Have I mentioned that I’m a fan of airbnb? We found the apartment we are currently staying in with ease online, booked it, locate it, access it, and live in it without a hassle. It is exactly what we expected, with no extra hoops to jump through, no giant rats running around, etc. I’ve loved coming home to our huge windows, a kitchen we can cook in, and the sounds of the 10th arrondissment bustling outside.
We have only had one problem: the internet. For some reason our internet was not working when we first arrived. Now of course, me being slightly more tightly wound than Tyler, I immediately began to freak out…running around like a chicken with my head cut off. It was as though the world was ending–no interwebs?!? What will we do? How will we eat?! HOW WILL WE SHOWER?!
Tyler kindly reminded me that eating, showering, and other day-to-day activities did not actually require the internet, at which point I was mildly placated. After a pastry or…dozen…my rational, albeit sleepy, mind had returned to me as Tyler explained to me that travel did in fact occur prior to the advent of the interwebs. Ahh my lovely husband.
So we set off to solve this problem by first and foremost contacting the individual through whom we rented the apartment. Simple enough…except we had no phone or internet. Where to turn?! Ahhh…good old McDonalds. You see my friends, despite its many, many, many flaws, Mickey D’s has something awesome to offer everyone–free wifi.
In the land of pay-for-everything-including-a-tiny-plastic-shopping-bag Paris, free wifi is a silly notion. Until you see those golden arches. We turned to McDonalds and even Starbucks (though McDonalds is more affordable with more reliable internet), to contact the owner, check our e-mail, move money around, etc. We finally have internet in our apartment, but this experience has definitely provided me with an important travelers tip that I would love to share with you…
Paris Travel Tip #3: Find all your nearby McDonalds and Starbucks.
You can be certain these American institutions will retain some vestige of their native country in terms of free wifi. Though you may not suffer our woeful wifi issues, you may well need navigation help during your time in the city. If you have an iPhone or any other smart phone, internet is key–you can save pictures of maps to your phone or even pull up and save directions. One of the most helpful things we have done is save the location of every McDonalds downtown, so that we know where we can get some free wifi if we need it.