It has been a while since I have last posted…
Easter break is over so all I can do now is reminisce about my trips during Easter!
I went to Paris with my friend over the break.
IT WAS AWESOME!
We went by aeroplane because the fare was cheaper than using the Eurostar for the dates we chose.
I think you would rather read about how we planned it rather than how our trip went. So, we planned our trip later than I would have liked actually. We started planning and booking our transportation and accommodation around the end of February. Tip: Start planning as soon as possible so you get the best fares and prices. Do not do it last minute or you are bound to panic.
We stayed in the same AirBnB for the whole length of our trip. Our host was lovely and we were quite pleased with the area we chose. Tip: Always read the reviews (also note the number of reviews) for the host and their place. This helps you gauge how far away you are from the attractions, if it is suitable for you and also ensures that you are safe.
I am very proud to announce that we never once used Uber or taxis during our trip. #publictransportftw I used an app called CityMapper that was very useful for navigating the various public transportation of Paris (trams, RER, Metro etc.) Also, #notspons. Haha. I also downloaded the virtual Metro map if I wanted to avoid delays or find an easier route.
Top tip: Always be mindful of who you go on trips with, especially international trips. It should be someone you trust and is able to help out. A trip won’t be as fun if you are tasked with everything. For example, while we were planning, my friend did the research for Paris while I did the research on the next leg of the trip (next post =p). I would navigate us through the public transport while she would be in charge of the directions while we were walking.
Since I have a Malaysian passport, I could travel around Europe with no additional visas. However, the laws might change so always check before you book anything. There are also different visa requirements for different countries’ passports.
Sorry for the wordy post but I can’t seem to upload my pictures today.
We went to the usual touristy places, the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur, Notre-Dame…
It really is different to visit these places in person.
Being the foodie that I am, I also had a lot of food. I tried escargot, queued up for the famous Angelina teahouse and of course, had both savoury and sweet crêpes from food stalls around Paris.
The last and most important tip that I can leave you with:
Always be vigilant and look out for scam. There are various types around the tourist areas. I shall list out a few examples I have encountered or heard of:
- People holding clipboards asking for your help with donations or to sign for a petition. The most obvious would be that the donation goes into their own pocket, but it is also a tactic to distract you and gauge you while their colleague picks your pocket.
- Along Notre-Dame and Sacré-Cœur (and even other places), there might be people who have bracelets in their hands and try to talk to you. They might try to forcefully put the bracelet on you and force you to pay.
- Waiters who take advantage of tourists. (This in particular happened to me.) Waiters in France are paid a fixed salary each month thus giving a tip is optional, especially the amount. A service charge would also usually be included in the price of the food or in the receipt. We had a waitress who forced us to pay her a 15% tip on top of the service charge and tax.
But of course, these are things that can happen in any country, anywhere. The most important thing is to be alert and aware of your surroundings. I am a firm advocate of doing research before going on trips (or doing anything).
That is it for now, goodbye!