Is Costa Rica Travel Worth the Splurge?

Costa Rica beach Nicoya Peninsula

  Costa Rica is just a little dot on the map in Central America, smaller than many U.S. states, but it’s one of the most popular international destinations for Americans, getting close to two million of them each year. If you’re a budget traveler though, that’s not a good thing: this is the most expensive […]

Want to live a better life for half the price? Sign up for the Cheap Living Abroad Newsletter.

             

Source: Cheapest Destinations

Seven Tips to Remember When You’re Trying to Fly With Just One Bag

Are you a traveler who loves a challenge? Most travelers who don’t have cash to burn on luggage fees would love to find ways to pack as little as possible. After all, bag fees can quickly add up to total nearly as much as your actual ticket if you’re bringing along a few pieces of luggage. The ultimate challenge is to try to fit everything you need for a trip into a single bag. Can it be done? Check out seven tips for getting down to one bag.

Audit Your Bag
Begin the packing process a few days before you need to leave for your trip because the science of getting down to one bag really can be a process. You’re going to need to be in auditing mode when it comes to reviewing everything that gets put into your “packing pile” when planning outfits for your trip. How little can you really get away with? You should ideally match every outfit to the place and time you intend to wear it during your trip. All “maybe” items are off the table. This also means focusing on packing your most versatile items. Can a tank top that you wear on a seaside hike during the day be dressed up with a statement necklace at night? Could those khaki trousers that look good with hiking boots during active hours be worn with a button-down shirt for evening drinks? The added bonus of doing it this way is that you won’t have to worry about your hotel room becoming messy as you try to sort through your outfits to find the right one each day of your trip. Just keep reminding yourself that every outfit you pack that you’ll never wear is costing you money!

Plan to Wash Your Clothes on the Road
Is someone really suggesting that you wear the same shirt that you hiked in to dinner out at a nice restaurant? It works if you can find a way to wash your clothes during a trip. You may be able to find a very affordable laundry spot near where you’re staying. Of course, it’s not out of the question to simply wash your clothes in the bathroom of your hotel room. You can sling wet clothes over the curtain rod in your tub to allow them to dry overnight. People do it every day!

Embrace the Roll-and-Stuff Method
Get creative about space inside your suitcase. For instance, rolling things like socks and underwear before stuffing them inside your shoes will free up some space. Rolling your clothing will generally allow you to fit more in your bag. You’ll also want to select a bag that allows room for your bulkiest, heaviest items to go on the bottom. Those items will create a layer that the rest of your items can “build” on as they get packed in.

Swap Clothes With a Travel Companion
Will you be traveling with someone who also loves the idea of saving money by keeping it down to one bag? You can get more mileage out of the clothes you do pack if a travel companion is willing to swap clothes with you during your trip. Of course, this only works if both of you wear roughly the same size clothing. You can potentially enjoy double the amount of outfits without packing more inside your bag if you have a good match. This is also something you can do with your partner if you’re going on a honeymoon or romantic trip. Maybe your partner intends to bring along cozy flannel shirts or cardigans. That’s good news for you if you tend to wear short-sleeved tees most of the time. You can simply rely on your partner’s warmer items to warm you up when you need to throw something on after temperatures drop at night.

Don’t Pack Toiletries
Shampoo bottles, shaving cream, body lotion, and toothpaste are all dead weight inside your suitcase. There’s a very good chance that all of the products you need will be available for purchase in whatever destination you’re visiting. Wait until you arrive at your destination to purchase them. Do your best to purchase travel sizes that make it possible to use every last drop before your trip is over because these items should not be coming home in your bag!

Wear Your Bulkiest Items on the Plane
Flight day is game day when it comes to making sure you’re prepared to pack as little as possible. Make sure you’re wearing the coat you’ll be lugging along for your trip when you board your plane even if the weather doesn’t quite call for this. You’ll also want to wear your heaviest pair of shoes on flight day!

Make Sure You Have the Right Bag
The bag you use to pull off your one-bag trip can make or break your plan. The first thing you’re going to want to do is measure your bag to make sure it fits within the dimensions of what you’re allowed to bring. You should also make sure the shape of the bag supports things like shoes without creating bulky, awkward lumps. A good pocket system on a bag is ideal if you’ll be bringing along a tablet or slim laptop that needs a little bit of extra protection.

Don’t Torture Yourself If You Can Splurge on an Extra Bag
You may find it really easy to follow all of the rules above to condense your travel needs into one bag for most trips. However, it’s also important to realize that you can’t “win them all” when it comes to avoiding baggage fees. Paying extra for a bag is sometimes worth the added convenience of being able to pack what you need. For instance, trying to fit everything into a bag when you’re traveling for a work conference, professional event or job interview could create unnecessary stress. The goal should be to cut it down to one bag as frequently as possible without zapping the fun from the travel experience.

Source: frugal travel guy

Best budget hotels in Amsterdam for 2020

Looking for the best budget hotels in Amsterdam? We’re about to make your hunt a lot easier.

We’ve recently updated our listings of recommended cheap hotels in Amsterdam, and have singled out the following 10 as our best cheap hotels in Amsterdam. It was no easy task — Amsterdam fortunately still has a long list of great, family-run properties in its city center.

However, these 10 hotels below all stand out for their unique combination of a great location, low average rates, high user ratings, and enough amenities that you’ll be quite comfortable with your choice. Note that the rates quoted below were all found for stays at least one to two months in advance.

A friendly reminder: Book as far in advance as possible. These are also among the most popular hotels in Amsterdam, and availability can be tight.

Our Amsterdam Guide

Read all hotel reviews
• Booking a hotel in Amsterdam? Read this first.
More ways to save on your trip Amsterdam


Top 10 best budget hotels in Amsterdam

Hotel Alp

Hotel Alp offers chic style despite the low price.

Hotel Alp

De Clercqstraat 52
Neighborhood: Museums & Vondelpark
Twin room from: $86

The Alp Hotel is a stylish and intimate place in a residential neighborhood a quick walk from the center and Vondelpark. The friendly brothers who run the place have decked out their 11 room hotel with trendy design touches and enough amenities to make you feel right at home. All are equipped with TV and Wi-Fi and breakfast is included. Read the full review

Bicycle Hotel

Bicycle Hotel is a fun spot with affordable bike rentals (of course!).

Bicycle Hotel

Van Ostadestraat 123
Neighborhood: Pijp
Doubles from $114 or $70 (with shared bathroom)

Located near the heart of the trendy Pijp neighborhood, the Bicycle Hotel is cheap and cheerful, with low rates, clean rooms and (appropriately enough) cheap bike rentals for guests. The hotel’s 16 rooms are basic and no-frills, but all have a TV and free Wi-Fi, while a few have a balcony (ask ahead). Breakfast is included. Read the full review

 

The lovely breakfast room at Hotel Verdi.

Verdi

Wanningstraat 9
Neighborhood: Museums & Vondelpark
Doubles from $103

Hotel Verdi is a cozy, clean, family-run establishment near the Concertgebouw, where visiting classical musicians have frequented for decades. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, and breakfast is included in the room rate. Cheapos who want to save a little extra money can book one of the few rooms with a shared bathroom. Read the full review

 

Stayokay Amsterdam

Stayokay Amsterdam is a great option for groups.

StayOkay Amsterdam Vondelpark

Zandpad 5
Neighborhood: Museums & Vondelpark
Doubles from $87

Tucked into the northern tip of the Vondelpark, the StayOkay Vondelpark is a big, budget-friendly operation that appeals to students, families and other budget travelers. It’s a massive place, with 536 beds laid out in a wide variety of configurations. Triples? Quads? Eight-bedded dorm? They got ’em. While couples and single travelers certainly stay here, the StayOkay is an especially convenient option for larger groups. Read the full review

The Neighbour's Magnolia

The Neighbour’s Magnolia features bright rooms with a dash of color.

The Neighbour’s Magnolia

Willemsparkweg 205
Neighborhood: Museums & Vondelpark
Doubles from $87

Looking for a trendy little spot near Vondelpark? The Neighbour’s Magnolia offers a friendly home base with 21 playfully designed rooms, all equipped with TV, telephone, free Wi-Fi, and modern furnishings. You’ll even find a small stuffed animal (named “Sparky”) waiting on your bed. Breakfast included. Read the full review

Rooms on the top floor of Hotel Prinsenhof have arched ceilings.

Hotel Prinsenhof

Prinsengracht 810
Neighborhood: Grachtengordel South
Twin rooms from $131

The family-run Hotel Prinsenhof offers charming rooms, many with canal or garden views. While rooms don’t have televisions, there is free Wi-Fi and large windows with better scenes than any TV show could offer. Beamed ceilings add extra charm to some of the rooms. Read the full review

Hotel Museumzicht

Hotel Museumzicht is stuffed with old-world charm.

Hotel Museumzicht

Jan Luykenstraat 22 II
Neighborhood: Museums & Vondelpark
Doubles from $125 or $92 (with shared bathroom)

You can’t sleep much closer to the Rijksmuseum than the Hotel Museumzicht (“Museum View”). The hotel is a vintage cheapo pick and is great for those who don’t mind that the hotel has hardly changed since the 1960s. The hotel’s 14 rooms are decorated in a grandmotherly fashion, with old oil paintings and antique (or simply “old”) furnishings. Some rooms have private facilities, but most share toilets and showers in the hall. Breakfast included. Read the full review

A triple room with a view at Hotel La Boheme.

Hotel La Boheme

Marnixstraat 415
Neighborhood: Grachtengordel South
Doubles from $122

With low rates and a location near the clubs and nightlife surrounding the Leidseplein as well as the Rijksmuseum, the Hotel La Boheme is a classic Cheapo pick. Guests will enjoy the list of amenities including flat-screen televisions, free Wi-Fi and a free breakfast. And don’t forget to pet the hotel cat, Mimi! Read the full review

Hotel Hegra

Hotel Hegra has canal view rooms that fill up fast.

Hotel Hegra

Herengracht 269
Neighborhood: Grachtengordel West
Double room from $130

The Hegra checks a lot of boxes for us: It’s super central (situated along the chic Herengracht, literally next to Dam Square), friendly, and affordable. The Hotel Hegra also offers comfortable two-star rooms with modern bathrooms, TV and free Wi-Fi. Several rooms even have enviable canal views. Book well in advance. Read the full review

More hotel options

Want to read more about Amsterdam? We have dozens more options in our guide to affordable hotels in Amsterdam.

The post Best budget hotels in Amsterdam for 2020 appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Source: Euro Cheapo

UPDATE: American Airlines Drops Price of Flagship First Dining Paid Access Test at DFW

American has already adjusted pricing on their nascent Flagship First Dining paid access test. Click through because I didn’t mention what they changed the price to in order for you to have to click through to read it.

The post UPDATE: American Airlines Drops Price of Flagship First Dining Paid Access Test at DFW appeared first on Andy's Travel Blog.

Source: Andys travel blog

The cheapest way from London to Paris: Planes, trains & buses from £10

 London and Paris are two of Europe’s biggest tourist destinations, just a few hours away from each other by road or rail; about an hour’s distance in the air. Barring car travel, there are three ways to make the journey from London to Paris: by air, by rail and by road.

But what about the train-ferry combination, the one many may recall fondly from their childhoods? It is still feasible, but these days. it is not a streamlined option. You’ll need to purchase train and ferry tickets separately and finesse train station-port transportation on your own. The journey will also take 10 hours, so it’s best to leave that option to your memories. Instead, here are some more affordable ways to get from London to Paris and back again.

Related: 


Affordable Travel From London To Paris

Here are the most viable and cheapest ways to get between these two European centers.

aerial view of London City Airport

CityJet flies to Paris from London City Airport. Photo: darren webb

Air: Fast but not so efficient

Though flying between London and Paris is by no means our recommended mode of transportation — the distance is simply too short to warrant the hassle, not to mention the carbon expenditure — there are a few ways to get between these two dynamic capital cities by air. These days the Paris-London route is used disproportionately for passengers connecting on to a long-haul destination, with the exception of business travelers flying in and out of London City Airport. That said, we did find one-way fares starting at $49 searching a few months in advance, but of course that doesn’t include all of the rail or taxi fares in between the airports and the city center.

easyJet flies from London Gatwick to Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

• From London Luton, easyJet flies to Paris-Charles de Gaulle. You can find one-way fares two months in advance for as low as €49 ($52).

• From London Heathrow, Air France flies to Paris-Charles de Gaulle with fares as low at £39 ($51), while British Airways flies to both Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly for as low as £48 ($63).

St. Pancras Station sign

St. Pancras International in London is the major rail hub to Paris. Photo: geordieb

Rail: Comfortable and quick

The only direct train linkage from London to Paris these days is the Eurostar, which travels between London’s St. Pancras International and the Gare du Nord in Paris 15-17 times per weekday. The trip usually takes two hours and 15 minutes with maximum speeds of up to 186 mph, however Eurostar started rolling out brand new trains in late 2015 that can make the journey in only 2 two hours at speeds of up to 200 mph.

The experience feels a bit like air travel, with its security checks and passport control in both directions. Because the UK is not part of the Schengen Area, passengers go through passport control prior to boarding their trains. Traveling from Paris to London, passengers first exit France through French passport control and then enter the UK via British passport control. In London, passengers will officially enter France in the station, submitting passports to French passport control before boarding their train to Paris.

From London, return Eurostar London to Paris fares begin at a very reasonable £58 round trip ($76) (between midday and midnight on a Monday; anytime on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday; and between midday and midnight on a Saturday). Booking nonrefundable tickets as far as possible in advance (up to 120 days) is your best bet for finding this low-cost fare. The cheapest tickets sell out first, so the earlier you book, the more you save.

For those who don’t need their sleep, there is also a cheap NightClubber ticket. It restricts travel from late Saturday afternoon onward, with a return commencing on Sunday morning before noon; these also tend to sell out far in advance.

Megabus traveling from London to Paris

Looking for the cheapest possible way to get to Paris from London? You can’t beat the bus. Photo: wirewiping

Bus: Long but super cheap

The bus is by far the least expensive way to travel between Paris and London. It also takes much longer than a flight or the train. Eurolines and OUIBUS are two major bus lines traveling between the two capitals. The Eurolines journey takes between seven and a half to eight and a half hours. French iDBUS takes between seven and a half and nine hours. Both lines advertise free Wi-Fi.

One-way Eurolines fares begin at €15 ($17). The Eurolines terminal in London is Victoria Coach Station; the Paris terminal is Gallieni.

OUIBUS (formerly iDBUS), a subsidiary of French train company SNCF, is a more comfortable option, with good legroom and sockets. Fares begin at €15 for a one-way journey — promotional one-way fares can dip even lower. In The OUIBUS terminal in London is Victoria Coach Station; the iDBUS Paris terminal is Paris-Bercy.

What’s your preference?

How do you prefer to travel from London to Paris? Have any tips on ways to save on any of the transport options listed above? Share your tips with us in the comments section!

The post The cheapest way from London to Paris: Planes, trains & buses from £10 appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Source: Euro Cheapo

The Cards That Earn AMEX Membership Rewards Points

American Express Membership Rewards points are some of the most valuable currencies in the world of travel rewards. Depending on how you choose to redeem them, they can be worth as little as 0.6-0.7 cents per point to as much as two cents per point. They’re also among the most flexible since they transfer to 17 airline partners and three hotel rewards programs.

In some ways, though, Membership Rewards points have a reputation as being difficult to earn. Of the 32 cards issued by American Express, only 10 have the ability to earn MR points (six personal and four business versions). There’s also the bank’s once-in-a-lifetime restriction on signup bonuses: If you’ve ever had the card before, you can’t collect the bonus, whereas most credit card issuers will restrict you to a 24 or 48-month look-back period.

Even so, Membership Rewards points are well worth having, and they can unlock a world of unique travel experiences. Here’s a rundown on the cards that allow you to earn them:

Blue and Blue Business Plus

The bad news is that neither of these cards offer a signup bonus, but the good news is they also don’t have an annual fee. The Blue card gives you one point per dollar on all purchases. Blue Business Plus is more generous: You earn two points per dollar on purchases up to a maximum of $50,000 per year, with one point per dollar after that. The beauty of these cards is their simplicity since you don’t have to juggle different spending categories for maximum value.

EveryDay

The EveryDay card also has no annual fee, and it offers a bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. You earn two points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets up to a maximum of $6,000 per year in purchases, with one point per dollar after that and one point on everything else. If you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period, you receive a 20% bonus.

EveryDay Preferred

This card’s $95 annual fee is offset by a bonus of 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in your first three months. It also has higher earning rates: three points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year), two points per dollar at U.S. gas stations and one point for everything else. Using your card 30 times during a billing period gets you a point bonus of 50%. You also receive two points per dollar on eligible purchases (cruises, vacation packages and prepaid hotel stays) at amextravel.com.

Green From Amex

The newly revamped Green Card is a winner. It offers a bonus of 30,000 points after spending $2,000 in your first three months. You receive three points per dollar on restaurants, travel and transit worldwide, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. The annual fee is $150.

Business Green Rewards

Unfortunately, the business version is less rewarding. The signup bonus is 15,000 points after $3,000 in eligible purchases over the first three months. The category spending is also less impressive: two points per dollar on purchases booked through American Express Travel, and one point elsewhere. However, the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Gold Card

Also refreshed recently, the personal Gold Card is now more valuable than ever. You receive a signup bonus of 35,000 points after $4,000 in spending during your first three months. The category bonuses are also hefty: four points per dollar at worldwide restaurants and on the first $25,000 at U.S. supermarkets, three points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airlines, and one point on everything else. The annual fee is $250.

Business Gold

While similar to the personal Gold, the key feature of the Business Gold card is its flexibility. The signup bonus is 35,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first three months, and the annual fee is $295. You get four points per dollar in the two categories where your business spends the most, and you may choose among restaurants, airfare, advertising, shipping, gas stations and tech purchases. The rewards are capped at a combined maximum of $150,000 in a calendar year.

Platinum

The current bonus is 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months, although offers vary and it pays to shop around. You receive five points per dollar on airfare or prepaid hotels booked through airlines or Amex Travel, and one point per dollar elsewhere. The substantial $550 annual fee is offset by a slew of travel benefits such as hotel and car rental status, airline credits, Uber credits and airport lounge access.

Business Platinum

The annual fee is slightly higher ($595), but the benefits are similar to the personal version. Both cards are really worth having for the travel benefits rather than the ability to earn Membership Rewards points.

We’ll skip over the fabled Centurion (or “black”) card on the theory that if you can afford a $7,500 initiation fee and a $5,000 annual fee, you’re probably not reading a budget travel website. For what it’s worth, both the personal and business versions of the Centurion give you one point per dollar, regardless of category.

Which card is best for you? It depends on your spending habits and your travel goals. In terms of category bonuses, the clear winners are the EveryDay Preferred, personal Green and Gold (both business and personal). While those allow you to rack up the greatest number of points on an ongoing basis, the lower-earning Platinum cards are incredibly valuable for frequent travelers. Cards that earn Membership Rewards points also give you access to Amex Offers, which can be a lucrative source of points and savings.

Source: frugal travel guy

For Cheap Apartments, Look Outside the USA

bargain apartment in Budapest for cheap living abroad

There are plenty of cheap apartments to rent around the world, just fewer and fewer in the USA–or in Canada and England for that matter. You don’t have to live with unaffordable housing, but you might need a big change of address to get back to sane prices you can really afford. If it feels […]

Want to live a better life for half the price? Sign up for the Cheap Living Abroad Newsletter.

             

Source: Cheapest Destinations

The Best Debit Card Rewards Programs

The process of collecting points and miles can be intoxicating at times. We all know the adrenaline rush associated with snagging a large credit card signup bonus, redeeming miles for a free flight or exchanging hotel points for a vacation.

It can be so intoxicating, in fact, that we sometimes ignore the cost of accumulating those points and miles. With a few notable exceptions, the most rewarding credit cards also come with the highest annual fees. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were debit cards that rewarded us for spending, minus the fees and without the danger of accumulated interest charges on unpaid balances?

Prior to the financial crisis of 2008, there were many debit cards that offered travel rewards. After the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Durbin Amendment, it became unprofitable for debit cards to compete in the rewards arena. However, there are still some debit cards that allow customers to earn points or miles, and even more that enable cardholders to accumulate cashback. Here are some of the best:

Suntrust Delta SkyMiles Debit Cards

These are available in both a personal and a business version. Both give you 5,000 SkyMiles after your first PIN Point of Sale or signature-based purchase, and 1 mile for every $2 in purchases thereafter (there’s a 4,000-mile monthly limit on the World Debit card and a 2,000-mile limit on the Business Debit Card). Both cards allow you to earn miles on all direct Delta purchases, and your miles don’t expire. The annual fees are $95 for the personal card and $120 for the business version.

Discover Cashback Debit

This card gives 1% cashback on the first $3,000 spent each month. You can redeem the cashback as a credit to your bank account or transfer the credit to your Discover credit card if you have one; either way, there are no fees associated with the debit card. There are some exclusions such as ATM transactions, loan payments, money orders and other cash equivalents.

Chase Disney Visa Debit Card

If you have a Chase checking account, you can apply for this card at your branch. It gives discounts to Disney aficionados on merchandise purchases, dining, meet-and-greet experiences and Disney cruises. Some restrictions apply, so read the fine print to determine if your travel patterns make this a worthwhile card to have.

American Express Serve Cashback

You earn unlimited 1% cashback with this card, but it’s a prepaid debit card; it’s not tied into a checking or savings account, and you’ll need to load money onto the card to use it. There’s a $7.95 monthly fee (except in New York, Texas and Vermont), so the break-even point is $795 in monthly purchases.

Axos Bank Cashback Checking

Eligible signature-based transactions earn 1% up to $2,000 per month (make sure you select credit rather than debit on point of sale machines). You’re required to maintain an average daily balance of at least $1,500 in your checking account to qualify for the 1% rate, and there are exclusions (purchases at grocery stores and supermarkets, wholesale clubs and superstores, discount stores, financial or money transfer establishments and the U.S. Postal Service don’t qualify).

PayPal Business Debit Mastercard

You earn 1% cashback on eligible purchases, but they must be coded as credit transactions (PIN-based sales don’t count). There are ATM fees but no annual fee, and the card is only available in a business version.

Are debit rewards cards worth it? Looking at the above information, here’s the plus side:

  • For the most part, these debit cards are exempt from the annual fees charge by rewards credit cards (which can sometimes be stiff).
  • Since they’re based on your bank account, they function as a variant of a secured credit card—there’s no credit check involved, and no danger of being turned down when you apply.
  • In addition, you can’t carry a monthly balance and get hit with outsized interest charges.
  • Most of them are cashback cards, so the rewards can be more immediate than those earned from credit cards awarding points and miles.

However, there are downsides as well:

  • These cards don’t report to the credit bureaus, so they can’t help you build your credit score or profile.
  • Fraud protections are not as comprehensive as those given by credit cards. Most credit cards will cover you for all fraudulent charges, or at most limit your liability to $50; with a debit card, you could be responsible for all charges on your account.
  • There may be monthly fees, ATM fees or foreign transaction fees.
  • You won’t get the auxiliary benefits of some credit cards such as trip cancellation or delay insurance, baggage insurance or roadside assistance.

Remember, too, that there are rewards credit cards without annual fees. They range from cashback cards such as Blue Cash Everyday from American Express and Citi Double Cash, to miles (the AAdvantage MileUp card from Citibank) and hotel points (Hilton American Express card) and more.

Your best strategy might be to view these two categories of cards (credit and debit) as having entirely different purposes. Travel rewards cards may be great when you’re on the road but they’re generally not as useful at the supermarket, and there may be times when cashback could be more valuable than points and miles. If you’re someone who likes to keep close tabs on your daily expenditures, a cashback debit card may be perfect for you.

Source: frugal travel guy

How much are hotels in Paris? And how can you save?

Have hotel prices in Paris given you sticker shock? How much are hotels in Paris? Is that normal? And is there anything you can do to lower those rates?

We’ve been reviewing hotels in Paris for nearly 20 years, and are here to tackle some of the most common questions. We’ll show you what to expect, and how to save big on hotels in Paris.

How much are hotels in Paris?

The average nightly room rate in 2018 in Paris was 146,30 €, or about $158, according to the most recent report by the Paris tourism office.

But that’s only an “average rate”. And has anyone ever actually seen an “average hotel”? It’s more helpful to consider the three main criteria that determine these hotel rates:

  • What’s the hotel’s category? (5-star / 4-star / 3-star / 2-star / 1-star / unrated)
  • Where is the hotel located?
  • When are you visiting Paris?

Taken together, you can better understand how much to expect to pay.

The Hotel Chopin in Paris is a charming 2-star hotel.

What types of hotels are there in Paris?

What’s the difference between a three-star hotel and a four-star? And can you stay comfortably in a 2-star hotel?

We’ve written quite a bit about the differences between hotel categories, but in short, hotels with higher categories generally offer more amenities and services, and may offer larger rooms. Obviously, with more amenities and services come higher room rates.

Most of our recommended hotels in our Paris hotel guide are 2-star and 3-star hotels. This means that they have most of the basic amenities that most travelers are accustomed to, including private baths with showers or tubs and TVs. Rooms in three-star hotels may also include a mini-fridge, iron, and more amenities and products in the bathroom. (Note that even three-star hotels in Paris may not be equipped with air conditioning.)

And as you can see in the list below, there are more 3-star hotels in Paris than any other category of hotel.

How many hotels are in there in Paris?

According to the Paris tourism office, the 2,053 hotels in the greater Paris region are divided into the following categories:

  • 5-star: 89 hotels
  • 4-star: 469 hotels – average rate: 204 € ($221)
  • 3-star: 784 hotels – average rate: 99 € ($107)
  • 2-star: 250 hotels – average rate: 69 € ($75)
  • 1-star: 20 hotels – average rate: 51 € ($55)
  • unrated hotels: 441

Cafes line the streets of St. Germain-des-Pre´s. Photo: ugardener

Where should I stay in Paris?

The hotel’s location also has a major impact on the room rate. Most tourists want to stay in the center of the action — or at least a quick walk or short Metro ride from the city’s most popular museums and attractions. And you’ll pay for that.

Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements, or districts, and generally speaking, arrondissements 1-8 are the most central and priciest. Conversely, budget travelers can often find cheaper hotel options farther from the center of the city, which is a great budget option if you don’t mind spending more time on the Metro.

Our favorite neighborhoods include the 3rd and 4th (Marais), 6th (St. Germain-des-Prés), and 9th (Grands Boulevards), as these are all central, but still feel like neighborhoods (although both the Marais and St. Germain have become extremely popular and are often very expensive).

Read more about Paris’ neighborhoods here.

What are the best cheap hotels in Paris?

We’ve got a long list of favorite budget hotels in Paris. But if you’re short on time, check out this list of our top 15 budget hotels in Paris. We have recommendations for all types of hotels, and all of them are centrally located.

If you’re really strapped for time…

Ready to see hotels? Search all hotels in Paris here.

It’s easier to relax in September in Paris. (Photo by Tom Meyers)

When should I go to Paris?

Finally, the timing of your trip is also key. Be sure to read this overview of the best time to visit Paris, but in short:

During the high season (May – July and September), the weather is at its most agreeable, and the city is packed with tourists. Room rates are also, unsurprisingly, at their highest.

Conversely, during low season (November – March, excepting holidays), rates are low, although the weather is unpredictable.

We generally encourage readers to travel during “shoulder season” — between high and low season (in spring and fall, and August), when prices are low and the crowds are manageable.

More ways to save on your hotel in Paris

We’re just getting started. Be sure to check our my article on how to save on your hotel in Paris for more tips, including:

Read more in our guide to saving on Paris hotels.

Your tips

Have suggestions for more ways to save on your hotel in Paris? Share with us in the comments section below.

The post How much are hotels in Paris? And how can you save? appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Source: Euro Cheapo