Planning for Paris: 7 days for Two in January

We’re going to Paris! It was our plan for our 15 year anniversary to spend 7 days in Paris  We knew where we were going but other than my love of everything France, we had no clue where to start. Let planning for Paris: 7 days for Two in January begin!

There were a few key things we were looking for in planning for Paris:

  • we wanted to be centrally located 
  • easily accessible to public transportation 
  • walking distance to popular attractions should we choose to walk 
  • we wanted to stay in an apartment 
  • budget savvy, but we were willing to compromise on some things 
  • See as much as possible 

Where to stay in Paris for 7 days? 

We knew we didn’t necessarily want to stay in a hotel. Plus we wanted to keep our trip budget friendly and save on all the eating out costs. My dream of going to Paris consists of me immersing myself as much as possible into the Parisan culture. I wanted to shop markets and experience Paris as a local. 

I decided to use AirBnB for booking our apartment stay in Paris. We’ve had friends recently use Airbnb and had a great experience. Taking into my consideration to have a centrally located apartment. I found an apartment We booked and were beyond excited to have amazing views of the Eiffel Tower and Seine River. One month before our trip was to happen, we got a cancellation notice from Air BnB letting us know our host had canceled our reservations. We were fully refunded our money, but it was very stressful to have to find a place one month before our big trip after we had already done research and booked our apartment almost a year prior.

Luckily we found an apartment in the 15th arrondissement with a partial view of the Eiffel Tower from the street. It ended up being the perfect place for us! It was centrally located, close to the metro, walking distance to the Eiffel Tower. Everything we were hoping to experience our first time in Paris. Plus it saved us a couple hundred dollars. You can save even more here.

Total cost: $869.57 

Our Flight to Paris for Two

I had been watching flights since we knew were planning out trip to Paris. We knew that roughly we’d spend around $1,500 for both of us to get there. I began my search in January 2017 when we found pricing for a little over $1,400.00 for two, but our budget for this part of the trip was not quite there yet. We just booked our apartment, so I went on flight watch to regularly check rates. 

As the months passed I was getting pretty discouraged that the price for our flight was going up, but not my budget for the flight. We entertained the idea of flying into London and then taking the train into Paris.

In my search, I found www.justfly.com . I did my due diligence; read reviews for their service and then read the reviews for the airline we would fly with. This was really an unbeatable price. We would be able to fly right into Paris, with a short layover in Iceland, and stay under budget; a win-win really.

Flight total cost for two: $ 1,029.00

Passports for Two

We had our apartment and flight booked, now we had to focus on passports. We decided to use our local city office, and have our pictures done by them as well.

Passport Cost: $309 

What to do in Paris for 7 days? 

Now to the fun stuff. What were we going to do in Paris? We wanted to see everything of course and get the most bang for our buck! We listed out all the places we’d like to go, researched entry prices, then researched more and came across the Paris Pass. Read here about the Paris Pass and how you can save too. With the Paris Pass we would be allowed to see the majority of attractions we wanted for the most reasonable cost, plus it included unlimited passes to public transportation. Bonus! 

6-day Paris Pass Cost: $451.00

Let’s talk Euros + Budget for 7 Days for Two in Paris

We have never traveled to Europe before and had no idea where to begin with exchanging US dollars for Euros. In a Facebook group, I was able to find that the our local AAA office would exchange the money for me so we could bring a small amount of cash. I also found a lot of people used ATM cards and some would use credit cards provided their credit card company did not charge international fees. Some suggested calling our bank to ask what their European branches were and if any were located within our area of travel. After further research, we opted to use our bank online foreign exchange currency service and a credit card as backup. We decided 1050 Euros would be our budget for food and souvenirs for family. 

Cost with foreign currency exchange to euro: $1,351.00

Cell Phone in Paris 

With our three children at home it was important for us to not only talk daily, but be able to see them as well. My husband was able to add an international plan through work to his phone which allowed us to talk and FaceTime daily. I had international text, plus I brought my computer that allowed for us to FaceTime through wifi when at the apartment. 

Cost: $ 0

Total Cost for 7 Days in Paris for Two

There you have it! Total cost of travel for two for 7 days in Paris in January is $4000.

We even came home with 50+ Euros that we have put away for our next trip to Europe. We did have a few miscellaneous items that I think are worth noting, but don’t have to be a part of your planning. 

In our budget we left room for a hotel stay in San Francisco night before our flight, money for food at the airport and Bart ride home from San Francisco. We could have opted to not stay the night in San Francisco the night before. Food at the airport was necessary, but the Bart ride home we opted to do instead of asking family to pick us up. 

Total Misc. Costs:

San Francisco hotel: $227.00 

Airport food & Bart: $150.00

Are you ready to plan your trip to Paris? You can read all about our trip here.

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15 Comments

  • Pam March 7, 2019 at 3:15 pm Reply

    I love your detailed budgeting for the trip! I need to be more cognizant of doing this.

    • Kristi Ortiz March 7, 2019 at 8:11 pm Reply

      Thank you! Lots of research and was a great way to stay on track for budgeting and keeping our itinerary in check too.

  • Missy March 7, 2019 at 3:43 pm Reply

    You will have a wonderful time. I visited Paris many years ago. I did many of the tourist activities and loved it.

    • Kristi Ortiz March 7, 2019 at 8:10 pm Reply

      Thank you! We had a wonderful time. Loved every minute of it.

  • jen March 7, 2019 at 7:32 pm Reply

    Great trip!!

    • Kristi Ortiz March 7, 2019 at 8:09 pm Reply

      It was great! Can’t wait to go back.

  • Lisa March 7, 2019 at 8:54 pm Reply

    Great break down

  • Tricia Snow March 8, 2019 at 4:44 am Reply

    Looks like you were able to save quite a bit! I am excited to use some of these tips!

  • Sarah March 8, 2019 at 12:16 pm Reply

    Great tips! Inspiring me to be better at planning ahead!

  • Shirley March 8, 2019 at 1:22 pm Reply

    SO fun! I would love to visit Paris one day.

  • Susan March 8, 2019 at 1:34 pm Reply

    I’m headed to France in the next couple weeks! This is really great! Looks like you had a fantastic time!

  • Tracey Skafidas March 8, 2019 at 3:16 pm Reply

    I love how you organized this post. Very easy to find important info fast! Great tips.

  • Tammie Reinhart March 9, 2019 at 1:26 am Reply

    Thank you for taking us through your planning process. It’s great to see what it will realistically cost and why.

  • Trisha March 9, 2019 at 11:00 am Reply

    Great post! Breaking down the cost of a trip is very helpful to anyone trying to plan a trip. Thank you for sharing!

  • Michele March 12, 2019 at 10:31 am Reply

    I was an exchange student in Paris in high school but have not been back since. I really want to take our daughter there soon! Thanks for sharing!

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