What to know before you you go…
- Start a month ahead and brush up on your conversational French with these great Pimsleur French CD’s; it’s the best and easiest method, there is no book, they take only 20 minutes a day and you’re not supposed to do more than 1 a day. When I first moved here I tried every system there was, and this was the most helpful. They’re expensive, so if you can’t afford the set, just check them out from the library.
- Double check that your 4-digit pin-code works on your debit card. This is the cheapest way to get cash.
- Apply for a Cap One credit card, it doesn’t charge any international transaction fees (most cards charge 3%).
- Empty your wallet of photos, address book, and unnecessary things that would be a huge pain to replace in the unlikely event that you were pickpocketed. Make two copies of your passport and credit cards, then leave one with someone at home and keep the other in your money belt.
Things to bring from home:
Adapter Plugs for your phone and computer: Most communication equipment takes 220 as well as 110 volts, so all you usually need is an adapter to make your plug fit into our socket. Curling irons and straighteners, however, might need a voltage converter as well, so better to check before you get here and blow it up.
Most European hotels don’t provide irons, so it’s best to bring a travel iron, or better yet, use my favorite travel tip: Bring an atomizer of Evian water, lay your clothes flat on the bed, spray lightly, wait 30 seconds, then ‘iron’ with your hand. It’s miraculous!
Luggage weight restrictions are quite severe, and overweight fees are high, especially on inter-Europe flights, so bring along this nifty pocket luggage scale and you won’t be faced with the ditch-or-pay dilemma.
Pick up a money belt to wear under your clothes. Trust me, you don’t want to be walking around in Europe with a wallet full of cash!
And you might want an extra memory card for your camera… you’ll be taking lots of photos!
Here are some fun DVD’s to get you psyched for your trip:
And some bedtime/airplane reading:
Photo Credit: Nice Poster available at AllPosters.co.uk
Related Pages on Getting By in France:
- Avoiding French Restaurant Pitfalls
- Dealing with French Public Restrooms
- How to order your Café like a pro
- Tips for Shopping like a local
- Money and Credit Cards in France
- French Grocery store tips
- Crime and Scams in Nice
- Best iPhone Apps for Nice
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