I'll be on the BOE 14 days in August tour. My plan is to get to Paris a day early. I'm just noodling around with ideas but I'll probably just relax and people watch. I'm not sure to stay at the same hotel RS arranged for my first night either. Anyone else on this tour?
I went on the same tour last Sept and arrived in Paris a day early. I also have been on several other RS tours. You will have jet lag and will need to get out of the hotel and get fresh air and then go back to the hotel later and rest, on the day before the tour. I always stay in the same hotel so as not to have the hassle of checking out and getting to the hotel RS tour is staying at. You will meet your guide in the early afternoon, so why waste time changing hotels. Stay in the same hotel, get up, eat breakfast and go out and see something in the morning, then get back in time to meet the group. Your time in Paris is limited and you want to make the most of it, not changing hotels and needing to find the hotel and check in is never in the early morning, but the late morning, or early afternoon. It is a fast paced tour and you want to be ready for it. Have a great time.
Thank you for your suggestions. I realize that I need to change my thinking about this trip. This is a tour of Europe and NOT a vacation. I'm looking forward to it.
It can be both! Sometimes people watching is a great way to enjoy a new city. But the other poster is right about the hotel- especially for a one night stay. Try to reserve your same hotel as on the tour. Tell them you're with the tour so they don't make you "check out" at 10AM and then "check in" with the RS people at 3!
It is helpful to get out and walk around when you land- to help get over jet lag. It doesn't mean you have to have a marathon around the city, just take a lovely stroll, perhaps someplace not covered on your tour. Stop someplace interesting to have a local treat or meal and people watch there for a while. Then stroll back to your hotel early and do everything you can to get a good night's sleep. Enjoy the next morning at leisure and then get ready for the fun of your tour. Hope you get to meet some fellow tour mates soon!
I'll agree with the others about staying at the tour hotel, especially if you just have one night pre-tour. It is so much easier and you may run in to others that are on your tour as well. If your tour hotel happens to be full, they are usually excellent about holding your bag for you after you check out of the other hotel and before your room is ready.
If you are in the Rue Cler area and you want to people watch I really enjoy the sidewalk cafes in the area or even better, walking over to the Eiffel Tower area and sitting on a bench there for a couple of hours. I was between tours last Fall and headed over there to kill a couple of hours and it was amazing. I watched a police raid on the gypsy petition girls, chatted with a young couple from Mexico and was able to offer her some BandAids for blisters on her feet and generally had a very interesting time...all in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. What could be better!
I will also offer some advice which you did not ask for. Many here are big on taking public transport to their hotel from the airport. I have found that I just budget in a taxi ride from the airport to the hotel. I'm tired after a long trip, not really thinking clearly and it is just easier to go to the taxi rank and grab a cab in to town and be dropped in front of my hotel. Particularly if this is your first trip to Paris, you may want to consider this option as well.
Thank you for your posts. I will especially be looking forward to sitting at a café and or outside bench and people watch. I like strolling and looking into window shop windows or identifying flora and fauna. So, when I'm not rushing about with the tour group, I will be doing my usual casual fair.
Thank you all for your advice. I have reserved my pre-tour hotel stay at the same hotel the tour reserved and am looking forward to the sights and sounds of Paris. Is anyone else on this tour?