When we decided to visit Paris over the Easter holidays I knew that we would be on a very tight budget. I did lots of research about accommodation, travel and attractions so I knew exactly how much money we would need to save and how much we had every each day. If you're going away I think the most important thing is to do your research! You want to know exactly what kind of prices you will be paying for food and drink, you want to research into many different hotels to find the best value for money and research into vouchers and discounts that will lower the cost of certain aspects of your holiday.
There are lots of options you could take to get to Paris. Airports have regular flights to Paris, there's always the option of the Eurostar as well as using the channel ferry however, we opted for coach. We decided to travel with the Megabus company. A Manchester to Paris return cost me £50. Obviously, £25 to Paris including Channel crossing is an amazing price and straight from London would have cost even less. The downsides to this, is that it took 18 hours to get there. I personally don't mind long coach journeys, but obviously these are not for everyone. There is limited leg room and it can be difficult to sleep, but you really can't complain for the price you pay. The important thing about booking coach travel is to book as early as possible. You can book Megabus two months in advance and we were the two months to the date we wanted to go waiting to book to get the cheapest price possible.
Accommodation in Paris is not on the cheapest side. There are two possibilities, you can hire an apartment for how many nights you're going for or stay in a hotel/hostel. We went for the latter. However, the most important thing when looking for accommodation is use a price comparison site. We used travel supermarket
and it made the process of finding a hotel so much easier. We sorted it through price. Obviously the quality of some hotels at the cheaper end are not as nice and lower prices normally means that the hotel is further away from the city center. However, if you have a good search through you can find some lovely hotels, completely adequate for what you're looking for and also close to the metro. We found one for 65 Euros a night, it was five minutes from the metro station, the decor was lovely and the hotel itself was very clean, but was very basic. We did not spend a lot of time in our hotel room at all, there wasn't much more we needed except from a bed and an en-suite!
To be honest, this was the only thing I wasn't that worried about. A lot of the museums in Paris are free for students within the EU. The Louvre which was around 20 euros for entry each was completely free for us! Therefore, if you are a student planning on going to Paris take your student card - it saved us lots. If you're not a student, there are certain deals and passes you can buy before you go that can save you a lot of money!
The food was a little on expensive side, but we knew that. In our hotel areaa, the restaurants were a lot cheaper than the ones in the center of the city and in the area we had, we were lucky enough to lots of restaurants, cafes and bakeries to explore. Every morning we passed at least three bakeries on the way and stocked up for breakfast! For lunch we normally just bought sandwiches and a bag of crisps, but we had a nice hot meal in the evening. Obviously, you want to save money, but it's still a holiday at the end of the day and you should be able to enjoy the things you're not able to your own country. There were some lovely little chocolate and confectionary shops and I just couldn't help myself!
The thing about Disneyland is that the tickets are a lot more expensive to buy on the day. I think at least we saved ourselves around 20 euros by booking early. There are offers available at certain times of the year so have a look at them! In terms of food at Disneyland Paris, it is not particularly cheap. We ate at one of the cheaper places in the park and I think it came to around 20 euros for two burgers and chips. The free map of the park give a little insight to how expensive the restaurant and places are to eat at so I definitely recommend picking one these up.
I am nowhere near an expert on budgeting or money saving, but hopefully this guide to budgeting in Paris will be helpful to you if you ever decide to visit! They are just some little tips and tricks I learnt on the way. It's a little bit different to my normal posting, but hopefully you'll enjoy this kind of thing!
Labels: lifestyle, thrifty living