Travel Tips

Choose Your Airline Company Well in paris

Do not forget to have a look at low-cost company offers. If you are European, check the Easyjet flights (from €23, British company), Transavia (from €29, Dutch company), Ryanair (from €29, Irish company – warning: flights only to and from Paris-Beauvais), or Vueling (from €25, Spanish company) for instance.


Do not forget that connecting flights are often less expensive than direct flights, that you are not forced to fly both legs with the same airline and that changing airlines during the connection can be cheaper. However, it is generally better to book a return ticket directly rather than buying two separate one-way tickets.


Travel Tips

Travel update on the situation in Paris

As of Thursday, October 29, 2020 from midnight, Paris – like the whole of France – is once again confined. The announced duration of this confinement is 4 weeks, i.e. until December 1, 2020.

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  • As of Friday, 30 October 2020, and until further notice, wearing a face mask is compulsory in public areas and enclosed spaces, under penalty of a fine of 135 euros.
  • Wearing a mask is compulsory from 6 years old.
  • Public and private gatherings are prohibited.


  • Museums and monuments are closed until further notice
  • The theaters are closed until further notice
  • Bars and restaurants are closed until further notice
  • Cinemas are closed until further notice
  • Shopping centers and department stores are closed until further notice
  • Pools and gyms are closed until further notice



Any non-essential trip must be justified by an exceptional trip certificate under penalty of 135€ (for the first one). There are 3 types of certificate: the exceptional trip certificate, the proof of professional trip and the proof of school trip.

These certificates can be downloaded and printed from the website of the Ministry of the Interior:

A certificate – common to all three types of trip – in digital format can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of the Interior: Once the certificate has been completed, a PDF is generated on your smartphone and must be presented in the event of an inspection.

From Friday, October 30 and until December 1, 2020, it is therefore possible to do short trips, without forgetting your certificate, in particular:

  • professional reasons
  • take and pick up children from school
  • make short trips (1 hour maximum) within a radius of 1 kilometer around his home, including for a physical activity to do alone …

Discover the 1 kilometer radius around your home using the dedicated page on the GEOCONCEPT site:


  • The wearing of a mask is compulsory for those over 6 years of age on all public transport, and failure to comply is subject to a fine of 135 euros

More information on transport

Alternative mobility offers and solutions

In order to ensure more comfort and the best possible protection for its travelers, RATP has been offering a service to monitor traffic in real time on its mobile application.

Departures by train and plane

Travel between regions is prohibited from October 30, 2020.

Train and airplane departures may be cancelled.

Consult the websites of the SNCF and the airline companies concerned for more information.

In order to guarantee greater flexibility to its passengers, tickets purchased can be refunded or exchanged free of charge, according to the dates indicated on the carriers’ websites.

More information on the conditions of circulation and reimbursements of inter-regional trains


The tourist welcome center at the Hôtel de Ville is closed until further notice

The tourist welcome center at Gare de Nord is closed until further notice

For any further questions, it is recommended to contact the embassy of your country of origin.


The government has set up a specific file to help people with disabilities cope better with this health crisis.

This folder allows you:

  • To be helped in the event of symptoms
  • To be up to date on the various health recommendations
  • To benefit from specific support measures

You can also find FALC materials (Easy To Read and Understand) on the official website of Public Health France.

Travel Tips

The best budget hotels in Paris for 2020

It can be tough when you’re planning your trip to France and hunting around for accommodation that won’t break the bank. But we’re here to help, especially when you’re looking for great budget hotels in Paris! We’ve carefully combed through our top listings from our guide to the best cheap hotels in Paris, looking for small and charming places that represent the absolute best budget hotels in Paris.

Travel Tips

The 10 Best Budget Hotels in Paris (To Not Spend a Fortune in Accomodation)

“What if we went to Paris? No, it’s too expensive …” Not anymore! Sleeping in a Paris hotel without emptying out your bank account or eating pastas for a month is now possible. There are many hotels with small prices that are worth the journey. We have selected the budget hotels with the best quality price ratio just for you so that you can go back home and still have some money in your wallet.

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1) Modern Hôtel Montmartre ** – the cheapest

Modern Hôtel Montmartre lit

Area : Montmartre – Pigalle

3, rue Forest, 75018 PARIS

For a budget hotel, the Modern Hôtel is very well-placed. It is at the heart of Montmartre’s lively mood, next to the Moulin Rouge, where you can be immersed in the life of the Paris of yore for as long as you stay. Thanks to Place de Clichy station (on lines 2 and 13), you can very quickly be in the Champs-Elysées, Saint Lazare station, or even the Père Lachaise Cemetery.

The hotel has 37 rooms, with a simple yet warm decor quite opposed to the cold rooms of some hotels. Four different types of rooms are available, depending on whether you travel alone or with your family. Every room is equipped with a TV, free Wi-Fi, a desk, and a bathroom (with a shower or a bathtub). You will hence have whatever you need to rest after your visits or your meetings.

The staff is always available and will book shows, restaurants, or taxis for you if you ask. A bar is opened all day long. It is a budget hotel, yet everything you need is there!

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the Modern Hôtel proposes a continental breakfast every morning and, of course, national and international newspapers so that you will not miss anything, even from the other side of the world.

Modern Hôtel Montmartre

What we like: The ideal situation to move around in Paris

What we love: The comfort and the calm in an animated neighborhood

Price range: From 37€ a night in low season and 63€ in high season

For further information about the Modern Hôtel Montmartre, its services, prices, and availabilities, click here.


2) Hôtel Jarry Confort * – the calm after the storm

Hôtel Jarry Confort lit

Area : Gare du Nord – gare de l’Est

4, rue Jarry, 75010 PARIS

The Jarry hotel counts 37 rooms in a lively district near Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est. After a 5-minute walk, you can go to the Canal Saint Martin, which is very nice in summer with the pubs on each side of the canal. If you want to go further, go to Château d’eau station on line 4 to go to Chatelêt, or in the Latin Quarter or to Montparnasse.

The geographic location of the hotel is obviously ideal if you want to visit the French Capital, but the small prices will make your journey unforgettable. At night, you can enjoy the calm of the rooms, which are for the most part spacious and nicely ornamented, and of course fully equipped with a television, a phone, free Wi-Fi, and a bathroom with a shower and toilets.

Though it is a budget hotel, you will absolutely not be left on your own. The reception is open all night and the multilingual staff is ready to comply to your requests. A private bar is open within the hotel to serve anytime.

Hôtel Jarry Confort

What we like: The animated and dynamic neighborhood

What we love: The fully equipped hotel for such a small price

Price range: From 39€ a night in low season and 59€ in high season

For further information about the Jarry Confort Hotel, its services, prices, and availabilities, click here.


3) Hôtel de Cabourg ** – a sunbath

Hôtel de Cabourg lit

Area : Palais des Congrès – Batignolles

5, rue du Mont-Dore, 75017 PARIS

The Cabourg was founded in 1978 and its age gives it a true and authentic charm, with a pinch of modernity. The rooms were renovated a few years ago in such a way as to bring you comfort and as to make sure you lack nothing. They contain a private bathroom (shower or bathtub), a desk, a wardrobe, and a television. Most of them are spacious and you could (almost) feel as if you were in a five-star hotel. You can even have a a room with four sleeping spots to come to Paris with the whole family.

But there is more to see than just your room in this hotel! A terrace with a garden and many seats allows you to enjoy Paris’s sun (or rain, depending on the weather), a small living room with furnished sofas occupies the space near the reception, and newspapers are at your disposal. Finally, you can have your breakfast in a stone-vaulted room to give your day a fresh start.

After your breakfast, go on a digestive walk around the hotel. After 15 minutes, you may arrive to Pigalle, a lively place full of cabarets and pubs. Do not hesitate to come back at night. You can also go very easily and directly to many Parisian places such as the Champs-Elysées, the Père-Lachaise Cemetery, or the place de la Nation if you take the metro in Rome station (line 2).

Hôtel de Cabourg

What we like: To be away from the touristic agitation

What we love: The terrace where one can enjoy the sun

Price range: From 39€ per night in low season to 99€ in high season

For further information about the Hotel de Cabourg, its services, prices, and availabilities, click here.


4) Hipotel Paris Belgrand Mairie du 20e *** – small but comfortable

Hipotel Paris Belgrand Mairie du 20e lit

Area : Belleville – Ménilmontant

60, rue Belgrand, 75020 PARIS

The Hipotel Paris Belgrand Mairie du 20e is in the North-East of Paris, just 5 minutes away from the Père-Lachaise Cemetery where you can walk between the graves of the most famous stars, such as Edith Piaf or Henri Salvador. Half a mile away from the hotel is the Gambetta’s quarter and its numerous restaurants, pubs, and cinemas to fill your evenings after your long walks in the city.

This part of the city is a little bit away from downtown, but it is really delightful and not often visited by tourists. It is exactly what you need! Its situation is also the reason for such small prices and it is the occasion to discover a not-so-famous area of Paris. Among the 27 rooms, prefer those of the upper floors, with a better view and away from the car traffic.

The rooms are not sophisticated but are comfortable, with everything you need to relax after a long day of tourism. They are soundproof and include a bathroom (shower or bathtub), a phone, and a television.

Before you go to visit the city, do not forget to enjoy the generous breakfast, served every morning in the dining room by a very attentive and 24h/7 available staff.

Hipotel Paris Belgrand Mairie du 20e

What we like: The rooms’ comfort

What we love: To live in a three-star hotel for this price

Price range: From 40€ per night in low season and 102€ in high season

For further information about the Hipotel Paris Belgrand Mairie du 20e, its services, prices, and availabilities, click here.


5) Hôtel de l’Europe – feels like home

Hôtel de l’Europe lit

Area : Palais des Congrès – Batignolles

67, rue des Moines, 75017 PARIS

Parks, squares, trees in Paris! This is where the Europe Hotel is set and will welcome you during your stay in Paris. You will enjoy this rare environment and discover a neighborhood far less known than others but nevertheless pleasurable. The nearest metro station is Brochant (line 13) and will take you to the main axes of the city: Montparnasse, the Champs-Elysées but also Saint Lazare station and the numerous shops around it.

This small family hotel is located in a very Parisian building, and its warm decoration will help you feel at home. Moreover, this little family is multi-lingual: English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Japanese, Turkish, Persian; this point is rare enough in a budget hotel to be noted. The staff is really available and puts a large panel of services at your disposal, such as free Wi-Fi, a car park, baggage lockers, and daily newspapers.

But I expect you are more interested in the rooms. Small budget but great choice, you have 8 different types of rooms or a loft. The rooms can welcome from one to three people and are fully equipped so that you have everything you need. They all include a bathroom with a hair dryer, a shower, and a WC, and some of them even have a balcony (ask for one of those!).

The loft, on the other hand, works like an apartment hotel. It is a duplex with a living space, a dining space, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a sofa beside the bed.

If you can’t bear to stay in your room (except for those who choose the loft, maybe), the hotel does have a living room in which you can work, read, or take the morning’s newspapers. Speaking of morning, a full breakfast made out of fresh products is served every day in a bright dining room to begin your day the best way possible!

Hôtel de l’Europe

What we like: To have parks nearby to discover a new Paris

What we love: The hotel proposing so many services

Price range: From 41€ in low season to 59€ in high season

For further information about the Hotel de l’Europe, its services, prices, and availabilities, click here.


6) Royal Wagram ** – Almost a palace

Royal Wagram lit

Area : Palais des Congrès – Batignolles

25, Boulevard Pereire – 3 Cité de Pusy, 75017 PARIS

The Royal Wagram, such a sweet name … the price is sweet too. In the heart of the 17th district you can stay in a comfortable hotel for a reasonable price. Away from the touristic places, you can relax in calm or have fun in this animated neighborhood and its restaurants and pubs. Wagram station (line 3) is five minutes away and connects directly to Saint-Lazare station, the Paris Bourse, or the Place de la République (and not far from it, the Canal Saint Martin).

The hotel may not look like it, especially considering its prices, but it will amaze you. It was recently renovated and is entirely equipped to satisfy you whether you are here to visit Paris for pleasure or on a business trip. Every common area and every room is connected to the free Wi-Fi, so that you won’t miss anything even far from home. You can have a room for one, two, or three and share it with your friends or family. All the rooms are furnished with a king-size bed, a TV, air conditioning, a wardrobe, and, obviously, a private bathroom with a shower, WC, and free soap and shampoo samples.

On the same line of prices, the hotel proposes a full breakfast every morning to give you strength for the day. You can relish in some fresh viennoiseries, juices, eggs, or hot drinks, which is quite rare in a budget hotel.

Royal Wagram

What we like: The street-level rooms and their view on the backyard

What we love: The calm in this dead-end street

Price range: From 41€ per night in low season and 93€ in high season

For further information about the Royal Wagram Hotel, its services, prices, and availabilities, click here.


7) Prince Albert Opéra ** – Better than in Monaco

Prince Albert Opéra lit

Area : Opéra – Hausmann

89, Rue de Provence, 75009 PARIS

A royal name for a budget hotel; how does that sound? The location is not bad either; very close to the main axes of the city, ideal to go shopping (Les Grands Magasins), to the museums (Grévin Museum), or to taste French specialties among one of the numerous restaurants and pubs. In case you want to go further, Havre-Caumartin station (lines 3 and 9) is direct for almost every important place of the city such as the Trocadéro, the Place de la République, the Père-lachaise Cemetery, the Avenue Montaigne …

After such a journey, we all deserve some rest. You can relax in one of the 31 rooms, which can welcome from one to three persons. The decor is sober, yet welcoming. Every room includes a private bathroom, TV, and free Wi-Fi.

In the morning, you may also enjoy the continental breakfast in the dining room. All tastes shall be satisfied, between the viennoiseries and the hot drinks.

On a business trip? We also think of you. We found a business center in the hotel where you can work, connect to the Internet, or print and fax at will.

Prince Albert Opéra autre lit

What we like: The rooms and their space

What we love: The neighborhood, which is ideal and full of restaurants and pubs

Price range: From 42€ [er night in low season and 75€ in high season

For further information about the Prince Albert Opera Hotel, its services, prices, and availabilities, click here.


8) Paris Legendre ** – A family hotel

Paris Legendre lit

Area : Palais des Congrès – Batignolles

149, rue Legendre, 75017 PARIS

The Paris Legendre hotel has known several generations of hoteliers and consents to every effort to make your stay as delightful as possible.

In a very Parisian-style building, the hotel comprises 32 rooms of four different categories to welcome from one to four persons in the same room. Most of them are bright and show a sober but warm decor to please most of you. They all include a television, a safe, a wardrobe, and free Wi-Fi. You shall also enjoy a private bathroom with a shower or a bathtub and separated toilets.

The Paris Legendre is open 24h/7 and offers many services such as baggage lockers, a car park, baby beds and a lift. A self-serve continental breakfast awaits you every morning with fresh products (viennoiseries, fruits, ham, cheese …) and juices.

You are now ready to discover Paris. Lucky for you, the hotel is particularly well-located. You can find Montmartre’s Cemetery nearby and its historic district. In the neighborhood, La Fourche station (line 13) enables you to cross Paris from North to South and thus go to Saint-Lazare district and the Grands Magasins, to the Champs-Elysées but also to Montrouge, a very nice place in the South of Paris.

Paris Legendre

What we like: The authentic and popular neighborhood

What we love: The room’s cleanness and comfort

Price range: From 44€ per night in low season and 89€ in high season

For further information about the Paris Legendre Hotel, its services, prices, and availabilities, click here.


9) the Element Hotel *** – A luxury we can afford

The Element Hotel lit

Area : gare du Nord – gare de l’Est

3, rue d’Aix, 75010 PARIS

How can a three-star hotel be a budget hotel? The Element Hotel can. It was renovated and promises luxury with small prices. The modern design will make you feel at home in Paris. The staff speaks three languages and is always available for you, during all your stay. You will even be treated like a king, as they can bring your breakfast to your room on a simple request. Baggage and concierge services are also at your disposal.

Despite the great number of rooms (41), each of them displays a unique decor and small, comfy rugs for a very personal stay. You can choose to have a room for one, two, four, or even a suite … see how luxurious it is! Every room includes a television, Wi-Fi, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower. The suite is much bigger and includes an elegant bathtub under a window to enjoy the sun in your very room.

If you want to see the City of Lights, you will have to leave your cosy room. You can easily walk around in the area to admire the numerous must-see places of the neighborhood. Two minutes away you can walk along the Canal Saint-Martin, and five minutes away you will find the Place de la République and the Belleville district with many Asian shops that will take you to the other side of the world in a blink.

The Element Hotel

What we like: The quality of this cheap and fancy hotel

What we love: The area, ideal to begin your exploration of Paris

Price range: From 44€ per night in low season and 149€ in high season

For further information about the Element Hotel, its services, prices, and availabilities, click here.


10) Hôtel de la Mare – the authentic charm

Hôtel de la Mare lit

Area: Belleville – Ménilmontant

20, rue de la Mare, 75020 PARIS

Ménilmontant, an old and small village incorporated to Paris in 1860, managed to keep its magic of yore with its not-so-visited and authentic paths, the restaurants and pubs generations old, and buildings that testify to past times. You will feel so comfortable you will not want to leave Paris afterwards. Right next to the hotel is the Rue Oberkampf, a very animated street at night: do not miss the opportunity to go have a drink there!

Even Ménilmontant station (line 2) is perfect to go to the main places of Paris, such as the Champs-Elysées, the district of Montmartre and Pigalle.

Did I convince you of how nice the neighborhood is? Let’s talk about the Hôtel de la Mare, then. You may choose whatever suits you, from studios to suites. The studios are the cheapest, but they are still comfortable. They are furnished with everything you need: bed, sofa, bathroom, living room, and kitchen. The suites are larger and comprise a living room. This hotel enables you to enjoy the services of a standard hotel while you still have a home’s comfort. You can even ask the staff to bring the breakfast to your room and enjoy the daily cleaning service.

Hôtel de la Mare

What we like: The numerous restaurants and pubs nearby

What we love: The independence provided by the studios and the suites

Price range: From 45€ a night in low season and 85€ in high season

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Travel Tips

6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to France

Six things travelers wish they’d known before traveling around Europe’s cultural capital 

Depending on who you talk to, Paris is either the “City of Light” or something not quite so enthusiastic. Any way you cut it, there’s nowhere in the world quite like it.

Unfortunately, it’s essential for travelers to take caution with personal goods, as pick-pocketing is moving beyond petty theft to a national pastime. Here are a few other things you should know before you go to France.mpliment the French

Randy LeGrant from GoAbroadsays, “Compliment the French on the way they look, on their food, on the way they look, on the glass of wine you’re drinking, and on the way they look. Otherwise, they will curse at you. They love to hear wonderful things about their country.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the language, the set lunch menu is a great place to start your order. Just watch out for prix fixe faux pas, which could leave you out of pocket.

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2. Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Rental Car

Loren Siekman from Discover France shares her tips for travelers visiting the countryside, “If you’re traveling by rental car, never leave valuables in plain sight when parking in tourist sites and villages. Aix en Provence, for example, is a must see, but also one of the worst for petty theft by criminals preying on rental cars. My advice is to take all valuables from the rental car, don’t leave anything important inside.”

Basically, it’s best to leave luggage at your hostel before you drive into the countryside.

Sadly, being a tourist makes you a target not just in Aix en Provence, but in these crime hot spots as well.


3. “The Ring Trick” in France

Matt Scott from Matador Network warns us about a common scam in France, “As you’re walking around enjoying the sights, someone passes you and appears to pick up a gold ring off the floor. They ask if it’s yours, saying ‘It must be your lucky day,’ as they give you the ring. Then they ask you for money, and their ‘family’ may also appear at this time to pressure you into paying. The fake gold ring is nothing more than a piece of brass or copper, and is totally worthless. You only realize this, of course, once you’ve handed over your cash.”

Find out about other variations of this scheme and avoid falling for other local scams here.

4. When in France, Say Bonjour

Samuel Daams from Travellerspoint says he wishes he’d learnt to speak French before going there, “The French typically do not like speaking English – even if they can. Respect this, and learn some basic French beforehand.”

5. French Transport Tips

Nomads Tristan Rutherford and Kathryn Tomasetti recommend taking the train. “It’s the safest – not to mention quickest and cheapest – way to travel in France. Services run until very late in the evenings, and are often manned by security guards. We’d think nothing of eating out and getting a train home at midnight,” they say.

Unless, of course, you’ve just arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport…

6. Train Crime in France

Siekman says, “There are several ways to get into the city, the last choice we would advise is the RER train.” The RER is great for Parisians who know their way around, or experienced repeat travelers, but not great for tourists who have just hopped off a long-haul flight. “Tired and disoriented tourists are easy targets for baggage theft and pickpockets on that line. If you catch the RER train, always keep an eye on your luggage, all the way into the city.”

In short, the best way to enjoy France is to keep your eyes on its cultural wonders, a croissant in one hand, and your wallet in the other.


Travel Tips

Benefits Of Leasing A Car In France

If I could lease a car every time I travel in France, I would. Unfortunately, this option is only available when you need a car for 3 weeks or more. For my last trip, I needed a car for just over 6 weeks so leasing one was the best way to go. But it wasn’t just the price that made it so great.  Here are the benefits of leasing a car in France and what my experience was like.


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Benefits Of Leasing A Car In France vs. Renting

Rent a long-term car rental in France with Manageraparis for both economy and premium vehicles from world-class manufacturers at affordable rates. A monthly or longer-term car rental works out cheaper than a short-term rental, and you can save even more money by booking in advance using our excellent online service. Whether you’re looking for a car replacement or simply taking an extended vacation in France you can find your ideal vehicle in our extensive fleet, and if at any point during your rental you are not satisfied simply trade in your rental car for a different model.

Car Rental Paris | Save up to 30% on Rental Cars in Paris


Our fleet in France includes sedans, convertibles, SUVs, and minivans, suitable for a huge range of mobility needs, from city tours to long distance road trips on a variety of terrain. On average, our fleet is just 3 months old meaning you will be equipped with a brand-new vehicle packed with the latest security features and driver assist systems. Sedans such as the BMW 1 Series or the Opel Astra are an excellent all-rounder for a variety of needs while our more powerful SUVs can handle most terrains and driving conditions. If you are traveling with a large family or group, our minivans offer a high level of safety and a luxurious amount of legroom and luggage space.

CanariCar: visit Paris in small yellow cars...


Book your long-term rental in France online and you can find out more about our pick-up locations and tailor your long-term rental deal with optional add-ons. In France, we have a full range of extra protection options and practical mobility solutions to suit every kind of vacation. Our 24/7 customer service is on hand whenever you require assistance and we have a great cancellation and refund policy if your plans change. With Manageraparis, you can change your long-term rental vehicle at any point during your rental period if you are not completely satisfied.


Travel Tips

Save Money When Travelling: Hotels, Cars, and Trains

I Love To Find The Best Deals And Save Money

While planning my next trip to France, Spain, and Italy, I searched the web for the best prices on accomodations and transportation. I wanted to save money as this is going to be a one month trip! I was quite surprised with the big difference in prices, especially with car rentals. While I am sure I have not discovered all the best websites, here’s what I have found:

Please Call for cheap & Best Accommodations :

Booking Accommodations:

Maybe it’s the challenge I like. I like to save money and like jumping from to and seeing who has better rates or deals. Most often the rates are the same and you can check and to confirm the prices. Both websites show prices from each provider (such as,,, etc.).

Booking hotels, France, Hotel St-Pierre, Saumur, Loire, save money

Hotel St.-Pierre, Saumur France

HOWEVER, I did discover two things you should consider:

  1. Because I have booked with in the past, I have become a Genius (don’t laugh). It’s given me an extra 10% off their rates on some properties. So, when you find a place that also has this Genius deal, it works out better than Expedia.
  2. On the other hand, because I have booked a number of flights and hotels with, I am collecting “points”, much like airline points. These can be used toward future bookings. In the end ;however, it all comes down to who has the best price.


Some other helpful hints:

  1. I usually book a room with no cancellation charges. While the room may be slightly more expensive, it is worth it. I have booked and cancelled many times and having this flexibility is worth it
  2. Don’t discount going directly to the hotel’s website. Sometimes they have better deals and can give you frequent flyer points (ie. Best Western, Fairmont, etc)
  3. More and more websites have loyalty programs. for example has a promotion that if you stay 10 nights at one of their “Welcome Rewards” properties, you will get a night free.  I haven’t used in years because they used to charge a cancellation fee and I have read numerous online complaints about their website. Oddly enough and are both owned by Expedia Inc. is owned by the Priceline Group.
  4. For booking home rentals, check out one of my previous blog posts:           Renting a home in France

Renting A Car In Europe:

car rental, save, France, travel

Renting a car is easy in France. Photo: J. Chung

The company, Autoeurope (Canada) and Autoeurope (US)  have consistently come up with the best prices, bar none. I have used them for as long as I can remember and I always save money. There are no surprises and if you have to cancel, 100% of the money is refunded. Here are the highlights:

  1. The only charge that will appear at the end of the trip is the road tax (in France) and charge if you picked up or dropped off the car at an airport or rail station.
  2. Changes can be done while on route. During one of my trips, I emailed Autoeurope and said I wanted to drop off the car in Lyon, rather than Paris. No problem and no extra charges.
  3. No drop off charges when picking up in one location and dropping off in another (within the same country, in most cases)

Some other helpful hints:

save money, car rental, France, roads

A narrow road near Gordes, France. Photo: J. Chung


  1. Remember that the roads in France (and most of Europe) are NARROW. We discovered this in Provence, travelling from Gordes to the Abbey de Senanque. We were just grateful we didn’t fall off the cliff!If you can drive standard (manual), do so. It will be cheaper
  2. You don’t really need an International Driver’s License
  3. The smallest car rental in Europe is usually quite large.
  4. Try to get a car that takes diesel fuel. It’s cheaper and found at all gas stations
    save money, car rental, Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

    Arc de Triomphe, Paris France. Photo: J. Chung

  5. Do not assume you can use your credit card at tolls. Most likely you CANNOT. I discovered this and ended up with a long lineup of cars behind me as I desperately tried to use my card. Bring cash (coins)
  6. Finally, DO NOT be scared to drive around (and around, and around) the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile in Paris. The roundabout is a thrill to drive around and it’s amazing there aren’t (many) accidents. Just don’t try crossing the street. Take the underground tunnel to get to the Arc.

Rail Travel in Europe:

The website is a very convenient website that makes it easy to book a trip from within a country and between countries. You can book individual tickets or rail passes. HOWEVER, is a provider and adds on booking fees and their tickets can be more expensive. You can save a lot of money by booking directly with the country’s train system; however, you need to be sure you “play the game”.

When I want to travel within France or travel from France to another country I use the French rail site, to save money. On this site, you will be asked what country you are from. If you put Canada, you are redirected to You don’t want this! So here’s what you do:

  • On (France), choose “English” and then “Reservations”.
  • A pop up box will appear asking if you are booking outside of Europe.
  • Click “Stay” or “Close Window” and proceed to booking your trip.
  • When you have to indicate your “Country”, choose France. You can get an e-ticket and keep the bar code on your smartphone, pick up your ticket when you are at a French rail station, or, print off your ticket at home.

I used this process to book my rail ticket from Paris to Barcelona, Spain and from Nice to Genoa, Italy.

In the event of a strike (which sadly happens frequently in France), here are some options to consider:

When you have FINALLY arrived in France (or some other place in Europe), check out these helpful hints which might save you money:

flights ticketing Travel Tips

Tips and Tricks To Save $ Flying To France

Although it’s only been a week since I have been home, I am now planning my next trip to France—in the Spring 2015. I hope to go for 2 months; however, let’s see how the costs pan out.
In my research, one of the best tips I can share has to do with using one’s frequent flyer points. I have a ton of points with Aeroplan, which is a Star Alliance member along with Lufthansa, LOT, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and many more. I collect my Aeroplan points primarily through Air Canada; however, the tax and fuel charges by Air Canada, when I am using my Aeroplan points is ridiculous. For a one-way, direct business flight from Toronto (YYZ) to Paris (CDG), the tax is $492.16 and 45000 Aeroplan miles. That’s just one way! Round trip would be $984.32 and 90000 miles. Economy is $584.3 and 60000 Aeroplan miles return. One might as well just pay for a flight. Certainly you are getting kind of a deal going business class; however, the taxes/fuel surcharges are insane!

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So, what is one to do?

Booking Cheap Flight Tickets - cheap airline tickets

I will use my situation as an example. I want to fly with Star Alliance to Paris. I look for a Star Alliance member that does NOT add fuel charges, such as the following:
-Swiss Air
-South African Airlines
-Scandinavian Airlines
-Brussels Airlines
-Singapore Airlines
-Turkish Airlines
-United Airlines

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Many times these airlines will use the same routing and the SAME plane as Air Canada. When you are online and looking for availbility, most of the seats will be with Air Canada. The odd time I will see Swiss or United. And if I am lucky I can just book one of those flights and will automatically see a lower tax. I may have to make a stop on the way to make this happen; however when you are saving hundreds of dollars, it’s worth it.
If you are unable to find any availability online, you can call Aeroplan directly to have them search for flights on particular airlines. Just keep in mind that there could be a $30 charge; however, it’s still worth it as you will be saving hundreds of dollars.

Certainly it’s more work; however, the $700 I might save can be put to better use……in France!

Travel Tips

Money Saving Tip for travel to paris

Who doesn’t like to save money?
If you spend at least 175 Euros in the same store on the same day, you can get the VAT (Value Added Tax) back. When you are paying, be sure to tell the cashier that you would like to claim the tax so you will need the necessary form. Some stores, like Galeries Lafayette require you to go to a different floor where they have a booth that deals just with refunds.

Some Weird & Wild Spots That Are Must See & Must Do in Paris | Going Places
Some Weird & Wild Spots That Are Must See

Thanks to technology, the store will give you a customs receipt with a bar code as well as an envelope.  It is now much easier to submit the form and get money back.

Now, all you have to do is go to the Tax Refund booth at the airport. (In this case, it is more reliable to go to the one BEFORE you enter customs) and have a machine scan the bar code. The machine will tell you if all is OK and if it is, you just have to put the receipt in the envelope and deposit it in the quasi-mailbox located beside the Tax Refund booth. This mailbox is only for tax refunds. Now you just have to wait up to three months for the refund on your credit card (or depending how you paid, it might also be a cheque).

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