France is portrayed as a land of abundance and wealth – culinary wealth, luxury kitchens and unique raw materials, fashionable people, museums showcasing the world’s greatest works of art, luxury towers and unique music.
A trip to France sounds like a particularly expensive pleasure, but even in a rich and western country like France, you can travel on a variety of budgets, if you choose the right elements for your vacation and if you plan it well in advance.
So how much can a trip to France cost you, whether you are traveling with a family, with or without small children, if you are traveling on an unlimited budget, or on an average budget and can it also suit backpackers with a minimal budget?
Date of trip to France
Among the choices that affect the trip budget is the choice of the trip date – the farther your trip is from the busy tourist seasons, the lower the prices and you can travel in Provence, for example, in the fall and enjoy relatively low prices – simply because it is the end of the tourist season.
Apart from the relatively low prices, you will also enjoy quiet sites and you will have an intimate and relaxed vacation, without crowds of tourists in every corner.
Destination of the trip in France
The second choice that you can take into account when planning the budget for your trip is the destination of the trip.
Although France is one of the most visited countries in the world and is really a relatively expensive country, it is also a very large country, with different regions, between which there are significant differences in food tradition, mentality and also prices.
The most expensive areas in France are of course Paris, the shores of the Mediterranean, the touristy Loire Valley and the Dordogne. Apart from Paris, Nice, Lyon and Bordeaux are also expensive cities, although it is also possible to plan a trip on a moderate budget.
Anyway – the rest of the region in France is less touristy and you also have less high prices, so if you want to travel on a low budget, or moderate, you can travel to the lesser known regions of France and earn on the way an original trip, less crowded and touristy sites.
In order to calculate the highest continuum of budget for a trip to France, you can take the high costs of Paris.
Compared to other places in France, it is considered particularly expensive, although its prices are very similar to the prices familiar to most of you from Tel Aviv, for example and it can serve as a good indication of the general costs of a day trip in France:
For day trip pricing in Paris, for the average tourist, we will refer to the costs of travel by public transport (in any case it is better to avoid traveling by rental car, or by taxi in the city of lights), entry to one paid tourist site, one meal at an average restaurant, costs of breakfast products in the market, or In the supermarket, and also a small budget for shopping.
If you stick to this daily plan, more or less, you can manage in Paris with a budget of 100-150 euros per day, not including accommodation.
This is not a low budget at all, but it does relate to a trip to the most expensive city in France and average costs. If you are interested in exploring more options, feel free to keep reading.
France on every possible budget
Despite the (justified) image of France as a luxury travel destination, you can travel there on a variety of budgets and enjoy your vacation, whether you are traveling on an unlimited budget or on a particularly low budget. How do you do that?
Low budget trip
If you want to travel on a low budget, you can plan a backpacking trip. On such a trip you can stay in hostels, or campsites, eat mostly meals that you prepare for yourself, after shopping in supermarkets and markets and travel by public transport only. Such a trip may cost you about 50 euros per day. In addition, a trip out of the tourist season greatly reduces the costs and in such a case, you can also stay in slightly more luxurious hotels and also eat occasionally in a good restaurant. Another consideration to consider is the hiking areas. As attractive and interesting as Paris is, it is also the most expensive destination in France and if you can give it up, you will probably also be able to cheapen your trip to a great extent.
An average budget trip
If you travel on an average budget, with children, or as a couple, in a group, or alone, you will find that the prices in France are slightly higher than those customary in Israel. Lima in an average hotel will cost you around 90 euros per person per night, 3 meals in average restaurants will cost you between 70 and 100 euros per person per day. Travel by rental car will cost approximately 40 euros per day and in special taxis within the cities the price is around 5 euros per trip. In total, an average budget trip to France will cost you at least 130 euros per day per person.
High budget trip
If you can afford to travel on a high budget, or unlimited, then the sky is the limit, but a quick calculation of fixed expenses for a day trip in France on a high budget will give you a pretty clear indication: Luxury hotel accommodation will cost approximately 150 euros per person per night and if you plan to stay The most expensive in the area, you can also spend 400 euros per night per person. A full meal in a luxury French restaurant can easily reach a price of 100 euros per person and a ride in a rental car will add to the daily costs about 50 euros per day. You can travel in France and be pampered in top-notch restaurants and hotels, spend time in the most worthwhile attractions and shop in boutique shops even on a budget of 400 euros per day, or much more. An organized trip, in luxurious conditions, between the vineyards and prestigious wineries in the country, will cost close to 1000 euros per day.
What else should you consider when planning your budget?
- Tips in restaurants – the custom in France is similar to ours in the country – by law, restaurants must charge 10% of the bill price, for service fees, but they do not always do so and in any case, it is customary to add to this amount as a token of appreciation for good service.
- If you are staying at a hotel and have received the service of carrying luggage to the room – expect you to leave a tip.
- Even the guide at the museum, or on tour, will expect you to leave him a tip as a token of appreciation for good service.
- Pickpockets – If you are not careful in touristy areas, local pickpockets can cost you a lot of money. You should take a money belt with you and keep your cash well.
- If you are traveling by rental car in France, know that parking in the big cities can be very expensive and this is one of the reasons why you should travel by public transport within the cities. Parking in a forbidden place can lead to a fine, so even if you are caught with a mobile phone while driving.
- Converting money to the euro is more expensive in France so you should take care of it before traveling.
- If you do not want to travel with cash to France, you can take traveler’s checks with you – for them the conversion rate is more affordable than cash and you can also use the ATMs scattered around the country and service all types of international tickets.
- Shopping with a credit card, in fact, will give you the advantage of an improved exchange rate.
- It is not customary to bargain in stores in the big cities, but if you make sure to greet the seller politely and preferably in French – you may receive a courteous and friendly treatment. On the other hand, in the markets you can try to bargain, although there too – the sellers will respect you with a friendly attitude if you behave politely and courteously and if you forget to do so, you will receive a cool and familiar attitude that is not really interested in selling to you.
- If you want to go shopping in France, look for the surplus malls and try to arrive during the sale season.
- If you are going on a ski holiday in France, keep in mind that a ski package will in most cases be more expensive than a holiday you have organized yourself. If you can put together your ski vacation on your own, you will be able to save a good percentage of costs.
In conclusion – careful planning of the trip will help you stick to the budget
Once you’ve planned your budget and already know what kind of vacation in France you will have, what restaurants will suit your budget, where you will stay and what type of transportation you will use – add at least 10 percent to the final budget, so you can be spontaneous and pay for things you did not plan in advance , Or did not know you would need to.
Remember, the better the trip is planned, the more likely you are to stick to a budget and enjoy every moment.