30 days to 30 days in France


If it wasn’t for the last minute a lot of things wouldn’t get done-Anon. 

This is the first time that I haven’t been obsessive-compulsive about planning for an overseas trip. But today I got a slight case of the jitters when I realized it is 30 days to my 30 day vacation in France. 

Maybe it’s because I’ve been there once before, or because I’m going with a friend who is fluent in French and it’s her fourth trip. We have our airline tickets, first week of lodging and that’s it. 

Maybe I’m not over-stressing because I don’t have to plan an itinerary to see Paris in 7 days. It’s kind of liberating. I can actually stroll, lounge, sip, watch, leisurely shop, peruse the vegetable markets, enjoy a film, or a picnic in the park.

These were my thoughts for a hot minute. Maybe I’m not over-stressing because I’m in DENIAL…OM…I am going to be gone for one month and trusting my home to my kids. They are young adults, two of which finally have full-time jobs and one who is in his second year of college. I can feel some slight fluttering in my chest. It wasn’t that long ago that I overheard that the middle one(over 21) was a beer pong champion. 

Deep breaths…find and read the Serenity Prayer…prepare a written document of rules and consequences-okay, back to the next 30 days.

Although I’m a fan of TripAdvisor and Rick Steves I  had a heck of a time looking for good advice-in one location- on how to plan for 30 days in another city. 

I’m a pretty light packer but the longest I’ve been gone out of the country is 12 days. I needed some no nonsense, practical advice on how to live, budget and be in another country.  

Along the Google way, I found an article by John Bermont who assembled a Packing List and Last Call form. It’s from his book titled “How To Europe: What to bring to Europe and what to do before you go.”

His website has a list of recommended “traveler’s supplies,” which includes travel books, clothes, electrical adapters, and the how to of rail travel all in one place. John Bermont is a pretty funny guy. He kept me reading with his sage advice:

Luggage Don’t be a burro. Let it roll.  

Credit card companies and banks: let them know that you will be using their rip-off services while you are gallivanting around Europe. 

          Vinegar, Vodka, and Latex gloves. Yes, those are on the packing list. Read and see why.


Each section of advice has a corresponding chapter in his free online 30 Chapter “How to Europe” travel book. If I read a chapter a day I’ll be set-I had better make that three. 

If you have any tips for a month in France, I’d love to hear them.

Categories: How To Europe, John Bermont, Planning to Travel, Travel, Travel tips for Paris, Trip to Paris

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