Sep 19, 2009

How we planned (or didn't plan) and what we took...

Someone asked me the other day how we planned for our trip. Aside from trolling the internet, we took the books listed below...and yet we still forgot what was closed what days..oh well, I blame jet lag.

Truth be told, I read through the Rick Steves book before we left and then used it if I needed to find more information that the basics.

The Frommer's book was great for specific topics like shopping etc. but the best part was the map that came with the book. It was water/tear proof and was almost constantly used to figure out where we were.

The Knopf book was thin enough to bring along with my bag (more on my PacSafe bag in a second). It has flip out maps for each general geographical locations (i.e. Le Marais, Saint Germain, Latin Quarter etc.) and provided suggestions on where to eat, sleep, shop and must see sights.

I searched for a long time to find a bag for my stuff to carry with me. I didn't like the idea of carrying a knapsack due to pickpockets nor did I want to carry my normal purse. I wanted to take my new super zoom camera (a FZ28). I debated for a long time whether I wanted to carry a bigger camera bag (such as a Crumpler bag) or carry a reasonably sized secure bag and then carry a smaller camera bag inside the outer bag.

In fairness, Paris is prone to pickpockets and perhaps the odd snatch and grab but most tourists oriented areas are heavily patroled by police on roller blades and bikes. That being said, I didn't want a bag that screamed I have an expensive camera either, so a Crumpler or larger LowePro was out.

I discovered my CitySafe 200 PacSafe bag through a lot of internet searching. I opted for the larger purse like bag as I usually carry everything including the kitchen sink.

I also purchased a smaller camera bag to go inside my PacSafe (an Olympus Nylon Ultra Zoom Case) and lined the bottom of the camera bag with a divider from my LowePro bag to absorb any heavy knocks from the bottom. Maybe this was a bit much but it worked well.

We did pack light but took duffel bags just in case we found something extra big to bring home.


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