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Touring the City of Love on a Budget: Paris

Touring the City of Love on a Budget: Paris

When most people think of living in Paris, they do so in dollar signs. After all, when touring such a popular tourist destination

April 20th, 2023

When most people think of living in Paris, they do so in dollar signs. After all, when touring such a popular tourist destination, you must be ready to fork out money on sightseeing, cultural experiences, and food. And in Paris, that last bit often dents people's budgets. But does that mean you cannot tour Paris on a budget? Not at all. We've gathered some of the best tips from frugal travelers who have been to Paris and had a fantastic time without breaking the bank.

Budget Tips for Paris Tourists

The key to saving money while on a trip is to figure out the high costs and cut back on them as much as possible. Which aspects should catch your eye the most?

1. Airfare

Understandably, most people plan their trips at the last minute and thus pay higher flight prices. But you can avoid the surge in prices by embracing a few tips while planning budget trip to Paris

  1. Plan your trip early and book your tickets months before departure: Surge pricing aligns with demand. You will notice that prices increase dramatically weeks before departure. And people who pay months before save hundreds of dollars for other wants and needs.
  2. Pack what you need: You may feel urged to pack as many things as possible. But given the shopping options in Paris, you will likely buy more clothes. And you might have to pay for extra luggage. So, if you can get it in Paris, there's no need for it should be in your luggage.

Also, explore airline options. Some are considerably cheaper than others without forcing you to compromise on quality. Weigh your options and see what works for your trip.

2. Hotels

We all enjoy staying in beautiful hotels with great views of the city. But at what cost? You might spend most of your money on accommodation if you're not careful. It will leave you with little for excursions, food, and shopping. Besides, how much time will you spend at the hotel? Like most tourists, you will likely spend most of your time sightseeing and only retire to the hotel for rest.

So, here's how you can save money on accommodation:

  1. Find hotels within your budget: Decide what you are comfortable spending on accommodation and filter hotel options by this. You might find great options within your maximum spend. Plus, you can get a good deal with discounts and offers on most booking sites.
  2. Book early: Like with airlines, hotels also have surge pricing. The earlier you book, the better the rate. And given that most hotels will allow you to book without a deposit, you can book your stay as early as you wish.
  3. Consider hostels and Airbnb: Many people like hotels for their convenience. But if you only need a place to rest and won't spend much time indoors, hostels and Airbnb also work. Sometimes, thinking out of the hotel box can save you thousands of dollars!
  4. Let location guide you: Transit in Paris can be costly. So, staying in a central location can help offset transit costs. But if you can get cheap accommodation options away from the center, consider that too! The savings from that could cover transit and other expenses.

You can also save money by booking bed-only options and eating outside the hotel. It allows you to explore more restaurants and does away with the obligation to eat a lot to recoup your investment.

3. Seasonality.

Paris attracts so many tourists during the peak season (June to August) that saving money during this window is almost impossible. The hotels are usually full or near full capacity, the attractions have daily bookings, and the airlines operate optimally. So, squeezing in discounts becomes challenging, and you spend almost twice or thrice what you would in the other seasons.

The alternative? Travel to Paris during the regular seasons, and you will save a lot on food, clothes, airfare, and hotels. Plus, you will not need to queue for hours to tour the main attractions as the lines won’t be as long.

4. Go Public

We're not talking about IPOs here. Instead, it's all about getting around in Paris. Usually, tourists love taking taxis as they afford them some flexibility in touring tourist attractions. But here is the thing - taxis can be costly. So, you can save a lot of money by choosing public transport in the following instances:

From the airport,

Around the city,

Back to the airport.

You can buy a travel pass for the bus and the Metro. It is much cheaper than buying a ticket while on the bus and gives you flexibility when moving through the city. And if you can bike, you can always bike around the city. You can save taxi rides for special occasions like your last dinner in Paris.

5. Food

Even people who are not foodies find themselves splurging on food while in Paris. After all, everywhere you look, you see good food. And as you walk near the restaurants, you can smell the tantalizing aromas wafting through the streets. Here's how you can stay strong despite the temptation:

Skip breakfast when you can. You can order a light meal or grab snacks from the supermarket if you can't.

Avoid restaurant wine. It costs way more than what you would pay at the store. So, as you grab some snacks, consider getting wine from the store.

Consider outdoor market food. It is just as good and costs less because markets have way fewer overheads. Plus, the ambiance is different.

Fill up on bread. Bread and water are free in restaurants. You can fill up on these to avoid ordering too much food.

Also, read restaurant reviews to gauge the ones that are affordable yet have good service and food. And when it comes to tipping, don't be too generous.

One Last Thing…

Here's another tip: you must tour Paris with a valid passport. So, start by getting one, renewing your current one, or replacing your previous one to avoid last-minute delays and costs.

Also, while saving on costs is important, do not be frugal when it comes to travel insurance. Ensure you get a good plan from a reliable provider. It should cover you in the event of luggage loss, cancelled trips, sickness and injuries, and other unforeseen events. Think of it as a money-saving tip as it is all about the cost-benefit tradeoff.

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.