How much will it cost?

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You will pay us nothing for your travel and accommodations in Paris
This is not a travel package
You will book your air travel and hotel arrangements
We can offer assistance and make suggestions
There is a nominal (refundable) $250.00 fee to sign up for the Waiting List
Why should I join the Waiting List?

Paris for the Holidays began in 2011, when we realized that the flight across the Atlantic is only incrementally more expensive (and time consuming) than a domestic flight. We acquired a rewards (credit) card – and funneled most of our purchases through it. This funds our Christmas escape to France each year. And ends-up-being an escape from the commercial American Christmas – a holiday from the holidays.

Paris Airfare : $1,000
We recommend a non-stop flight which leaves late-in-the-day and arrives mid-morning in Paris
If you have the stamina (and patience) for a flight which makes a stop, or two – you could save several hundred dollars
But it is like riding the Chicago “Rapid” Transit System, the more transfers, the more things that can go wrong
If you have a airline or credit card rewards plan, the savings will be more substantial

Lodging: $170 per night
The 4 Hotels (Les Quatre Hôtels)
You can reduce this at any travel site. $170 is actually pretty reasonable for Paris
Maybe you can find someone to share the room and split the cost
We stay at comfortable hotels on the outskirts of Paris (Montmatre, Bercy, Versailles, La Defense and Bagnolet, this year) They are clean, secure and spacious. We have stayed closer to the center of Paris; the accommodations were not as economical, not as spacious and felt impersonal and touristy. To some they might be considered unacceptably rustic and small. (Although we admit – being in central Paris definitely has its advantages)

Another popular option for Lodging is quite affordable:
Air BNB Paris ($48.00 per night for shared room)

In summary, Airfare and Hotels could exceed $2,000, although:
Airfare can be reduced with reward points and alternatives to a non-stop flight and
Hotel costs can be reduced by sharing with a roommate or choosing a cheaper hotel

Passes and Cards:
We strongly recommend that you purchase:
1 – the Paris Museum Pass: for 6 contiguous days of admission to major attractions (and avoid the lines)
(2 day and 4 day passes are also available)
2 – a Vélib’ (Bike-Share) 7 Day Pass for 8 euros (which is such a bargain)
3 – 10 Metro Carnet [kar-nay] tickets. Other RER tickets will be purchased for travel outside of central Paris and from the airport
You can purchase these at CDG Airport upon your arrival (Vélib’ Pass can be purchased online in advance)

We seldom eat in restaurants during our stay. Instead we search the best boulangerie for the perfect baguette. Neighborhood groceries offer affordable wine and cheese, fruits, pates, etc. We also monitor our list of markets, street food, wine bars and set-price lunch menus

You may arrange an international data or call package with your cell phone carrier
We purchase the most basic (minimum) phone and data (1 month) package
Then we turn-off the phone (and use it solely for googling maps, etc while out on the street)
We turn-it-on for several calls back to the US-of-A
If you don’t disable your phone “mysterious data usage (and roaming) charges” may appear on your next bill
We bring a tablet to utilize free WiFi available at the hotel

Pocket Money:
You can withdraw Euros from an ATM at the airport in Paris
We recommend that you do this early, before you need it. Put it off, and then it becomes critical.
Your bank may have a relationship with a European bank to minimize withdrawal fees
You can purchase Euros from an agency in the US, though you will probably be floored by their fees.
It may be comforting to have 100 Euros with you, although we found that we don’t need it. It is nice to have some low denomination euros and coins for tipping housekeeping and the subway musicians

And, Notify your credit cards to approve the overseas transactions

Exactly what is this trip about?

2016 Paris Itinerary

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