Organize Your Holidays In France On A Budget
Have you ever dreamt about visiting France but this dream seemed so far away? I did. I always wanted to get to know France but the country seemed to be not achievable for me. I always thought it is really expensive and I will never be able to afford travelling to France. Well, the life is full of surprises and opportunities and we need to use them…I did. I moved to France and now I take any chance to explore it more. Yet, I always make sure I do my discovery of this amazing country on a budget…it works for me well, I am able to do things, discover new places, activities and dont spend too much money. So let me share with you some tips on how you can explore France on a budget!
1. Search for a cheap accomodation, go for compromises! Dont bother to search a lot just use Airbnb which offers the best cheapest accommodation options. This site allows you to rent a room or entire apartment cheaply. I love it as this is a cool alternative to the hotel. And on top of that, if you live in an apartment during your holidays rather than in a hotel, you get such a freedom in terms of cooking, using things, and feeling like at home. Obviously you loose on a service that the hotel offers you so you need to clean yourself ;-) but at least it is cleaning after you. But I also apprecite the fact you might still prefer the hotel, in this case go to the most comprehensive hotel search accomodation site which is booking.com. But lastly I have came across the very comprehensive hotel search engine which includes the 2 above and many more hotels providers, its called: Alltherooms.
2. Find the deals and offers for traveling to France! You can get to France by car, by air, by train and coach. Search for the latest deals and offers on each of the transport means. I tend to use: VoyagesSNCF and well known Eurostar. If you travel by car, you need to make sure your car insurence covers France, you need to check the road f ees and you are ready to go! If you come from England and crossing some sea…you need to check Eurotunnel which offers the fastest way! For coaches, check Eurolines, together with National Express, operate regular services within France.
3. Budget your holidays! Use the very helpful online website which will provide you with the idea of the costs you can expect on your holidays in a particular place. Check out Budgetyourtrip
4. Take a car. It gives you freedom and more luggage storage! So either use yours or hire once you arrived to France by plane, train, coach it is always the best option to explore France rather then to be depended on the trains and coaches. It can also be an economical way of doing a holidays in the country when you travel with more people or even at least similar in the comparison to some very cheap public transport offers but it gives a lot of freedom indeed.
5. Organize your eating. So what i learnt is that if you don’t plan in advance you might end out with spending too much money not needed. So what worked well for me is that I do the supermarket shopping, stuff the fridge in the place i rent and make simple and easy dinners on the evening, I pack food to the car for lunches and in this way I avoid wasting time on searching for a decent restaurant and paying for a service. Easy, yummy, healthy and on a budget!
Find the Local Deal
6. Search for voucher codes and offers on the voucher code sites and local deals on the Groupon website, You can find discounts for shopping, restaurants, activities and entrance fees as well as hotels and transport.
7. Visit the tourism offices to get your free maps, brochures and learn on where the FREE toilets are! For example ONLYLyon provides free toilets in the center of the city and its clean and good to use.
8. Dont bother with getting souvenirs. Take loads of photos and then again dont bother with developing all the prints but create the Colorland Photobook which is a nice compact souvenir from your holidays
9. Do online researches before going on holidays in France. Firstly, check the reviews on Tripadviser which is the most compact place to find reliable recommendations for the places you want to visit Then go to the online tourism center and the town/monument website. Search for free maps, brochures and read the actualities. So you make sure everything what you want to do is open, if there are any FREE events to take part in. Explore online local blogs where you can learn small tips about the city and things to do for FREE there. For example I live in Lyon and I shared 25 Top Free Things You Can Do In Lyon!
10. Make sure you are insured so you can sleep well and if anything happens you will not spend a lot of money and especially be able to get medical help. What i noticed is that if you buy a one year cover it is always cheaper then getting insurance each time per trip and holidays, Consider BUPA for travel insurance. But also get yourself a FREE European Health Insurance Card (which replaced the old E11 form). You are then entitled to the free medical treatment in other EU countries. Its easy to use and very helpful when you need doctor abroad
and lastly ….Have good time, enjoy and dont get stressed about the cost! Everything is achievable with a bit of organization and good will!
So now you dont have an excuse really! You cannot complain you dont have money to come and visit France. You can complain about the lack of time, but spendings…well I wanted to show you you dont need a big budget to enjoy your holidays in France. I hope you found this useful and I would love to hear some of your tips on how to save money on holidays! Bon voyages!