Paris is one of the top destinations in the world because of its timeless charm and countless attractions. From iconic structures such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral, you’ll immediately get caught up with the city’s classic vibe. There’s a lot more to discover along the Champs-Elysees and the Seine River, not to mention the city parks, cafes, and countless shops. It’s mesmerizing at best that one trip might not even be enough.
Paris may well be a city for romantics, foodies, fashionistas, art lovers, and even casual tourists. The only thing that stands in the way is the cost. True, a trip to Paris is quite pricey, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
If you want to make your dream a reality but worry that your pocket can’t take it, don’t worry. Here’s a cheat sheet to get you to this fantastic city on a budget.
Cheap Options To Get You To Paris
Before you plan on what to see and do in Paris, you’ll first need to figure out how to get there. It doesn’t matter if you’re already in Europe, in the US, or anywhere else. Here are some valuable tips for getting to Paris with some change to spare.
Yes, getting to Paris is possible by train, especially if you’re already in Europe. Some trains depart from major cities in Belgium, Germany, Holland, and Spain. In the UK, the London to Paris train has daily departure schedules. Trains are a fast, affordable, and convenient way to reach Paris. You can even get the picturesque landscape from one region to another as a bonus.
If you plan on taking the train, avoid rush hours. Get tickets for trips that depart early in the morning, midday, or late in the evening. These usually have lower rates compared to other times. In addition, it’s better to book your trip in advance so you can get better fares.
Taking the bus is also an option you can consider. Most cities in Europe have buses bound for Paris with regular schedules. You can enjoy comfortable seats, free Wi-Fi, and the rolling countryside throughout the trip.
A night bus is also a good option. You not only save on a night’s accommodation but make the journey faster. You’ll arrive in Paris Gallieni, the bus station in Paris, before you know it.
Much like trains, you can get low fares if you book your trip at least three weeks in advance. You may even find better deals if you use bus comparison sites. They can show which long-distance buses are available at competitive prices.
- Car Rental
If you’re more of a solo traveler, car rentals can be a sensible choice. Rentals are much faster than public transport. They’re also better for sightseeing, as you don’t feel rushed throughout your Paris holiday. You have more control, not just with your time but your entire journey.
You can rent a car in two ways—professional renters and private individuals. Both have cars to suit your needs and preferences although the latter can give you lower rates.
You need to be confident with your driving skills using right-hand drive vehicles. You’ll also need to look for motorcycles and scooters, especially on Paris roads.
While self-drive rentals can be an affordable option, it doesn’t come without risks. It’s best to carry travel insurance to keep you protected while you’re going to Paris and throughout your stay.
- Ride Share
Rentals are good, but you can opt for carpooling instead if you want to spare yourself the hassle of driving long distances. There are ride-share services in France where you can book a front or back seat in a car that’s already heading to Paris.
Ride-sharing is a smart choice for travelers who want to travel in small groups. This travel option gives you greater control over your vehicle, your driver, and even fellow passengers. You book online or through an online app, then meet up at a train station. You get to save, meet more people, and even save the environment. Not bad when going to your dream destination, eh?
- Air Travel
Finally, if you’re coming from overseas, it’s best to plan your Paris vacation carefully. Experts recommend looking for flights as early as 6 to 8 months to have greater seat availability and cheaper flights.
You can also save more if you book directly with your airline. Another smart alternative is to try flying with low-cost carriers. Flight comparison sites can also make searches more manageable, as they can display several flights and fares in one click. While you’re at it, you can also consider airfare and hotel package deals, so you don’t need to worry about accommodation.
Another pro tip: time your vacation during off-peak season. Paris can be equally amazing during fall and late winter. This option is good news for couples and families traveling together as you can enjoy discounted fares and enjoy the sites without the crowd. Aside from traveling from January to March and October to early December, you’ll also find lower fares if you book flights during weekdays.
In sum, you can make your Paris dream vacation a reality even if you have limited resources. All you need is to plan your trip well to snag cheap fares and better deals. Trains, buses, self-drive rentals, ride-share, and even low-cost airlines can get you to Paris without the hassle and at least expense.