Packing List for Paris

Whether you're in Paris for an entire semester or only a week, here are the top 10 must pack items.

what to pack for parisTop 10 things to pack for Paris

  1. Camera- Whether it was of my macarons or a new flower I noticed in the Luxembourg Gardens, I took pictures of nearly everything. As much as I wanted to play it cool and keep my dignity at classy French restaurants, I knew I would regret not documenting my meal. Now I am so thankful to have a very detailed photo journal of my time abroad.
  2. Ballet Flats- My first purchase, and I admit it wasn’t 100% spontaneous, was a pair of burgundy Repetto ballet flats that fit me like a glove. Flats are the Parisian shoe of choice, and whether you bring them or buy 1-10 pairs in France, they are a must!
  3. A Coat- Paris can get surprisingly chilly. Coats are bulky and heavy, so try to only bring one or two favorites, most likely in a neutral color, because you will need it a lot, no matter which semester you go abroad.
  4. An Umbrella- For those who don’t think Paris is most beautiful in the rain, come prepared and bring an umbrella. Remember London is Paris’ neighbor. Not to mention the French word for umbrella happens to be a favorite of mine-un parapluie!
  5. A Duffle Bag- It’s important to take advantage of your convenient European location by traveling a few weekends! Make sure to have a smaller suitcase or duffle for trips. A word to the wise: pay attention to airline restrictions on suitcases before flights. The carry on suitcase dimensions are much smaller than Americans are used to.
  6. Lightweight Bag- If you’re a nostalgic dork like me, you’ll need a place to store all your museum tickets and brochures.
  7. Crossbody Purse- It’s unfortunately true that pickpocketing runs rampant in Europe. I always had my hand on top of my bag to prove my awareness, and this eventually became a sub-conscious habit. I never had anything stolen, but I can’t tell you how many of my friends’ phones were snatched out of their pockets.
  8. Something Ivory and Black- Come on, you know you can’t resist the stereotype. All stereotypes are based on some reality though, and you will see this classic color combo everywhere.
  9. Online Travel Guides- Although intangible, this is something I always had with me (on my laptop). When I am traveling, I am a very detailed planner because I don’t want to leave harping on that one site I didn’t get to see. Time Out was one of my absolute lifelines, and no matter what city I went to, I knew they would give me reliable restaurants, stores and sites. I also loved referencing Hemispheres because they feature a section on their website called “Three Perfect Days,” which was perfect since that was the typical length of my weekend trips.
  10. ____- This last spot is blank because it represents all your new purchases. Coming from an infamous overpacker, it really is best to limit what you bring because hello, you’re in Paris. I guarantee this spot in your suitcase will later be occupied by vintage sweaters and graphic tees galore.

Written by student Stephanie Sporn, Style Guru for College Fashionista