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19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

Newcastle upon...
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19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

Hi,

So I have the potential to be an au pair for a French family for a part of this summer. After my time is done there, I'm intending to go to Paris for 2/3 weeks to get a feel for Parisian life and to continue improving my french. I have a few questions though.

1. Is it safe for someone of my age?

2. Would it be a better choice to rent a small apartment for 2 weeks so I can cook my own food, saving money on food, resulting in a cheaper stay

3. How would I meet other people my age?

4. Is it worth signing up for french classes for those two weeks?

Thanks!

Pennsylvania
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1. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

A great age to start your independent travels! (Some of us were already veteran solo travelers at 19!)

I do think at your age that staying at hostel is a great choice for meeting ppl. Many offer breakfast included and inexpensive dinners. You can eat a street crepe or sandwich from a bakery for lunch when you are out and about.

Some hostels have a limit of staying a week or less. But that is a great way to get to know different areas of town. Check out St Christophers hostel in the 19th (I met a young woman in Rome who had just stayed there and loved it) and there is a new hostel next to Gare du Nord also.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

What an exciting summer! We have met many solo travellers of all ages on walking tours we have done in Paris. Actually on one tour, we met a three people roughly your age who has met on a previous tour, and had become travelling buddies for a few days. So, that may be a way for you to meet other solo travellers as well. Have a wonderful time.

Victoria, Canada
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3. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

Congratulations,,, what a fun summer . I think same common sense rules you need and use at home are the same for in Paris . Don't get dead drunk and wander home alone late at night... don't accept a drink from a stranger, watch your purse.. look both ways before crossing street ( right left right, lol )

An apartment does make sense for saving money with food.. but won't give you the easier social interaction that perhaps you may find by staying in a hostel.

At this late date it will be harder to find one place for the whole two weeks,, so you may have to see if you can find two places for a week each, MIJE hostel is well recommended.... and I know an 18 yr old girl from my work that stayed at the St Christopher by the Canal St Martin ( there is now another newer one by Gare Du Nord also) and liked it very much.

Have fun.. you will be fine if you follow common sense rules that we all have to ..

Boston...
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4. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

I actually really like Joan's idea of the St. Christopher. It's in a really fun, young, lively area.

I also love her "rules'. They make sense no matter how old you are :)

Le Bugue, France
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5. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

I agree that a hostel is your best bet for socializing with other people. An apartment can be isolating. Paris is perfectly safe. My own children have spent time there alone many times at younger ages than you. I suppose any chance to improve your French is a worthwhile endeavor, but won't you need French to begin with to be an au pair?

Paris, France
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6. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

I agree with everyone else about hostel vs apartment. The only way you will save money on food while renting an apartment is if you eat all your meals there, every day, and do your drinking there, as well. Not the optimal choice, if you want to meet people. This "saving a lot of money on food" thing is such a misconception...it really only applies to large families with hungry kids.

A hostel would be great, if you choose a good neighborhood and check out the facilities to see if its what you want.

Some people have enjoyed "Franglish" - a social gathering where you exchange conversation in French and English.

Andrésy, France
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7. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

If you are alone I would be surprised if renting an appartment would save any money. This is more interesting for families or groups. Thousands of 19 year old girls live in Paris. Common sense keeps the vast majority of them perfectly safe. Maybe you will get some unwanted attention. I would suggest laughing it off & going purposefully where you want to go (even if you don't know where that is).

Boston...
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8. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

Not for nothing, but I strongly disagree with Patty about saving money on food by staying in an apartment.

It's not only large families with kids who save money on food this way. I've often traveled alone or with one or two others and actually done the math. Depends on your travel budget how much you want to spend/save, but it's generally much more cost-conscious to eat in....even drink in, for that matter.

Mill Valley...
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9. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

Bobbiere, this sounds like a wonderful plan for the summer.

1. Paris is a very safe city. You are well-advised by Joan's "rules." (However, I was taught to look left, right, left ;-))

2. Having rented an apartment in Paris many times, I would agree with Happy that you can save a considerable amount of money on food by having your meals in an apartment versus at a restaurant or café, but...

3. A hostel might be cheaper (I know nothing about them) and you would miss the opportunity of meeting and socializing with others if you didn't stay at a hostel, but...

4. If you take French classes, you can meet others to hang out with. By the way, I studied at the Alliance Française on a 6-week stay many years ago. I loved it and made friends there (most of them nearer to your age than mine) with whom I still communicate to this day.

I think you'll just need to do some research on prices, set a budget and plan accordingly...and have a great time!

New York City, New...
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10. Re: 19 year old travelling in Paris by herself

I think taking French classes for a few weeks is a great way to meet people.

I take French in NY and many of my classmates take 2-3 week sessions in Paris. One is currently there taking a 2 week course that gets out at 1, so you have a nice blend of being with people and time to be alone