What would be a ballpark figure of the average daily cost of touring France, staying in b&bs, eating in cafes, and getting around?
Min of 100Euro per day/per person if traveling as a couple. More if a single traveler.
Ok, I'll tell you our experence from a 7 week trip in 2010. We leased a car and I can't actually remember the cost so this is what it cost per day not including a car. $150 a day for two of us staying in B&B's (not high end ones). We would usually have our main meal in the early afternoon and the a picnic in the evening in our room. We would buy our picnics and wine in supermarkets. We mostly stayed in rural areas and did not visit Paris. We did some tours and museums, but not everyday. You can read about our experence on my blog here: http://tinyurl.com/aop44r9
Wow, Howard, that's a difficult question to answer! My rule of thought and I see you're at "University Place" means you may be a student? It very much depends on your lodgings. You can eat cheaply in any country in the world! I find that Spain has cheap lodgings, but eating there is more expensive than in Italy, where you can get a pizza or panini for 6eu! Check out bnbplanet.com and see what you'll expect to pay for lodgings. you can always go to a grocery and buy picnic foods.......you can do that for less than 50eu a day. A nice sandwich sitting on the bank of the Seine can be very romantic! I think I'm much older than you and now on a fixed income. I find the least expensive way to travel is to rent an apartment for an entire week in a location I like and then day trip from there. What I spend on a one week lease in an apartment with the day trips/buses, is a tremendous savings over the cost of a single nights in various hotels. I also like being in one location for a week which gives me more of a "feel" for the place. Often times, we will get a 2 bedroom apartment and invite friends to join us and share the rent. Cook in for breakfast and some dinners, and only eat lunches out. I've seen much of Europe that way and it works for me. Keep in mind that every time you travel to a new city, unless you're hitch hiking, there will be a travel expense and ground transportation expenses are something often overlooked when planning a vacation. That's why I kind of focus on one area, rent an apartment, and don't have to re-pack every day.
It sounds like some folks do this much more cheaply than we do. One time I read on some RS publication that not counting airfare, a good moderate budget per person per day is 180-200 dollars. That's exactly what it typically costs us and did last June for the 28 days we were in France. At today's exchange rate that is 138-254 Euros per person per day. I count EVERYTHING, though: the books and maps I buy, the boarding for the dog, parking back home, phone calls, postcards and postage, all ground transportation, entrances to museums and sites, parking our rental car, tolls, speeding tickets, laundry, foreign transaction fees, etc. Those seemingly "little" things can add up. Broken into broad categories for our France trip, we spent about 37% on lodging which includes breakfast if we are not in an apartment, 30% on food from grocery stores or eating out, 15% on ground transport of any kind, 11% on entertainment and 7% on sundries. Others may have a different breakdown. I suspect we spend more on food than most, and less on entertainment kinds of things like museums and sites and concerts. BTW, greetings from former residents of Tacoma, Steilacoom and Edgewood.
Lo , you definately spend more then I do, lol
I can spend 50 euros a day per person for accomadation, and about same on food , so I can get by on 100 euros per day. I don't count transport though. I will say this Howard, the more you travel the more you spend.. so moving about every 2-3 days can end up costing more then staying put for a week in a place. You can spend less then me if you are young( or young at heart) and don't mind doing hostels and picnics for meals all the time etc,, I am at a point I like some comforts, private bathroom and air condtioning etc.I do blow 5 euros on a drink here and there etc. In Paris I can easily spend less then 15-20 euros a week for transport. I stay central and walk most places, I buy one carnet of metro tickets ( which is ten one way bus/metro tickets sold at a discount) cost is about 13 euros, may have to pick up a few loose tickets.RER to Versailles is 7 euros return.
I have found that the base city plus daytrips works well in countries where travel by public transportation is relatively cheap (Italy) but when calculating costs for France, it worked out cheaper (for trainfares as well as lodging) to spend one or preferably two nights in the smaller cities I would normally do as daytrips. I also like having more time than I think I'll need, to find the smaller treasures in a town. It depends on how you like to travel. I always have hotel reservations so I don't spend time finding a hotel, and by staying in smaller hotels the check-in/ out process takes only a few minutes.
Just a note - cafes are not the cheapest places to eat. They have light meals, but to fill up will cost a bit. For inexpensive eating, you'll want to buy food at supermarkets and make picnics (in your room if the weather doesn't cooperate for outdoor dining).