Author Angela Henry took a solo trip to Paris several years ago. Today she offers some common sense travel tips. Angela is the author of the suspense thriller The Paris Secret as well as the Kendra Clayton mystery series. For more info about her and her books, please visit her at her website. -- AP
Paris Pour Un: Tips for Traveling Solo
By Angela Henry
In 2007, I took a solo trip to Paris, France. I was apprehensive about going alone to a foreign country where I barely knew the language. But I did my homework before I left, discovered some very valuable tips, and had a wonderful time. Here are five things i did to make sure I had a safe trip.
1. Research, Research, Research-Before I left for Paris, I researched the city and its culture and customs. For example, did you know it’s considered rude to enter a shop in Paris and not greet the shopkeeper or to stare at people on the metro? I didn’t. I also researched the area around my hotel for the closest metro stations, restaurants, and ATMs. Doing your research before you leave will go a long way in helping your trip go smoothly.
2. Learn some French-It’s also a good idea to learn some basic French before you go. Fodor’s has a French language page with 150 phrases you can use on your trip. Even if you mangle the French language, the French will appreciate that you’re trying.
3. Don’t look like a tourist – Sweatshirts, tracksuits, and white tennis shoes will instantly mark you as a tourist and a target for pickpockets. Wear comfortable and casual clothes that will help you blend in and not draw attention to yourself. Leave your flashy, valuable jewelry at home. The Paris Escapes website has excellent advice on what to wear while in Paris. http://www.parisescapes.com/paris_wear.html
4. Make Copies Of Important Documents-Leave your passport in your room. Also, make photocopies of all your important documents and credit cards to keep on hand in case they get lost or stolen.
5. Know where to go for help-You are subject to the laws of the country you’re visiting while you are there. If you do your homework on the culture and customs before you arrive, you shouldn’t have any problems. But if by chance you encounter legal trouble, seeking help from your country’s embassy or consulate would be your best bet. Just make sure that you’re aware of their hours and make an appointment.
Check out the following books for more info and have a wonderful trip!
Women Travel Tips
Single Minded Women
Naughty Paris (For the Daring!)
Thanks so much, Angela! Your tips for Paris can be used no matter where we travel and whether we’re going solo, with someone else, or in a group. Readers, have any of you ever been brave enough to travel alone to a foreign country? Let’s hear from you. Post a comment to be entered in the drawing for a book from our Book Club Friday guest author this week. -- AP