How Much Does it Cost to Travel? 10 Day Girlfriend Getaway to France


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Welcome to our ongoing series that asks: How Much Does it Cost to Travel?

The goal of this series is to provide you with real budgets people have used for trips they have actually taken. This could be anything from a long weekend in Miami to 6 months backpacking around South East Asia. It’s our hope that by shining a spotlight on what people are actually spending- and the value they get for it, you will have a better idea of what it really costs to travel.

All of the travel budgets will live on this dedicated page.

Today’s budget comes from Stephanie Craig, History Fan Girl.

Where did you go?

My best friend and I went for a ten-day girlfriends’ getaway to Paris and Bordeaux.

Briefly, what was your itinerary?

 

We traveled for ten days – 6 in Paris and 4 in Bordeaux

We chose Paris for the culture, art, and history. During the first part of the trip, we stayed in the first arrondissement, right near the Louvre.

We then went to Bordeaux, which is in southwest France. My friend is a wine lover, and we wanted to visit some of the chateaus in the region. We spent three days in the city of Bordeaux and one on a daytrip to Saint Emilion, which is in the Bordeaux wine region but is a separate city about an hour away by train.

Then we went back to Paris for our final night, since we were both flying out of the city. For our last night, we stayed in the Montmonte neighborhood, known for its vibrant culture and nightlife.

How much money did you spend overall?

I spent $1731 for my trip.

How much did you spend on transportation?

$423

This includes round trip Wizz Air flights from eastern Europe, a round trip flight from Paris to Bordeaux, airport shuttles, public transit in each city, and one early morning Uber ride when I could not drag myself out of bed.

What kind of accommodation did you stay in?

My half of our accommodation costs were $419. We stayed in AirBnB studio apartments. Each apartment had a shared bed and very small space, but were in great locations.

What sort of activities did you do?

I spent $122 on activities. This included the cost for museum tours, the Bordeaux city pass, a tour of the cathedral in Saint Emilion, and wine tastings.

What did you splurge on? Was it worth it?

We splurged on food! I spent $768 on food and wine, and it was all so delicious. In France, spending money on wine and food is always worth it!

This meant we typically had one three course meal with nice wine and one meal at our apartments that was either from the market or cheap takeout.

What did you scrimp on? Are you happy with that decision?

We only took public transportation and I flew Wizz Air carry-on only. Because I was coming from another part of Europe, it was easy to find a cheap flight, but that meant no check-in luggage.

I’m happy that I didn’t have more luggage to cart around, but it would have been nice to be able to take wine back with me. If I had been flying back to the states, I would have loaded up on take home wine.

Did you purchase any special souvenirs?

I didn’t buy any souvenirs, but my friend took back six bottles of Bordeaux! I took back a lot of knowledge for future wine purchases that I won’t let go to waste.

Did you do anything special to save up for this trip?

My friend and I have taken a big international trip together for three years in a row now, so we both knew that it was our big splurge of the summer. If I had been coming from the states, I wouldn’t have been able to get such a cheap flight and would have used airline miles for the ticket.

Do you have any regrets regarding how you budgeted this trip? Would you do things differently next time?

I could have spent less on food without losing quality if I’d drank less soda (it adds up so quickly in western Europe) and skipped some of the appetizers or deserts. Food and wine was central to this trip, but we still could have found ways to cut stuff out without losing quality if we’d paid more attention day to day. I don’t regret it, but if someone is looking to save money on their trip, our food budget was high.

Anything else to add?

Paris and Bordeaux are not cheap places to travel, but there are tons of free activities! For Bordeaux, we both got city passes (29 euros), that included public transit for the day, entry to museums, a wine tasting at the city wine museum, and a double decker bus tour.

Additionally, our initial plan was to take the train from Paris to Bordeaux, but using Rome2Rio.com I realized that a roundtrip flight was about half the cost. Always look at all options before deciding on transportation!

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Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can't sit still! She is the co-founder and editor of Why Wait To See the World. Learn more about her here.
  1. When I go to Paris, I try to cram in a maximum number of sights and scrimp on food, because it’s better and cheaper in smaller towns. Same with lodging–Paris costs a fortune, so when I want luxury, I spring for it “en province.”

  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip! I think food is always something I’m willing to splurge on because for me, it’s an experience. I was in Italy for a few weeks last year and food was definitely something we splurged on.

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