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My Parisian nightmare

You may have seen recently that I visited Paris in July for the first time! I went there primarily to attend my first festival: Lollapalooza - you can read about that here! Whilst the festival was dreamy and wonderful, the same can't be said for my experience of Paris. Read on if you like hearing about other people's misfortunes!

Paris gardens

I'd always wanted to visit Paris; of course, it's an iconic city, the city of luuurve, with beautiful landmarks and architecture and food. Everyone's either been or it's on their bucket list. I was simply ecstatic to finally see this city in the flesh.

I'd say that our bad luck began the night before we were due to fly... When I spilt a drink all over my boarding pass and didn't have a printer to get a fresh one. Not the end of the world, sure, but when your travel anxiety is a little b*tch like mine, a soggy boarding pass is the last thing you need just hours before you board a flight!

This was sorted quickly, I got another pass and I was all set to go after wiping the sweat from my palms and telling myself to get a grip.

For our trip, we'd hired out an apartment through Airbnb that was pretty out from central Paris, but worked perfectly for the festival as it was within walking distance. We eventually navigated our way through Paris to the apartment and couldn't wait to get freshened up and go out to explore Paris!

It wasn't my first time using Airbnb - I'd used it in Amsterdam and Josh and I had the most beautiful apartment to ourselves for a week for far cheaper than the cost of a crummy hotel room. The apartment we booked for Paris wasn't a palace, we could tell by the pictures, but it was somewhere to sleep and we liked the idea of having the freedom of a full apartment rather than three of us cramped into one hotel room.

Paris streets with cars

A day or two before our arrival, the host messaged us saying that she had no one to look after her cat and so it would have to stay in the apartment with us. For some of you, that might be a dream come true, but (sorry Internet) I absolutely hate cats. Not to mention the fact I am also allergic to them, as was one of the girls I went away with!

We told the host this and she basically gave us no choice, as she was on holiday herself. She assured us that the cat was clean and that it would pretty much just live in the kitchen and definitely wouldn't be roaming freely around the apartment.

We arrived and there was the cat, in all its fat glory, rolling all over one of the beds. There were giant balls of cat hair everywhere - on the floor, chairs, coffee table, every single bed in the apartment... With cat litter all over the kitchen floor, to boot.

Aside from the cat, the apartment was actually in worse condition than I can describe. The bed sheets had been slept in; God knows when they were last changed. Beside one bed was a loaf of bread, dirty knife and a tub of Nutella (someone knows how to have a good time...) There were weeks' worth of dirty pots and pans in the sink, and the worst part for me was the fridge... I opened it to see if they had any water in the fridge to see there was rotting food in there and about twenty odd dead flies. I honestly couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Obviously we couldn't stay there and so had to find a hotel room elsewhere, which, let me tell you, did feel like a bloody palace after that! We have since received a full refund from Airbnb (after the host personally refused to refund us) and she'll be getting a stern review from us!

After this, we were able to enjoy the festival without breaking out in hives because of cat hair. Lollapalooza was e v e r y t h i n g and I totally miss it already.

I personally found the city hard to navigate, having Citymapper on my phone (not spons, just genuinely useful!) was a Godsend and got us around fairly easily, but what I also didn't expect was that all of the main landmarks and tourist attractions are so far away from each other - Paris was a lot bigger than I first imagined!

Eiffel tower from below

We made it to the Eiffel Tower which was amazing to see in person, and tried to get to different places like Notre Dame, Moulin Rouge etc... 'Nah, they're all 2 hours away from you', Citymapper screamed at me each time. You definitely need a good few days to explore Paris but unfortunately we had just one. What we did see was beautiful!

You'd think after that apartment debacle, that Paris couldn't possibly have any other bad hands to deal us. How wrong we were...

We planned to wake up at 6:15am on the day we flew home to get down to the hotel reception & order a taxi to the airport, as we were so far out from central Paris. We were woken up by my friend Daryl informing us that actually, it was 6:50am and we were HELLA LATE.

We jumped out of bed, threw our stuff in suitcases, left half of our belongings behind because we just couldn't spare the time trying to fit them into our hand luggage and were about to fly out of the door when I saw a text on my phone from EasyJet.

'Hey, hope I didn't wake you, just wanted to let you know we've cancelled your flight home. LOL! xoxo, EasyJet'*

* (not original text message, reworded for comedic value.)

We went to the airport anyway to see what they could do for us, thinking we could just get a later flight home. (Bonus Bad Luck: lady at reception said taxi would be 30-40 euro... It came to 117. LOL.) We got to the EasyJet desk to be told that there were three options: the next EasyJet flight home to Manchester was in three days; the next day there was a flight to London Gatwick and we'd have to arrange transport to Manchester from there; or we'd have to try and book on a flight home with a different airline and claim the money back later.

Oh, and just to be super generous, they slid over 3 gift cards for us to get some food... Topped up with 9 euros each. 9 euro to get a meal in an airport?! 

We managed to find a flight to Birmingham later that day and then had to travel by train back to Manchester, but let me tell you, I stepped back onto Manc soil at 5pm when our original flight should have got us home at 11:25am that morning. Talk about exhausted!

View of France from plane

All jokes aside, I did enjoy our trip - I just enjoy a bit of a moan, too, and thought you all may get some sick laughs from our bad luck abroad!

I don't know if I'll plan to go back to Paris just because I think I want to see other parts of the world more, but glad I can tick it off my travel bucket list and move on to something else!

A little update since all of this happened, we did receive some compensation from EasyJet for the hassle of the cancelled flight. They did however also promise us that our alternative transport would be refunded in full too. Since we had to fly to Birmingham and get a train from there back to Manchester, we obviously had to pay for flights and train tickets. Attempting to claim all of this back has proved a nightmare as if we weren't already scarred from the trip...

EasyJet are refusing the refund the full amount for the alternative transport and refused to expense the food we had to buy with our own money in the airport as they claimed they put us up in a hotel for the night. How does that work when we definitely sat on our suitcases in Charles de Gaulle airport for 7 hours?! We're still fighting this with them and we've got some money back, but looks like EasyJet are doing everything they can to not give us back what they owe us.

The moral of this story: don't trust a host who says their cat will stay in the kitchen and maybe just don't ever fly with EasyJet. Ever.

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Twitter: @invocatiblog

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Like this? Check out these...

Why it's okay to be sensitive [here]
My Amsterdam trip [here]
22 things I've learned in 22 years [here]


  1. Oh god, poor you, I'm so sorry everything didn't turn out quite right, Easyjet sound useless and so does the lady renting her place out through Air Bnb. I'm so glad that the festival was amazing aside from that, and hope Easyjet sort themselves out and you get all your money back, plus more.

    Kristy |

  2. Omg Alice this sounds like a nightmare!! That Air B&B sounds absolutely foul, Urgh! I can totally understand why you couldn't stay there and I'm so glad they refunded you! EasyJet are the worst at cancelling flights, I was flying back from Rome with them a couple of years ago and also got a measly €9 for a meal despite being delayed over 7 hours! Really a pisstake haha! So glad that the festival made up for the other disasters!

    Abbey 🌸

  3. I would have had a meltdown! The Air B&B sounds absolutley disgusting!! Glad the festival made up for it though!

    Soph |

  4. I'm sorry that your experience went that way! I can't imagine how disappointed I would be if my much awaited vacation went that way! I'm glad you enjoyed the festival at least!
    Britt |

  5. I'm so sorry to hear your experience was ruined in such a way :( but glad you had a fab time at the festival and glad you managed to get your money back from the Airbnb, good luck with EasyJet though!

    Heather xox ||


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