Paris Vacation in July

Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:51 AM
  #1  
erp
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Paris Vacation in July

My husband and I are planning a 20th anniversary without our children in July. We were looking to go the Carribean for 5 days on the beach. We are reconsidering our choice since we have some (rare) time alone and think we should be more adventurous. We are now considering Paris, but we know nothing about it or even how to start. I can figure out the itinerary, but i don't know anything about hotels in Paris, or should we split time between Paris and ???another area of France? We can stay up to 7 days, depending on cost.

Some basic questions:
--Budget: Moderate. Looking for $3,000 total including hotel/airfare. Is this possible?
--Hotel: I have no sense of hotels, beyond the 4-5 star hotels. I don't need a 5 star, but we certainly want something safe and clean (are there Marriott hotels?)
--Location: where best to stay in Paris that is central so we can walk? We are New Yorkers, so we love to walk.

Any information is helpful, including any travel related services.

Thanks so much.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:56 AM
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Where are you flying from? Have you checked airfare yet? I suspect flights in July (2012?) will take too big of a bite out of your $3000 budget to make Paris possible, sadly.

~Liz
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:58 AM
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Have you at least browsed through some travel guides? Doing so might help in defining what you can and want to do. As for airfare, look at www.kayak.com.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 10:08 AM
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I don't know if your budget is adequate to take a 7-day trip to Paris in July. Airfare alone is likely to eat up two-thirds or more of that. Then hotels, meals, museums, souvenirs - doubt you can do that for $1,000.

You need to start reading guidebooks and Fodors and other travel websites. Also educate yourself about how different the star rating system is in France from the USA. I'm guessing there are Marriots in Paris, but I personally wouldn't want to stay in an American chain in France when there are so many more appealing options.

Paris is eminently walkable; however, the city designers over the centuries didn't build it with tourists in mind, so there isn't really one central area, though many first-timers like to stay in the 4th, 5th, and 6th arrondissements. You'll need to learn about the métro and buses for those places that may be too far to walk, and also to economize on your limited time.

I wouldn't even think about going to some other region of France this time around. Maybe a daytrip somewhere, but it's going to be hard enough to manage Paris on that budget without adding in train fares or rental car fees.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 10:39 AM
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I agree - I was just in Paris for 8.5 days and didn't run out of things to do, so I wouldn't add a second destination with just a week (that did include an afternoon at Versailles, a day trip to Chartres and a daylong D-day tour). Staying in Paris will save you money on transit and give you an extended time to explore it. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Saint-Michel, just off Boulevard Saint-Michel and on the western edge of the 6th. I thought that general location was great and walked to a lot from there, though you will need to use the metro to get some places from anywhere you stay. I liked the Latin Quarter/Saint Germain area, but Paris is very walkable and there are lots of places you can stay and get to a lot. In a week of sightseeing I stuck pretty much to arrondissements 1 and 4-7, with a few trips to others.

http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris/arrondissements.htm

However, for two people, I agree that $3000 doesn't seem like very much if it doesn't include your airfare. A very cursory search on Kayak from NYC to Paris in July shows fares at least $775 and usually more around $1000 per person, so at least half and more like 2/3 of your budget would be airfare. You'd need a very inexpensive hotel and to spend very little on museum entrances, food, etc once you get there. If you both went to the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay and the Pompidou, that's €64 right there.

There are a few Marriotts in Paris, if you have points you could use.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 10:43 AM
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If you mean $3000 for a week in Paris for two people - that will work only if you are not including air fare.

Don;t know where yuo are - but estimte air fare at $100 per person. And 2 people in Patis for a week for $1000 is going to be very difficult/I think impossible - even at a very simple budget hotel anddoing picnis versus restaurants.

A 5* hotel is Paris will set you back about $700 to $800 per night. A true 4* hotel is going to be in the range of $300 per night (almost your entire budget) unless you find some stupendous deal.

There are a lot of other choices - but I'm not sure they would be what you are lookng for. (No Marriots in your budget.)
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 12:48 PM
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As an example, we are going to Paris in July & I have booked hotel reservations at Hotel Bonaparte, 6th arrondisement, & our room for two people is $174.00 per night. It's a 2 - 3 star hotel. I already booked our airfare because we don't have flexibility in our dates (our trips revolves around 4 other people's schedules as well), but I paid quite a bit over $1000 per person from Boston. Because of time constraints & other criteria, we have to go weekend to weekend & required certain flights, & we wanted non-stop flights. Your tickets might be cheaper if you can leave Mon - Thu. So I agree with everyone that it's not possible on a budget of $3000 including airfare, & you should definitely plan on spending the week in Paris. We will be there for 7 nights. Hope this helps.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Kwoo makes an excellent point - you'll likely save money if you can be flexible on dates. I was tagging along for part of my brother's work trip. His flights were both on Saturdays and cost in the neighborhood of $1100. I left Monday and returned the following Thursday and paid $811. Since July is high tourist season, I don't know if the difference would be quite that much, but definitely check.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 01:33 PM
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If you can celebrate by going during another time of year you will be able to take better advantage of your funds. Fewer tourists, lower hotel/apartment prices, lower airfares, better weather.

We are going in July this year only because we are going with a large group of friends, a few of whom can only go in the summer. Our airfare from Columbus, OH is almost $1,600 each and, believe me, I looked, looked, waited and waited some more to get these.

I'm going back in November and will spend at least half as much for two weeks at that time. My favorite time to be there is October and over Christmas/New Years, but I'll take Paris whenever I can get it
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 04:32 PM
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erp
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Thanks so much for all of your replies. We are leaving out of NYC. I can still dream about one week in Paris
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 01:12 PM
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I don't think it's possible, either. Your $3000 budget would cover the airfare, that's all. I assume you mean $3000 for both of you. Airfare in the summer is running around $1500 now, if luckly, you can get something down to maybe $1000 if you are willing to have perhaps bad times, long layovers, transfers, etc. But even then, you'd only have $1000 left for two people for a week to cover hotel, food, entertainment, etc., or about $140 a day. Not possible.
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