Congratulations! You are getting married. Is Paris at the top of your honeymoon list? Well, if not, it should be: Paris is the city of lights, love and romance! However, planning for honeymoons are often stressful and time-consuming, especially if it is your first time traveling to Europe. These top tips are worth considering when making your honeymoon plans.
You must have a valid passport to travel to France. The airline tickets must match the name on your passport exactly. If you are taking the honeymoon immediately after the wedding, the bride will need to book her tickets in the name on her passport, which may be different than her newly married name. Passports should be valid for six months after the date you return from your trip. Passports typically take six weeks to obtain after you submit the proper documents. Contact your travel agent for full requirements.
Consciously decide what time of year you and your loved one would feel most comfortable with when traveling to Paris.
Consider that springtime in Paris is lovely. The flowers are blooming. Gentle rains sprinkle as you huddle close under your umbrella. Springtime is also the most popular time to go and the crowds will be there. During the summer, the locals leave the city for their vacations. The atmosphere feels relaxed and carefree. There are many outdoor festivals to enjoy; jazz and rock concerts and open air movies. These are a few of the summer activities to enjoy. Airline ticket prices can be more expensive however, so do be aware of booking in advance or preparing for high rates. Alternatively, airline and hotel prices tend to be a better value during the autumn and winter, and the city is also less crowded. It does start to get colder later in the fall and winter, so expect some outdoor activities to be limited or closed. Moreover, the city of lights does really come alive with the holiday spirit at the end of the year.
Confirm that the room you have booked has the correct accommodations for you and your new spouse. Many hotel rooms are quite small compared to American standards. A double or queen bed is typical. King size beds are generally limited to American chain hotels. Often hotels have a special welcome for the honeymoon couple and can help you plan ahead for romantic walks or a special candlelight dinner.
Is the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower at the top of you must see list? Consider the specific dates of travel when you plan your trip. Realize that many museums and attractions close on certain days of the week. Be aware that many French holidays may also cause closures to popular sights.
Remember to add the travel time to and from Paris to your itinerary. Most travelers plan at least five days in the city. A minimum of seven days is best to see the highlights of Paris.
Paris is known as the city of lights. The best way to see them is from one of the many high places in the city. Most everyone knows of the Eiffel but you can also climb the tower at Notre Dame. The Sacre’ Couer has sweeping views from the grounds outside this beautiful Basilica. The climb up the Arch at La Defence allows another great view.
When you are planning your trip, consider a few nights in the country. The Loire Valley or Bordeaux region offer lovely views and accommodations. There are wonderful wine and food tours offered a short train ride from the city. Nice or Monaco are other options to extend your honeymoon trip. Traveling from Paris, you can experience a more in-depth French vacation by planning trips to Versailles, Normandy or Monet's Gardens at Giverny.
In Paris, English is spoken most everywhere. Learning a few words and pronouncing them correctly can be helpful in small shops and remote areas. Bonjour and merci are a few words you can learn quickly. Don't forget your French-English dictionary, either! It may help you out in a few jams, especially when traveling beyond Paris and into the French countryside.
Paris is a great city for long walks, outdoor café stops and picnics in the park. Allow time to just be together and explore the city at your own pace. Keep a business card or brochure from the hotel with you. If you get lost, you can stop a taxi and show the driver the address to take you quickly back to your hotel.
When you are planning the trip consider the exchange rate from US dollars to Euros. Check the exchange rate before you go and purchase some Euros in advance of travel. Make sure to have some small bills for tipping on arrival. Confirm the total cost of your hotel or tour with tax. Hotel tax can be as much as 20 percent above the room cost. Breakfast is not always included and can be anywhere from 8 to 25 Euros per person. Plan ahead by buying museum passes, metro passes and other tours in advance. The honeymoon will be worry free if you plan ahead and prepay for most of the trip in advance.
Paris is a great destination for a honeymoon but may not be for every couple. Now you know what to expect and can decide if this is the right destination to celebrate your new life together. Bon voyage!
More expert advice about Destinations
Photo Credits: Paris By Flickr: garycycles6; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com