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The Cheapest Way to Travel to Paris – Know Your Options

The Cheapest Way to Travel to Paris – Know Your Options

Over the past three decades, I have traveled to Paris, France several times. During that time, many American friends have commented that their own experiences in Paris were disappointing but personally I have always found Paris to be one of the greatest destinations of my life. The two most common complaints have been the attitude of the locals and the cost of staying in Paris. As with visiting any culture, taking an interest in others solves the first issue, the second issue takes a little research but is easily solved through the Internet.

When viewing any large city for a vacation, the first thing a traveler should do is set their expectations at a reasonable level. All too often people hear about celebrities who have stayed in an expensive hotel along the Champs-?�lys?�es or overlooking the Eiffel Tower. These stays are often romanticized by movies and television shows, but the reality is this, ‘How much time do you plan to spend in a small hotel room verses being out and about seeing the sights of the city?’

Try Renting an Apartment

Hotels in Paris, like many large cities, can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars per night for a room that sleeps two. With a small shift in the planning process it is easy to find whole apartments at a fraction of these prices in far better locations. The best part is that the savings in nightly rates is just the beginning of the budget travelers epiphany.

To find the right place for your own vacation you may need to search several sites that advertise these types of rentals. There are dozens of sites that serve as central listing sites organized by destination, price and amenity, but do not stop there. Most popular destinations are home to dozens of competing property management companies that promote even more properties on their own web site. My family’s last visit to Paris involved comparing hundreds of rentals on two dozen web sites. Ultimately, lodging cost about $115 (US) per night for a roomy one bedroom apartment in Montmartre that is literally surrounded by the artistic heritage of Paris.

Secondary Savings While Renting an Apartment

This turned out to be only the beginning of the savings! The apartment, located in a residential part of the city, is less than a block from a green grocer, wine shop, patisserie (great for breakfast on the go and snacks) and much more. In a city whose restaurants can easily cost $20-100 (US) per meal, picking up something that can be prepared in your own kitchen for less than $3 (US) per person will leave so much more in the budget for enjoying the rest of the city. As a family of four we found it best to eat breakfast at home, picnic for lunch and have one meal out per day but about half of those evening meals still ended up cheap back in the apartment.

As a result of the savings found in such apartment rentals, our own visit to the City of Light was extended from the original five days to a relaxing eleven days. This is proof positive that a little footwork ahead of time can have large payoffs in the budget and the overall experiences the thrifty traveler will discover in Paris, France.

For more details on our apartment and links to more vacation property sites visit