How to fund luxury travel on a budget in France

What does a travel addict combined with a love of getting value for money achieve?

More than hostels and Ryanair flights.

How? Read on.

As much as I love travelling, I also love nice hotels. While I completely understand that hostels are an excellent option for the budget traveller- I’ve stayed in one before- a big part of the excitement of going on holidays for me personally is staying in a nice hotel. I must emphasise that “nice” hotel doesn’t necessary mean luxury- I’ve never stayed in a five star hotel, as much as I would love to! Instead, my idea of nice hotels are ones that are extremely comfortable, are well enough located and have plenty of positive reviews on Tripadvisor- a dealbreaker for me!

Of course, this can initially seem quite difficult- particularly when booking to go somewhere traditionally expensive. In this case, we’ll use the example of Paris.

Flights:

Ryanair do fly to Paris from Dublin. As you may expect, these are often affordable rates. However, there is a catch- Ryanair flies to an airport outside of Paris- 55 miles outside in fact. Buses do run into the city but expect to spend around two hours travelling there. Aer Lingus fly to the airport of choice in Paris- Charles de Gaulle. This airport offers trains straight into the city which is an inexpensive option and takes around an hour. However, I would urge you to remember that Air France also fly from Dublin to Paris Charles De Gaulle. Don’t feel obliged to book (potentially expensive) return flights with Aer Lingus- use a site like SkyScanner to check if airlines such as Air France are flying on your day of choice. This can save money and can also be time efficient.

As I have already mentioned, the most budget friendly way to travel from Paris CDG airport to the city centre is by train. It costs around €11. However, it’s worth mentioning that Paris taxis have recently been forced to adopt a “flat rate” of €55 fare from the airport to the city centre- worth bearing in mind if there are a few of you travelling. Also, it’s worth remembering that transfer firms such as Hoppa often have discount codes running. At the time of writing, they have a 20% off code (EASTER20) but it;s worth searching on Twitter as the code constantly change.  As an example, an “executive transfer” for two people from Paris CDG to the Marais area using the 20% discount code will come to €41. Worth it for the treat and absence of stress derived from “talented” train singers!

Hotels, food, spas and excursions:

Ah, the Paris hotel trauma. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited Paris many times and happen to be going in a few weeks with a friend who hasn’t visited before. Needless to say, I was eager to please. Desperate to find the elusive hotel that magically had a combination of excellent reviews, an Eiffel Tower view and under €120 per night proved relatively difficult- until I discovered the lure of the “ventes privées.” Like the site “secret escapes,” French websites such as Vente-privéeGroupon, Verychic and voyage-privé have excellent “secret” offers. These offers aren’t just for hotels- they’re also for spa, restaurant and excursion deals. Well worth a look. There are a variety of locations available all over France and in other countries. The deals do change frequently, but here’s an example of what’s on offer:

The “Citadines” apartment block, located in Saint Germain, is really well located and has excellent reviews. A two person stay for three nights (without breakfast) on Booking.com retails for €548.60. However, the “secret” website Verychic has the exact same nights on offer for the same apartments- but includes breakfast for €375. Definitely worth checking out!

 

I hope this has been helpful. Always remember to feel free to message me if I can help in any way!

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