France has so much to offer as a holiday destination, beautiful coastlines, pretty valleys, mountains, not forgetting cheese, wine, and bread! Doing it on a very tight budget can be quite the task but it’s not impossible.
Here are some helpful ideas to help you save money on your travels.
Research your intended destination ahead of arrival, this can help you budget for your holiday. Use the local tourist information websites to see what the cost for attractions are in the area and contact them to see if there are any free attractions they would recommend.
If you are traveling around France with friends or by yourself, then hostels are by far the cheapest way to travel. They are also convenient, usually being in the center of the cities and close to travel links. Budget hotels can start from 50€ a night and they often get cheaper, the further away from the city you are. Camping is also an effective way to save money, but not wild camping in France as its illegal. Don’t forget to check out Eurocamp, they usually have good deals on static caravans. Out of peak season, they often have a 50% spring sale on in certain areas across France.
Where to start? I would suggest, have as many picnics as you can. We have had some spectacular picnics around France and most of the designated areas are quite lovely. There is nothing better than pitching up to a designated spot by the Vienne or Loire and having a BBQ at the ready built stone structures or fire pits! I remember having a lovely steak near the Vienne on a really sweltering day whilst cooling my feet in the river, sublime. Its quite an experience and I would recommend you do it. If you do eat out, most restaurants offer formulas which can start from 9€ depending on the area you stay in. Formulas usually consist of 3 courses with cheese and wine; you will need to ask what is on the menu, as you normally do not get a choice. Most of the chain restaurants are quite good and you can get a 3-course meal including wine for 40€ per head.
If you are traveling on foot, I would say the best way and cheapest way to travel is by train or car share like BlahBlah. By train, you can price your whole trip by putting in the destinations, also ask at the stations which are the cheapest times to travel. I caught the train from Chatellerault to Paris once and the return price, first class, was 50€.
Plan, budget for day-to-day activities and food and ask the locals, they will know what to do and where is best to see, after all they live there!