You could budget to do Paris for just $75 a day (hey, where there’s a will, there’s a way), but it’s your vacances: If you’ve got your sights set on the City of Light, you’ve earned the right to splurge. So, let’s say seven days away will set you back a cool $4,500 (airfare, hotels, fancy farmers’ market fromage, all included). Here, how to build it into your budget and save for the entire trip in just six months.
How to Save for a Luxury Vacation in Paris in Just 6 Months
Pack A Lunch 3 Times Per Week: $864 Saved
Every time you forget to brown bag your lunch, you end up shelling out approximately $12 on a sad desk salad. We’re not saying you should deny yourself every opportunity to go on a midday food run with colleagues, but instead, prioritize BYO lunch three times a week as a simple step to sock away travel cash. (Think about it: Last night’s leftovers might not be very exciting, but they will be when you put all that money saved toward round-trip airfare to Charles de Gaulle.)
Host Friends For Dinner Instead Of Eating Out: $1,200 Saved
Let’s just say you go out once per weekend with your pals. Between the apps and the rosé chilled red and the shared desserts, you end up spending about $100 a weekend. (Oops.) Save those dollars and have friends over for dinner instead. If everyone brings an app—or a bottle of wine—you’ll still spend a little, but save a lot. (Or you could try this super-easy dinner party menu that will set you back just $50.) Four-star hotel costs = covered.
Quit The Gym: $390 Saved
Say your membership is $65 a month. A) You could work out outdoors (run! jog! hike!) or B) you could stream a free 20-minute workout online. Honestly, the amount you’ll save is enough to cover the tasting menu for at least one Michelin-starred meal out. Worth it.
Trade Clothes Shopping For Rent The Runway Unlimited: $1,206 Saved
Instead of splurging on three or four outfits a month that you wear three or four times and get bored with—to the tune of $350 or more—enroll in this subscription service from RTR that allows you to update your everyday casual and office-appropriate wardrobe weekly (or even daily) depending on your needs. Sure, it will set you back $159 a month—although it’s $99 for the first four weeks—but outfits from brands like Kate Spade and See by Chloé are unlimited so your wardrobe stays fresh on a budget. (Bonus: You can pack a few items for Paris.)
Do Your Own Pedicure: $240 Saved
We know, we know, it’s a biggie, *but* hear us out: Say you get two pedicures a month, which amounts to around $40ish dollars before tip. It adds up! (And quite honestly, this is cash you could be putting toward bopping around iconic French museums like the Louvre or the Rodin or the Orangerie.) Make a pledge to do your own toes—notice, we didn’t say nails, which are much too visible in work meetings and such—for just six months. (With the right technique, you’ll be almost as good as the pros, promise.)
Take One Less Lyft A Month: $120 Saved
We’re not saying you have to go cold turkey on cabs, but if you can cut just one ride a month, you’ll most likely pocket an extra $15 to 20 (and maybe more). Consider it cash that will go into your baguette and fromage slush fund.
Auto Deposit $20 Weekly Into A Paris-specific Savings Account: $480 Saved
It’s a brilliant move adopted by the savviest savers: Set it and forget it—the “it” being an automatic deposit into a savings account that’s earmarked for a targeted goal (i.e., travel). It’s easy to set up. In fact, banks like Capital One allow you to nickname up to 25 separate savings accounts at no extra cost. And you probably won’t notice $20 less a week—cash you can tap into for all the fun vacation extras that come up (a tour of Le Tour Eiffel, eating all the Pierre Hermé macarons, shopping on the Champs-Élysées, etc.).