (yes, P'Niche is that traveler), pack meds, take the phone and chargers, take out the trash and bring your house keys...
The Day of Your Trip (Travel Day - Hooray!)
· Wake Up Early
Begin that jet lag counteraction
· Take a deep breath...
· Take any daily prescriptions
· Water lawn / plants
· Unplug AC and other non necessary to run appliances
· Ensure you have your mobile phone and house keys
· Make sure you eat
· Take out any leftover trash
· Add "souvenir" to-buy list to your mobile device
· Check Paris weather before departing
· Lock your luggage
· Ensure all devices are charged fully
· Turn off / Unplug all hair devices
· Lock your windows and doors
· Allons-y! Let's Go!
You may think I am joking about turning off hair devices, but this has been a cause of stress for many the Parisian traveler. Want to know the P'Niche secret? I unplug everything and then take a time stamped photo on my mobile device. This way, in a moment of "uh-oh, did I...?" I can reference the photo right in the palm of my hand and voilà - phew! Pssst, you can use the same trick on air conditioners, ovens, stoves, locks, etc. Travel chic, P'Nichers...
One thing that is not on any of the above lists, but entirely personal: I always store a few prepared or microwavable frozen meals in the freezer before I travel. Upon return, there is jet lag to overcome, unpacking and laundry to deal with, a touch of sadness for a wonderful adventure over (until the next time, bien sûr) and honestly, P'Nichers, not an overwhelming desire to cook. Knowing that my kitchen work will be minimal upon my return has made many the homecoming from Paris easier. Less time cooking time means more time planning another Parisian adventure!
Lastly, a truly important P'Niche note for your lists - the real Paris Love Story...
In all of the countdown, planning, and anticipation, make sure that your overall mental and physical health are at the forefront of your plans.
Even the best laid travel lists and organizational know-how will run into glitches and hiccups. It's just the nature of travel - especially international travel.
Keep in mind, you can hit the "reset" button as many times as you need to refresh when speed bumps appear.
Make sure that you can enjoy your Parisian journey and ensure that you put yourself at the top of your to do list.
What do you think, P'Nichers? Have we made a truly comprehensive list? We’d love to hear your thoughts or any other to-dos you have on your personal travel task list in the comments section below.
The countdown is on until your own journey begins to Paris… see you next post - à bientôt!