1. Book your flights. (Duh).
2. Book your hotel close to the airport. We stayed at The Radisson Blu by the Charles De Gaulle Airport Be sure the hotel you choose has a shuttle to and from the airport. This will save you a lot of money and time. Contact them ahead to find out the details of how frequently the shuttle runs. Also ask if early check in is available. This is wonderful so that you can freshen up.
3. Double check the days and hours of operation for all of the places you would like to visit.
4. Set up your itinerary based on location and hours of operation. It makes much more sense to visit a couple places in the same vicinity than to traipse back and forth across the city. You lose a lot of time when you don’t plan ahead.
5. Set aside a little more money than you think you’ll need. European prices are much higher than American, so be prepared. I believe that we set aside like $300 or $400 for the day. That might seem ridiculous, but trust me, you need to be prepared. (Especially if you might need something from the drugstore. David was desperate to shave by this point and I think we spent $16 on ONE can of shaving cream!)
6. If you’re traveling to Paris in the winter months from a warmer country like Kenya, be sure you pack your winter jacket, a hat, and some gloves as well as some comfortable walking shoes. (But, do also take into consideration that you will be walking a lot and getting quite warm underneath all those layers. I actually sweat through my puffy down jacket in a little patch on my back during our mad dash across the city of lights. Hubby baby made up his own lyrics to Justin Timberlake’s “Bringing Sexy Back,” changing it to “Bringing Sweaty Back.” T.M.I.? Sorry about that. Just keepin it real.)
7. Pack a pocket French Dictionary. The Franks find it very insulting when you don’t at least attempt to speak their language. If you don’t at least try to speak their language, be prepared to be treated very rudely.