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DD#2 -- Going to France! -- OP #17, #28

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Last December I posted a question about study abroad:


All of the replies on that thread were so extremely helpful, I don't have a lot of questions left! ;D

DD#2 has been studying her phrases and, while certainly not fluent in the language, I know that she'll be able to politely communicate at least to the point of "May we please speak in English?" if she doesn't understand the answers.

We went to an informational meeting tonight and the "trip counselor" (TC) for lack of a better term -- the person that will be in charge of 10 students, including DD#2 -- was very informative on what to wear/pack, money exchange, cell phones, etc. So I think DD#2 is in good shape, information wise.

A few questions:

-- Cell Phone. DD#2 has a stupid phone, so data charges do not apply except for texting. I know that I have to check with my carrier in order to see if her phone would even work in France (doubtful, it's almost 3 years old.) But, in this day and age, going anywhere without a cell phone (especially in unfamiliar places) seems foolish. Any thoughts on this?

-- Camera. We do not have a digital camera, and since her cell phone would probably be out of commission (would the camera function still work?) I thought of the disposable cameras. If she packs them in her check-in suitcase, or even one on her carry-on, does the x-rays affect the film in any way? Or should I buy her a cheapy digital camera? Any thoughts on which camera to buy?

-- Places of interest. She will have some free time every day, sometimes for lunch or dinner. If anybody has any suggestions for "The Must Do*" place to eat (they will be given 30 euros for on-your-own meals) or shop or see in Paris or Nice, recommendations would be appreciated. The top touristy places (the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc.) are covered. One day, she gets an On&Off pass with a tour bus (she can get off to visit the area and then get on the next bus.)

Other than that . . . we bought an adapter for her curling/straightening iron, DD#2 was informed as to what to pack/how to dress. TC mentioned pick-pockets (especially around the Eiffel Tower) and other safety measures. The hotel does have complimentary computers available for e-mail. I will have emergency info for DD#2 to carry with her passport (and send an extra copy to TC.)

What am I forgetting?

*If you have ideas, please PM me and I'll give you the location of her hotel.

The camera on the phone will work, its only the connectivity which is a problem (calls, internet, texts).  All other functions will work.

Other than for the camera, I wouldn't take the phone.  Even if you have data roaming so it can be used, the costs will be astronomical.

I would see about getting an international pay as you go phone.  I can't speak about the disposable camera part because it's been ages since I've used one and traveled with one.  What I do remember is that it's safer in carry on for some reason.

If your DD2 is a literature buff at all, I would recommend Notre Dame and Shakespeare & Co Bookstore.  I say lit buff with Notre Dame because I finished up the book around the same time I was in Paris, visited the Cathedral, and went alllll the way up to the bell tower.  It is one of my best memories of the trip that I took.  And I was all of 14 at the time.  :)

Outdoor Girl:
Can you get disposable film cameras anymore?  If you can, they'll be either 100 or 200 speed film so they're fine through the X-ray.  Last time I took a film camera through, they told me that only 400 or 800 film would be damaged.  I think, if you want to get her a camera, that a basic digital is the way to go.  That way, she isn't as limited in the number of pictures she takes.

I agree with seeing about an international pay as you go phone, maybe even a disposable type one so it isn't attractive to thieves.  But if she has access to a computer, I think I'd depend more on e-mails to communicate.  Not as satisfying as talking but you don't have to worry about the time difference, which is about 6 hours, I think.

Library Dragon:
I was in France in November and used an iTouch for my camera and emails. I used free wifi available in many locations.  I didn't have a cell phone usable in France, but would recommend renting one or buying a simple one depending on length of time in France for your daughter. 


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