Numerous books have been written about traveling to Europe on a shoe string, however the economy now makes that destination possible on 2 shoe strings. Each author of vacation books about Paris, have either been there or have done massive research. I have done both to give you some down to earth, first hand, economical travel experience tips you can use for you and your family vacation plans.
My daughter and I decided to fly to Paris, France after we both did our homework so we'd be well prepared and travel on a tight budget. Planning is so vital to save money with any trip. Since I was a little girl studying French in grade school, I wanted to one day go see the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Church with my own eyes. I was finally closer to sightseeing in Paris than ever before and dug into my research with zeal.
List the places each person wants to visit comparing notes to consolidate those sightseeing events. Secure a map from the Internet or library to find each of your places of interest before you leave home. This will make good use of your time so you don't get lost.
Travel should be done when people are well enough to fully enjoy such a trip and afford the things at the destination too. Many corners can be cut and still experience the wonders of Paris, France. I will begin with the three components that cost the most.
Look into purchasing flight tickets well in advance to get the best deals for flying. Most major airlines give discounts for reservations 14 to 21 days in advance. Consider flying standby if you can be flexible enough to save some money there. That might sound risky, however that is how I flew to Paris, France my first vacation there. A mother and daughter took the last seats with their full fare tickets. Mother did not check the passport expiration date for her daughter which created 2 open seats; one was mine for 1/4 off the full fare price. Prices vary, so do your homework since it will be well worth it in savings.
Look into flying on the good days. There are seating assignments online for each airline company. Study those for a couple of weeks to see the pattern before making your flight plans. Most often the days of the week to avoid are Monday, Friday and Saturday with Sunday sometimes being on that list.
Before you leave home, search the internet for Paris, France ground transportation. There are fabulous systems in place for money saving ways to see almost everything anyone would want to see. Try not to rent a car from any car rental company. Driving in a foreign country, such as Paris, France is quite a task and truly not needed for sightseeing. Books of subway and train tickets can be purchased at selected places or at the stations. These will safely get you just about any place you want to go. Walking will provide you with more sightseeing options if you and your children are able and willing to be pedestrians some of the time while in Paris, France.
Since you are saving money by being your own travel agent, treat yourself as if you are your own travel agent. Spend some time looking online for deals, finding out what places you would like to be located by and reading the feedback others have left when they stayed at your planned destination. I did not leave any feedback for Esmeralda Hotel which was under 80 Eur per night; I stayed in room #7 and would also recommend room #14.
Address: 4 Rue St-Julien-le-Pauvre, 75005 Paris, France. This is not a luxury 5* hotel so if that is your desire to find, this is not the lodging for you. You will also not have an elevator or lots of space in the rooms I mentioned, however the views, location and price might win you over as it did me.
Another hotel is Hotel des Mines if you plan to stay 3 or more days the prices start under 100 Eur providing more amenities in an updated environment.
Address: 125 Boulevard Saint Michel Paris, France.
Telephone: + 33 (0) 1 43 54 32 78
Fax: + 33 (0) 1 46 33 72 52
Eating in Paris, France takes some ingenuity to save money. Shopping at a grocery store for your breakfast is a great beginning for a day of sightseeing. If you do not speak French, look at the pictures or ask a clerk at the check out counter for help to determine what you want to purchase.
Cafes often list their menu on the outside of the establishments, so as you are traveling, look at them and jot down your preferences with addresses so you can return to them for a meal.
Plan on eating your main meals before the dinner time prices are listed. Generally before 2 PM or 3 PM is a good time to get the best bargains.
Avoid a- la-carte menu items since those are costly while on a budget.
Things to bring:
A back pack is highly recommended to store your necessities in for a day trip around Paris. Drinking water, left overs from breakfast and hand wipes to use before eating just in case there are no bathroooms available are good items to keep handy in your knapsack. Put cameras and cases in your back pack allowing for hands free movement and convenience as you travel.
Fanny packs are almost a must to keep travelers cheques, passport, cash and room key for safe keeping.
Limit your luggage to what you can manage yourself because some hotels do not have valet service or elevators to your rooms.
If you want to bring food, make sure it is manufacture sealed since transporting food from one country to another might be confiscated before you get to eat it. Make sure you pack a can opener if needed for your food supply.
Remember that you look like a tourist. Take all precautions to preserve safety and stay with other people you are traveling with each day.
Have a wonderful Paris, France trip. Bon Voyage!