Old Paris auto show posterKelly
Old Air France posterParis coat of armsStatue of liberty under construction rue de Chazelles where Kelly & Joan liveJoanJoan
Lyon, FranceThe Eiffel tower under constructionAn old metro ticketBalboa peninsula in Newport Beach, CAAn Air France Airbus A300 in LHRThe 3 ducks hostel where Kelly & Joan metEuropean vacationKelly & JoanYoung JoanYoung Kelly



Avoiding sneaky banking fees

  • Be careful of using your credit and debit cards when in France as most companies have fees and give you a terrible exchange rate when you exchange dollars to euros.
  • In my opinion the best option to avoid fees : Get a free Revolut card
    • This is a free debit card which allows you to pay in euros without the crazy fees. You upload $ to the account, and transfer them to € using their application and the daily exchange rate
    • You can pay directly using your card.
  • Another option : Take out cash from ATMs
    • Most ATM machines in France will charge a fee of around 10 dollars when you take out cash
    • Careful of carrying around too much cash, Paris is a big city with all the typical big city pickpocket issues

Exchange rate $ / €

  • The current rate is around 1 dollar = 0.90 euros (this is pretty typical and has been around this number for several years).
  • The exchange rate is worst with some banks and at money exchange booths both at airports and in Paris.


  • You never need to leave a tip in France!
  • 18% gratuity is already included in all restaurants so there is no obligation to leave anything extra.
  • If you had a truly fantastic time you can leave a small tip (50 cents min for a coffee, 2€ min for a meal, 5% max) but it is never expected.
  • You don't have to tip in taxis, hotels, etc.

Taxes / prices

  • Sales tax / VAT (20%) are always included in the price, so if you buy something at a store and the price is 2 euros, you will pay exactly 2 euros when you check out.
  • One exception is the hotel tax which is added to the price of a room (currently in Paris the hotel tax per night and per person is 1€ for a 1* hotel, 1,88€ for a 3* hotel and 5€ for a palace).