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Best Five Travel Gadgets for Minimalist Travel to Paris, France


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What to Pack for general packing recommendations.

Paris Travel Checklist - Checklist of things to do before leaving home.

These are the items I can't live without when traveling to Paris, France. I travel with a minimal amount of luggage - a carry-on suitcase and a large purse - so I need to make every inch of space count.

1. Small Camera Tripod - The GorillaPod Flexible Tripod is a small, flexible camera tripod that can be positioned virtually anywhere to get a shot. Wrap it around the rails on the Eiffel Tower or a bridge over the Seine, set the timer, and take a group portrait to remember. Also doubles as an iphone/ipod touch holder for taking pictures or watching movies on the plane.

An even smaller option is the Bottle Cap Tripod. The size and weight of a bottle cap, screw this tripod onto a water or soda bottle and you're set to go. Great space saving idea.

2. Portable Wine or Champagne Glasses - Do as the locals do and picnic in one of Paris's numerous parks. There are no open container laws in France, so share a bottle of wine with your meal. Stash these unbreakable plastic glasses in your bag with a corkscrew, and you're set. The glasses are compact to carry since the stem is stored in the glass and screwed together when needed. Found at most camping supply stores (e.g., REI) for under $10.

3. "Spinner" Suitcase - I am not picky about luggage. My only criteria when buying a suitcase was the size (carry-on a must), quality (would not fall apart if I checked it) and price (the cheaper the better). Then, by accident, I discovered the Samsonite Spinner line - 4 wheeled suitcases that you can pull or push.

Having traveled with my Spinner for over a dozen trips to Europe, I can't go back to using any other suitcase. I can pack for a six week trip in this one pack - the minimal design optimizes space for packing. Also, this suitcase is heaven for navigating the long train and metro stations in Paris - just easily push it around like a grocery cart. This suitcase also stays upright (no matter how much you over pack it), and is a breeze to roll the blocks from the metro to your hotel.

My Samsonite Sahora Brights 20" Spinner Upright hard-case also meets the smaller, 20-inch carry-on requirements for British and discount European airlines. I have travelled over 100K flight miles with the Sahara Brights Spinner and it is still in great shape. I also love the fashionable color choices that make it easy to keep track of your suitcase- like cobalt blue and deep purple.


4. Fold-up Shopping Bag - Paris is a shopper's paradise. Wander around on a Paris market street and you'll inevitably pick up some cheese, fruit, wine, and chocolate. Be prepared like the Parisians and carry a fold up shopping bag in your purse. The BAGGU Shopping Totes come in multiple colors and hold 2-3 plastic shopping bags of groceries. For a budget bag, stop by your local Target and buy when of their fold-up bags for a buck at the checkout.


5. Pashmina - Practical, elegant and lightweight, a Pashmina is a must-have item for you trip to Paris. Use it as a blanket on your overseas flight or for a picnic in a park, a scarf to dress up an outfit, or another layer over your shoulders on a chilly walk along the Seine. Both pashmina brands shown below are reasonably priced and come in over 55 colors.


Author: Cheryl Montgomery

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