How best can I help a naive teen spend a week in Paris
October 14, 2009 3:57 AM Subscribe
My baby sister will spend a week in Paris alone and is travelling overseas for the first time. What practical arrangements can I make from a distance to help her have the best time she has ever had?
posted by tavegyl to Travel & Transportation around Paris, France (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My 17 year old sister and I were supposed to meet in Paris for her birthday in early November. She's flying from Pakistan, I was taking the train from London. Unfortunately it's looking increasing unlikely that my visa will arrive in time. This is the first time she'll be out of South Asia, let alone travel in a non-English-speaking country by herself. Given this, I am looking for suggestions on the following:
- Good, comfortable friendly B&Bs, centrally located in a safe area, where the owners and staff will take good care of a foreign teenager who doesn't speak French. I'm paying for the holiday as a present, but would prefer it to not bankrupt me (say under 80 euros a night, preferably much less). Ideally it would be a nice little place, very comfortable, with staff whom I can speak to and who will help her navigate the city, keep an eye on her, but not be pushy or enfolding.
- Any long distance arrangements I can make? Eg ensure there is a mobile phone SIM and a guidebook waiting for her? Week-long tickets to public transport?
- How can I ensure she has cash once she's there? I was planning to do all the spending, and her Pakistani card may not work overseas. Is there a way I can make sure there's money waiting for her once she arrives?
- Any tips for a kid in this situation? My own feeling is that a week alone in Paris as your first trip abroad should be a superb adventure. At the same time I don't want her to feel intimidated or nervous alone. Any suggestions on how I can make it easier - or indeed if I should help at all? Any off-the-beaten-track places and events?
- Finally, here's the big sister worrying. I've never been to Paris, and whilst I've been travelling alone since 16, I was the dorky gawky teen, not the one who gets modelling offers. My sister is naive, beautiful and completely lacking in street smarts. In Pakistan there are societal structures (eg chaperonage, class, honour etc) protecting her when she's alone. What sort of warnings should she have about being taken advantage of, sleazy men, mugging, etc?