France Forum

Budget Your Way Through Paris

Posted by toastandjammie on April 20, 2013

I put off Paris for years, thinking I couldn't squeeze it into my budget, until it finally occurred to me that I could budget travel like everyday life. To start, forget getting euros at the bank before you go, airports and train stations are littered with ATMs. You'll get a good exchange rate, and save 8-9%. Bring some US cash for emergencies, and if need be, use a currency exchange outlet .Traveler's Checks are, surprisingly, rarely accepted.

Instead of making expensive calls from the hotel, you can use skype or an app with similar service to talk free over wifi, available all over Europe in cafes and libraries, etc. Wi-fi itself is free at public parks, libraries, major squares and district halls.

Before you make your flight plans, call the carrier and ask what their best deals are for your dates. And instead of expensive airport parking, take advantage of hotel and parking packages which give you free vacation parking with one night's hotel stay. Stay123.com is great for these; this trip I saved about half. I try to make the most of this little arrangement by hitting the hotel gym in the morning and scarfing down the (free) hotel breakfast before I go. What? Is that not ladylike or something?

Put down that Perrier! Drink the Tap Water - Parisians do. You'll be shocked to find that your bottled water at a café costs twice as much as a glass of the yummy house Bordeaux.

If you dream of dining at those fine Parisian restaurants, but the prices give you vertigo; don't despair! Many Parisian restaurants offer great deals on fixed price menus for lunch. You can easily eat a great three course meal for 10-15€ , tax and tip included. By law, all restaurants must post their menu outside, so it is easy to "window shop". The prixe fixe luncheons average about 1/2-1/3 less than the same wonderful dinner.

On the first Sunday of the month, entrance to many national museums and monuments is free. Note that you may be trading money for time, the lines are long on the free Sundays.And pick up the Paris City Passport at a tourist office- This pass entitles you to discounts at attractions, stores, and museums.

Reply by wh02da1z@abv.bg on June 13, 2013

Hello mate,

Thank you very much for your useful tips. Next time when I go to Paris I will do some of the things mentioned above to avoid paying extra money. However, I have already booked through a new website ZapTravel.com which has the best search engine I've ever seen in a travel website and offers various discounted travels. That was exactly what we needed as we are still students and don't have much money to spend. Thank you again for your tips!

Cheers,
Kevork

PeaceLoveTravel

Reply by PeaceLoveTravel on July 02, 2013

If you are under 26 and a EU national you get the entrance to most attractions free of charge as well.

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