How to have a Cheap Holiday or Backpacking Experience in Paris

The French are quiet possibly the rudest people in Europe. Or maybe it's just the Parisians. Either way that won't stop you from having a fun and cheap holiday in Paris.

In this post I will cover:
- How to get to Paris for cheap
- Cheap and free accomodation in Paris
- Eating Cheaply in Paris
- Seeing Paris Cheaply
- How to stay long term in France
- More ways to save money whilst travelling

Paris is possibly the most beautiful city in Europe. Unfortunately the people know it and often treat English speaking foreigners as lesser beings. Thankfully, there are plenty of nice Parisians as well (tho usually they have grown up in the South of France!)

Anyhow, follow the tips below and have an awesome, memorable, and importantly, affordable experience :)

Getting there cheaply

There are several options you may want to consider for getting to Paris. Each has their pros and cons, depending on what your circumstances are - ie are you travelling alone, where are you coming from, are you only interested in Paris or other parts of France? You should compare all three options below and see which has the best bottom line for you.

The first and most obvious option is through flying.

With a decent website that has all the budget airlines,these days you can often get a cheap flight easily.

The cost to our earth.

Paris has several airports including:

>>Orly (9 miles)
>>Charles De Guille (12 miles from Paris)
>>Beauvais - May seem the cheapest at first due to the three budget airline carriers, however, be aware that it is 40 miles out of Paris and you will have additional costs associated with getting into Paris itself.

By Train
PROS: Can be very cheap with discounts for groups, the young, and in some cases kids under 16 travel free. Also very earth friendly.

CONS: Takes longer than a flight.

Cheap and Free Accomodation

Prices keep going up and down depending on demand, so it is difficult/
pointless for me to list them. You will more likely benefit if you look at and compare the prices for yourself. The good thing about this booking site is that unlike its main competitor hostelworld, it doesn't charge a US$2 booking fee on top of the 10% deposit. A nice saving in itself.

The other option of course is to join – a worldwide network for making connections between travellers and the communites they visit. People offering their couches for free! A worldwide phenomenon. Give it a go, but remember to read what people have already said about someone whose couch you are planning on staying on.

Cheap Food
Paris is probably the one city in Europe you don't want to be a cheapskate on food, however most of us are on a budget, so with that in mind, keep these tips in mind:

>> This tip is going to sound ironic because it is: keep your eyes peeled for 'tourist menus' offered by French restaurants. In most countries, this is an invitation to come inside and get ripped off (ie Egypt), but in Paris, the opposite is the case. This actually is the cheaper option.

If you are looking for a seriously cheap backpacking experience, most serious backpackers know already to cook in the hostel kitchen. Why not use a cheap supermarket in Paris like the locals do (I recommend Aldi), or better yet, support the average farmer by shopping directly from a market. Save the money for some fine French wine.

Seeing Paris Cheaply
Obviously, you have truly missed Paris if you go there and don't visit the many sites, and as one of the most expensive cities in the world. You may want to consider buying adiscount pass which lets you
see over 55 of Paris' world famous musuems and gives you access to free public transport.

Want to stay here 6 months or longer?If you have fallen in love with the country as so many people have, are a native English speaker and want to stay long term, get yourself a TEFL certificate, and teach English. The French pay their teachers very well and you can expect to live comfortably.

More ways to save money whilst travelling

Also, if you're looking for more comprehensive tips on saving money wherever you go, you might consider the following two books: