Travel is awesome! But it can also be overwhelming, particularly in a new country and culture where you don't speak the language. The easiest things sometimes become the biggest challenges. When it comes to Paris there's SO much to see and do! Where do you start!?!
Navigate Paris Online covers all the nuts and bolts of, well, navigating Paris. It's done in a way that will give you the confidence to get around, explore, and even to get lost. The goal is to help you make the most of your time in the city. (Don't worry, this also involves sitting at cafés and people watching—this is France!).
In a nutshell, here's what you can expect:
There's still plenty of room for adventure, and creating your own memories.
I approach all the content with a designer's eye, hoping to make it accessible and easy to understand. You'll understand the mindset of why things are the way they are. Those who have already gone through Navigate Paris Online describe it like having a really awesome guide. It definitely does more than a Paris guidebook can ever do.
"I LOVED it. I felt like I learned so much which got me even more excited about my upcoming visit!! I especially loved actually being able to see and hear you giving the information, as well as being able to reinforce it all by reading the notes below. The broken down sections are so helpful and they're packed with a lot of information yet very clear and organized into what seems like a small amount of time. "
- Megan S, Austin, TX
Who is this for?
If there's a trip to Paris in your future, this is for you!
While this offering is perfect for first time travelers planning a trip to Paris, I guarantee that return visitors will get so much out of it too. Even though I've called Paris home for more than 10 years, I'm always learning something new. I share the best tools and resources I've collected over the years.
Navigate Paris Online also may be for you if you:
If you only care about seeing a checklist of tourist sites, or are solely focused on historical information, this experience may not be for you. (What I will give you are tips for experiencing them in different ways.)
Remember the days before smart phones and we had to figure out things "the hard way"? Well, I'll still be sharing all the secrets of getting around, but this online experience embraces the sense of an explorer on an adventure who wants a deeper and more meaningful experience. I'll give you the know how to go anywhere in the city, even if your phone battery dies.
By the end of this online experience you'll feel empowered and confident as you make your way through the city. You'll likely try something that you normally would never have considered too!
"During previous visits, we were bewildered negotiating the logistics of getting around Paris and just stuck with the usual tourist attractions. Anne’s detailed lessons are so straightforward and practical we feel much better prepared this time to just dive in and fully enjoy the Parisian experience. She is so enthusiastic about exploring this beautiful city that you can’t help but look forward to trying it yourself."- Susan T, Manhattan Beach, California
Travel like a local, with an expert guide by your side.
I'm Anne Ditmeyer, and I'll be your guide. I'm a designer, explorer, and author of Prêt à Voyager, a blog I launched in 2007 to explore the intersection of travel and design, as well as sharing tales of life in Paris. "Prêt à Voyager" translates to "ready to travel" and my mantra is "travel is not about where you go, but how you see the world."
I first came to Paris in 2001 when I studied abroad. During that time I learned that the city is my classroom, and I embrace that spirit in all the work I do. More recently I returned to Paris in 2009 to pursue a Masters degree, before starting my own business. In 2016 I became French! I've fully embraced my two cultures and insider/outsider perspective.
Navigate Paris online is a compilation of 10+ years of experience and over 300+ on the ground tours. I know what it feels like to be in a new place, and I was the outsider myself before learning the ropes. From showing people around Paris I know exactly the questions people ask and the information they want to know.
I pull from my background in anthropology and design to present the information in a unique and creative way that is not what you'll find in a guide book. I also believe in having fun!
Name your own adventure
I find the joy of exploring a different culture is you also learn a lot about yourself in the process too. I encourage you to use this online experience to create your own adventure. I always encourage people to go deeper than the obvious: the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, or Sacre Coeur. These are all AMAZING places, but I also encourage you to ask yourself what you're curious about, and dig into that. I'll share some tools to help you do that too!
What if you traveled according to your own interests rather than following a standard itinerary...
"Anne’s content was like having a friend introduce the city she lives in and loves - a departure from the standard must sees and suggested itineraries offered by typical guide books. Rather than offering her favorites, she provides local resources (food bloggers, links to events happening around the city, apps for getting around) to help you discover and craft a Paris experience tailored to your interests and budget. "
- Emily S., Richmond, VA
Each theme is broken down into digestible lessons. Most chapters include video or audio where I tell stories and that cover the key points you'll want to keep in mind. Each lesson has text as a refresher, and additional information I may not have mentioned in the video. It's not the exact same, and often goes into more detail or includes additional resources. The text is where you'll find the best resources and tips.
While each lesson builds on each other, you have full permission to watch them in any order. Even if a topic doesn't seem super interesting from you from the surface, I do recommend taking a look, because there are takeaways that can enhance your visit in every lesson.
Videos are friendly and informal, like you're hanging out with a friend. Don't expect National Geographic quality videos or tons of photos inside the chapters. I want you to have some element of surprise in Paris and explore according to your interests, not some fixed itinerary that I tell you to follow.
The best part is that because it's online, it means it can be updated and you won't be dealing with outdated information of traditional guidebooks.
On the go? You can access it on mobile. There's an app too!
"My first impression was that I was slightly freaked out! While planning this upcoming trip to Paris I kept thinking how someone needs to do exactly what you're doing. I loved how you explain a bit about French culture and how you've adapted, but also how you keep your own personality (the enthusiastic American!).
I really appreciate the level of detail you provide on what I think are common questions/cultural differences - I haven't seen this level of detail from anyone else. The transportation information overall is awesome and the Plan de Paris par arrondissement was new to me. The key vocabulary in each video, with both the French and the Americanized pronunciations, is super helpful for people like my husband who don't know the language, and it helps me as I build my French skills too!
I also appreciate how you provided your recommendations on some big tourist sites to go to and why you like them, balance it with a different spin on other touristy areas, and then balance with places less frequented by tourists. You strike a really nice balance of places visitors likely have heard of with more local places.
I love that there's an app too!""
- Lauren G, Charlotte, NC
"As part of our trip preparation, we checked out the videos and tips together as a family. Not only did it get us excited, but we felt very prepared thanks to Anne’s recommendations and tips. Once we got to Paris, we had no trouble navigating public transportation and taking in as many amazing Parisian experiences as possible - from markets to museums to parks to bistros."
- Beth M., Baltimore, Maryland
Anne S. Ditmeyer is an American designer, creative coach, and consultant based in Paris, France. She founded Prêt à Voyager (translation: ready to travel) in 2007 to explore the intersection of travel and design with the mantra "travel is not about where you go, but how you see the world."
Anne has never been one to take the traditional path, and enjoys collaborating with a range of clients in the realms of travel, design, UX, storytelling, and education. She's been giving creative tours and workshops with her unique perspective since 2011.