More new photos…Total Expenses for 16 nights in Paris….Hotel review…Tom’s pizza and dessert for the last dinner n Paris…

Of course, we had to end with a photo of the Eiffel Tower.  It seems to have a personality of its own, offering varying views based on weather, crowds and time of day.

By adding every last Euro we spent for the 16 nights in Paris, our grand total is as shown below with a breakdown of the expenses. We were over the budget by US $250, $187, the approximate amount we paid at the airport for our overweight baggage.

Included in the total is the following:

US $3352, EU $2511 Hotel Eiffel Seine
         211, EU $158 Taxi, train fare
         644, EU $483 Tours and sightseeing
       1438, EU $1077 Dining and groceries including all taxes, fees and tips
         959, EU $719 Airfare and baggage fees

Grand Total:
US $6604, EU $4948 Grand total at an average cost per day for two of US $413, EU $310.

Wow! The architecture is breathtaking.

The total cost for this period of time in Paris is comparable to the estimated cost per day of our upcoming cruise on August 31st of US $417, EU $312 including Internet fees and non-inclusive alcoholic beverages.

It is these expenses that motivate us to stay put for two to three months at a time when we have time to recover from the higher costs for hotels and cruises. At the end of the year, it all averages to an average monthly cost we’d budgeted long ago, so far, very close to our target.

Hand made pasta in the window of a local restaurant/deli.

Where are the days of “see Paris on $20 (EU $15) a day? ” Or even US $100, EU $75 a day? In what century was that possible? 

We stayed in a mid-range hotel, dined in mid-range restaurants (except for three occasions), walked everywhere seldom taking a taxi, and made no frivolous purchases.

There’s a pharmacy every few blocks.

In all, the VAT taxes, city taxes, and built in “service charges” attributed to the high cost of our grand total, which is as much as 40%. It’s no wonder that travelers stay in Paris for short periods. 

The total cost for the outstanding two and a half months on the island of Madeira, Portugal was US $10720, EU $7979 at an average daily rate of US $139, EU $104. 

We were able to flag down a taxi as we stood at this corner after dining at La Fontaine de Mars on Tuesday.

Also, the total cost for the extraordinary three months we spent in Marloth Park, South Africa was US $11070, EU $8294 at an average cost of US $123, EU $92 per day.

Is it any wonder that we’ve chosen to stay put as often as we can? Without doing so, we’d hardly be able to continue traveling for the long term.

With almost 13,000 restaurants listed on Trip Advisor in Paris, it’s tricky deciding on where to dine.

Of course, these decisions were made long ago when we knew full well that cruising would always require staying in a vacation home for two to three months. We’ve had the good fortune of having mostly extraordinary experiences in the vacation homes we’ve rented. 

As for the Hotel Eiffel Seine, we’ve found it to be a good boutique hotel with excellent front desk service by knowledgeable English speaking staff always willing to help in any manner. The cleanliness of the hotel was superb, although the room was seldom cleaned by 2:00 pm.

Most of this perfect-looking fruit has been imported to Paris as is the case in many other cities throughout the world.

As is the case in most boutique hotels, breakfast is available at an additional cost per person at US $12, EU $9 for continental and US $21, EU $16 for a small buffet with few options: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, cold cereals, toast and basic French pastries, juice, coffee, tea, and milk. 

We only had breakfast once, early on, provided gratuitously by the hotel when our bathroom ceiling had been leaking for days. Had it been more appealing, we may have had it again, especially when we booked late dinner reservations in finer restaurants and for the River Seine cruise. 

Beautiful fruit for sale along the boulevard. 

Yes, we’d recommend this hotel without hesitation. With its free WiFi, high level of service and cleanliness, the most comfortable bed and covers in which we’ve slept in two years, proximity to the train station (across the street) and buses. Of course, the three-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine, the Hotel Eiffel Seine only adds to the motive to stay in this hotel for the mid-range traveler.

During our 16 day stay, occasionally we had entertained the thought of having breakfast in an outdoor café. But, after many less than memorable dining experiences in the neighborhood, we decided against it. Why pay for less than desirable food when one isn’t hungry?

In the city of Paris, we never saw a free standing single home. Literally, all the housing consists of apartment buildings such as this. We’ve found living in apartments such as these unappealing to us. We’re glad we stayed in Paris for this shorter period than our usual two to three months. Apartments such as these are very expensive.

Tom and I calculated how much more we could have spent if we were like most travelers eating three meals a day. It could easily have been as much as an additional US $100, EU $75 per day (for two) for an extra US $1600, EU $1196 bringing the grand total up to US $7604, EU $6644.

We realize that most people coming to Paris as a vacation/holiday don’t stay for over two weeks. From what we’ve gleaned from sitting in the lobby posting each morning, many from the US for example, stay for a weekend or a maximum of five nights. However, the average daily cost would be the same.

Carved door to a city business center.

We’ve spoken to others stating they’ve allocated $1000’s for a special occasion trip to Paris to celebrate an anniversary or a birthday. Simply put, one must be prepared to spend approximately US $500, EU $374 per day to do so comfortably, in a mid-range hotel with more than one meal per day and one bottle of wine per day, including airfare, hotel, dining, transportation, tours, and entertainment.

I must add that Tom drank alcoholic beverages less than four times at dinner, our only meal, usually having one 50ml beer averaging US $11, EU $8.24. I don’t drink alcohol and on a rare occasion, I order tea or mineral water at about half the cost of beer. It’s our responsibility to research restaurants before choosing them to ensure they fit our guidelines.

Tom was ready to dig into his large pizza at Amalfi.

Had Tom consumed three beers each night, the additional cost would have been approximately US $352, EU $264.  We can only imagine how much more it would have been, had we ordered wine or two to three cocktails with dinner. (Tom doesn’t avoid ordering a cocktail due to the cost. It is his dislike for the available options.  Often, I encourage him to have a beer or cocktail but he declines, content to drink water with dinner).

Oh sure, we sound “nitpicky,” nickel and dime-ing ourselves to the hilt. However, we tend to order food off the menu that we truly want, not the lowest priced items, and never making any type of fuss about the bill or prices of the food, services, or products. 

The dish of Italian grilled calamari (squid) in a gluten-free chunky tomato sauce with a side of green beans and salad was one of the best meals I’ve had in Paris.

Diplomacy. This is crucial for us, for our personal enjoyment and integrity.

We may seem as if we’re “tightwads.” We’re not. We’re careful and most of all appreciative of the opportunity we’ve created for ourselves to travel the world for as long as we can, for as long as we chose, only possible with our diligent record-keeping while maintaining a budget that impacts every expenditure.

Last night Tom had this pizza topped with an egg at Amalfi, our favorite local restaurant.

So, dear readers, that’s the scoop of our time in Paris. Today, we’re off to London on the Eurostar, eyes wide open for pickpockets and for the excitement of traveling on this unbelievable train that travels under the English Channel. 

By late afternoon, we’ll be situated in our London hotel, expecting similar expenses with very otherwise different experiences.  We’ll be back tomorrow morning with our first post from London, photos, cost, and description of traveling on the Eurostar plus, our first peek at the London scenery.

Tom’s last dinner in Paris was topped off by a banana split. Our total bill for the above dinner US $50, EU $37.50 which we considered reasonable especially including this US $12, EU $9 banana split. Tom said it was well spent. Nary a taste for me but, the viewing was lovely.

Thank you for “virtually” traveling along with us as we continue on our worldwide journey. Pack your imaginary bags (not too much stuff) and prepare yourself for the next leg!

                                             Photo from one year ago, August 16, 2013:

The view from the 300-year-old stone house where we lived for two and a half months, located in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. We wrote about Tom’s frustration over the poor Internet signal preventing him from watching the Minnesota Vikings football games after paying US $169, EU $126 to the NFL website for viewing games while outside the US.  No refund was provided. As a result, he has given up hoping to watch the games. For details from that date, please click here.

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