Whether you’re setting out to explore the legendary French wine regions, taking a quick weekend break in Paris, or escaping to a treehouse France has much to offer visitors. Knowing what to pack for your trip can make a huge difference to how much you enjoy your stay. Lucky for you, our team is ready to help guide you through picking the right essentials to take along on your trip.
Choose the Right Bag
The first thing you have to do is choose the right bag. There are hundreds of different types of suitcase out there, but which is the best one for your journey? It’s tempting to use a large suitcase, and today’s four-wheeled models are certainly more maneuverable than their antiquated counterparts, but do you really need that much stuff? More importantly, do you really want to carry it up three flights of stairs? That’s right, the majority of the time in France, you’ll be staying in accommodation that’s up at most likely up between one and three flights of stairs and there will rarely be a lift available. So consider how easily you can lift and carry the full case – not just how smooth the wheeling action will be rambling through the airports and stations along the way.
We highly recommend you opt for the largest carry-on sized bag your travel carrier allows. Consider the weight of the case, as many airlines weigh carry-on baggage now and you may need to carry it with you for a considerable part of the trip. Next find a suitable day pack you can use to put your essentials in while walking the cities or vineyards. For this bag, keep fashion in mind: nothing says tourist louder than vibrant colors, characters, or huge logos on a rucksack in a crowd.
What To Take
What you’ll need during your French adventure depends on many things, first and foremost your own sensibilities followed by your ultimate destination. However, there’re a few things that apply regardless of where you may roam, our goal here is to provide you with an outline of essentials you can add to or subtract from as suits your own needs and travel plans.
These should be things you need to keep with you on the move, important documents or medication, contact information and other key things you may need. An essentials bag should include:
- Travel documents
- Phone charging cable
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Emergency contact card
- Water bottle
- Travel-sized toiletries
Other useful items to carry in your day bag, include: sunglasses, sunscreen, a scarf, spare socks, lotion, lip balm, and aspirin.
Your Big Bag
Consider the availability of laundry facilities wherever you may be staying and create the ultimate capsule wardrobe for yourself by heeding these three key points:
- Go monochrome: Choose clothing that fits within a singular color scheme – bear in mind the majority of the French people you encounter will be wearing a subdued palette, and help yourself blend in with them by going black and white.
- Lightweight layers: Lightweight clothing you can layer gives you more wardrobe options for the space, so plan ahead. Choose items that work together as well as alone, only pack clothing you’re comfortable wearing, and take an extra of anything you can manage to squirrel away.
- Sensible shoes: In your mind, France is full of sophisticated socialites in their Sunday best – and that’s partially true. But when it comes to footwear, err on the side of practicality. Choose smart looking shoes that are easy wearing to guarantee you enjoy your days.
If your French adventure will take you into the countryside or more remote areas, be sure to include appropriate accessories for your journey.
One last tip: wear your ‘heaviest’ clothing during your travel to save schlepping a heavier bag through the airport and stations. This will also free up space for much-needed spare socks, as well as trinkets you’ll find along the way to remember your travels.