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10 STEPS TO PACKING FOR PARIS

 

 

To help simplify the packing process, we’ve created this 10 step packing guide for a trip to Paris.  Make this your first stop
when planning your next trip.  And don’t forget to download your free packing checklist!

 

 

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I’m Going to Paris and Have No Idea What to Pack!

 

If you’re heading to Paris, we’ve got you covered with all the best tips rounded up from the entire blog so you can easily access everything in one easy location. These steps will make packing for a Parisian adventure efficient and stress-free, so you can enjoy your dream trip!

 

For more ideas on what to wear in Paris, please read:

 

 

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Add a chic anti-theft bag to your packing list, like the Travelon Signature 3 Crossbody Bag

 

STEP 1 – Research Paris Packing Lists

 

Start by reading our Paris Packing List, which is a seasonal guide offering information on what to wear in spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Also, check out these detailed posts on what to wear in Paris in the summer and what to wear in Paris in the winter, depending on when you’ll be traveling.

Lastly, take a look at the must-have travel accessories to add to your Paris packing list here!

 

 

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Aim for French girl style in a classic looking Quince trench with a twist–it’s water-resistant!

 

These articles will give you some outfit ideas and fashion inspiration and help you make sure you don’t forget any essentials.

Be sure to join our Facebook group, too, for detailed trip reports, top tips for Paris trips, and outfit inspo. You can ask our readers for specific recommendations or information, too!

 

 

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A simple, elegant J.Crew t-shirt is a must-have basic for any Parisian capsule wardrobe!

 

STEP 2 – Build a Paris Capsule Wardrobe

 

Now is the time to plan a strategic capsule wardrobe that will give you just enough outfit combinations. A successful capsule wardrobe will be minimal yet versatile, with plenty of basics that you can mix and match, as well as some stylish accessories and 2-3 pairs of shoes.

This is an especially important step if you’re traveling carry on only. While it may seem daunting to pack all you need for such a fashionable city as Paris in a carry on, our readers do it successfully all the time!

 

 

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One way to pack light is by choosing the right fabrics. This Gap linen blend dress is not heavy and fits into a packing cube easily!

 

Read the Pack Light Stylishly ebook to help you create the perfect travel wardrobe for your trip. If you feel overwhelmed at the idea of packing light or you have a complicated itinerary, this Stop Overpacking guide will show you some incredible techniques to help you plan around limited clothing choices, varying climates, and other unexpected life situations.

TFG’s Signature Packing Lists will help you customize your travel wardrobe further for Paris!

 

 

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The Anthropologie Cropped Wide Leg Pants is a prime example of Parisian style–classy and edgy!

 

STEP 3 – Dress Like a Parisian Local

 

As you plan your capsule wardrobe, you may want to tailor your packing list to the minimal and polished style of the locals! It doesn’t get any more chic than Parisian style, so a lot of readers like to base their wardrobes around it, especially when traveling to Europe.

In general, Parisian fashion focuses on simple, well-tailored basics in neutral colors (black is always a go-to). Think classy and conservative but with an edge.

Stick to functional yet stylish pants like comfy trousers like ponte pants or wide leg jeans. Add a well-fitting t-shirt or slouchy sweater, cute sneakers or leather boots, and a sleek crossbody bag!

 

 

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The Everlane Cashmere Sweater is supreme comfort with warmth for those Paris fall or winter days!

 

While style is important, comfort should be the highest priority when it comes to dressing for days spent exploring Paris!

Take a look at this article on 10 French-girl-inspired fashion tips for some outfit inspiration!

 

 

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For the fall in Paris, stick with comfortable, waterproof boots like these Sorel Joan Chelsea Booties

 

STEP 4 – Pack for the Weather and your Itinerary

 

The next step is to check the weather and adjust your packing list accordingly. A good source is Accuweather or Weather.com. Even if you know the general weather you can expect on your trip depending on the time of year, the weather in Paris can always change last minute, so it’s highly recommended to continuously check the weather forecast in the days leading up to your departure.

Layering is always key to staying comfortable during a trip, as you can add or remove to keep you at the perfect temperature.

 

 

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Stylish but functional, the Eddie Bauer Girl On the Go Trench keeps rain showers away!

 

If you’re heading into cold weather, thermals, and light cashmere or merino wool sweaters are amazing for adding extra warmth whenever you need it. And don’t forget a proper rain jacket or cozy jacket for the winter.

If you’re traveling to Paris during the hot and humid summer, choose fabrics like cotton and linen that are highly breathable. Technical, moisture-wicking fabrics are ideal, too. Don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen!

 

 

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Made of merino wool, the Wool& Brooklyn Wrap Dress is reversible and perfect for hot or chillier days!

 

Merino wool is an all-star travel fabric because it’ll keep you comfortable year-round. This fabric is naturally temperature-regulating while lightweight and highly breathable, so it’ll keep you cool and wick away sweat in warm weather and keep you nice and warm without overheating you in frigid temps.

If your trip involves both cool and warm weather, read this packing guide for mixed-weather trips!

 

 

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The Steve Madden Long Puffer Jacket is both style and function–it’s water resistant and fleece lined!

 

STEP 5 – Bring Proper Clothing for Paris Winter Trips

 

Packing for Paris in the winter can seem quite daunting, especially if you want to pack light, but it’s actually quite simple. It just takes a bit of strategy! I’ve created this easy three-part guide on how to pack for cold weather to help you stay warm while packing light.

There is one major difference between being at home in the winter and traveling in the winter: the amount of time you’ll spend outdoors. When you’re traveling, you’ll likely spend extended periods of time sightseeing outdoors, so come prepared!

 

 

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The Quince Italian Wool Coat is a combo of fashion and warmth. It’s blazer style make is fairly lightweight!

 

Take inspiration from this Paris winter packing list to plan your lightweight yet warm layers that’ll keep you warm without bulky sweaters and coats.

And when it comes to winter coats, many readers prefer packable down jackets that offer plenty of warmth and insulation but are also on the lighter side and can compress into their luggage. Check out this post on how to pack a winter coat in your luggage! Wool coats have also been seen around Paris, but be sure to choose one that isn’t too heavy and you can wear on the plane!

 

 

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The Woolies Tech Long Sleeve  and Woolies Tech Bottoms are described as lightweight and work well under your clothes to keep warm!

 

If you want to stick with your trusty winter coat that’s a bit on the heavier side, some readers opt to simply carry theirs or wear it on the plane!

Thermals are key to keeping you warm without having to pack a lot of thick, heavy items. They’re an absolute must for Paris in the winter! Keep your feet warm with waterproof winter boots, too.

Lastly, don’t forget essential winter accessories like a scarf, hat, and gloves! Readers like gloves with touch-screen capabilities so they don’t have to remove them to take photos and use your phone.

 

 

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The Skechers Go Walk Joy Sneaker is voted as #1 for walking by readers!

 

STEP 6 – Choose Comfortable Shoes

 

A trip to Paris means a LOT of time spent on your feet! You’ll no doubt be logging a good amount of miles each day as you sightsee, so comfortable shoes are one of the most important things to pack.

Start by reading this 10-step guide to packing the best travel shoes for any trip, as well as this post on the best shoes for Paris!

 

 

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The Cougar Villa Lug Boots can handle the elements and the cobblestones!

 

One unexpected issue many travelers discover once they get to Europe is the cobblestone streets. While beautiful to look at, they aren’t always the easiest to walk on and can make for sore feet even if you don’t normally have discomfort. So be sure your shoes have sturdy outsoles, great traction, and plenty of comfy cushioning.

My biggest piece of advice is to choose function over fashion. The last thing you want is sore or injured feet preventing you from enjoying the trip of a lifetime!

 

 

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The Rothy’s Loafer are comfy, cute, and would look fab with a Paris capsule wardrobe!

 

Try to bring no more than three pairs of shoes. Pack one pair for sightseeing (walking), one pair for any special activities you have planned (or unexpected weather you may be faced with), and then a third pair to dress up your outfits.

Ballet flats are a popular travel shoe option when you want a dressier look, but note that they’re not recommended for sightseeing or long hours on your feet and are not the most practical shoe for exploring Paris (particularly in the warmer months), but can always be seen on locals, both with their casual and dressier outfits!

 

 

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The Aetrex Jess Quarter Sandals are reader-recommended for their comfort, style, and support!

 

These are the best sandals for sightseeing in the summer, and these are the best shoes for sightseeing in the winter. Black ankle boots like these are the most recommended shoes for Paris when dealing with either cold or mixed weather — they’re both chic and practical!

And count in sneakers as well. They are seen all over Paris. White sneakers, black sneakers, fashion sneakers, tennis sneakers, or waterproof sneakers to stave off rain are all great ideas for this popular city.

 

 

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The Travelon Classic Mini Shoulder Bag offers the spaciousness of a larger bag without the bulk and has anti theft features!

 

STEP 7 – Select the Right Personal Item or Day Bag

 

Choose the perfect day bag for your trip. You’ll be out and about for hours on end, which means the bag you bring with you needs to be comfortable to carry and able to hold all of the essentials you’ll need for the day!

If you want to keep things light and compact, a crossbody purse is one of the best options for sightseeing in Paris. It’s not only comfortable and versatile to wear but is one of the most secure styles.

 

 

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The Sherpani Soleil Convertible Backpack is perfect for Paris, with organizational pockets, RFID protection, and the ability to wear it in different ways!

 

If you know you’ll want to carry a good amount of items for the day or are planning on doing some shopping, a backpack (with a trolley sleeve) is the best way to hold more while staying mobile and hands-free. If you do opt for a backpack, readers highly suggest an anti-theft backpack to protect your items from pickpockets.

Also, convertible backpacks are highly popular for Paris, since they allow you to wear it different ways depending on the day you have planned.

 

 

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The Lo& Sons Bond Sling has plenty of pockets and can be worn as a crossbody too!

 

And it’s become chic to carry a sling bag or fanny pack, especially for those days you don’t need to carry a lot of items.

In addition to your day bag, some readers rave about the convenience and security of crossbody phone cases (particularly the popular Bandolier Emma phone case!). Readers say they’ll give you so much peace of mind that it won’t get stolen or accidentally left somewhere, and they make it super convenient to take quick photos without digging for your phone.

 

 

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The BAGSMART Toiletries Bag comes in 2 different sizes to accommodate your travel needs!

 

STEP 8 – Downsize your Toiletries

 

The next step is sorting out your toiletries. Whether checking a bag or traveling carry-on, it’s recommended to downsize your toiletries to save space and make packing more convenient.

If you are traveling carry-on only, you’ll need to make sure all of your liquid toiletries abide by TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. Take a look at this guide to the 3-1-1 rule for traveling to Europe for expert tips and tricks!

The best way to pack your essential toiletries and beauty products is by decanting them into travel containers. There are SO many options when it comes to travel containers, from flat pouches to stackable pots to soft silicone tubes, so choose the option that works best for your particular products and the space you have available.

 

 

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The Kitsch Flat Toiletry Pouches save so much space in your toiletry kit and hold enough products!

 

Try to stick to the basics. Simplify your skincare routine and create a solid capsule makeup collection. It’ll not only make packing easier but will simplify your morning routine throughout your trip, which means more time spent exploring!

A fantastic tip for meeting the carry-on 3-1-1 rule is to replace liquid toiletries with solid toiletries. There’s a solid version of everything from shampoo and conditioner to sunscreen to toothpaste!

 

 

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HiBAR’s Shampoo and Conditioner Sets are super effective, color-safe, and made of clean, high quality ingredients!

 

Lastly, pack it all up in a handy toiletry bag that’ll keep everything neat and organized. If you’re working with limited space or like to see everything displayed, opt for a hanging toiletry bag!

For more useful tips on everything from downsizing toiletries to choosing the best travel makeup, read our Ultimate Guide to Packing Toiletries!

 

 

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The Compass Rose RFID Secret Bra Wallet is discreet and great for emergencies!

 

STEP 9 – Remember Anti Theft Accessories

 

While Paris is generally a very safe destination, pickpocketing can definitely an issue, especially in crowded or touristy areas. Start by reading this ultimate guide on how to stay safe from pickpockets in Europe.

It all comes down to keeping your items secure, and anti-theft accessories offer you so many different ways of doing so!

Readers highly recommend anti-theft purses and anti-theft backpacks for sightseeing in Paris. Decked out with features like anti-slash fabric, lockable zippers, and lock-down straps, they’ll offer you peace of mind so you can enjoy your travels without continuously checking to make sure your items are there.

 

 

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The Alpha Keeper Money Belt can keep your cards and cash hidden (wear it under clothing)!

 

A bra wallet is another great anti-theft essential that keeps your ID, cards, and cash completely out of sight. Bra wallets attach to your bra (or underwear) and are super soft, so you won’t feel it as you walk around.

Money belts and neck wallets are similar accessories that keep your valuables hidden. They’re all amazing options if your day bag isn’t anti-theft!

Read these tips on how to keep your passport safe when you travel! Remember that the safest place for your passport is locked in your accommodation.

 

 

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The Travelpro brand is super popular, the Platinum Elite 20” Softside is top notch for Paris!

 

STEP 10 – Choose the Right Luggage for Paris

 

Now that your packing list is nailed down, it’s time to pack it all up!

If you don’t already own a great suitcase, read these tips on how to pick a suitcase. Whether you’re opting for a hardside or softside suitcase, make sure to check the dimension requirements with your airline so you won’t end up having to check your bag or pay a fee.

 

 

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The Samsonite Omni PC 20” Hardside is named by readers as perfect for Europe!

 

If you’re traveling with a carry-on to Paris, take a look at the best carry-ons for international travel here! There are also times when backpacks are better than wheeled bags. If you’re going on an adventurous trip, learn how to choose the best travel backpack.

Keep everything neat and organized in your suitcase with packing cubes, compression bags, and organizers!

 

 

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The Compass Rose Carryon Packing Cubes is a bonafide TFG fave to keep clothes compressed and organized!

 

Packing cubes will make a world of difference, especially when packing carry-on only. They’ll not only keep things organized but help you save a ton of space. See my packing tutorial on how to use them!

Compression bags are awesome if you’re packing bulkier items like coats or thick sweaters (or if you tend to be an overpacker!)

Also consider handy luggage organizers like travel cord organizers, jewelry cases, and shoe bags.

 

Sign up for Travel Fashion Girl’s monthly newsletter and get instant access to free packing templates, downloadable checklists, ebooks, and more!

 

 

Bonus Section: Travel Tips

 

One of our biggest travel tips for any destination is to buy either a print or digital guidebook. They help you plan your itinerary, give you insight on where to stay, and even give you facts about the historical sites, too.

 

These are a few popular Paris guidebooks:

 

Learn more about why I still use travel guides!

 

 

Accommodation in Paris

 

For accommodation, we love Airbnb for accommodation in Paris and other parts of Europe. Sign up here for a free $40 credit!

I prefer to to book “the entire home” instead of opting for shared accommodation on Airbnb. Aside from safety, I also like to feel like I’m living in the destination. It’s a small taste of local life plus you get more amenities than you would at a hotel such as a kitchen and washing machine.

 

Read these Airbnb tips for more info!

 

If you prefer the convenience and comfort of a hotel room, I like using both Agoda.com and Hotels.com. Tip: Hotels.com gives you a free night for every ten nights you book!

For flights, I like booking through Travelocity or Cheapoair (whichever one’s cheapest). Although I prefer Travelocity because they have a 24 hour money back guarantee.

To maximize your vacation time, fly into the city where you’re starting your trip and out of the city where your trip ends. Many times it’s the same price and saves you from having to spend extra time and money to go back to where you started your trip.

For hostels, we recommend Hostelworld and Hostelbookers. Always read the reviews before booking to get the best idea if the hostel is right for you. Some are quiet and family friendly while others are known for their party atmosphere.

 

Not sure about staying at a hostel? Read this.

 

 

Tours

 

Definitely start the trip with the free New Europe Paris city walking tour – I’ve done it four times now and always enjoy it! The New Europe company offers excellent tours all over Europe and the best part? They’re free! All you have to do is tip your guide.

Tours are a great way to travel if you’re not ready to travel alone. A few top choices include G Adventures or Intrepid Travel. While I haven’t traveled through Europe with G Adventures, I did go to South America and Africa with them as a new traveler in 2008 and enjoyed my experiences!

 

Before your trip, it’s very beneficial to learn a few key French phrases. Locals appreciate that you’ve taken the time to learn and consider it a lovely courtesy.

Drink a Kir Royale, enjoy the sidewalk cafes and museums, window shop, and most importantly, have fun!

 

Suggested Travel Resources

 

 

 

Suggested Travel Guides

 

 

 

Suggested Packing ebooks:

 

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