How to Travel in France on a Budget

By Vero

Traveling in France, one of Europe's priciest destinations can strain your wallet. But fear not! We'll share budget-friendly advice from our 4-year experience living here. Discover money-saving tips and enjoy France without breaking the bank.

Travel to France During the Low Season

Visit France during the off-season for cleaner beaches, fewer crowds, and cheaper accommodations. However, note limited availability of restaurants and beach amenities. Mild weather in December and January, but swimming in the Mediterranean is chilly.

Having Lunch or Dinner? Ask for the “formule

France is a culinary haven, offering diverse cheeses, wines, and delicacies. Sample local cuisine through plat du jour or formule options at affordable restaurants, no Michelin star required.

– Opt for the dish of the day or a formule.

Food Tips

– Formule meals can be found from €10, even in Paris (e.g., Latin Quarter for €12).

– Be cautious with drink prices and ask for free tap water (carafe d'eau).

– Consider buying high-quality food from delicatessens, boulangeries, and supermarkets for a picnic option.

Should I Pay Tips?

Tipping is not customary in France, except for exceptional service in restaurants. No tipping for taxis or other services. However, it's customary to tip guides on free walking tours.

If You Travel by Road, Avoid Toll Roads

Car travel in France can be costly due to gasoline, tolls, and rentals. While tolls are expensive, conventional scenic roads offer beautiful landscapes and towns. Certain regions like Brittany have toll-free highways.

Avoid driving in city centers to save on parking fees.

Travel by Road Tips

Book parking in advance and check Onepark for cost-saving options.

Opt for train travel in France and secure excellent prices by purchasing tickets in advance.

Use OMIO to explore train, bus, and BlaBlaCar options.

Book Your Accommodation in Advance

Book accommodations in advance in France to save money for other activities. Look for accommodations with parking, especially in city centers. Street parking may be available in towns or outskirts.

Fines and Radars for Speeding

To avoid parking fines, provide proof of payment from nearby parking meters. Some cities have apps for convenient payment. Respect traffic signs and speed limits to avoid fines. Familiarize yourself with French road signs to avoid driving in restricted areas. Use Google Maps and Waze to locate fixed-speed cameras.

Check Out the Free Events and Walking Tours

Explore the various FREE events in France by checking the local tourist office. Most museums offer free admission on the first Sunday of the month. Find free walking tours through websites like Civitatis.

Learn How to Travel in France in a Budget, HERE!



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