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Saturday, 9 February 2013

Paris/London: drafting travel budget

Some friends asked me about the total cost of my trip.
Planning a travel budget is quite challenging, but at the same time exciting. For this trip, we try to keep the cost to the minimum but not too tight until we miss out on the fun. Therefore, we always look for travel deals, and book as early as possible for cheaper price. It also helps that I've been to major cities in Europe before. During my previous business trips and trainings, I have visited Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Zurich, Milan, Venice, Prague, Budapest, Zagreb, Ljubljana, to name a few. The experiences give me rough ideas to draft our day-to-day travel budget.
travel budget

What I can share for now are the essential expenses such as flight, accomodations, admission tickets and transportation. Our budget includes visit to a few paid attractions, in addition to the free ones. We also set aside a comfortable amount for our daily meals. However, splurge items and souvenirs are excluded from this budget. Here's the breakdown...

travel budget

Exchange rate: 1 EUR  = 4.2 MYR, 1 GBP = 4.9 MYR
Some explanations:
  • Flight MYR 2138 return per person. Bear in mind, this is promotional fare and below the average price.
  • 1 star hotel in Paris (double, ensuite) at EUR 65 per night.
  • RER B train between CDG airport and city cost EUR 9.50 one way.
  • Ticket t+ is for public transports in Paris. Estimated each of us will make 20 journeys while there. A pack of 10 tickets is sold at EUR 12.70.
  • Louvre museum ticket (adult) cost EUR 11 per person.
  • Versailles ticket is EUR 18. RER C  from city to Versailles cost about EUR 7 return.
  • Orsay museum ticket cost EUR 9 per person.
  • Eurostar, EUR 88 return/person. Please refer my earlier post.
  • Tune Hotel London at GBP 65 per night (double, ensuite).
  • 7 days London travelcard cost GBP 30.40, we will load it into Oyster card,  which needs GBP 5 refundable deposit.
  • Ticketmaster offers cheap theatre tickets. 'Wicked the Musical' available at GBP 18 per person. Seat with restricted view though. Not a big issue for us, we just want to experience the show.
  • Day excursion to Stonehenge and nearby areas available at GBP 42 per person, package can be purchased online through Viator.
  • Each day, we allocated EUR 50 per person for meal in Paris, and GBP 50 while in London. We will not eat in restaurant every time, but instead mix with other inexpensive meal options.
In general, I think a two weeks vacation in Paris and London will cost roughly MYR 15000-18000 for two people, all inclusive. However, one can always reduce the cost further by trading-off some comforts and funs. For example, staying in backpackers hostels (even better if you have relatives or friends there), visiting only free atrractions, and preparing own meals.



  1. The budget draft seems ok, especially the Paris part.
    I think that you should probably choose a 2 star hotel in Paris since all the rooms are small and the overall hotel quality is bad in the city.
    Also the food budget may be lower 600-650.

  2. Thanks for the tips Zubi. We wish to book better room, but hotel prices in Paris are exorbitant!

  3. Paris and London are the two most biggest tourist hub in Europe. You can't expect them to be cheaper but still by taking some precautions you can save a large amount of money on them. Instead of taking a flight, you can use Eurostar for traveling between the cities. Also by giving rental apartments over hotels on those cities you can manage your budget pretty well.

  4. Hi Walter,

    Thanks for the useful tips!

  5. Whether you are planning to go Paris or other overseas location, you should first consider making your trip more budget-friendly. With some prior planning, you can actually save a bundle of money and enjoy a superb, yet low-cost vacation. It is always advisable to do prior bookings of flights and rental apartments. Try to travel in off-season as this is the best when you can get amazing deals and discounts of travel packages.

    1. Hi Anie, totally agree. Early planning, and some research before the trip will help!

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