For when France seems too far away. Shop for inspiring images of France and discover travel tips, packing advice, recipes, book reviews and more.
For when France seems too far away. Shop for inspiring images of France and discover travel tips, packing advice, recipes, book reviews and more.

Packing For Paris In Spring

Luxembourg Gardens

I have a nasty little obsession with packing light. My goal is to one day leave Australia with less than ten kilograms of luggage. My record so far is just a shade over 11 kg.

But I am also a realist, And I know that I will never achieve that goal when I am travelling to Paris during spring. Sadly, the weather is just a bit too changeable to even consider packing that light – particularly if you want to blend in with Parisian street style.

So, given that admission, what do I recommend packing if you are travelling to Paris in spring? Well, obviously your choices will be somewhat dictated by exactly when in the season you are travelling. But generally speaking I would:

  • Choose a colour scheme so that every piece of clothing you take can be mixed and matched. One of the keys to packing as light as you possibly can during spring is to stick to a consistent colour theme of three colours. Think black, white and navy or black, grey and red and build everything (shoes and accessories included) around the three colours you choose.
  • Pack scarves – at least two. One lightweight and one a little heavier.  Scarves are perfect for changeable weather, adding not only a stylish element to your outfit but also additional warmth if you need it. Scarves are also exceptionally easy to pack – as well as being always in fashion in Paris.
  • Take some sort of coat or jacket, particularly in early spring. I would suggest either a hip length leather jacket or a classic trench coat. Even if you are travelling later in the season you should take some sort of decent outerwear. I travelled to France last May without my favourite trench coat (because I was trying to travel light) and I am still kicking myself.
  • Make the obvious decision to pack jeans or pants during spring. However, you can get away with supplementing your jeans with a skirt in spring and I always pack a lightweight dress (either short or long sleeved) when travelling in April or May. As I mentioned in Packing For Paris In Winter, black is good choice for jeans and pants (and skirts and dresses for that matter) as it can be dressed up or down depending on your itinerary.
  • Think hard about shoes. Shoe selection can be a real challenge in the spring. Early in the season I’d suggest comfy ankle boots that go with both your jeans and your skirt. And for the rest of spring, ballet flats will likely suffice. You just need to make sure you are comfortable walking because you do a lot of it in Paris. Many a potentially perfect Parisian trip has been ruined by poor footwear choices. (As an aside, we are travelling late in May this year, and as much as it goes against my need to pack light I am looking like taking four pairs – two pairs of ballet flats for Paris and the Loire Valley and a pair of sandals for the south of France, as well as a pair of heels.)
  • Pack tops that go with all the skirts and jeans I’m packing. A simple tip I know, but I love simple tips. Consider both long and short sleeve options and don’t forget to pack something dressy for nights out.
  • Follow my big hint for building a spring packing list – apart from always considering what you are planning to do on your trip – think layering, layering, layering. Layers are your best friend when you are travelling in such changeable weather and want to travel light.

Well, that’s it when it comes to my tips for packing for a trip to Paris in spring. Do you have any other hints or tips for spring travel (particularly if they happen to assist with travelling light)? If so, I’d love for you to share them in the comments below.

Until next time – au revoir.

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