Author Topic: Budget for work trip to Paris  (Read 3777 times)

EconDiva

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Budget for work trip to Paris
« on: November 15, 2014, 08:11:52 AM »
I have to go to Paris for work December 3-5. 

I am considering flying back Sunday, which would give me the opportunity to see a little of Paris on Friday afternoon/night and all of Saturday.

I'm starting to feel guilty about this trip, meaning, I would rather spend the money on Christmas vacation.  I'm going to be off two weeks then and will probably go to Florida.  However, the money I spend in Paris will take away from that.  So I need to plan carefully.  Since our hotel is only paid for through Fri night, I'd need to find/pay for a hotel for Saturday, and then everything I do outside of work, mainly on Fri and Sat, is of course up to me.

This is my first international trip.  How much would you budget for hotel/fun in Paris?  I will be free after work Wed/Thurs evening, and Fri after the morning, all day Saturday, and just a few hours Sunday morning before my flight leaves around 1 pm.  Would you consider flying right back after work is done Friday morning to avoid paying for a hotel night and eating in/touring the city?  It seems like it would be a shame not to take advantage of being there while I'm there. 

The good news is I'm getting a bonus the day I flight out to Paris; it's about 4% of my salary.  Which is great, but I planned on saving half of that for travel next year. 

Albert

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 09:38:16 AM »
You'd be crazy not to take advantage of free tickets to Paris. As for budget it depends what exactly you want to do, but I'd reserve 300$ just to be on a safe side. Really basic (don't count on good quality) 3* hotel will cost you ca 150$ for two nights. You needn't spend an awful lot on food either if you eat out of a grocery store instead of in restaurants. Makes more sense too if you are there alone. Some money will go on transportation, city is too large for walking alone.

neophyte

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 10:00:05 AM »
Would you consider staying in a hostel?  If you're willing to do that you could probably get your cost down considerably, especially if you stay in a dorm.  Agree that you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity!

madgeylou

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 10:02:21 AM »
You'd be crazy not to take advantage of free tickets to Paris. As for budget it depends what exactly you want to do, but I'd reserve 300$ just to be on a safe side. Really basic (don't count on good quality) 3* hotel will cost you ca 150$ for two nights. You needn't spend an awful lot on food either if you eat out of a grocery store instead of in restaurants. Makes more sense too if you are there alone. Some money will go on transportation, city is too large for walking alone.

i agree with albert -- take advantage of this opportunity! airbnb has a lot of lovely options for places to stay. we stayed here in may and it was perfect -- very centrally located to just walk and ride velib bikes to everything we wanted to see. for such a short visit, i think it's worth it to stay somewhere fairly central so you don't have to spend a lot of time and money getting around.

many of the museums in paris are free, which is great, and it's also wonderful to just walk around until you feel like sitting for a while, then hang out at a cafe and drink a coffee or a glass of wine and watch the world go by.

i definitely recommend watching the sunset over the river seine if you can! ridiculously beautiful!

also, if you go to l'orangerie to see monet's water lilies (not free, but amazing), stay a while. sit and watch the light change in the room and see what it does to the paintings. someone gave me this tip before i went there and it was a really great thing to do ...

lemanfan

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 10:03:02 AM »
I hope you've seen http://fourhourworkweek.com/2013/08/05/cheap-travel-in-paris-new-york-hong-kong/ and the "Hacking Paris" section? 

I would take the time in Paris, but read up ahead so you know what you wanna see.  To keep costs really low and if you're not a foodie, avoid regular resturants but do taste the cheaper eats.  Also, stay on the public transportation and avoid taxis. 

Airbnb works in France too, by the way. :)

Zikoris

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 10:10:48 AM »
I'd check out AirBnB to see if there's anything that suits you, but a warning - Paris AirBnB people tend to not respond to requests much.

When I was there last summer I rented a private apartment owned by the Bastille Hostel (a block away from the hostel in an apartment building). It was a very nice 1 bedroom apartment with chandeliers, a sweet kitchen, remote controlled window blinds, etc. I paid more than I wanted to - 80 Euros a night - but it was a completely last minute decision at 10 or 11 o'clock at night due to some bad decisions on my part earlier. I imagine it would be cheaper i you planned ahead of time rather than show up in the middle of the night. They don't really advertise that they own a few private apartments in addition to the hostel, but you could contact them directly to see if they have any available for your time slot.

gmp029

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 10:12:24 AM »
My wife and I went to Paris over the summer, it was amazing! I highly recommend staying the extra time (Assuming you don't have any 'hair on fire' debt emergencies, etc). Especially if you think you might not get back there for a while.

We stayed at the Hotel Choiseul Opera http://www.hotelchoiseuloperaparis.com/ which was very nice, had an optional continental breakfast which was very good, and they have a friendly cat that lives in the hotel. It is near the Opera metro station which has three lines running through it. It is also very close to the pickup point for the Roissybus which will get you back to CDG. There is also a velib station in front of the hotel if you feel like doing some winter biking. 
You could also check airbnb or vrbo for places to stay. That way you can get a place with a refrigerator, grab some fruit / cheese / croissants from a deli and have breakfast in your room and possibly take some food for the road. You can also get some street food like a crepe (ham and cheese or chocolate and banana) for a few euro.

Food prices from cafe's look expensive, but they include tax and tip (I usually left 1 or 2 euro tip anyways) so it's only marginally more expensive than usa prices. Soda and alcohol will be very expensive (3 euro for a can of coke at a restaurant), so ask for 'carafe d'eau' (regular tap water) to drink if you are eating at a restaurant.

Of course you can go to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, that probably goes without saying.
I particularly enjoyed the Musée de l'Orangerie which has Monet's Water Lillies (highly recommended!)
The Set in Paris movie tour was great too (but a bit pricey) http://www.setinparis.com/


For money... unless you have a 'chip and pin' credit card, which is rare in the USA (99.9% of banks that have chip cards give you a 'chip and signature' card, which is useless) you cannot use your credit card at automated metro stations / velib stations / gas stations etc. Fortunately your debit/atm card should work in Paris to get cash, and your regular mag-stripe cc will work at restaurants and anywhere that is not an automated kiosk. The ATMs did not charge a fee (but your bank back at home might).

Lastly, as an FYI, when you are around 'touristy' places, if anyone asks you 'do you speak english' and 'will you sign a petition for sick kids' it is a scam, just say no and walk away, they are just looking for money and it's not for sick kids =) I was caught a bit off guard when a group of teenage girls were roaming around the Eiffel Tower doing this.

Have a good trip!





EconDiva

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 10:13:30 AM »
You'd be crazy not to take advantage of free tickets to Paris. As for budget it depends what exactly you want to do, but I'd reserve 300$ just to be on a safe side. Really basic (don't count on good quality) 3* hotel will cost you ca 150$ for two nights. You needn't spend an awful lot on food either if you eat out of a grocery store instead of in restaurants. Makes more sense too if you are there alone. Some money will go on transportation, city is too large for walking alone.

I only have to pay for one hotel night (Saturday).  My job is paying for Friday night because technically, the time we're supposed to be done with work on Friday would not leave enough time to fly out of Paris.  Although we will probably be done in time for a flight out, it's not 100% we will be, so Friday night is covered by the company.

Prairie Gal

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2014, 10:50:18 AM »
I think you would be crazy to miss out on such an opportunity! Personally, I would stay even longer, but that is just me. If the hotel your company has you staying in is not too crazy expensive, just stay there so as not to waste time changing hotels. Ask for the same rate your company was paying, or if they can do even better. The two times I have been to Paris we stayed in apartments, but for one night it is not worth the hassle of moving.

I highly recommend the Musee D'Orsay if you like art. It has works by a lot of the great masters. I remember thinking "I am in the presence of greatness." It is open until 9:00 p.m. on Thursday night, so maybe you could go then. It's too bad you aren't staying until Monday because all the museums are free the first Sunday of every month.

And the L'Orangerie is fantastic, as others have mentioned, especially if you like Monet. I love his work, and have a large print of one of his paintings hanging in my living room. And you can get a combination ticket for a slightly reduced price.

Of course, the Eiffel Tower is a must-see, but don't waist time in line to go up (unless you are really keen to do so).   

As far as the money, it is hard to say. Start with the hotel, and then make yourself a budget for food and entertainment. For one day it is not going to be that much. The hotel is going to be the big thing. Hotels in Paris are not cheap.

I could ramble on about Paris forever. I love it so much.

Albert

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 05:39:02 PM »
Apartments are not usually available for less than 3 nights. In this case it is indeed most convenient to stay in the same place unless the price is outrageous. In that case just pick another cheap hotel in central Paris. Don't try to cram in all sights in one day, that's not possible anyway. Choose 2-3 you are really interested in and spend the rest of your time just walking around the city. Have fun! :)

lhamo

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Re: Budget for work trip to Paris
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2014, 05:54:47 PM »
OMG -- you have to stay!  Two days to explore Paris for the cost of one night hotel is definitely worth the investment. 

I'm not a huge museum person, so my favorite thing to do in Paris is walk.  Sacre Coure is a must for me -- my favorite place in the city.  If you can squeeze in morning mass at Notre Dame on Sunday morning before heading to the airport, that is also awesome - -I'm agnostic, but sitting in that cathedral listening to mass was one of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life.