Imagine James Bond booking a package trip to Paris. Nothing sounds so unsexy as ‘package travel’, but looking at the current prices for round-trip airfare to Paris, finding a great package deal might seem like a gift dropped down from heaven.
If you get as frustrated as I do by the ‘bait and switch’ airfares, then you might be surprised to see that some of the Special Package Deals to Paris offered by Air France look quite a bit more straight forward then some of their plane fare schedules i.e. advertising the ONE WAY rates starting at $549. Why do airlines even bother with one-way rates?
On the other hand, Air France’s six day-package which includes three days in Paris, a car rental, and three days at a chateau sounds tempting – especially when you have a good selection of hotels including the Hotel Regina. These packages start at $1500 per person for the six-days including airfare, hotel and car rental. Needless to say if you opt for the Hotel Regina (a four star hotel) the package will cost more. Also, the cost of the package increases if you’re not flying out of JFK, but any of these prices look much better compared to purchasing a roundtrip ticket with no hotel, no rental car, and no chateau.
Air France’s Presenting Paris deal offers dates not only for summer but as late as October 2008, so it’s worth checking out. I also noted that the chateau mentioned in the Hotel Regina package is located in the vicinity of Chartres. After Notre Dame, the Chartres cathedral is one of the most important cathedrals to visit for first time travelers to France. Its blue stained glass windows are unique – the process to create ‘Chartres blue’ is part of the cathedral’s mystery.
If you want to devote your whole stay to Paris, Air France has another Presenting Paris package for six days just in Paris. Without the car rental and the chateau stay, these packages are even more reasonably priced.
If any Parislogue readers decide to try out one of these packages, please let us know if the ‘package’ lives up to its description.
Another way to offset the high cost of airfare is to consider alternative accommodations. Although Paris doesn’t have tons of hostels, there are a variety of low budget no-star, one star hotels as well as apartment rentals for short stays. Parislogue has visited some of the more well known hostels OOPS! is one of the newest, and located in a safe residential neighborhood.
Staying at an apartment or a hostel is not only more reasonable than traditional hotels, but you’re much more likely to grasp the Paris flavor of day to day life.
My suggestion is to tally up the cost of the cheapest airfares plus a hostel or apartment reservation, and compare with the airlines package deals to see which price and types of accommodations are the best fit.