paris

Travel on a Budget

Cheap Vacations

The Three L's for Travelling on a Budget

I put together my top three tips on how to enjoy your vacation without coming home and paying off your travel bills for the next decade.

  1. Act like a LOCAL.  Stay out of the congested tourist areas and you will pay considerably less for almost everything.  It's crazy how a price of an espresso will differ from just a block out of the most popular tourist attractions.  Also, don't give in to the temptation of paying for overpriced group tours.  You can enjoy visiting any tourist attraction at your own leisure without a time constraint of a tour group and  following that guy holding an umbrella at the head of the group.  You can even download your own audio walking tours onto your iPod.  I would recommend Rick Steves.  
  2. Eat like a LOCAL.  One of the first things I do after getting settled into my hotel room is hit up a grocery store and the local market for fresh fruits and vegetables.  Treat yourself to a wonderful meal at a restaurant, but for the most part, stock up on goodies from the local supermarket, hit up a beach or a park and enjoy a picnic (don't forget the bottle of wine). Think of all the $$ you'll save that can go towards those chic shoes you've been eyeing.
  3. Live like a LOCAL.  Public transit is the way to go.  Airports, hotels and any tourist information stands will have public transit maps available.   I find Paris to have the best Metro system.  It is impossible to get lost, even if it is your first time in the City.  Public transit is cheap, hassle free and what more, you get to see how the locals go about their daily lives.  And don't forget to just walk.  Walk and take in the beauty of your surroundings.  Stop and look.  Best of all, burn off those extra croissant calories. ;-)

Get a printable map of the Paris METRO here.

Happy & Safe Travels.

Not Your Everyday View of Paris

 

So you want to see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame unlike most people?  

THE EIFFEL TOWER

To get to the Eiffel Tower, one way is to take the Metro and get off at Champ de Mars - Tour Eiffel.  Now, most people when they get out of the station will travel on Quai de Grenelle until well, you can't miss the Eiffel Tower.

metro paris france

For a bit of a pop of surprise mixed with local flair, once you get out of the Champ de Mars station, take the first street on the right (Avenue de Suffren), then turn onto the first street on the left (Rue de Buenos Ayres).  Enjoy the view!

NOTRE DAME

On any given day, this is a familiar sight:

notre dame cathedral paris

Or you can see this beauty in all its glory sitting across the river where Paris started some 2300 years ago.  Imagine how a little village on a tiny island became one of the most magical cities in the world.

A houseboat turned bar-restaurant, La Nouvelle Seine, exudes romance and will give you a spectacular view of the Cathedral - especially at night.  Not to mention, it just happens to serve the best and cheapest Irish coffee in Paris. ;-)

What are your best views of Paris?  Share in comments below or drop me a line!

3 Things Your Tour Guide Won't Tell You About Paris

Paris Truths

Paris.  Beautiful women, great food, inspirational.  Or is it?

paris, france

What makes Parisian women so beautiful?  Is The Eiffel Tower THE place to visit for romance and inspiration? And what makes a restaurant top rated?

1.  BEAUTIFUL WOMEN

Are they more beautiful than you and me?  No.  What makes them stand out is their unique way of dressing accompanied by confidence.  There is not one style or trend a Parisian woman follows.  They look put together, make their own style and it works.

The Lovely Valerie

The Lovely Valerie

2.  GREAT FOOD

Sure, there are countless of recommendations that can be found on any given website about the MUST try restaurants in Paris.  But what makes them the best?  Overpriced and overrated. Try a hidden gem where the locals dine such as Bouillon Chartier.  The simplicity of their menu, the honest French cooking and the traditional old world decor is what makes this restaurant unique.

3.  BE INSPIRED 

Yes, I find myself mesmerized by the Eiffel Tower every time, but as individuals, we differ so much and what makes the Eiffel Tower inspiring to me, may not be to you.  Have you ever walked the Luxembourg Gardens? Here, any man or woman, regardless of where they come from, whether poor or rich, can sit on a bench and be taken back by the beauty of the gardens.  This is most certainly a place of serenity, where one can reflect on life and be inspired by so much of the surroundings in their own way.

Would you like to share something you find unique about Paris no one talks about?  I would love to hear about it in the comments below or by dropping me a line!

Travel on a Budget

Cheap Vacations

The Three L's for Travelling on a Budget

I put together my top three tips on how to enjoy your vacation without coming home and paying off your travel bills for the next decade.

  1. Act like a LOCAL.  Stay out of the congested tourist areas and you will pay considerably less for almost everything.  It's crazy how a price of an espresso will differ from just a block out of the most popular tourist attractions.  Also, don't give in to the temptation of paying for overpriced group tours.  You can enjoy visiting any tourist attraction at your own leisure without a time constraint of a tour group and  following that guy holding an umbrella at the head of the group.  You can even download your own audio walking tours onto your iPod.  I would recommend Rick Steves.  
  2. Eat like a LOCAL.  One of the first things I do after getting settled into my hotel room is hit up a grocery store and the local market for fresh fruits and vegetables.  Treat yourself to a wonderful meal at a restaurant, but for the most part, stock up on goodies from the local supermarket, hit up a beach or a park and enjoy a picnic (don't forget the bottle of wine). Think of all the $$ you'll save that can go towards those chic shoes you've been eyeing.
  3. Live like a LOCAL.  Public transit is the way to go.  Airports, hotels and any tourist information stands will have public transit maps available.   I find Paris to have the best Metro system.  It is impossible to get lost, even if it is your first time in the City.  Public transit is cheap, hassle free and what more, you get to see how the locals go about their daily lives.  And don't forget to just walk.  Walk and take in the beauty of your surroundings.  Stop and look.  Best of all, burn off those extra croissant calories. ;-)

Get a printable map of the Paris METRO here.

Happy & Safe Travels.