As you may know from THIS post about my super budget trip to Paris, I just returned from a 7-day trip to France.
And if you remember from THIS packing list, I was EXTREMELY meticulous about what I would pack and wear.
Well, as with everything in life, hindsight is 20/20. I’m back now and there are a few things I wish I would have brought and a few others I totally wasted space on.
I’m sharing those travel packing hacks and tidbits right below:
Things that I DIDN’T pack that I should have:
We had so much phone drama.
The way we had it planned was that my phone would be designated for photos (because priorities) and the other girls’ phones would be for directions.
Well, they have older androids and their phone charge would decrease before they were even used! We would be out from morning until evening and by the end of the day, everyones phone had run out of battery or was very close to it.
As the trip went on, we started bringing our chargers and charging the phones at restaurants to prevent getting stuck somewhere.
I wish we would have just brought an external battery or power bank like THIS one– they cost just a few bucks and would have saved us a ton of stress and drama.
Such a rookie move but I forgot to pack a plug adapter.
Luckily, my sister was able to buy one from a nearby store for about five euros.
I recommend that you buy one before you go because THIS one comes as a three pack for a cheaper price than we found it there.
Also, it’s best to be prepared as you might need it right when you land and may not have a store closeby like we did. (Also check out this adapter with 2 USB ports!)
***PRO TIP FROM A READER (thanks Kay!)***
#2.5. A Power Strip / Extension Cord
Plug in multiple things using one adapter/converter and never hunt for outlets again!
Even though we were in the middle of the sub-zero “polar vortex” at home, I was much colder in Paris than at home.
Well, on a regular basis, I’m not usually walking around outside sightseeing and taking public transportation. Paris was in the 30s and 40s and the wind made it even colder.
The cold built up the longer we were outside and I remember trying to take in the Eiffel Tower and wishing I would have brought Hand Warmers to stuff into my gloves or Toe Warmers to stuff into my boots.
I could have appreciated the sights a bit better if I wasn’t looking for somewhere to warm up all the time.
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Technically, I didn’t make this mistake; my sister did.
She brought regular socks and had numb toes on more than one occasion (even when she layered them). If you’re traveling in the winter, bring wool or fleece socks to stay warm all day.
I didn’t remember to convert any dollars into euros before boarding, but luckily, I remembered to do so before leaving the airport. One of the ladies didn’t and it was a pain for us to find a place to change her money.
Luckily, most (but not all) places take credit. We eventually found money changing places near the more touristy areas.
6. MORE Knowledge of the French Language
I had a REALLY tough time with the language (covers face in shame).
Has anyone else noticed how many silent letters there are in the French language!?
I also never realized how four years of high school Spanish would make me want to say gracias (instead of merci) to everyone.
Thank God for the bilingual superheroes that helped us. A few things that I should have learned how to say beforehand are:
- Where is the metro?
- May I have water?
- How much is this?
Things that I BROUGHT that I could have done without
We ALL brought more clothes than we needed and ended up with outfits we didn’t even wear.
I recommend editing your clothes down to the necessities. You can always switch up your outfits with accessories.
Check out my Paris packing list to see what I’m referring to.
It just took up room and was really annoying to lug around. Also, I ended up buying a beret, so the hat could have definitely stayed home!
All in all, I had a great trip and very few regrets.
I’m interested to hear all your travel packing hacks. Comment below- what did you learn to pack or not to pack from experience?
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