Traveling can get real pricey real fast. Go to Europe, put 500 Euros in your pocket and see how quick you spend it without even realizing. The cost of living in big cities is expensive, the food is better for you but costs double than it does in most countries, and the shopping is often phenomenal but will drain your bank account in maybe 2.5 seconds.
With that said, I’m so excited to officially introduce the very new travel section to Give Me Mora!
After my trip to London in the summer, I knew I just had to go back and explore more of the world. We launched Give Me Mora at the end of November and it was always in my plan to find a way to travel comfortably on a budget. I worked endlessly to save for a 2-month trip to live in London, but when that didn’t work out, the next best thing was to take a 3-week trip to France and the U.K. Of course, I don’t know what it means to take a vacation without work, so here you are, your first Bougie On A Budget: Paris post!
I love living like a commoner and staying in a hotel just doesn’t give you the same experience, so Mona (GMM correspondent) and I decided to get an apartment in Saint Germain through Air BnB before visiting my cousin Gila in Chambery.
Let’s be real here, you don’t need The Four Seasons when traveling Europe. You need a decent place to stay in a safe area. That’s it. Stop kidding yourself. For us, it was important to have a kitchen so we could go to the market and make food at home instead of spending so much money on going out to restaurants or cafes. We found a lovely 1-bedroom apartment in Saint Germain and felt right at home. The apartments (and hotels) in Paris are known to be tiny, but this wasn’t too bad. The bedroom was very spacious and the owner, Maxime, was happy to help with anything we needed. The only downside is that it was 5 or 6 floors up. Think 2 girls with 60-pound luggage trying to carry their shit up a spiral staircase. Not only did we get a workout, we laughed about it every time we went up and down the stairs of death.
The apartment was close to all of the great restaurants, bars, entertainment and metro so it def made our lives easier. Across from it there was a little cinema playing old movies, which was so cute that I squealed every time we walked past it.
We suggest going on Air BnB or VRBO to find an apartment that suits your needs and budget. It’s much cheaper than a hotel – especially if you go grocery shopping and cook at home. For 5 nights the three of us paid $800 plus the Air BnB fee, making it a total of $900 US dollars! Divide by three and it instantly becomes affordable.
We also hit The Louvre and Chateau de Versailles to do some tourist stuff but here are some bougie tips regarding museums and site-seeing:
- The Louvre costs 12 Euros per person. We got lucky and some lady gave us her ticket after she was done so we only bought one and after we were done we decided to pay-it-forward and give our 2 tickets to other tourists. I personally hated The Louvre — it’s not worth it. The Mona Lisa is probably the MOST overrated thing I have ever seen. If you don’t want to go see the art, go to the outside and take pictures. It’s free and it’s the most gorgeous part!
- Chateau de Versailles costs 15 Euros per person — WORTH IT! Everything was absolutely stunning. Minus the big crowds.
- Don’t want to spend money to go inside Chateau de Versailles? NO problem. Going to the gardens is completely FREE and was my favorite part anyways. We laid out on the grass, walked around and just took it all in. It was stunning.
- The Luxembourg Gardens is a perfect place to picnic. Get some bread & cheese, a cup of coffee, a good book and sit outside. There are so many different kinds of people and things to see as you walk around there. This doesn’t cost you anything. Especially if you make sandwiches or snacks from home!
We’ll be giving you more tips as the days go on! We absolutely love Paris!