France is an extremely beautiful country which is famous for a lot of things: red wine, cheese, the Eiffel Tower. This country is not only one of the most favorite tourist destinations with great food, delicious wine, storied history, but an endless source of romantic and magnificent landscapes.
Imagine you spend some time going picnic along the Seine or a day through the French countryside with your lover. Nothing in your life is romantic and wonderful more than that. A lot of people tend to assume a vacation in France must be expensive, but that is far from the truth with so many ways to plan a budget trip to France. Let’s consider the following tips to have completely an authentic and unique experience in France.
- Accommodation: This is the first consideration you must take while planning to visit France. It isn’t necessary to stay at a classy or luxurious hotel. You can try a dorm room just with $17-40/night, depending on where you’re staying in the country. Private rooms in hostels will cost you $90 USD or more. Budget hotels begin around $70 USD per night for a double room. Accommodations are cheaper outside Paris, Bordeaux, and the French Riviera. Renting rooms or apartments are also not a reasonable solution in an expensive city like Paris.
Here are some organizations in which you can find a list of low-cost accommodation in France:
- Gîtes de France
- Logis: represents over 2,300 hotel-restaurants in France. Logis stays are typically at smaller inns and they are inexpensive.
- Vacation Home and Apartment Rentals in France: are like Gîtes de France, but now available through many worldwide and countrywide websites such as the ubiquitous Airbnb, Homeaway, and other such agencies.
- Food: This is always a favorite thing all tourists have a desire of experiencing in a new land. Shop at local markets for fresh fruit and vegetables. If you’re on a tight budget, look for an Aldi, Lidl, Franprix or Leader Price supermarket for basic groceries. If you shop for all your food, you can expect to spend around $50-65 USD for a week’s worth of groceries. Pre-made sandwiches at cheap local shop is about $5-7USD. It will cost you around $10USD for a two-people meal by your own and $20-35 USD for a meal at a restaurant.
- Transportation: There are three transportation methods in France that are expensive: a traditional rental car, taxi rides, and long-distance point-to-point tickets. Fortunately, there are many wonderful alternatives that are relatively cheap and convenient. Firstly, the best way to get around France is via the trains. Overnight trains cost the least, while the fast TGV lines (high-speed train) cost the most, about $100 USD. Visit http://www.raileurope.com/index.html for further information. Secondly, buses are a convenient and inexpensive alternative. France’s bus transportation system is extensive. It’s the rare place you can’t reach by a local or regional bus, usually for just a few euros. Last but not least, if you will stay in France for a month or more and have a busy itinerary, your best bet could be a lease buyback program. Autoeurope, in a partnership with Peugeot, provides long-term car rentals that are inexpensive per day, include comprehensive insurance in numerous countries, and are provided brand new.
- Tips for saving money: There are a lot of tourist activities in France, but expensive. Try the following ones to save your pocket.
- Visit Paris at the Beginning of the Month: Plan your trip to Paris to coincide with the first weekend of the month and see how many museums you can cram in for free. Entry to permanent exhibitions at popular (and pricey) attractions such as the Musée du Louvre costs nothing on the first Sunday of every month
- Have a picnic: Reach the local market; buy some wonderful cheese, bread, fruits, and meats, and have a picnic and watch people go by. You can have a great meal for less than $10 USD.
- Drink wine: In France, the wine is cheaper than water. While you shouldn’t skip drinking water, drink wine over other forms of alcohol and save big. A nice bottle can cost as little as $3 USD!
- Pre-game your night out: Drinking in bars is incredibly overpriced, especially in Paris. Drink cheap wine before you go out and save on drinks a the bars.