I have heard about both the Carte Orange and some other option (the name of which escapes me). I will be in Paris Sunday-Wednesday Aug 3-6. What would you recommend?
Don't make it complicated. For the short time you'll be there, just buy carnets - packs of ten tickets at a discount - at any train station. Remember to discard or tear the ones you use once you've left your destination station so you don't end up confusing used tickets with unused.
FYI - the RATP ticket control agents can stop you at anytime in a station to check tickets - so not only on a train - thus another reason to work out your pocket system. The other is to use the poubelle (trash bin) upon your departure from the station. Keep you new tickets in a pocket such as with your camera - back pack etc.
The carnet should be sufficient for your few days.
Bon voyage !
But don't discard the used ticket until after you have gone through the exit turnstile. Sometimes the Metro Police and their dogs come aboard the Metro cars and ask to see the passengers' tickets or passes.
BTW- Since you keep them until you exit, work out a system so that you don't get them confused with the unused tickets you still have- you cannot tell them apart visually.
My system was to put any unused tickets in my RIGHT pants pocket ( these are the Right ones) and once thru the first turnstile as I'm getting on the train I put them in my LEFT pocket (These have nothing Left ). Silly but it worked well...once I was done for the day I simply emptied the left pocket.
A carnet with the pocket system is tried and true for me. The turnstile often stamped a purple mark on them, but it's barely noticeable in the dim light of a station... or sometimes in the bright light of day.
You don't need your ticket to exit on the metro, but if you use the RER (metro tickets are good for RER trips within zone 1 only), you need the ticket both to enter and to exit.
The t+ tickets that come in carnets are also good on the bus and the Montmartre funiculaire. You can make bus transfers up to 90 minutes after boarding the first bus. (If you buy a ticket from a bus driver, it is good for a single ride only.)
BILL: I love your mnemonic device! I will totally use that one.
Since Barry has alluded to the Mobilis pass, I'll comment on it. A one-day, zone 1-2 Mobilis pass costs €5.80. A carnet of ten t+ tickets costs €11.40. That breaks down to €1.14/ticket. Five t+ tickets from a carnet = €5.70. Therefore a Mobilis pass will be a better deal than using tickets from a carnet only if a person takes six or more rides in one day. Since Paris is a great walking city, many people enjoy walking more and riding less.