Saturday, March 5, 2011

Paris, Anyone?

Passport? Check.
Comfy shoes? Check.
Camera ready? Check.
Paris, anyone?

I realize that many of you are starting your Spring & Summer plans, so I've decided to go ahead a re-post my mini little travel series on "hopping the pond" (aka traveling to Europe!).

Thanks to Chari @ Happy to Design, each Sunday I will be reposting my Europe travel tips.

Here's the order!

March 6th: YOU can go to Paris too!
March 13th: Get Yer Transportation On!
March 20th : Where to Sleep?
March 27th : Eating your way through Europe...yummo.
April 3rd: Shop 'till Ya Drop!

Ready for this week? Part 1: You can go to Paris too!

I’ve been hopping “across the pond” for many years now - the first trip when I was just seventeen years old. (thanks grandma!)

As I return from each trip, I love sharing my various experiences, but I always come across the same comment from so many lovely ladies.

Most of the time, it goes something like this, “Oh, I would love to go to Europe someday, but I could never afford a trip like that”.

And to that, I say,"Boo honky!" (that's Texan for "whatever")
Start packing yer bags, sister!.

First let’s do a quick cost comparison. Let’s compare a stateside trip to the Coast versus a trip to Europe – this way you can see the cost difference on paper…

Oh, and I did these numbers, assuming that 2 were traveling...

So, for $910 dollars more, you can accomplish your dream of traveling to Europe. Trust me, that $910 is worth it!

(since I first published this post in 2010, flights pricing has increased some, both for Stateside flights and Europe. In the end, the price comparison remains the same!)

Wanna be frugal? Then do your homework!

Book your own flights…I go both to individual airlines sites, as well as the big dogs like Expedia and Travelocity…it takes time, but you need to be your own travel agent.

Forget hotels – stay in an Apartment!
Our family finally caught on to the blessing of renting apartments all over Europe. It's much cheaper and you get to live like a local!

Eat with ease via bakeries and local grocery markets – that crusty bread and cheese is dreamier than you could imagine!

Forget the rental car…while in Europe, travel like a local via Trains!

Get your Europe fund rolling now.
A yard sale is a great place to start!

Don’t touch your Europe fund – no matter what!

You will have memories to last a lifetime…and hopefully some over-stuffed shopping bags to take home with you as well!

So...are you intrigued?

If a trip across the pond seems appealing to you, stay tuned for next week’s detailed version of The Frugal Mama Takes On Europe!

Stop by and visit Chari!


Rebecca said...

What a great post!!! I'm sure lots of people will enjoy all those wonderful ideas-I sure did-even if I don't leave the backyard!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

when I have gone i brought alot back but you have me beat!! my passport is already to head off to the little place we stay in a quiet neighborhood! but not this yr..oh well!

Keetha Broyles said...

Great post! You inspire me!

Unknown said...

That was wonderful and I appreciate the 'inside' tips you gave about apartments and trains. Great - I'm packing already!!!

Jenny said...

Woo-Hoo! I completely agree with you....more times than I can say we have been told, "wow, how can y'all afford that" (on our family trips to France/Spain, and last year to London/Dublin). Or have been told "y'all must be rich"...boy howdy we are not rich monitarily. But I do have to say that since 2005 we were blessed to go on 3 European trips (no vacations in between) and the MOST we have paid for a round trip airline ticket(using just the kind of tips you recommend) has been $440 roundtrip airfare per person(Dallas to London in August) plus we use a Credit Card all year long that gets us miles and each time have gotten a ticket for free.

Sorry to blather on but you did an excellent job illustrating the prices difference and recommending the apt. stays (we love this, as rarely do European hotels accommodate a family of 5), and saving money making your own meals or eating with a picnic style savvy. Great info and I look forward to your tips. Can't wait for your trip!

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Diane...

My friend...I just loved this sweet post! I'm sooo glad that you will be sharing your series, "Hopping the Pond" with us for the Sunday Favorites repost party! I loved this post and soooo look forward to the upcoming travel additions! AWESOME!!! You know, you are so right! It really doesn't cost much more to travel to Europe. My honey took me all over Europe for our honeymoon...nearly 6 yrs. ago! Going to Europe had been a long time dream...ever since I was a teen, I wanted to go to Europe! I just love and adore my honey, he always makes my dreams come true! Anyway, going to Europe is certainly an unforgettable experience! We bought tickets and flew into Zurich. Got a great deal on a flight/hotel package. Ohhh and our hotel was 5 star fabulous! We basically got a two week stay there for mere pennies. We did rent a car and ended up driving to Germany, France, and Italy! It was sooo awesome! I am just going on and on! I do plan on going back...and I would love to get an apt. like you did! That would be soo much fun! Thanks so much for sharing this sweet post with us...and your travel experiences, Diane! Can't wait for part week!

Have a wonderful week, my friend!
Chari @Happy To Design

Rosee Rouge said...

great ideas. I'm looking for a place to stay in Paris. My mom, daughter and I will be travelling there in late April. Thanks for the tips!

Sweet European Dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Ann Pickett said...

Great advice. Our family is going in April and staying in a hotel. When our daughter in college had no money to go, she found a college grant to do research in Paris.
Just you say.
Mary Ann

Mary Ann Pickett said...

I said staying in a hotel but I meant an apartment! opps.

Mommyto3andahusky said...

Hi, I just found your blog and wanted to let you know that I am a new follower! :) love your blog!Erin

Maggie said...

Hi Diane
Just popped over to see how the travel plans are coming along and enjoyed reading your rerun post about the previous trip v.much.
Are you travelling with the same friends again this year or tout seule?
Last year we rented an apartment in the Marais for a long weekend, it was absolutely the best thing to do and it saved $$$ too.
Looking forward to seeing your trip reports.
Maggie in Normandy

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