Visiting France Without Losing Your Budget or Sanity

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Get all passports and documentation ready before the departure date. There is nothing worse than remembering two days before departure that the passport expired three weeks ago cost to visit france in the off-seasons, spring and fall, can save a substantial amount of money and reduce the stress of long lines and congested crowds. It may be rainy and cold, but airlines offer their lowest rates from November to January. Book airfare Monday through Thursday, airlines offer lower prices to fly during these days of the week rather than Friday to Sunday. Most travel sites now have an “airfare alert” that can be set to email travelers when the fare has dropped to the recommended price.

France now offers very economical, very basic, hotel rooms for around $60 per person per night. Formule 1 has many locations in France that offers a safe, cheap alternative to the high priced widely known chains. If you chose this route, note that these rooms cannot be booked online in advance. Rooms can only be reserved on arrival. For a minimum of three nights stay, look into vacation rentals. These accommodations give the luxury of a “home” feel while offering a kitchen to cook the food instead of spending money eating out every meal. Book a rental in a central location close to rail and bus lines to make the most out of every trip.

Things to See and Do in France
If museums are on the itinerary, grab a Paris Museum Pass. The Pass offers a 2-day, unlimited access to over 60 monuments and museums all around Paris for a low rate of $51. Moreover, do not worry about waiting in line for hours, with the Pass all lines are bypassed for extra convenience. Note: book the Pass in advance online, they sell out quickly! Some sites close early or completely shut down certain times of the year so check ahead and make sure all attractions are going to be open for access. In addition, there are free walking tours offered throughout Paris that average about 2 hours long. Every region in France also offers bike rentals. For a 1-day bike rental, the rate can be around $2 (prices are subject to change). Rent a bike, pack a cheap lunch or dinner, and travel the countryside. It will be fun, save money, and leave lasting memories.

Everyone has to eat when they travel, it just does not have to cost an arm and a leg to do it. If staying in a vacation rental, food for meals is purchased at the local market and cooked cheap at the rental’s kitchen. If going out to eat, pass up the places where there is an abundance of tourist milling about or the restaurant offers an English menu, they often will be much more expensive. If stopping in at the local bar, do not sit down, the ticket will be higher for sitting at a table than for standing at the bar. The best option for saving money is to simply picnic it and bring along a lunch or dinner in a “stay cool” bag!

Warnings and Tips for France Travel
France is a very safe country when it comes to violent crimes. However, around large tourist locations there will be pickpockets. If there is a loud argument with a crowd watching, be warned, this is most likely fake and while tourist were standing and watching the fight take place their wallets or purses were stolen. Treat all beggars as if they are thieves. Do not go anywhere with strangers asking for help or offering a drink at the local bar. Keep all valuables in a travel money belt that fits snugly around the waist under clothes. Do not keep anything valuable in plain site (or in pockets).

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