This is part of a series where I break down the costs for airfare and lodging for a specific trip, as well as how much PTO time was spent. I am not including costs for food and activities as those prices fluctuate based on traveler preferences. In general, you can assume that airfare and lodging will be the bulk of your costs.
My best girlfriend and I were planning a road trip to Winnipeg in summer of 2018. We were expecting to spend about $400 each for the weekend trip, so we had the funds already set aside. About a week before we were to leave, an airfare deal popped up in my Facebook feed: round-trip flights Minneapolis-Paris for $490 on American Airlines. The deal was available for the following April, and happened to fall right around my girlfriend’s birthday. We scrapped the idea of Winnipeg and purchased the Paris airfare deal immediately. Departure was eight months out.
With eight months to plan, I spent a lot of time looking at various hotel and Airbnb options. I wanted centrally-located digs with a view but, most importantly, I wanted to be close to an RER train station that would make for easy transport between the airport and the city, and between the city and Versailles. I settled on Hotel Notre Dame Saint Michel, right across the Seine from Notre Dame. The Saint-Michel Notre-Dame train/metro station is within two minutes walking from the hotel, providing direct, no-transfer rides on the RER B line to/from the airport, and the RER C line to/from Versailles. Perfect. $183 per night for a double room with a view on Seine & Notre Dame
Hotel Notre Dame costs a bit more than I would usually spend for a simple double room. But it’s actually not a bad price for the location. And this is Paris, after all. It’s not a cheap city. The hotel is a bit dated, and my room (Room 22) was definitely not geared toward female travelers. The bathroom has no outlet for hair styling tools, no counter space for anything larger than a toothbrush, and the shower has no ledges to put your feet up to shave your legs or to even place soap. But on the plus side: the bedding is luxurious, the Christian Lacroix-designed decor is colorful and quirky, and the views are wonderful.
The hotel offers excellent customer service, including sending out emails prior to our arrival asking if we’d like to have tours or restaurant reservations set up in advance. Upon checking out, I received an email saying I was now a VIP member of the hotel and would receive 10% off future bookings. So that’s pretty cool.
Airfare Minneapolis-Paris on American Airlines: $490 per person
Hotel in Paris for 6 nights: $1,103
Total airfare and lodging for 1 person, 6 nights: $1,593
PTO time: 6 days