The following is a guest packing list from Meg Rulli. Affiliate links are denoted with an asterisk.
Whether you are on vacation or a long-term backpacker, you want to visit Paris in-style and look as chic as everyone else on the street. You also want to pack light and hopefully leave some extra room in your suitcase to bring home souvenirs from the Eiffel Tower or clothes from a French boutique.
With the limited room in my backpack and the desire to look hip in this whimsical city, here was my perfect packing list for Paris:
3 Solid Color Tees Or Tanks – I prefer the solid prints because they are casual and versatile, and you can dress them up with accessories for a more hip look!
5 Pairs Of Underwear – I love my Exofficio Give-N-Go® Lacy™ Bikinis.
2 Pairs Of Socks – Be sure to pack one heavier pair of socks in case it’s rainy and cold in the city.
1 Wool Cardigan – Weather in Paris is pretty unpredictable and yucky. One minute it can be a beautiful sunny day, and the next it is raining cats and dogs. As such, packing a warm sweater that you can use as an extra layer to your cute Paris outfit is advisable. Cardigans are great as a layering piece and look elegant to boot! The one I brought was a black North Face wool cardigan that kept me nice and toasty while walking to and from all the Paris sights. I did not have a light jacket with me, but this might also be a nice thing to have in your suitcase!
1 Scarf – Every lady traveler / backpacker should have a scarf on hand in her backpack. Scarves are a wonderful multi-purpose accessory. In Paris, they are great to have because they class up any outfit, add a little colorful pop to your wardrobe, and also keep you warm on colder days. In addition, French women love their scarves, so why not join the party?!
1 Pair Of Jeggings – Tony thinks that jeggings are the most fascinating piece of clothing for women… Whenever he teases me for wearing them, I like to think that he is just jealous that he doesn’t have a pair. They fit your body like skinny jeans, can dress up any outfit, are easy and compact to pack, and don’t wrinkle. I am so glad I had these to wear around Paris, as opposed to my convertible hiking pants, which screamed tourist! As an added bonus, jeggings are uber stretchy, which can come in handy if you are binging on all the delicious cheese, wine, and sweets that Paris is famous for… I sure know that they came in handy when I travelled there!
1 Wrinkle-Free Dress – If you are looking to spend a night on the town or dine out at a nice French restaurant, then you want to dress the part and fit in with the trendy locals. Having a cute dress in your bag can come in handy when you want to step up your wardrobe a notch. My recommendation is to bring a low maintenance wrinkle-free dress, such as a silk dress, so you don’t need to worry about finding an iron when your plane lands.
1 Pair Ballet Flats – Prior to arriving in Paris, Tony and I had spent three months hiking around South America. Most of my gear and clothing was made for hiking, but I refused to wear my big clunky hiking boots perusing around downtown Paris. Luckily, I packed a pair of Puma ballerina flats*. These flats were sensible enough to walk around comfortably in the city, while also looking somewhat dressy. As an added bonus, they were bendable and rolled up into a little ball, taking up little room in my backpack.
1 Pair Sneakers Or Hiking Shoes – Like I said previously, I enjoy exercising when I can. But on colder days or rainy days in Paris, you might want to wear sneakers or hiking boots to stay warm – Just be sure they are waterproof! If you have extra room in your suitcase, rainboots might be the way to go on this one.
1 Pair Flip Flops – I like having my flip flops on hand in case it’s a warm day out!
Toothbrush/Paste – With all the red wine I drank in Paris, having my toothbrush handy was key!
Deodorant – I know some French folks may not be big on this… but you should be!
Razor – Same reason as above.
Brush – Gotta have nice looking hair in Paris…
Makeup – …Same for your makeup!
Hair ties – I have thick thick hair so this is a MUST pack item for me!
Protection from the Elements
Sunscreen – Even though it may be cloudy out, you still want to protect your skin!
Tums – With all the rich foods we ate in Paris, we sometimes ended some of our days with a belly ache. Be sure to bring some Tums or antacids to help your cause!
Camera – This one is pretty obvious… But it is the #1 item you do not want to forget to pack. Paris has so many wonderful sights (The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, etc.) that you are going to want to photograph. You do not need to go crazy and buy a ginormous and expensive DSLR, but you are going to want to bring a high quality camera that takes high quality pictures.
Kindle – I am obsessed with my Kindle and it is perfect for travelling, as it allows you to have tens and hundreds of books in one journal-size electronic reader. If you travel to Paris, bringing a book to read is a MUST. Try Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” so you can imagine Paris in the 1920s as you sip your coffee in the present.
One of the best activities to do in Paris is to spend a day hopping around the adorable street side café’s… Why not join in with the locals and get your read on while you are sipping your cappuccino and people watching?!
iPod – Another great toy to have on the airplane or during your café stakeouts!
Necessary Chargers – Remember: You will need a European adapter plug!
Passport And Necessary Visas – For visitors from the United States, a visa is not necessary if you are staying in the European Schengen Zone for less than three months out of the next six.
Deck Of Cards – Good for playing games with your travel companion at a local café.
Stain Stick – If you are a lady that adores food (like me), you will be eating LOTS of food and drinking LOTS of wine while in Paris. After all, it is the food capital of the world! If you are ALSO a slob like me, then you might be prone to spills (especially when eating messy Nutella crepes), so packing a Tide 2 Go or a travelling stain stick can definitely keep your wardrobe looking fresh… No matter what!
Have you ever been to Paris? What was in your backpack/suitcase?
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Author Bio: Meg Rulli writes with her husband, Tony, for the blog LandingStanding. “Carpe diem” is her favorite cliche and also her motto. Meg is a high-energy girl that loves being active (and the naps that follow), spending time outdoors, and eating (A LOT). Meg and Tony left their jobs in January 2012 to go RTW and try out this location independent thing. They are aspiring entrepreneurs & digital nomads that blog about travel, food, and all things ridiculous. You can follow their adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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