I’ve wanted to go to Paris since I was in high school. So, when my best friend mentioned she wanted to go on a graduation trip, I was all in. But, of course not without finding a great deal! When booking a trip, I always make sure to shop flights. My favorite app to shop flights on is Hopper, it lets you know the price today and when the prices are likely to drop and by how much. Yeah, you could book the first thing you see but you might miss out on seeing multiple destinations in one trip! When it came to me going to Paris, that was the most seamless trip I’ve ever planned. When my best friend and I decided we wanted to go the trip was booked within a week. If you’ve ever tried to book a trip with your friends, you know that never happens. When I looked up flights from Dallas to Paris the flights were $1600. While I’ve always wanted to go to Paris, I wouldn’t have gone for that price if I’m being honest. My priorities were just elsewhere. But, when we looked up flights from New York the flights were $400. YES, THAT WAS ROUND TRIP. I couldn’t believe it. It only made sense that I flew to New York then to Paris. My flight to New York was about $200. So, I saved $1000 just by taking a flight to New York, which meant I got to see my family and friends on my way to Paris! I had a ton of days off from work so it worked out perfectly. It helped me maximize my trip to the fullest! I flew to New York for the weekend, flew to Paris, and flew back to New York for the following weekend. Yes, it was a lot of flying but definitely worth it. Here’s a little helpful tip if you’re ever scared of taking long flights: My advice is to just take Unisom, you’ll be asleep before the flight even takes off. It’s about $7 at Walmart.
On my trip we made use of every minute in the day. When I say I did the most, I really did. When I went to New York I spent time with my family then went out with my friend’s at night. I’ll have to save things to do in NYC for another blog because we all know there’s a lot to see there, so stay tuned. The day we were leaving for Paris was on a Sunday. We decided to do brunch before our flight. Anyone who knows me, knows I looooove a good brunch. If you’ve ever had brunch in NYC then you know it’s a whole-day event. We spent the entire day at brunch before we went to the airport. It was a great way to spend some time with my friends who weren’t coming on the trip and an even better way to start our trip to Paris. Needless to say, I was knocked out the entire flight. If there’s multiple people flying with you and your seats aren’t next to each other, don’t hesitate to ask someone if they’ll switch seats. Obviously, you can pay extra for assigned seats, but this is just in case you guys didn’t all get to book together! There were four of us flying and one person wasn’t in the same row as us and someone kindly switched seats with her. There are plenty of other people who are traveling together who end up separated who don’t mind switching seats, believe me. (I switch seats all the time, I’m one of the few people who doesn’t like window seats and I seem to get them all the time..)
When we got to Paris we took an Uber to where we were staying. Yes, they use Uber in Paris and they’re nice cars too. We had another friend meeting us in Paris the day after we got there and she got us into taking the train everywhere. It was so much cheaper, about 1.9 Euros and I’d even say faster. The subways there are actually very clean, not crowded by any means and got us everywhere in a timely fashion. We would leave the house in the morning, every morning and wouldn’t come back until the night time. We didn’t see much of the night life, but we did get to sight see a lot. Missing out on the night life just gives me another reason to go visit in the future. We did a bus tour where you hop on and off the bus at any stop you want. The price was somewhere between 30-40 Euros. I typically am not big on tours but it was very worth it to get to see the beautiful architecture of Paris. On the day we did the bus tour it was raining. Luckily they give you ponchos to wear so we still were able to sit on the top of the bus and didn’t have to miss any of the beautiful scenery. When we got to the eiffel tower there was a HUGE line and no one knew what they were standing in line for. So, what did we do? We got on line too and of course when we got inside there was nothing too exciting in there. Unless you plan on actually going to the top, save yourself some time and skip the line all together. There’s way better views of the Eiffel tower around the city. And trust me you can see the Eiffel tower from almost everywhere. I got enough pictures of the Eiffel Tower to last a lifetime.
We also did a bike tour with a couple. We thought the bike tour would be two hours, it ended up being about a five-hour bike tour. Yeah, our legs were sore the next day. On the bike tour you want to make sure you keep up.. they move pretty fast and they won’t hesitate to leave without you. We cut our portion of the bike tour short and just sat around The Louvre. There were so many beautiful brides taking their wedding pictures, I guess that’s why they call it the city of romance. After the bike tour we went on a boat and had wine and snacks. I was nervous for the boat ride because I didn’t want to get motion sickness, but it was a nice smooth ride. The city was so beautiful at night especially from the water. I recommend booking your activities before heading there in order to make great use of your time! The bike tour was 300 Euros for five of us, that included the bikes, the tour, the boat ride, the snacks, and the wine. There is a foreign transaction fee even when booking online ahead of time, so if you have a travel rewards credit card definitely use that and if you don’t, get one. Foreign transaction fees can be very inconvenient!
One of the days we actually visited the Louvre. It’s only about 17 Euros to visit the Louvre and it’s a huuuuuuge museum so make sure you set enough time to see everything you want to see. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR WALKING SHOES. I wore vans and I learned the hard way.. those are not meant for walking. The Louvre was definitely crowded but so beautiful. The crowd for the Mona Lisa was crazy as expected but you wouldn’t believe what the Mona Lisa actually looked like in real life.. I won’t ruin it for those who haven’t seen it yet. We visited the Notre-Dame, which was so beautiful but also very crowded and the line to get in seemed never ending so seriously keep your walking shoes on for that too. It was nice to get in to say a prayer, light a candle and buy some beautiful rosaries though.
Aside from the Tours and site seeing we did a few other things on our own. We found our way to check out the shopping scene at Le Marais. They had a ton of nice stores and food places. We got to shop at Adidas and the bags even said “Paris” instead of Adidas which is a good keepsake. We also tried fondue at Heureux Comme Alexandre, which I found out I’m not a huge fan of, but my friends loved it! We found the cutest little hookah bar that was playing live music. I don’t smoke hookah but it aesthetically pleasing if you’re into that. They had sand and mirrors right outside which was so pretty. Inside there was a guy singing french music live. After his first song ended he said “so what do you guys want to hear?” and started playing Ed Sheeran for us. Kind of funny, because no one else spoke English there so I didn’t expect him to tend to us! But, it was great and he even took shots with us.
Honestly, Paris was definitely at the top of the list of the best places I’ve been. I loved that it was Americanized yet nobody really spoke English. Prior to going, people put doubt in my mind that Paris wouldn’t be beautiful but it was one of the prettiest places I’ve seen and very clean.