It’s easy to feel disheartened when searching for a holiday and being met with extortionate, ever-increasing travel fees, but fear not.
It’s still perfectly possible to take a vacation on a budget in 2018. That is, if you know how to.
Paris on a Budget: Scrimping in the City of Love
As world-renowned and wonderful as the fashion capital of France is, Paris certainly isn’t known for being a budget tourist destination.
But there’s one esoteric truth that applies to when traveling to any part of the planet.
As every expert budget-backpacker knowns - holidaying on the cheap isn’t about where you go, it’s all about how you spend.
Here’s how to crack the city of love without shattering your bank account.
Time Your Trip Wisely
The difference between traveling in or out of season can be thousands of dollars.
Travel agencies and airlines ramp up their prices to ridiculous heights when they know they’ll be getting more business.
If you want to find cheaper flights to and accommodation in Paris, select your timing wisely.
Prices tend to skyrocket as soon as school/work vacations begin; Easter, summer and Christmas breaks are the worst times to travel if you’re looking to save.
Instead, take a vacation outside of these timeframes. May and September, for example, aren’t technically considered to be summer months, and so aren’t priced accordingly, but the weather is often still pretty good without you having to pay for it.
Select your dates wisely. If you have the luxury of taking time out of work whenever you choose, make sure you do so while travel costs are low.
To Hostel or Not to Hostel
Hostels are renowned for being dirt cheap. Seriously, in some countries, you can stay the night for the same price you’d pay for a cup of coffee
High-brow Parisian hotels can cost hundreds of dollars per night - even more at the wrong time of year. Hostels, on the other hand, cost next to nothing.
The only thing that puts most people off is that, when staying in hostels, you’ll be sharing dormitories with any other people that have booked in for the night.
So long as you keep your wits about you or travel with friends, you aren’t likely to encounter any problems when hosteling.
And, chances are, you’ll meet other travelers there with the same interests as you.
When traveling abroad, especially in Paris, it’s easy to spend large amounts of money on food without even realising it.
That hard-earned cash you’d gathered to bring home mementoes and gifts from your Parisian excursion can quickly leave you with nothing more than a hefty overdraft and four extra pounds of fat.
Nobody goes to Paris to rinse their bank balance and level-up their waistline. If you’re going to eat on a budget, you’ve got to eat smart.
Your best bet is self-catered accommodation.
Instead of forking out hundreds on hotel dining, opt to cook for yourself. That way, you can pick up cheaper food from local supermarkets and cook for yourself for a fraction of the prices that you’d pay otherwise.
Open up TripAdvisor and run a search for self-catering apartments around Paris. Scout out the cheapest food stores nearby and you’re all set.
If grocery shopping while on vacation isn’t your vibe and you’d rather sample the local cuisine, you still can.
Just be careful where you eat.
Steer clear of extortionate city-centre restaurants and opt for esoteric, modestly-price gems that reside just outside of typical tourist hotspots. Ask local residents where you can find a cheap bite and dine accordingly.
Cash in on the Free Stuff
Day-trips don’t have to cost you a fortune - not even in Paris.
Lonely Planet has put together a list of 20 free things to do in Paris. The Notre Dam Cathedral, for example, renowned for its gothic interior and medieval design, can make for a fantastic day out coupled up with a stroll along the picturesque River Seine.
And, guess what? It’s absolutely free!
Art museums, historic landmarks and picturesque parks are plentiful in the literary paradise of Paris. And they don’t cost a penny to visit.
If your budget is low, stop spending money.
Pick a destination, pack yourself a picnic, and explore Paris on the cheap. Easy.