Make that next trip to France (or elsewhere in Europe) go as smoothly as possible. These are items that you simply must have before hitting France. Check this travel packing list of what to pack for a France trip.
One of the single most important things you will need in France is the ability to speak French. You are bound to need to ask directions or read a sign or a menu that is only in French. If you don't have a translator, you could truly regret it! What I like about this one is that it is a talking version, so you won't have to deal with blank stares when you mispronounce a word. It also features a currency and metric converter, calculator, alarm clock, calendar, voice memo recording and eight travel games.
As anyone who has traveled around France by train knows, versatile luggage is crucial. I prefer the rolling tote because it can be carried on your shoulder or rolled through the airports or train stations when your shoulders feel like they are about to burn right off. This model is nice because it is compact enough to fit under the airplane seat, but also has side pockets to qiuckly reach passport and boarding pass.
If you plan to plug in anything you bring with you, it won't fit in the holes unless you bring an adaptor (and these are surprisingly hard to find over there), and it just might get burned out if you don't convert the electrical current. This is the best investment you can make: a few bucks to save (and be able to use) your electronics worth hundreds of dollars.
In France, you walk. You walk to shop. You walk along the Seine. You walk to attractions. And when you get to those attractions, you walk up 10 flights of spiral stairs. This is the best investment you can make before your trip. Get a nice pair of high-quality walking shoes. If you don't have the cash, at least get a couple pairs of walking inserts. Trust me. You will thank me later.
Avoid ear pain on the long flight to France with these wonderful, inexpensive Earplanes. I've used them many times personally to avoid pesky popping and pain. Just stick them in your ears on the departure and for the descent. They even come in versions for children, which could make for a much more peaceful flight.
The worst feeling is to be in France, lost, and only have a limited grasp of the language. Avoid such mishaps with a very good France map, which is absolutely crucial if you plan to drive at all. Buying a map while in France, it will be tough to find one in English, so get it before you go. Consult this list of top road maps of France.
For increased security in a foreign land, I always felt better having an alarm. Wedge this under hotel door or train compartment door and, if it opens, an alarm will sound.
This may not seem crucial, but trust me on this one (especially if you will be visiting Paris during the rainy/windy season, which seems to run from January through December). It is also quite important to get a good umbrella. I've had plenty of compact, travel umbrellas bite the dust under Parisian winds. This one is sturdy, and vented so the wind won't flip it inside out.