France usually doesn’t fit within the category of “budget”. However, I’m a firm believer that you can really travel anywhere on a low-budget, even somewhere as “rich” as France. Sure, it’s not easy, but it is completely possible. Here are some of my tips.
Find the Best Flight Deal
Of course, booking a trip on a budget starts with the flight booking. In general, flights are the cheapest when booked about 2 months in advance of your departure date. Also, it tends to be cheapest to book into the biggest destination in a country. For example, flying to Paris tends to be cheaper than flying somewhere like Leon. Moreover, if the exact dates don’t matter, flights on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday tend to be the cheapest days to fly.
Don’t Stay in Hotels
Hotels are expensive in France, especially the chains in the big cities. Luckily there are a lot of other options available to you when travelling through France. For example, if you’re on a bit of a higher accommodation budget, you should look into the guest houses that are smaller and much more affordable. Other alternatives are AirBnb. Or, if you don’t mind crowds, you can always stay at a couple hostels to really save money.
Get a Rail Pass
If you’re planning on travelling around France a lot, get a rail pass. If you buy tickets individually, it will become expensive. With a rail pass, you’ll also have the flexibility to change your plans and be more spontaneous. If you plan on moving on the trains more than a couple times in your visit to France, you’ll likely save a great deal by getting a rail pass.
Visit the Countryside
Cities like Paris and Nice are beautiful, but they can also be extremely expensive. Out in the countryside of France there are some incredibly beautiful towns and places worth exploring. And, the best part about it all is that they are actually much cheaper to spend time in. Personally, I’m all about discovering places off the beaten path, and the added bonus is that it tends to be cheaper anyways.
Find the Free Activities
There are plenty of free things to do in France, and if you’re on a budget you should focus on these things. Thankfully, there are a lot of free opportunities in the country. For example, some of the country’s best museums actually have days that they are completely free to visitors. In general, most tourists spend a huge chunk of their money on excursions and tours that they could do on their own for cheap or free. So, do yourself a favour and focus on the things that are free or good value.