1. No one can truly get lost, especially in a big city like Paris. There are people everywhere which means - - information is readily available (Just bring your dictionary and see #11)
2. The more people you talk to, the more 'insider information' you can get ranging from deals, best eats, and tricks. Without communication, you may never know what you're missing out on!! Apparently, it is pretty affordable to go snowboarding/skiing near Lyon, France - - a bus ride & lift pass/day for only 30 Euros. Not bad..
3. Respect is everything. Respect the culture and the culture will respect and even help you if necessary! Attempt the language! This has been my introduction speech: "Bonjour, je m'appelle Cathy. Je parle un peu de Francais parce que je suis Americaine. J'ai une question...." Works like a charm!
4. About 35-40% of people in Paris do not even bother buying a ticket for the metro/bus. Seriously. I have seen people actually jump over the machine that scans the tickets. There was even a time I went on the bus, scanned my ticket (which got rejected), looked the bus driver in the eye and he completely ignored me.
5. Dress code in Paris: black everything...for the most part, the only thing that has any color is the scarf component.
6. Winter/Summer sales all over France and England, from 20% - 95% off! Not just specific stores but all shops with the exception of restaurants and food shops. So, if you want to update your wardrobe - go to Europe during these seasons and keep an eye out. Today, I bought these black glove sleeve things just in case I only have short sleeved shirts available to wear (only 3 Euros):
7. Cheapest place to convert your money? Chinatown in Paris! I'm sure the Chinatown in other countries are cheap too. Ex: $105 US Dollars --> 80.33 Euros
8. Save some extra cash by going to the local supermarket to feed your appetite; plenty of cheap eats around even in a supposedly notoriously expensive city! It's about eating smart and being open-minded. Yummy eats!
9. Cheap transportation within Europe: www.ryanair.com, www.skyscanner.com, www.thetrainline.com - do your research first! Ask around! I am taking a train from Manchester to Northallerton, UK for only 19 Euros ;)
10. Buy your baguette in the morning or latest in the afternoon. Otherwise, they are either non-existent or not as fresh.
11. Cover your dictionary with your favorite decorative paper (I used green construction paper) AND place a map inside of it. No one will ever know you're a tourist!!
12. It's okay to be late. Being on time is less common.
13. The less you lug around, the cheaper it is to move around.
So, the next time you make it out to Paris- feel free to keep these tips on mind to help you extend your travels and share with others.