Girls, it’s worth it.
I had the opportunity to take a 24-hour kosher layover in Paris with my husband on the way to a family simcha in New York.
We went for it.
My top 10 tips for the perfect 24-hour layover in Kosher Paris.
#1 Set A Budget
Yes, your trip is only 24 hours.
How much money can you spend 24 hours?
Paris is expensive.
Hotels, cab rides, delicious kosher food, and entrance fees are all going to cost you.
That is not even discussing a stop into Louis Vuitton.
Before we began planning our trip, we set a realistic budget.
Well, my accountant husband set a budget, on an excel chart, and I was forced to comply.
We paid by credit card for some of the larger expenses but took out a certain amount of cash for meals, souvenirs, attractions, and snacks.
#2 Book Your Hotel
Our top priority for choosing a hotel was location.
Well after budget – see tip #1.
We chose a hotel that was easily accessible by foot to the major Parisian tourist attractions.
The Hôtel de la Place du Louvre – Esprit de France, was an ideal choice.
This budget-friendly, chic hotel was in the perfect location – next to the Louvre.
Our room was comfortable and roomy with a large bathroom.
Best of all, the price left some room in our budget for souvenirs (see tip #8)
#3 Plan Your Itinerary
So, I have to admit, my husband Dov, took care of all the planning.
He did the research.
After consulting with friends and co-workers, he designed our personal travel guide for Kosher Paris on Visitacity.com.
Based on reviews from other travelers, he created an individualized travel guide complete with explanations about attractions, restaurants, and an estimated time to spend at each location.
We hit the streets of Paris, armed with a printed a copy and access to a digital copy on our phone. See tip —-
The travel guide automatically links with Google maps, providing clear walking directions.
The app is easily adjustable and adjusts to your travel modifications.
We planned on eating breakfast and grabbing lunch to take on our flight.
At 7 am, we walked through the dark empty Parisian streets, and found out that most restaurants didn’t open until 11 am.
Ya – Don’t forget to check opening and closing times.
Thank G-d, we found the only Kosher Paris patisserie open early. We grabbed delicious treats at the bakery Korkosz.
#4 Hire A Driver
As we only had 24 hours in the city.
We had to make the most of every minute.
Hiring a driver to take us from the airport and back to the airport the next day allowed us more shopping time (ya – no see tip #1)
Our driver Thierry Milgrom, 033-676588235 was pleasant, friendly, has a comfortable car and was very knowledgeable about Paris and the Jewish community in Paris.
Not only did he save us time, by quickly taking us to our hotel, so we could begin our adventure, but he gave us a mini tour of the city.
He gave his personal reviews of favorite museums and kosher restaurants.
We also learned about the Parisian Jewish community and specifically about his family.
#5 The Search for Kosher Food
After walking for six glorious hours, we were very much looking forward to our French dinner at 7:30 pm.
Upon entering the beautiful restaurant, Kavod, the hostess immediately asked us if we had made reservations.
It was bashert.
They had a last minute cancellation, and we were seated for our outstanding Parisian dinner.
123 Cacher is a great website that lists Kosher Paris food options.
#6 Phone Plan
A phone plan is crucial.
Not only did we need to remain in contact with our beloved babysitter (Thank you! Thank you), but we required a data plan for our app (see Tip #3).
We used a Verizon all inclusive phone package at $10 a day.
Check your local phone plan for international packages.
#7 Pack a Chic Handbag
Leave your Jansport at home.
Your chic handbag should include snacks, a water bottle, a change of socks/shoes and a sweater (seasonal).
Don’t worry if you forgot your chic handbag at home, Chanel has the perfect one for you.
#8 Choose a Souvenir
I admit, that I thought a glamorous, designer French shoulder bag would be the perfect souvenir from our trip.
Conflict with Tip #1
Modeling the Hermes Navy Bag – Just Modeling!
Instead, I decided to find something more within our budget, that would remind me of our trip.
A quick online search detailed the best items to buy in a French pharmacy.
Each morning, I am brought back to our wonderful trip simply by rubbing Nuxe’s multi-purpose dry oil Huile Prodigieuse on my hands.
Don’t Forget to pack your new skincare products in checked luggage!
#9 Where to Daven?
At the airport, we saw many (okay one) Orthodox Jews praying with Tefillin and Tallit.
For those that would prefer to daven with a minyan and not in the airport terminal, GoDaven provides a comprehensive list of local minyanim with times and addresses.
I do not think that I spoke to another person other than my husband.
Wasn’t that the point?
That can explain my joy of chatting with the driver and the airline attendant.
Learn 5 words before your trip.
With the proper accent.
Watch a French beginners lesson. You will learn at least five new words.
Words that I wish I had practiced: excuse me, thank you, good morning, hello and good night.
How much are the suede navy over the knee boots?
24 hours in Paris – It’s Worth It
As busy people, with work and family commitments, 24 hours in the romantic city of Paris – was totally worth it.
Thanks to the amazing planning (of my husband), we were able to make the most out of every minute.
Nous avons fait un super voyage!
Not us – but don’t they look so French.
What tips do you have for a 24-hour layover in Paris?
Yocheved Pianko Feinerman is “leaning in” and embracing the harmony and chaos of raising four “spirited” children, juggling an active career as an educator, and writer while planning the next 24-hour getaway with her husband.
If you have a scoop to share with High Energy Mom hit her up on facebook or twitter or shoot her an email firstname.lastname@example.org.