Sometime around August of 2017, Tina and I decided to visit France. We booked the ticket on the same day and off to Paris we go. Our trip was from October 15 to November 5. We had about 21 days to go around and travel from Paris to south of France with a side visit to Monaco.
The budget of $4,250 (for 2 pax) includes all transportation costs – airfare, train, car rental, bus, etc. , airbnb rentals and museum passes. All in all in the trip, we’ve spent probably around $6,000 including shopping. The total cost is for 2 people.
In this post, I will list in detail our itinerary. Within the following days, i will post pictures from each location and write a more detailed post about each location, share with you what we brought with us, problems encountered, etc.
Note: This is not a budget itinerary.
- The Budget
- References for the Itinerary
- 21-day Itinerary
- Problems Encountered
- Things we learned from the Trip
The Budget – Manila – Paris – (French Road Trip) – Manila
As mentioned above, total budget for the fundamentals is $4,000 for 2 people. This includes airfare, train tickets, car rentals, airbnb rental, bus, etc. The breakdown is as follows:
- Airfare – we used our Asia Miles to book for 2 Premium Economy tickets and just paid for Tax around P5,000 (approx $100 )
- Airbnb Total of P62,556 (approx $1,250) – I highly suggest using Airbnb instead of hotels or hostels. You get a bigger space and access to home essentials like cooking range, ref, washer, etc. Sign up on Airbnb here and get $20 off your first booking.
- First 7 nights – Paris ₱23,852
- 2 nights – Honfleur (Normandie) – P5,794
- 2 nights – Amboise – ₱5,192
- 1 night – La roque Gaegac – ₱2,667
- 2 nights – Arles – ₱9,920
- 4 nights – Nice – ₱11,589
- 1 night – Paris – P3,542
- 1 night – Paris (booked because I made a mistake in the car rental booking so we had to stay in paris for an additional night) – ₱3574 – I did not include this in the total because this is considered as double booking
- Car Rental – 10 days – my card was charged P26,000 including insurance (approx $550)
- Gas and Toll Fees – 300 Euros (approx $316)
- Insurance ($163)
- Bus/Train/Uber Fees – $350
- Train Ticket from Nice to Paris – $160
- Food – $1,300
- 2 Day Museum Pass – $102
- Other Entrances – $150
References for the Itinerary
Aside from online research, we based our travel plans in these 3 books:
- Rick Steve’s France – very helpful in planning our road trip and in choosing which parts of France we should stay and visit
- National Geographic Traveler: France
- National Geographic Walking Paris – we used this is our main reference in planning our days in Paris.
21 Day Itinerary France
In planning itineraries, I make sure that we spend more time appreciating each place we go to so we spend at least 2-3 hours per place and try to explore surroundings by foot. With this in mind, we only visit up to a maximum of 3 places to visit per day. We are also both morning people so we tend to go home a bit early to rest. Please note too that in the morning, we have breakfast in our airbnb rental while finish some work with our team in Manila. We normally leave around 12noon during weekdays (in Manila) and 9am during weekends.
- Arrive in Paris 9am. Montmarte and Moulin Rouge
- Louvre Museum and Arc du Triomphe / shopping day
- Palace of Versailles
- Eiffel Tower and Madeline Neighborhood
- Notre Dame Cathedral, Quartier Latin and Bastille
- Local Parisian Shopping in Rue du Charone and Eiffel / Louvre at night
- Flea market and Outlet
- Tuileries Garden and surrounding area
- Mont Saint Michel
- Sleeping Beauty Castle
- Dordogne and La Roque Gaegac
- Nice Downtown
- Travel Back to Paris
- Travel back to Manila
- Toll gates are all card operated, our cards did not function only once during the whole road trip but they have a manual operator who swiped our card manually.
- The baggage allowance is only 25 kilos per passenger (combined if 2 bags), I thought its 2 bags with 25 kilos each so we had an excess baggage of around 30 kilos, they wanted to charge us $800 for it but there is an option to use air cargo of the airport which is around $300.
- Wrong booking of car (because of the difference in date)
- Confusion between unused and used train tickets
Things we learned from the trip
- Leonardo da vinci spent his last days in Amboise, you can even visit his house and the chateu where his body was once buried.
- The colors of Arles is the same as how Vincent Van Gogh painted it
- It is significantly cheaper outside of Paris
- Its very easy to drive in France as oppose to my research or maybe I find it easy because I drive in the Philippines 😉
- Most stores are closed during weekends. Even car rental is closed on Sunday afternoons.
- Discovered Bulot (snails you dip in mayonnaise) and have been craving for it ever since. If you have tips on where I could get them here in Manila or nearby countries in Asia, please leave me a comment please!
- US outlet prices are still way cheaper than that in Paris