Have you ever dreamed of walking the streets of Paris? Or tasted the fruits of the wine country around Bordeaux? But didn’t believe you could go there because it is over your budget? Worry no further, France can be traveled on a budget if you know how to do it.
France is one of the most expensive places to travel in Europe. Mostly because the cost of living is higher and currently the exchange rate between the dollar and euro is not in the dollar’s favor. However, this amazing and historic country can be done on a budget. There are enough things to see and do for free and there are affordable sites as well. Below are five tips on how to travel France on a budget.
- Free Walking Tours are Your Friend
Guided tours are great if you have the budget. But there is an alternative to learn about a city. Free walking tours are a great way to not only see a city, but also be nice to your pocket book. Most of the cities in France are so historic and grand that you may need someone to show you the ropes. Free walking tours are a great option to get yourself acquainted with a place in just a couple of hours. The only thing you may have to pay for is a tip for the guide at the end.
- Take the Bus Instead of the Train
The train system in France is amazing. It connects most urban areas quickly and efficiently. However, train travel can be expensive. Another more affordable option is the bus. For example, a train from Paris to Bordeaux at a reasonable hour may cost you over $100, but a bus may be $30 at the most. France is frequented by the European bus lines Flixbus and Ouibus. These are both reliable companies and have Wi-Fi on board.
Something to remember, the buses will likely take two to three times as long. However, if you are on a tight budget and not worried about time, then a bus may be the way to go.
- Go for the Baguette
France has amazing food. It is one of the culinary capitals of the world and its cuisine has influenced many top restaurants and chefs. But that doesn’t mean it is cheap. Food in France, especially if you want a traditional French dish, can be quite pricey.
A good way to save some money on one or two meals during the day is the baguette sandwich. There is a reason they are so popular. These sandwiches come in all different types and only cost a few euros. They are a meal in itself and it can save you extra euros you can use somewhere else.
- Try AirBnB instead of a Hotel
France is perfect for AirBnb. France is dotted with cottages, flats, and unique buildings you can stay in to live like a local and save a few pennies. Many hotels in France can cost $200 or $300 a night. With people wanting to get more out of their travel experience and budget, AirBnb is becoming a better option to save money. AirBnb also allows you to cook some of your meals which can save you more money than you realize.
- Use Public Transportation When You Can
Utilizing public transportation is a huge key to keeping your budget down. Most of the cities in France have a highly effective public transportation system. Whether that is subways, buses, or trams, you will get where you need to go efficiently. For many of the cities you can buy multiple day tickets if you are going to be moving around a lot. You can also buy single tickets as well. A quick little tip if you are in Paris, make sure to get your ticket validated. If you don’t and you are caught, you could pay €30 as a penalty.
France is a dream place to visit. But your dream doesn’t have to be unfulfilled if you follow these tips to visit France on your personal budget.
Guest Author: Chris Slack
Chris is a travel and lifestyle blogger who left the legal field and office world in 2017 to experience the world around her. Chris has traveled to 25 different countries and is looking to travel to more in the future. Chris’s blog, Wandering Feathers, focuses not only on her travels and experiences but also how these travels have affected her day-to-day life and future. Check out her blog: http://wanderingfeathers.com/