9 Tips On How To Vacation In The French Riviera On A Tight Budget

9 Tips On How To Vacation In The French Riviera On A Tight Budget

How To Vacation In The French Riviera On A Tight Budget

The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur in French) is a popular coastal region in the south of France that is famous for being a favorite vacation destination for royalty and aristocrats, a playground for the rich and famous, and a summer getaway for billionaires. After hearing all those horn-tooting descriptions, you would naturally assume that The French Riviera is only accessible to those with private jets and large bank accounts. That’s actually not true.

Although The French Riviera includes popular cities such as Cannes, Saint Tropez, Nice, and Monaco which are famous for glitz and glamor, these towns are still predominantly small fishing towns. That means regular hardworking people such as fishermen, hotel attendants, accountants, butchers, teachers, and small business owners live there and eat there just fine. Which makes it possible for anyone to vacation there even on a budget, just like the locals do. Here are my 9 tips to help you plan a vacation in the French Riviera even on a tight budget.

 

1. Instead of A Yatch, Rent A Car:

How To Vacation In The French Riviera On A Tight BudgetInstead of spending your life savings to sail on an expensive yacht, rent a small convertible such as a Mini Cooper for about $200 per day and have an exciting adventure driving up the coast, seeing as many coastal towns as you want. You can start in Saint Tropez and drive up the coast towards Cannes, Nice, and Monaco.

 

2. Instead of Renting A Car, Take The Train:

How To Vacation In The French Riviera On A Tight BudgetIf you’re interested in seeing the scenery of many coastal towns up close but still want to stay on an even tighter budget then take the train instead of renting a car. Each town has a local train (with big beautiful windows to enjoy the scenery) that travels up and down the coast of the breathtaking towns of The French Riviera without sacrificing the view.

 

3. Instead of Small Yatch Experience, Take A Day-Trip Boat Trip:

How To Vacation In The French Riviera On A Tight BudgetIf you still want to experience The French Riviera from a boat but have no budget for even a small yacht, then consider day-trip boat trips. For a day trip of about 2-4 hours expect to pay around $100 – $200 per person for a few hours of water exploration. You’ll still be able to enjoy the view from the water and take many beautiful pictures while staying on a budget.

 

4. Book Your Trip Months In Advance:

How To Vacation In The French Riviera On A Tight BudgetFor accommodation discounts, book well in advance before peak season so that you can only pay a fraction of the price. If you book several months in advance, use Expedia Package Deals where you can see the hotel and be able to search based on your budget and preference.

5. Book A Small Bed & Breakfast Instead of Airbnb:

How To Vacation In The French Riviera On A Tight BudgetAn even cheaper accommodation alternative is to book a small bed and breakfast in a local neighborhood away from the city but still venture into the city every day to have fun, explore and take pictures for your Instagram.

 

6. Skip The Nice Eateries & Eat At The Corner Cafe’s:

How To Vacation In The French Riviera On A Tight BudgetFor food, skip the hotel room-service and the nice eateries located along popular streets (they tend to be expensive) and opt to eat where the locals eat. Chances are that where the locals eat is the restaurant where the prices are budget-friendly. And instead of big restaurants, opt for bistros and corner cafes where the locals get their food and pastries. Bella Vita is a wonderful restaurant option in Monte Carlo. The food is amazing and priced between $20 – $50 equivalent.

 

7. Cook Food In Your AirnBnB:

Alfresco picture courtesy of Sugar and Charm

For a cheaper food alternative, if you’re renting an Air BnB with a stove, and a balcony, deck or backyard, then just get groceries from the local grocery store and cook some French meals. Other shoppers at the grocery store would be happy to recommend some great French recipes that are easy to try. Cooking local food in your rental for an alfresco lunch or dinner is an intimate or romantic option especially if you’re traveling with company.

 

8. Skip The Private Beaches & Opt For the Public Beach:

Rent an umbrella and opt for a public beach where the locals and tourists frequent instead of the extravagant private beaches. You can relax with a book, drink some cocktails, play beach volleyball or simply people-watch.

 

9. Splurge on One Extravagant Memorable Experience:

If you’ve saved all vacation long and now want to splurge on one extravagantly French activity, consider a lunch or dinner at the renowned Le Louis XV Restaurant at Hotel De Paris in Monte Carlo. The food, ambience and reputation never ceases to amaze. There’s a dress code with jacket required.

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