Baguettes, Croissants and Beaches: Our France Trip

We just got married this past September and for our honeymoon we decided to go to France! We were not planning on taking a huge foreign trip for our honeymoon, since we had to save a lot of money saving up for the wedding. However, when I saw that tickets from our home airport to Paris were $414RT there was no question, we were going to France for our honeymoon! We decided to go to Paris and southern France for our honeymoon. We spent 2 days in Paris, 4 days in Eze/Nice/Monaco and then 2 days again in Paris. We both fell in love with the food (you are surrounded by bread, what’s not to love?!), the culture and history of France. We are officially hooked and this will not be the last time we will go to France! Since it was our honeymoon, we really did not want to hold back on doing what we wanted. But, we still did not break the bank and found ways to save money.

A Degree In Travel Money Saving Tips:

So how did we do it?!

Tip #1: We kept our eyes on some of our favorite flight Instagram accounts for deals as well as tracked flights on Google Flights (check out my video tutorial on Google Flights a few posts back). It is crucial to keep your eye on flight deals. They come and go quickly! So know some places you want to go and times and that will help you make a quick decision when a flash deal happens! We had a couple of Europe flash deals presented to us and we decided to quickly book one, 5 months before our wedding!

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Tip #2: Utilize Airbnb. I should be a rep for Airbnb because I love them so much! They really have a good business. I love staying in Airbnb’s because I feel like I am thrown into the culture more and living like a local. Plus, you can often save 50% on hotel costs by just getting an Airbnb or vacation rental home. We stayed in an Airbnb in southern France and it saved us a TON, plus we got to talk to the home owner and those conversations were some of my favorite memories.

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Tip #3: Go grocery shopping…on vacation! Wait, but vacation is supposed to be vacation right?! Why would you go grocery shopping?!?! Going grocery shopping at a local market, or large food store, if you can find it, will help you save a ton on food. We love to go find the nearest market or store near us when we are on vacation to load up on water and snacks. While we were in souther France we were right next to a local market and we went there every day! We bought huge water bottles that were significantly cheaper than grabbing one randomly as we out and about. We also bought food to make dinner two times. We probably spend around $15 to make our dinner instead of paying $50 to go out to a restaurant. It was fun to buy locally and just cook together in our little Airbnb kitchen. Just because you are on vacation does not mean that you cannot make your own meals! Also wine is cheaper when you buy it at the store 🙂

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Tip #4: The Museum Pass in Paris. We bought our Museum Pass for our first two days in Paris. This was the best idea EVER! We hardly had to wait in any lines and saved tons of time. Plus, if you plan on doing a ton of site seeing, then it is worth it to get the pass, because you will end up saving money. Also, I felt like it was worth it to have the passes delivered to our hotel. It is 12 euros but saved us the time and hassle. Note, the Paris Museum Pass does NOT get you up to the Eiffel Tower. Also note that if you want to go on top of the Notre Dame, you can use your pass but you have to reserve and time and they sell out fast! Download the app, Out of Line, to reserve a time instead of going to the kiosk.

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Tip #5: Ride the metro or walk in Paris. You do not need to rent a car or get Ubers. Riding the metro is super cheap and pretty easy to navigate. You can also easily walk from major attractions.

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Tip #6: Bring your own beach towel and umbrella to the beaches in Nice. There are tons of resorts that will charge you to sit in their chairs, use their umbrellas and towels on the beaches. We opted to pay to use their chairs but you can find plenty of open places on the beach and just sit on your own towel! Still just as fun and beautiful.

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Tip #7: You do not need to tip for food! Most of the time your tip is already included in the price, you should see it calculated at the bottom of your receipt. So do not worry about it!

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Tip #8: In Monaco you can buy a discounted ticket to go both to the Aquarium and the Castle. If you plan to go to both, make sure you buy the packaged deal. It was worth it to go to both for us!

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Tip #9: Just walk around the city you are in. That is always free and you will always find sites and interesting things to look at. If you do not have a ton of money, just walking around and doing a walking tour with your camera ready, still makes for a memorable time!

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Tip #10: Read the news for strikes! France loves to strike, so make sure you are reading the news so you are ready. Most strikes are planned out and you can be prepared. We fell victim of a strike and it messed up almost a whole day for us! While we were stuck in our plane for 2 hours, I was reading the news and saw that the strike was announced 3 days prior. If I would have known that, we would have planned our way of getting out of Nice to Paris better. But note, it is French law that if your flight is delayed more than 3 hours, each traveler can get 250 euros. You can bet we totally cashed in on that! So it made it kind of worth it…kind of! 

Tip #11: Eat EVERYTHING. Seriously, everything is SO good!

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I could keep writing on all the tips we had but look out for another post in the near future! Would you want to see out full itinerary in a blog post? What were some money saving tips you have from France?

Remember to follow us on Instagram at @lifeofthepilotswife and on Pinterest at Lifeofthepilotswife

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