Our first international trip was successful and by far our favorite. Upon returning home, I posted several top items I would totally recommend for international travel. I still stand by the list if you were doing what we had done on that trip; 6 countries in nearly 4 weeks, with a lot of time spent on the road, in trains, planes, hostels and hoofing it from one city to another.
But alas our trip to Paris did not comprise of hostels, Starbucks Via coffee or a need for nalgenes. After returning from our Parisian adventure, I realized my original list needed to be amended. I know, I know. But, I can guarantee you would too if you spent the first six days in the most fashionable city in the world with no luggage. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. This brings my husband’s passion for minimalism and light-weight to a whole different level. And I hate to admit it…again. But I’m officially sold.
Below is what I left Seattle with. We’ve always traveled with our backpacking packs. But alas, these packs failed to meet us in Paris when we landed on Christmas Eve. And when it finally did get to us, we had already been surviving without it for nearly a week that we barely touched anything we originally packed. That tells you something. Despite culling down our stuff over the weeks and days leading up to the trip, we really didn’t need most of the crap we took with us.
1. Bring the right purse for the right occasion: I love my Marc Jacobs, Too Hot To Handle purse. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I took it with me to Paris. From previous trips, I assumed I would need it but honestly, I used it maybe twice or three times at most. It became a burden to carry around. I finally hid it between clothes or towels so the hotel maids wouldn’t steal it. I ended up just shoving my wallet, gloves, and cell in my coat pockets. Which leads me to this. The Marc Jacobs Classic Q Natasha Mini Crossbody. It was one of the first purchases I made when I came home. It’s a bit smaller than my other Marc bags and it’s taken some adjustments but so far it stores the essentials I would need for traveling. And for those who know me well, it was painful to buy a black purse. But let’s say Paris influenced me in more ways than one.
2. Carry-ons all the way: I wish we stuck to our own advice but well, hindsight is 20-20. Another purchase we made when we came home was new packs. I like to call it an ‘investment’ but really it was an excuse to buy new gear…if we’re being honest. So far I’ve used for weekend getaways and am in love. I’ve already tried stuffing it with a paired down version of what I used in Paris and everything fits! I don’t think I ever would have said this before I married Kyle, but I can proudly carry a month or more worth of clothes and must-haves in this 40L pack.
3. Good gloves: I brought a pair of JCrew convertable glove to mittens but never wore them. The main reason? I fell in love with this Muji gloves I picked up at a little Paris boutique. They are the only gloves which allow me to access my iphone , take photos, and navigate the Paris Metro app in the middle of a Parisian winter. I’ve worn these every days since I’ve been back home and can’t sing it enough praise. I’d also suggest you take advantage of their winter sale. All gloves are $15 which is significantly cheaper than what I paid for these puppies in Paris.
4. Fresh Lip Treatment: I’m a huge fan of Fresh skin care but this was the first colored lip treatments I used. Needless to say, I’m addicted and a fan for life. Their lip treatments add the right amount of color, moisturizes, and protects your kissable pooch with SPF 15. For a trip like Paris, I’d recommend their Cherry color or Petal. Cherry was the perfect pop of color I needed to walk the romantic and trendy streets in the City of Light.
5. Kate Spade Coin Purse: We don’t typically carry cash with us when we travel but every so often we need to refuel at the cafes and boulangeries that carried our favorite chocolate au pain and who also doesn’t take cards. This lovely coin purse helped sort out our euros and change along with our metro tickets.
6. Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf: As mentioned in my earlier international travel faves post, these scarves are always my go-to for travel. But don’t take my word for it. Watch this awesome, adorable video that shows you 10 ways to wear the vinyasa and why you should be getting one for your next trip!
7. A multi-purposed coat: Preferably a water repellent/proof coat that looks just as great on the runway as it does on the street. I’ll let you in on a secret….I brought three coats w/ me. A Patagonia down sweater (that was stuffed in my carryon), my fave REI trench, and this beauty. It’s a Merrell water repellent coat that’s lined, including pockets and hood. Honestly, I couldn’t decide between the three and knowing it was going to be the same weather as Seattle didn’t help things. But as my pictures can attest to, I lived in this coat for 3 weeks. If it’s good enough for Paris, it’s good enough for me!
8. An umbrella: Unlike Seattle, locals and tourists carry these alike and there are no judgements. Also, this was our very first purchase when we landed in the city of lights and I’m really glad we bought two. It rained and poured during our time in Paris and we definitely used these daily to get us from one Musee to another.
9. Quick drying socks and undies: Though this is on our Paris list, we always travel with quick drying socks and undies. This came in quite handy when our luggage never arrived. Luckily my mom, former corporate business woman who also traveled across the US for decades, instilled in me over three decades to always take an extra pair of socks and underwear in our carryons. And seriously, praise God for Smartwool socks and ExOfficio undies. This saved both of our asses in more way than one.
10. Great boots: I’m not exaggerating when I say we walked no less than eight miles a day. On some days, upwards of thirteen if not more. Walking, running, trudging, to and from cafes, perusing all museums, parks, and metros will most certainly add to the miles walked and you want to make sure you do so looking smart and being the most comfortable. Because God knows I am most certainly not wearing my Sauconys to Paris. But, I’m not going to lie; with that amount of mileage your feet will still hurt and ache as mine did. But these puppies will most certainly help while making you look all the bit stylish! Also, my concern for snow and sleet were a non-issue. There was non and even if there was, these would have worked out perfectly!
And that my friends is a fashionista’s list for surviving a winter in Paris. Throw in a pair of jeans, leather pants and two wool sweaters and you are set!
I hope this list will help you cull things down a bit. If anything, remember….you can always go shopping! You are in the most fashionable city in the world. And if you can’t afford Louis Vuitton, just hit up Zara.