Had I known that I could do Paris for Less than $1000, I would’ve booked the trip ages ago. Ever since I took French in High School it’s been a dream to go. The opportunity presented itself when I had a conference to attend for work and the next year, it was held there again. That’s when I decide to see if I could make a family vacation to Paris come true.
Two of my three kids had taken French class, so they were excited too. I thought it would be great practice for them, except they were too scared to speak! They relied on my 30 year old French to get us by (but really, most speak English there so you’ll be fine).
Go at the End of Peak Tourist Season
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I didn’t realize that peak tourist season wound down in August so it was perfect timing with my conference happening the first week of September. A friend of mine had gotten tickets to Paris for just $700 roundtrip per person so that was my target.
Because airfare is a big factor in getting to Paris for less than $1000, I used farecompare to create a notification for the dates August 20 to August 30. I started checking around March when the tickets were around $1300. Just about every day, I received notifications that the fare was either up or down.
Nothing drastic happened with my notifications until mid May when I received an email saying the fare had decreased by $853. Initially when I saw the email preview, I thought the price was $853 per person which was a pretty exciting drop on its own. When I opened it, I realized it was just $394 to fly from Detroit Metropolitan airport to Charles DeGaulle! Delighted, I called my husband and said, “We are getting tickets today!” Because I was staying a little longer and had a different departure date, my ticket was about $30 more.
And there we are!! Off we went.
Places We Visited
I’m the planner in the family so it was up to me to map out the days and what we would do. We got 10% off for signing up with Viator and these are the places I chose for us: the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Segway Tour, and the Palace of Versailles. We spent some other days on the hop on hop off bus checking out free things to do like the Sacre Coeur.
Steph got to be a part of the Eiffel Tower Tour cast. Haha – she played the love interest.
I have to say that the “Skip the Line” part was the best part about these tickets. Aside from the discount to get in, we also got preferential treatment (a different line) or went through the back to get in without waiting.
My daughter was with us for only some of the time (full disclosure, her ticket from California was about $675). She arrived late and left early because of work. #adultingishard
She and my youngest son wanted to got to the Louvre, but I had already been there and no one else wanted to go. That’s also why you see an extra Versailles Bike Tour ticket because that was one of the days she was there. And my youngest was under 16, so he got into the Eiffel Tower tour for free.
We got tickets to Disneyland Paris that included a coupon for 15% off Planet Hollywood and 5 Euros at Earl of Sandwich.
The day we went to Disneyland Paris, it rained the whole morning! We had no other option that day so we stayed. By lunchtime most people gave up and left so the lines were relatively short.
Disneyland Paris deserves its own separate blog post in the near future separate from Paris for less than $1000 but I’ll say one thing — there’s a story about my 15 year old requiring to ride the dumbo ride!
The one thing I learned was that many European airbnb’s don’t have air conditioning. It was unbearably hot during the time we were there, but we couldn’t open the windows because the one night we did, the mosquitoes ate up the children.
We ended up buying a fan that the airbnb host reimbursed us for.
How to Save on Local Transportation
We did A LOT of walking and for one of the days rented bikes (I can’t remember exactly how much it was but it was very nominal). We also chose to see the sights through the hop on hop off bus (the second day is usually pretty nominal, so worth it to do at least two days). I had taken a trip with some friends to Barcelona where we used the hop on hop off bus as our “taxi” and it was a much cheaper way to get around town.
Rather than take a taxi, Uber or car service to Disneyland Paris, which really isn’t in Paris, we took the RER red line on the subway for 45 minutes to the last stop (makes it pretty hard to miss it). Is was really economical at just 15 Euros roundtrip. Steph was pretty proud of her fannie pack.
Total cost per person
Hop on Hop off Bus $38
Versailles $84 (included transportation)
Louvre $20 (1 adult, free for child under 18)
Eiffel Tower $44 (free for child under 16)
Segway Tour $52
Disneyland Paris $67 + $17
Bike Rental $3
TOTAL: $967 per person
Paris for Less than $1000 Summary
Doing Paris for less than $1000 is totally do-able and it was super fun. I was pleasantly surprised that the tours were not as expensive as I thought they would be. The one large item I didn’t include was food. We had a kitchen and ate in for breakfast and lunch. After a while the tourist food got old. We actually ended up at Five Guys one day and had McDonalds ice cream (they have red flavor there) as a treat.
My oldest son, Nathan, was addicted to getting a croissant and my youngest, Trenton was loving the crepes with nutella (which is super popular in Europe).
Crepes close to the Sacre Coeur
Here’s What I Learned
To create our trip to Paris for less than $1000….
- Pick a slightly off-season time to travel
- Start early watching the fares
- Save on accommodations with Airbnb
- Comparison shop different tours
- Ride the subways and alternatives to taxis and Ubers
Vickie Gould is a fashion and travel blogger. She is a clothes and shoe hoard who sometimes wears mismatched outfits to the store (hoping she doesn’t bump into someone she knows). She loves unique, colorful things and new experiences in town and out of town. Her biggest message is to encourage people to live with no regrets.
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