Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. I spend less when I’m in Paris than I do at home by following these simple tips.
- Shopping at local markets
- Traveling during the off-peak seasons (we usually go to Paris in the fall)
- Eating in instead of dining out
- Using money-saving apps like THE FORK when I do eat out
- Buying wine at the grocery store and having a glass with meals in (water with meals out)
- Splitting a larger plate with my husband
- Staying in arrondissements that aren’t heavily touristed (I love the 13th in the southern part of the city – lots of locals, hardly any tourists)
- Taking advantage of public transportation
- Walking whenever and wherever I can – this is good for my pocketbook and my waistline 😉
- Go to museums that are a free, or go the first Sunday of the month when many are free
- Download a street art map online and walk around, searching for the artwork by famous street artists like Banksy and Invader
- Don’t rent a car IF you can keep from it (some places outside the city require it). Gas can be expensive in other countries. In Paris, petrol was about 1.60 euros per LITER (there are about 4.5 liters in one gallon)
- Here are a few of my favorite supermarkets in Paris: Carrefour, Franprix, Monoprix, Auchan.
- In Romania: Mega Image, Carrefour, Profi
Here’s how I save money on the big stuff (flights, accommodations, transportation)….
I love traveling on miles. My husband and I are Skymiles members, and we use our miles whenever we can. We also have the Delta American Express credit card, which gives us tons of benefits (discounted entry to Delta lounges, free checked bags, extra miles on all purchases, priority boarding, etc.).
Tip: If you have extra Skymiles to spare, you can use them for premium drinks in Delta lounges.
We love staying with locals in Airbnbs. You can also save money by using miles to book hotels – 10,000 miles from American Airlines got us one night at a boutique hotel in Montmarte, Paris. We also used points from our Bank of America travel card to pay for our Airbnb, so our accommodations.
Tip: Always check reviews on Airbnbs. Nothing is a guarantee, but Superhosts have the title because they have an excellent reputation and lots of positive reviews. We’ve had some fantastic experiences and have met some wonderful people by staying in Airbnbs.
Occasionally, we take cabs when traveling overseas. This is much more doable in Romania, where the exchange rate is better, although you still get the occasional cabbie who tries to overcharge. We prefer Uber if and when we can, if we do have to take a cab.
Tip: Lyft doesn’t operate everywhere Uber does. Be sure to check ahead of time if you’re expecting to take Lyft.
We love taking the Metro and RER in Paris, which is a lot less expensive than cabs. There’s a tram that goes around the outside of the city, and it’s easy to navigate. There are also buses, including buses that will take you direct to Orly and CDG airports.
Tip: These airport buses are cheaper than taking the Metro and RER (the airports are pretty far away from the city, especially Charles De Gaulle), but the buses take a little longer (expect 60-90 minute transit time).