How to travel to Paris on a budget
Worried that your upcoming trip to Paris might bust your budget? Fear not. There is good news! Check out my guide on how to visit Paris on a budget.
Last month, I traveled to Paris for five days and four nights with friends. Paris is a fantastic city and I wish I could live there for a few months. However it expensive and you can get blinded by the glitz and the glam. But I managed to travel to Paris without breaking the bank.
My money saving tips will let you enjoy all that the Parisian city has to offer.
Travel in the offseason
The best time of year to travel to Paris is between November-April when the city is less crowded and hotel rates are at an all-time low. You’ll find cheaper flights to the city during this time of year. One girl in our group was able to score a great deal for her flight. She only paid $500 round trip to Paris with a short layover in Germany. Sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights e-newsletter to find out about these budget-friendly deals from your destination.
Purchase the Paris Pass!
We found out about the Paris Pass before our trip. This was a huge budget saver for our crew. The pass was only $115 and it included a bus tour of Paris, a two-day pass to many of the cities best museums, a subway pass, a wine tasting and much more. This is a great way to see all that the city has to offer without paying out of pocket to see each destination.
Rent an Airbnb or stay in a boutique hotel
We stayed in a cute little boutique hotel located in the 8th Arrondissement, just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees. Each morning our hotel served breakfast. So I went downstairs and enjoyed a croissant with a cup tea. This saved me from having to spend $20-$30 USD on breakfast at a restaurant. We also chose a hotel over an Airbnb for security reasons. We wanted to have access to a front desk and concierge who could advise on affordable things to do in Paris.
Grab lunch on the go from the street vendors
In Paris, you will find several food trucks scattered throughout the city that serve crepes, macarons, churros, French fries, croissants. They are mostly near the Tourist destinations like the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower. I found that it was cheaper for me to get an egg and cheese crepe each day for lunch or a snack instead of stopping into a restaurant for something to eat. I did eat out two out of the five days for lunch; I grabbed a salad and small entree at a restaurant. However, I still managed to stick to my budget.
Pre-purchase transportation from the Airport to your hotel
There are several bus services that will pick you up from the Airport and drop you off at central points throughout the city for only $15USD. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time. There is a slight discount if you book them online. We figured this was a lot cheaper than paying for an Uber from the airport.
Skip buying souvenirs. ( Sorry Family!)
Every time I travel internationally my family requests that I bring them souvenirs from my trip. The cost of souvenirs can add up so this time I opted out of carrying back a bag full of trinkets.
As soon as I arrived in Paris, I headed to the currency exchange counter. I requested a certain amount of USD be changed over into Euros. I know the biggest complaint I've received is well you are losing money by taking out cash. Having cash helped me stay on budget. I may have lost some money but I was able to track the money I was spending and once I was out of cash I was able to use my credit card as a backup. We also encountered several places that only took cash or didn't take American Express in Paris, so having money was a live saver.
Set a shopping budget
Before traveling anywhere, I always set a shopping budget. I love to shop so I have to put limits on how much I can spend. I recommend saving for items that you really want to purchase for your trip abroad months in advance. Saving ahead of time will help you stay on budget and avoid any guilt that you may have later on about any lavish purchases.