Budget tip: Buying water at the Eiffel Tower

budget-tip-buying-water-at-the-Eiffel-Tower

This budget tip is short and sweet!

Conventional wisdom states that you never buy anything at a tourist spot since prices are usually inflated. Surprisingly, this is not the case for bottled water at the Eiffel Tower.

Bottled water is actually sold cheaper at the snack shop on the 1st platform in the Pavillon Ferrie (south side of the tower) than by the vendors on the street. Shocking, I know!

If you have taken the stairs, you will definitely want to stop and purchase a much needed bottle! It is also a good idea to buy one even if you didn’t take the stairs just in case you get thirsty exploring the rest of the tower. And…it is not a bad idea to purchase a bottle before you leave the tower especially if you plan to walk around Champs de Mars or Trocadero. You don’t want to get stuck overpaying.

A bonus tip: Also in Pavillon Ferrie are nice clean (and somewhat hidden) restrooms.Take the stairs next to the information window which is located next to the snack shop and across from the gift shop.

Bises (kisses),

Kimberly

 

This post is part of the weekly #MondayEscapes hosted by My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase.

Also part of the monthly #AllAboutFrance hosted by Phoebe of Lou Messugo.

Climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower

Climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower

Bonne Annee mes amis! Happy New Year my friends!

I see no better way to kick off 2016 than with THE icon of Paris – the Eiffel Tower. Nearly everyone who plans a visit to Paris, at the very least, plans to see the Iron Lady if not explore the site. But with 7 million visitors each year, waiting in line to ascend the Eiffel Tower can easily eat up tons of precious sightseeing time.

You can, of course, book in advance your lift tickets which is a must if you plan to take the elevator up the tower but this does restrict you to an exact day and time with no option to change in case of rain or a cloudy day.

However, if you like to maximize your time AND have flexibility in your schedule, I recommend taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower. Now, before you pass out, it is not as bad as it sounds and is a fantastic way to see the intricate iron work up close. Continue reading

3 ways to save for Paris without breaking your monthly budget

Awhile back, I asked my Instagram followers what was one of their biggest hurdles in visiting Paris. One of the responses was money and that is no surprise because Paris is a very expensive city to visit. However, there are ways to save for Paris with minimal impact to your monthly budget.

1.) Save your change.

This is probably not the first time you’ve heard this tip but I wanted to quantify this for you. In my monthly budget, I have a designated amount of money I use for things like going out for lunch or having an extra coffee in the afternoon. I use cash for these expenses and keep the coins that I get back in change. In a year, I save about $100. This doesn’t sound like a lot of money at first but several fees can be paid for with this amount.

Based on today’s exchange rate (as of publication), $100 is about €94 and here is what you can buy:

  • Louvre entrance ticket – €15
  • Eiffel Tower lift ticket (all 3 floors) – €17
  • Versailles entrance ticket (passport) – €18
  • RER transportation to and from Versailles – €4 x 2 = €8
  • Versailles grounds tram ticket – €7.50
  • One carnet (10 Metro tickets) – €14.10
  • Notre Dame bell tower ticket – €8.50
  • Notre Dame audio guide – €5

Total = €93.1

A little bit of change can make an impact on your travel expenses.

2.)  Save unused funds from your monthly budget.

For those expenses that fluctuate like gas for your car or your electric bill, save the money not used that month. For example, if you budget $200 a month for gas for your car but only spend $150 that month, save the $50 not used. Maybe the next month you spend $175 for gas, then save the $25. An easy way to save money without any impact to your current budget.

3.) Use a portion of a salary increase.

This isn’t something you can just start doing but is something to consider the next time you receive an increase in your take-home pay. Take a portion of that increase and put it towards your travel budget. It doesn’t have to be much. For example, saving $10/month will be $120 for the year. At current exchange rate (as of publication), that is about €113. As I have mentioned before in my Periscope broadcasts, I usually have around a €60 grocery budget for cooking meals when I stay in a Paris apartment rental. That amount pays for 7 dinners for two people. Even if you aren’t staying in an apartment (or don’t want to cook at night), €113 is a great pastries/snack budget.

By saving a bit here and there, you really can minimize the pain of paying for Paris without too much impact on your monthly budget.

What ways to do save up for your travels?

(Exchange rates and entrances fees are accurate at the time of publication and are for example only. Check websites for current exchange rates and entrance fees when planning your travel budget.)

Bises (kisses),

Kimberly

 

This post is part of the weekly #MondayEscapes hosted by My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase.

Packing my Suitcase

It is also part of the monthly #AllAboutFrance hosted by Phoebe of Lou Messugo.

Lou Messugo

Paris budget tip: FREE view of the Eiffel Tower

Free-view-of-the-Eiffel-Tower

Be sure to pin for later!

Paris is an expensive city to visit but that doesn’t mean you have to give up items on your to-do list like see a great view of the Eiffel Tower. While there are plenty of great places to see the Eiffel Tower like the top of the Arch de Triomphe or the observation tower on top of Tour Montparnasse, these cost money and sometimes you just need a little budget help.

One of my favorite places to see the Eiffel Tower and a really lovely view of the cityscape of Paris is from the terrace on top of Galeries Lafayette department store! And importantly, it is completely FREE!

View-Eiffel-Tower-terrace-Galeries-Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette is located at 40 Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement (metro: Chaussée d’Antin – La Fayette) and the best way to get to the terrace is to take the escalators up at each floor. There are elevators but they are very slow arriving, small and often very full.

Paris-seen-from-Galeries-Lafayette

As you plan both your Paris itinerary and your Paris budget, be sure to consider the Galeries Lafayette terrace.

Bises (kisses),

Kimberly

 

This post is part of the weekly #MondayEscapes hosted by My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase.

Packing my Suitcase

It is also part of the monthly #AllAboutFrance hosted by Phoebe of Lou Messugo.

Lou Messugo

 

Travel tip: Where to find the best overall prices on souvenirs in Paris

souvenirs-of-ParisEverywhere you go in Paris, it seems there are endless options for purchasing souvenirs to commemorate your visit. From mini Eiffel Towers on key rings to printed scarves to the classic French beret, options are endless. There are street peddlers and souvenir shops at every turn.

But, as every good traveler knows, the cost of items vary from location to location and the closer you are to the tourist site, the more expensive the item.

This week’s travel tip is where you can find the best overall prices on souvenirs and that is in Montmartre specifically near and around the famous Place du Tertre. I’m not talking about the artist paintings in the square but the souvenir shops located in the streets around the area. Even though this is a popular tourist spot, the prices are in general less than the prices in and around the city center.

Montmartre-place-du-tertre

Already have Montmartre on your Paris itinerary?  Then make sure you shop around the souvenir stores and pick up all your mementos and gifts.

If Montmartre isn’t yet on your list and you have a number of souvenirs you’d like to purchase, then a quick metro ride out to the 18th arrondissement may be worth the trip and while your there, take in an amazing view of the city from the highest point in Paris.

Montmartre-stairs

Bises (kisses),

Kimberly

 

This post is part of the weekly #MondayEscapes hosted by My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase.

Packing my Suitcase

It is also part of the monthly #AllAboutFrance hosted by Phoebe of Lou Messugo.

Lou Messugo