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1st Paris; airfare only vs. package deal??

1st Paris; airfare only vs. package deal??

Mar 13th, 2001, 10:14 AM
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1st Paris; airfare only vs. package deal??

Hi everyone!!!! I have been reading many of the post here and it all has been very helpful...My question is would it be better to book the airfare and hotel separately or get a package deal???? I have been checking prices with USAIR, AirFrance, and United, and during the months of June (which is when my husband and I would like to go), the prices are high!! At least $1,000 per person for a 3 star hotel and air.......

Thanks for your help
Mar 13th, 2001, 10:32 AM
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Louise, I have airfare from ORD in June to Paris and if cost me over 950.00 per ticket! How many nights with a 3 star hotel?
Mar 13th, 2001, 10:38 AM
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There is no one answer to your question, it just depends on the prices and whether there is a package with a hotel you like. If there is, the odds are it will be slightly cheaper than booking yourself, but it may be about the same. If you got a package for $1000 for late June peak tourist season which includes air AND 3-star hotel for about 6 nights, I would say that is pretty cheap--airfare alone would be about $700 in early June before the rates go up, and that would only be $50 per person per night for the hotel room and most 3-star hotels are more than $100 per night. If you do not live on East Coast, that is even cheaper. This is an empirical question, though, you don't have to guess--I suspect you don't realize how expensive RT air to Paris is this year in peak season; go to an airline booking site and check just the air and you will see. You are probably also comparing prices to the real cheap packages you see in the winter. You will save money if you go at beginning of June, also.
Mar 13th, 2001, 12:01 PM
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My first trip to Paris many moons ago was a airline/hotel package. Very
economical at the time, BUT...
That's how I learned to ask questions about the locations of the hotels that are offered, and learned after the fact to find them on a Paris map before committing. If they put you in an ugly or very inconvenient neighborhood, it may negatively affect your feelings about the trip. On the other hand,
despite the inconvenient location at the time, it didn't stop me from loving Paris and I got REALLY good on the metro.
Mar 13th, 2001, 12:16 PM
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Louise, after doing a considerable amount of researching, I'd found for one person at the end of May hotel (budget, 6 nights, no taxes) and air of about $1200-1300 purchased separately. USAirways' package for that time for two was $2000. Realizing that hotel costs would not be twice as much for two, that may not seem like a huge bargain, but actually it is a better hotel although not fancy, and the best airfare was on iffy TWA. For me it came out about even. Do the research both ways, factor in things like taxes. USAir has ways to upgrade - like airport to hotel van service ($19), or not ($18 if you make your own reservation via Internet). If you read this site you'll get a lot of information about how much things cost and know when you are able to get a better price. Most people who arrange their own believe they are getting the deal they want - departure time and location options, a particular kind of hotel, etc. I had already booked a hotel separately when USAir came out with their plans. Since they met my needs in terms of hotel and backing out the costs I determined the airfare was competitive and the trip refundable, it worked best for me. Do check the packages and individual arrangements completely, then decide. You can check www.parishotels.com for information on the hotels offered in packages - or www.pagesjaune.com (I think that's right) for neighborhoods. And yes, it's expensive during the season. $1000 per person for 6 nights in June is really pretty good. Oh. . .and Paris in summer - just do it! It's a VACATION! Have fun.
Mar 13th, 2001, 12:32 PM
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June is a tough month in Paris; it's the time of the French Open and also a major antiques show--I think you'd get better prices if you could go in the last week of May, believe it or not! Also check Go-Ahead vacations website--they have less expensive air/hotel packages using major airlines. Elaine is absolutely right though, you must check the hotel locations in any air/hotel package. Generally speaking, I think the most you might save with a package is $100/person; alternatively, if you do it yourself, you've got to do all the legwork and lots of research. I love the legwork and the research, but I know not everyone does.
Mar 13th, 2001, 02:54 PM
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I've been through it both ways. I usually don't like the locations of the hotels the airlines offer in a package. Get a map. Everyone will tell you that if you stay in the single digit arrondissments, they are more convenient.

Get yourself a good travel agent for consolidator airfares and check this board for inexpensive hotels in convenient areas. The farther ahead you begin to plan, the better off you'll be.

I've checked them all out and I've found that if I plan well enough in advance I can have everything I want. Time of year you travel is crucial (for savings). If you're going to spend over $1,000 or $2,000 on air and hotel, what is another $100 to stay in a more convenient place? It makes all the difference to me.

Also assess, what extras they are offering you. A $10 trip on the Seine, a $10 bus tour around the city. It's of little value compared to your entire trip. Do your costs in percentages rather than total dollars. You'll find the increase is quite small.
Mar 13th, 2001, 03:23 PM
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Packages w/great prices, but mostly less central/less charming hotels:

Packages w/often very good prices, and more choices re hotels: www.francevacations.net

Low prices shown through May - don't know about June; you may need to call rather than looking at the websites for June dates. (Depending on rates and your flexibility, it might be worth it to adjust your plans.)

I usually travel in shoulder season, and end up booking my own hotel and airfare separately, but have considered using all of these vendors. I think their rates are usually better than the airlines', but check for yourself and let us know!
Mar 13th, 2001, 07:35 PM
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Well my husband and I just booked a flight on Delta last night from slc to paris for $601 RT for late May through early June. We just booked through the internet (Delta sight) and seems quite reasonable as a flight from slc to nyc will cost us $450 this summer!
Mar 14th, 2001, 09:17 AM
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Check out go-today.com. If you can depart by May 31, they have a 6 night trip starting at $599 double flying out of NYC, Newark or Boston (other cities available at an added cost). This price is for a budget/tourist class hotel; they have 11 other hotels you can upgrade to. The bad news is you have to book your trip by March 15th!

By the way, this is a very good company. I've used them in the past as have other Fodorites. Good Luck!

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