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Flight to Paris. Prepare your trip.
First published: October 5, 2017

Flying to Paris

Checklist Before Landing in Paris

You’re on your way to the city of love, dreaming about Parisian fashion, cheese, wine and the Eiffel Tower. As you pack and prepare for your trip, here is a checklist of things to consider before landing in Paris. Bon voyage!

Formulate a Plan to Stay Connected

Traveling in a foreign country where you don’t speak the native language is extremely exhilarating and overwhelming at the same time. Especially in a big city such as Paris, Wi-Fi is everywhere and it is possible to survive on Wi-Fi connection alone at accommodations, restaurants, museums and bars. As long as your smartphone is on airplane mode, you’ll be able to take advantage of free Wi-Fi and use apps like Viber, Skype or WhatsApp to keep in touch. However, this method does leave you disconnected at inopportune times like when you’re lost, need to call a taxi or ride-share or in remote places that don’t have Wi-Fi. A more reliable option is to purchase a new SIM card with a prepaid or pay as you go plan from T-Mobile, which allows you to keep your existing number, pay for what you use, use Gogo in-flight internet and unlimited international data and text with a qualifying plan.

Make Reservations Ahead of Time

Most trips to Paris revolves around food, wine, art, food, monuments and ... food. If you’re planning on dining at any new, well-known and especially Michelin rated restaurants, you should be making reservations ahead of time. French cuisine is world renowned and tons of resources such as food diaries and restaurant reviews are a great way to find inspiration and eventually create your own list of must-eats.

Clean Up Personal Space and Close All Tabs

Whether you’re flying directly to Paris or you have a layover, you will be in-flight for at least seven hours. It’s inevitable you’ll get comfortable with your snacks, books, magazines and electronics laid throughout your space. As you anticipate the seatbelt sign before landing, begin to clean up your personal space by checking the mesh compartment in front of you and under your seat, and putting everything back into your carry-on bag and into the overhead bins. Before putting your wallet away, pay for any purchased items such as additional food, alcoholic beverages.

Prepare Your Documents

You should already have your pertinent travel documents in your carry-on. Use the last half hour of your flight to gather them in preparation for moving through customs upon arrival. Although a visa is not required for U.S. Citizens traveling to France for less than 90 days, your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date and you must have one empty page for stamps. You should also have your landing card provided by the airline, additional identification, proof of accommodations and a copy of your departure flight.

Buckle-Up and Brace for Landing

When you’ve cleaned up and settled in, bring your attention to safety lights and verbal commands that tell you when to fasten your seat belt, bring your chair to the upright position and put away your tray table. If you value your safety, this last step is crucial to a successful and enjoyable trip in Paris.

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