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What do you wish someone had told you?

Oregon
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590 posts
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What do you wish someone had told you?

My husband and I are about to take our first trip to Paris in a few weeks. We currently live in the Netherlands and are fairly frequent travelers. I've been doing all my "homework" by researching and reading various posts here and in on other forums, but there are some things that can fall through the cracks. Plus I'm just plain curious and I find TA forumites to be some of the most generous and interesting folks around.

My question is this: for those of you who have already experienced Paris, what did you discover you wished someone had told you before your first trip? Did someone give you advice that you found particularly helpful or useful that you'd be willing to pass on? Anything from communicating, how to deal with scammers, public transport, public toilets, supermarket etiquette, restaurant behaviour, cultural "quirks" particular to Paris, how to generally not annoy the locals and be a good visitor etc. etc. etc.

My thanks to anyone who shares their thoughts on any of the above.

1,966 replies to this topic
Greater London...
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1081. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

whats ET?

Anacortes...
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1082. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

To whom are you addressing your question? This is a very long thread so it is difficult to guess the meaning out of context. Perhaps it is an abbreviation for Eiffel Tower?

1083. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

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London, United...
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1084. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

1) Do not get a mini cab, always get an official taxi (green light on top and they run on a metre)

2) Walk! From Arc de Triomohe-?Champs Elysee->Sightseeing wheel->Louvre->Love Lock Bridge->Notra Dame is a couple of hours walk. You get to take in all of the dights and get to know Paris a lot more!

3) Research a real French restaurant so you don't get caught in a tourist trap. For meat lovers I highly recommend Boucerie Rouliere!

Port Macquarie...
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1085. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

Finding a "real french restaurant" is a good trick, most are either pizza or japanese!

Melbourne
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1086. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

You need to get a metro map, and buy a book of 10 tickets straight up. Tis will mean each trip will only cost you au$1.60 per trip. Metro is clean, regular, and colour corded like the underground.

You also MUST know that bistrots nearly all offer prix fix for dinner now, so dining out is NOT expensive as people say. I am a solo traveller, and found the French to be some of the friendliest in Europe!!

Trust me, you WILL fall in love with this city. Always act like a local wherever you go. Always say bonjour..always smile. Don't take out big wads of cash anywhere!! You wouldn't do it at home, so don't do it whilst travelling. Have fun

Port Macquarie...
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1087. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

Regarding the "big wads of cash" Anne mentions.

Particularly in Aus, locals don't take much cash anywhere. If it's over $10 you'll use a credit card and probably PayPass at that.

When we go overseas, suddenly we're aware that the banks make heaps of money out of this because it comes out of our own pockets!

Try to blend in and go with with the flow! It's embarrassing when the sales assistant is trying to find the change for your 200 Euro note for a modest purchase. Pay cash for <50 and card for over.

Buy some Bank shares if it worries you too much, it'll give you a different perspective on their profits!

Edited: 7:19 am, January 31, 2014
Bloomsburg
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1088. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

Or, Tony2326, perhaps a different credit card? I belong to a credit union. My primary card for travel is a combo debit/credit card issued thru this credit union; they charge a very modest 1% for foreign credit card transactions and 0% for the debit card use. In the US credit unions are usually more customer friendly and have much more modest fees.

Port Macquarie...
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1089. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

Sounds good!

Thanks for the tip

Louisville, Kentucky
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1090. Re: What do you wish someone had told you?

Kind of wish someone had told me that tour tickets to the top of the Eiffel Tower are on sale 3 months ahead of time.

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