Transcript for Episode 395: How to Enjoy France on a Student Budget

Table of Contents for this Episode

Categories: France How To, France on a Budget

[00:00:00] Intro

[00:00:00] Annie Sargent: This is Join Us in France episode 395, trois cent quatre-vingt-quinze.

[00:00:22] Annie Sargent: Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and Join Us in France is the podcast where we talk about France, everyday life in France, great places to visit in France, French culture, history, gastronomy and news related to travel to France.

[00:00:37] Annie Sargent: Today, I bring you a conversation with Josh Taylor about visiting France on a student budget. You don’t need to be a student to learn from this episode because there are lots of us who enjoy a good deal, if we know where to find it. And these days, air travel is getting more and more expensive. Perhaps you can cut back on some other expenses ?

[00:00:59] Annie Sargent: Honestly, that’s what I like to do myself when it’s possible, so I look forward to hearing about your tips for enjoying France on a budget.

[00:01:07] Donor and listener support

[00:01:07] Annie Sargent: This podcast is supported by donors and listeners who buy my tours and services, including my itinerary consult service and my GPS self-guided tours of Paris on the VoiceMap app.

[00:01:20] Annie Sargent: And you can browse all of that at my boutique, joinusinfrance.com/boutique. I find myself in a little bit of a pickle because I am several hundred emails behind. I took 10 days off as you know, and I haven’t recovered email-wise yet. I’m not up to date responding to all the people who want to participate in the immersion week, May 21st through May 27th next year.

[00:01:46] Annie Sargent: Don’t despair, I’m getting there. I was surprised how many of you responded, which is a good problem to have, but there are a lot of emails for me to deal with. And if you’re generally interested, but you haven’t made a decision yet, which is fine because we have 11 months to go, remember to sign up for the newsletter at joinusinfrance.com/newsletter, where I’ll update you on the France bootcamp.

[00:02:21] Main show

[00:02:21] Annie Sargent: Bonjour, Joshua Taylor and welcome to Join Us in France!

[00:02:26] Josh Taylor: Bonjour Annie, thank you so much, I’m excited to be here.

[00:02:28] Annie Sargent: Oh, lovely to have you. We’re going to talk about something we haven’t done enough at all on this podcast, which is talking about France on a student budget. It’s come up a few times, but never enough. So I’m really excited to talk to you because you have some very good ideas about what to do when you want to travel, and you’re a student and you’re on a budget, so let’s get to it right away. You sent me some fabulous ideas and I think people will really benefit from listening to this episode. So why don’t you take it away, Joshua?

[00:03:02] Deals for Students

[00:03:02] Josh Taylor: Yeah, of course. So some of my ideas are things that have been mentioned in the past that I decided to take on and some of them are things I kind of discovered, and some of them are more just like common sense things, that maybe you just wouldn’t think of.

[00:03:15] Josh Taylor: So the first one, specifically for students that I was able to do was take advantage of student deals. So these are things like at museums and maybe an 18 to 25 year old will get a lower price, or music clubs a lot, they’ll have a lowered price for people in that age range as well. Events, I was often able to get like a free ticket for events that were catered towards maybe an older audience, because it seems like France is very dedicated to getting younger people interested in more like artistic things and more cultural events. And I think that’s why they have those lower prices for younger people.

[00:03:53] In France, if they can find a discount or a deal to give you, they will be very happy to do it. They’ll do it with a smile, it will actually make their day.

[00:04:01] Josh Taylor: I see. You didn’t feel that people were like really happy to give you a discount?

[00:04:05] I mean, I didn’t necessarily notice that, but it wasn’t something…

[00:04:08] Bring your student card!

[00:04:08] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. And you need to bring your student card. If you are a student, even if it’s a high school student card or a college student card, bring it! Have it on you because you will use it just about everywhere go.

[00:04:24] Some of them, there were a couple, but it was just the age range, I was able to get a free pass to a specific,temporary event at the Musée des Arts, just because I was in that age range, but then most of the time I did show my student card to get the discount.

[00:04:38] Excellent.

[00:04:39] Plane tickets deals for students

[00:04:39] Josh Taylor: And then the last thing, with the student deals, plane tickets, most airlines do have a specific booking, like a specific booking websites for students. You sign up with your student accounts and email address, and you can get discounted plane tickets through specific airlines.

[00:04:54] Josh Taylor: There are also different other travel agencies that are geared towards students that you sign up with a student email address, and then you get cheaper plane tickets. So I was able to get a really good deal on my plane tickets.

[00:05:04] Annie Sargent: That’s cool, I didn’t realize that. I mean, it used to be when I was a student, which is, you know, a couple of weeks ago.

[00:05:11] Josh Taylor: Just a few.

[00:05:13] Annie Sargent: Yeah. We had travel agencies just for students, at least in Toulouse where I grew up. And that travel agency was called Wastels, I still remember it. And it was across the street from the train station and you could go and get really good deals. And I never really took advantage of too many of them because I always thought, you know, you’re going to get stranded in Afghanistan or whatever. Because a lot of these were too exotic places and I’m not that courageous. I’m not that brave, but yeah, it was always really interesting to see all the really cheap train tickets you could get and all of that. But anyway, that’s so long ago, that doesn’t exist anymore. But it’s good to know that they still do it.

[00:05:57] Student Universe Deals Website

[00:05:57] Annie Sargent: So you just go into Google and type I don’t know, Delta for students or something?

[00:06:01] The website I use specifically was Student Universe. I think it’s kind of a conglomeration of all the different airlines student deals just onto one website. But it books you through a major airline. And then, when I was on the United app and I saw a specific tab on that app for Book a plane ticket for students. So you could also do it directly through the airline, I believe.

[00:06:22] Annie Sargent: Very good. Excellent.

[00:06:25] Events on specific dates you are there

[00:06:25] Josh Taylor: The next thing that I did, it’s kind of specific to the dates you’ll be there. I would definitely suggest looking for events during your dates in the specific cities. For example, when I was there, it was called Nuit de Musées, that there was a night that most of the museums were free. So, I was able to do a couple of museums just for free. That was a nice little added bonus that I wasn’t expecting. But yeah, there are other events that could be free, it could be something that you’re not planning on specifically, but then if you look for anything oh, on the 17th, and there’s a fun little event that I can get into for a couple of euros, or for free, and have a little bit more of a local experience, maybe.

[00:07:05] Metro Ads for Events in Paris

[00:07:05] Annie Sargent: Yeah. And also if you’re in Paris, look at the ads in the Metro. They always advertise all of these things, and sometimes it’s for expensive, you know, like the Opera, whatever, that’s 100 euros. But they also have like little groups and if you go to, well, if you’re in a group that’s like a rock group or something, that’s not very famous, a lot of these young performers will just put like posters up on wherever they can, like at the bakery or on a board somewhere, you know, read those.

[00:07:41] When I was on the Metro, then I saw a band that I listened to their music. They were advertising a concert in Paris that was free. It was actually the day after I left, so I wasn’t able to go. But yeah, there, there are things that you normally wouldn’t know about, maybe they will catch your eye there.

[00:07:58] Free events around holidays

[00:07:58] Annie Sargent: Yeah. And in Paris, well, in France, in general, we have a lot of like, cities will put on big events with free concerts and things like that. Like for the 14th of July, that’s the next holiday coming up here, they will have balls, and like the Fireman’s Ball. It’s free, but it is kind of a fundraiser for the firemen, you know, they’ll ask for donations or whatever, but it’s a free evening. It’s a free dance and there’s like, they have beer kegs and things like that. And you usually have to pay for the beer, but it’s kind of a fun atmosphere. Around the Eiffel Tower for the 14th of July, they always have like a big symphony, and that’s free.

[00:08:38] Annie Sargent: Anyway, there are free events all over France around holidays. And so you just have to figure out.

[00:08:45] Take advantage of the tourist office

[00:08:45] Annie Sargent: And the tourist office would also be a good place to ask for what’s going on. You know, I’m here for two weeks, is there something I should know about? It doesn’t cost any money and you never know what, even if it’s a podunk little town, they might have something coming up that you need to know about.

[00:09:00] Josh Taylor: Yeah, I think that was something that I regret not taking advantage of, the tourist office, especially in some of the smaller towns that I visited. I found myself just kind of wandering and not really knowing exactly what there was to do. I had done some research, but I think I would suggest going to the tourist office, unless you have very specific things that you want to see and do.

[00:09:20] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Even the French tourist offices, they don’t really update their websites all that frequently or whatever. And so they probably have things that they can tell you about. And if you’re good about asking them specific questions, like you can just go and say, are there any bars with live music? Are there any, you know, whatever it is that you’re interested in, just ask them if they have that. Think of a list of things that might be interesting to you and go ask them.

[00:09:49] Ask for free alternatives to activities you want

[00:09:49] So the next thing was kind of a small, specific thing, but if there’sany events that you want to do, just kind of in general, like I say, I want to go see a museum that’s interesting. Or I want to go to a greenhouse or a garden, or I want to go see a jazz club, which is something that I did. If you have that activity in mind, then search around because there’s probably a free version where you don’t have to pay $20 for an entrance fee. And if all you want to do is do that activity, then you might as well find a free version that you’re not going to have to pay for.

[00:10:20] And if you’re a student, for instance, if you want to try some French wine and you don’t have the money for a whole sommelier evening with expensive bottles or whatever, just go to any bar and they’ll serve you a glass of wine. You could even say, you know, I’ll try a glass of wine from the South of France or from the North, well, the North of France doesn’t really make wine, you know from Bordeaux or from you know, I want a rosé or whatever, and you’ll pay, you know, three, four bucks for a glass of wine and it would be a fun experience.

[00:10:52] Food and groceries

[00:10:52] The next thing was kind of my saving grace, as far as budget goes, the food, because it’s so easy when you’re there to spend an incredible amount of money on food. And if you have that money, go for it, because all the food I had there was obviously amazing. And even grocery shopping was one of my, like the most fun experiences that I had, cause this, these aisles with all of these French products and it’s just fun to look around and see what there is.

[00:11:16] Annie Sargent: Yeah, it doesn’t look like Albertsons, does it?

[00:11:19] Josh Taylor: Right. It’s quite different. What I did was, I set a daily food budget of 20 euros, so basically what I did was, did two or three days of, I would just go and grocery shop I would get a couple baguettes and some cheese and some vegetables, a couple of fruit and just put them in the mini fridge in my hostel or in my Airbnb. And use that for my meals for a couple of days.

[00:11:42] Josh Taylor: That would basically average out to maybe 7 to 10 euros a day. And then I would use that extra money that I hadn’t used from the $20 budget to go out and have a nice dinner on the third or fourth day.

[00:11:54] Josh Taylor: So through my two-week trip then I had three kind of nice dinners and for the rest of the time I was just kind of grocery shopping. But I don’t even think that I feel like I missed out on any culinary experience, because even shopping at the French grocery store, I found some fun French products, like roasted pepper spreads and olives that I was able to make some sandwiches with.

[00:12:14] Josh Taylor: And so I felt like I got one side of an authentic French food experience, and thenwith the restaurants then I got another side.

[00:12:21] Classic French dishes at the grocery stores

[00:12:21] Annie Sargent: Yeah. And you can also get classic French dishes, there are sections of the grocery store where they do catering type of things.

[00:12:29] Josh Taylor: Yeah, exactly.

[00:12:30] Annie Sargent: And if you have a microwave, you can just warm it up and enjoy your classic Gratin Dauphinois or whatever it is.

[00:12:36] Annie Sargent: It’s not that expensive.

[00:12:38] Josh Taylor: It’s a lot cheaper than if you went to a restaurant and ordered that.

[00:12:41] Annie Sargent: Yeah, definitely.

[00:12:42] Book places that offer free breakfast

[00:12:42] And another thing that I did was also related, when you’re booking, I would recommend always looking for places that give free breakfast, because that’s going to cut off a lot of costs if you’re paying the same amount for your hotel, but it also gives you breakfast and that’s maybe 5 euro that you don’t have to spend on a breakfast somewhere else.

[00:13:02] What I did was, I would eat a pretty big breakfast and then maybe pack a couple of croissants in my bag, and so I could use that breakfast and then some of my groceries for lunch, a little snack in the middle of the day. And then if I wanted to go out for a meal in the evening, then do that, or use my groceries and make myself a nice little sandwich or fruit or something for dinner.

[00:13:24] Annie Sargent: Most places, the breakfast is not going to have, you know, eggs and bacon and stuff like that.

[00:13:30] Josh Taylor: Yeah, it’s just bread and jam and butter and maybe some cereal.

[00:13:34] Bread, butter and jam is normal French breakfast. Sometimes, they do Nutella.

[00:13:40] Josh Taylor: Yeah, there was that one of the hostels I stayed.

[00:13:42] Annie Sargent: There you go. So that’s quality hostel right there.

[00:13:47] Josh Taylor: Yeah, I will say that there was one place that didn’t have breakfast. And so there was a boulangerie right next to where I stayed. And one of my favorite memories from the trip is going over there and it was right after they’d open. Then I ordered the baguette, and then went back and I had a jar of jam that I had bought, and so I had this warm baguette fresh out of the oven with butter and jam it was just the most incredible thing. Like I know it’s a very quintessential French experience, but just having that warm baguette was absolutely divine.

[00:14:17] Annie Sargent: Well, it was great that you didn’t feel deprived. That’s wonderful to hear. Yeah. There’s no reason to feel deprived in France. You can find food that you can afford. And the other thing is, you know, people get carried away with the best bakery, the best this, the best that. Listen, just go to the one next to you, right?

[00:14:34] Give grocery stores a chance

[00:14:34] It’ll be fine. You don’t need to go all over the town to find the best one. And the other thing that visitors usually like, is to purchase things at open air markets, which is fine, but it’s always more expensive than the grocery store, okay? So if you want the inexpensive grocery stores in Paris, you’re going to have Franprix everywhere, you’re going to havenot so many Lidl, but in the rest of France, lidl is always a good value.

[00:15:05] Josh Taylor: I went to a lot of Carrefour markets.

[00:15:08] Annie Sargent: Carrefour markets, yes.

[00:15:09] Annie Sargent: Yeah, and they’re just fine.

[00:15:10] Josh Taylor: Right.

[00:15:11] Just walk in and you’ll see things that you like, and be a little curious, you know, try something different.

[00:15:17] Josh Taylor: I would definitely recommend that.

[00:15:18] Annie Sargent: And I did a whole episode, I can’t remember which one it was, but I did a whole episode about the price of groceries in French grocery stores. It’s a couple of years old, so things have gone up a bit, but it would give you an idea of the kind of price range. And I’ll link to that in the show notes for this episode as well.

[00:15:35] Josh Taylor: Right, for sure.

[00:15:36] Annie Sargent: Okay.

[00:15:37] Josh Taylor: But yeah, I was able to, 20 to 25 euro a day was just enough for me to get by on food. You can obviously spend a lot more than that, if you want.

[00:15:45] Annie Sargent: Of course. Yes.

[00:15:47] Booking Train Tickets

[00:15:47] Josh Taylor: Alright. So the next thing, if you’re using a specific travel agency to look for hotels or flights or something, if you’re doing it all on one specific website, if you’re starting to plan your trip early enough, then keep an eye out for deals that maybe they’ll have like $50 off a hotel a night, or $200 off a plane ticket, then you can take advantage of those.

[00:16:07] Josh Taylor: And that’s not specific to students, that’s just kind of something that everyone can do.

[00:16:11] Check multiple websites for deals

[00:16:11] Josh Taylor: But, also checking multiple websites for train tickets, because there are a few that you can book train tickets through, you can book like specifically through.

[00:16:19] Josh Taylor: SNCF orthere’s the Ouigo website that I used a lot, and then there’s other websites like Rome2Rio and different places, but I was definitely able to find a really low price on a train on this website between these cities. And then there was a really little train on it. Different website for these cities.

[00:16:38] Josh Taylor: So if you have enough time to plan and do that, then it’s pretty easy to get lower prices on different websites that La SNCF isn’t always going to have the best deal.

[00:16:49] Look out for deal notifications

[00:16:49] Josh Taylor: And again with trains, keep an eye on notifications for train deals. And I noticed that Ouigo had a lot of these, I sign up for their email notifications and every couple of weeks, and they would send out like, between these cities, then you can get a train ticket for a 10 euro or they had a deal where all the trains from Paris to the Loire valley and all the trains between the Loire valley cities were 5 Euro.

[00:17:12]And so I got a train to go from Paris to Saumur for 5 euros and that was a lot cheaper than I would have, and in a different date range.

[00:17:21] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Keep an eye on those, and Ouigo is usually the cheapest way to go in France, and when they send you alerts like this, don’t wait too long because those tickets do go. I mean, there are people who just know that they want to go visit grandma who is wherever, and they’re just waiting for a good price and they just jump on it the minute it’s out.

[00:17:41] Annie Sargent: And obviously, those lowest prices don’t, you know, it’s not forever. It forces you to plan a little bit, but if you can, you will save a lot of money. And you can buy Ouigo tickets usually 8 months ahead or something.

[00:17:55] Josh Taylor: Yeah, it’s quite, quite a bit and ahead of in advance.

[00:17:59] Annie Sargent: Yeah. So that’s a very good way to go.

[00:18:01] Buses are also inexpensive

[00:18:01] Annie Sargent: Also, the other inexpensive way to travel in France is with the buses. And so there’s a bunch of bus companies that offer unbeatable prices to go across France. It’s inexpensive, but it’s very long. Like you’re going to be on

[00:18:20] Annie Sargent: the bus forever. Yeah. And the bus drivers, even if they switch off, they have to take breaks and it’s like, oh, kill me now.

[00:18:30] Ouigo

[00:18:30] Annie Sargent: So Ouigo is a lot better because it’s a high speed train and it’s a cheap train, but it still goes pretty fast.

[00:18:37] Josh Taylor: Yeah, I didn’t have any problems with traveling with it. There were, the seats were comfortable, they had an outlet if you wanted to charge your phone. And there was nothing wrong with that.

[00:18:46] Annie Sargent: Ouigo doesn’t always have an outlet, some seats have an outlet. Not all of them. So, I guess don’t plan on that, but it’s nice it’s there.

[00:18:55] BlaBlaCar

[00:18:55] Annie Sargent: Yes, yes. The other way that’s really cheap to travel in France is BlaBlaCar.

[00:19:01] Annie Sargent: Is good for students because, and this is more like a last minute thing, so if you decide, oh, I want to go wherever tomorrow,you go to BlaBlaCar, the website and you enter the place and almost certainly you’ll find somebody who’s going in the same direction and will give you a ride and they just tell you, it tells you on the app, I’ll take you for 5 bucks or 10 bucks or whatever.

[00:19:24] Annie Sargent: And it’s usually not very expensive and it’s a good cultural experience because you don’t know who you’re going to be riding with.

[00:19:31] The one disadvantage of that is that typically, they won’t come and get you, you know, you have to go to them. So if it’s in the same city, but on the other side of the city, it might be inconvenient. So think about that, but you know, you have somebody to chat with the whole time, so that’s good. And use your French, it’s good.

[00:19:49] Josh Taylor: Yeah, exactly.

[00:19:50] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Did you try BlaBlaCar?

[00:19:52] I looked at it a couple of times, but it didn’t end up working with, kind of like where I wanted to go. But, I did look at it and the prices were definitely pretty unbeatable.

[00:20:03] Save on luggage with carry-ons

[00:20:03] Josh Taylor: So the next thing, I think it’s specifically only to, I know that Delta charges for luggage, so if you can, just use carry-ons and that’s going to save a $100 or $150, with paying for baggage. I ended up using United and they don’t charge for your first checked bag.

[00:20:20] Josh Taylor: So, if your airline does charge for luggage, then if you can find a way to kind of fit everything into a carry on, then that’s one way to save a few dollars.

[00:20:28] But most airlines these days do give you at least one bag for free.

[00:20:33] Restaurants: go for lunch rather than dinner

[00:20:33] Josh Taylor: And another thing that’s been mentioned before, but I just wanted to throw it out again because it works well was, if you have a specific restaurant that you want to go to, or just want a nice France experience in a restaurant, go for lunch rather than dinner, because you’re going to save 10 to 20 euro if on fixed price menu for lunch, rather than going for dinner, and it’s nice to save some money.

[00:20:54] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:20:54] Free Cancellation tickets

[00:20:54] And the next few are kind of specific to planning. First of all, if you have, or if you’re able to, get free cancellation for a hotel or a train ticket, or anything that you book. Then it gives you a lot more flexibility. I made sure to get free cancellation for everything. And usually it’s not, it’s maybe like a dollar or two extra.

[00:21:14] Josh Taylor: But usually, you don’t even have to pay, you just have to find the right thing to book. And it gives you a lot more flexibility if like your plans change and you say, oh, I want to stay here for another day, then you can just cancel that train ticket and book for the next day. And I did take advantage of that a few times, even while I was on my trip, I realized I want to be here for one more day, I’m going to cancel this train ticket, get a refund, and then book it for the next day.

[00:21:36] Josh Taylor: That gives you a little bit more flexibility and saves you some money if you end up changing plans.

[00:21:40] Take your time booking

[00:21:40] And when you’re planning, I would say, give yourself lots of time to sit down and book. Because I found myself a couple of nights before I left and I realized that I hadn’t gotten some of the timed passes for Nuit de Musées, and so I was kind of feeling very stressed out about that, and I almost missed that Nuit de Musées that I mentioned, and I almost missed that I could have, I almost booked the $20 tickets for the museum, rather than seeing that was an event that I could’ve

[00:22:07] Josh Taylor: taken advantage of.

[00:22:09] Josh Taylor: If you can, give yourself lots of time to sit down and take the load off of, oh, I need to find the best deal, I leave in a week and I still don’t have my train tickets for this city, I’m just going to book the first one that I find.

[00:22:22] Josh Taylor: And you have two months and you’re constantly like looking and oh okay, the price has gone down a little bit, I’ll keep an eye on that. And if it starts to look like it’s going to go up, I’ll book them now.

[00:22:30] So several months in advance if you can, just kind of keep an eye on things.

[00:22:34] Yeah. I think if you can start planning a trip six months in advance, you’re ahead of the game.

[00:22:39] Josh Taylor: For sure.

[00:22:40] Overnight train instead of a hotel

[00:22:40] There were a couple times that I booked an overnight train to when I was traveling between cities instead of a hotel. So this is definitely, you’re sacrificing comfort for price, in a pretty extreme way.

[00:22:52] Josh Taylor: But, so definitely catered more towards younger people who are okay with sleeping in a seat and not necessarily having the most comfortable experience, but it saves you a lot of money.

[00:23:04] Josh Taylor: I got a like 30 euro overnight train ticket from Toulouse back to Paris, instead of getting like maybe a 50 euro train ticket and also paying for a hotel. It was definitely not the most comfortable experience, but as far as saving money, that’s kind of where my mind was. And that was the end of my trip, I just kind of getting back to Paris so I could get to the airport and leave. So, definitely not every night, if you can, take advantage of it once or twice, then it’ll save you a significant amount of money.

[00:23:34] Annie Sargent: Yes. And they do have, we have some night trains again in France. They stopped them and now they have night trains with like a couchette, so you can book a bed. But, I don’t know, I didn’t like them years ago and I don’t think I’m ever going to do that, but it’s possible, again.

[00:23:52] Josh Taylor: Mine had a reclining sleep seat, so I just kind of reclined back and took a nap. I didn’t sleep all through the night, but it worked well enough to get me enough sleep that I could manage the airport and fly home.

[00:24:04] Annie Sargent: Cool.

[00:24:04] Navigo semaine pass

[00:24:04] Then the last thing it’s been mentioned a few times, but the Navigo semaine pass if you’re only going to be in Paris for a week and it works with your dates, I think it goes through Sunday night and restarts, but I used the Metro a lot. I did, also did walk a lot. I think I averaged like 10 to 15 miles a day walking. But I also used the Metro a lot and having that Navigo pass was very convenient and that saved me a lot of money on Metro tickets.

[00:24:29] And you could also do, if you’re not arriving on the right day, you could do Navigo Easy. Where you just buy, they’re called T tickets and they have rates for students, I do believe.

[00:24:40] Josh Taylor: Oh, okay.

[00:24:40] Josh Taylor: So you get a bundle of, you buy them by packs of 10, but they’re not like paper tickets anymore, it’s on a little card. But buying the cards, the blue card it costs maybe a buck and a half or something. I think somebody told me they were free by now. Anyway. I didn’t pay for mine, but so I think, probably.

[00:24:58] Annie Sargent: And you load up however many tickets you think you’re going to need, and if you’re smart, then you listen to the podcast and you know that you could just explore the same area all day.

[00:25:09] Annie Sargent: You could get away with two Metro tickets a day.

[00:25:12] Josh Taylor: Yeah. So that is all the budget ideas I wrote down.

[00:25:15] Annie Sargent: Yeah, they’re excellent. They’re excellent. Now you had some challenges during your trip, and I want to hear about those, becausethose are always fun.

[00:25:24] Wallet got stolen

[00:25:24] Josh Taylor: Yes, the main one was that my wallet got stolen. I was in Paris for four days and that whole time that I was very vigilant. I had a side bag that I carried through the whole day and I would keep my phone in a zipper pocket bag and that was great. I felt safe. I always knew where my phone was.

[00:25:42] Josh Taylor: And my phone and my wallet were both in that same pocket and it just kind of was against my side, and I had my hand on it all day. I felt secure, I knew where my stuff was and even if a pickpocket wanted to, like, you’re not making yourself an easy target when you have something like that.

[00:25:57] Josh Taylor: Then I left Paris to go to Saumur to visit that Chateau, and in my brain I was like, all right, perfect, I’m out of the big city, I don’t really need to worry about pickpockets anymore. And so I went into a grocery store and got a couple of snacks and then put my wallet in my pocket. It was a very loose pocket in my shorts and then left and sat down to eat my snacks, I put my hand on my pocket to see where my wallet was and it was just gone.

[00:26:24] Annie Sargent: Ugh.I will say there is a reason that they call it pickpockets. If you can, just have a bag with a zipper pocket or a velcro pocket that you can keep your phone in, phone and wallet, you’re going to not regret it.

[00:26:36] Annie Sargent: Yes, they are crafty. They are good at it.

[00:26:39] It ended up being a lot easier to deal with than I kind of expected, because I only had like maybe 20 euro in there in cash, and then I just had my debit card. So I kind of dropped my plans for a couple of hours and I called my bank to have them cancel the card.

[00:26:56] Apple Pay works anywhere

[00:26:56] Josh Taylor: And then for the rest of the trip, I used Apple Pay. I signed up for another debit card with my bank. And then just added that to my phone and I used Apple Pay for the rest of my trip.

[00:27:08] Josh Taylor: So I didn’t have, my dad and I we’re trying to figure out a way to send cash through a Western Union Bank, but it ended up not working.

[00:27:16] Josh Taylor: And I was a little bit worried, but everywhere that I wanted to go, other than the open air markets,most stores and bakeries and restaurants, they’re going to have that contactless payment.

[00:27:27] Annie Sargent: Yeah, I use Apple Pay everywhere and you just have to know which card works where. So I know that Carrefour will take my Amex card on Apple Pay but anywhere else, if the default card is Amex, it will reject it, because they don’t take Amex.

[00:27:44] You just have to have more than one card on your Apple Pay. And you can do Apple Pay with your phone or with your watch, your Apple Watch or whatever.And it works everywhere. I don’t think it’s been declined anywhere. Like nowhere, not a museum store, not anything. I had a Visa card and I had no problems, it worked everywhere.

[00:28:03] Bring a debit card rather than credit

[00:28:03] Annie Sargent: And the other thing to consider is to bring a debit card. And I will explain this briefly, but French credit cards are not really credit cards. They are pay-at-the-end-of-the-month, pay-off-entirely-at-the-end-of-the-month cards.

[00:28:18] Annie Sargent: Very few people in France have an actual credit card where you can, you know, pay interest forever because that’s just against, the government doesn’t allow that. It’s only allowed for people who make a lot of money.

[00:28:31] Annie Sargent: So vendors in France are used to debit cards and sometimes, I don’t know why, but sometimes, actual American credit cards don’t go through. And it’s because it’s a credit card. If you had used a debit card, it would work.

[00:28:46] Annie Sargent: So just bring a debit card, if you have one. Or perhaps two from different banks, if you want to be safe, but you know, if you have a debit card and Apple Pay or there’s an equivalent, right, for Google Payments?

[00:29:02] Josh Taylor: Yeah, I think there is a Google Pay.

[00:29:04] Annie Sargent: Yeah, you know, just have those things. And also, set up your phone, phones these days, they have theft prevention things or things where you can, you know, kind of brick your phone from a distance. So set it up on a computer, and if you run into a pickle, you can just say, well, my phone’s gone, but at least I can erase all the data of my phone.

[00:29:27] Annie Sargent: So use all of these things as well. Okay. I’m sorry, but yeah, pickpockets are good at it. They are just good at it and that’s why they keep doing it.

[00:29:37] Josh Taylor: Yeah.Just be very vigilant, no matter where you are.

[00:29:39] Wrong train/SNCF Connect app

[00:29:39] Josh Taylor: All right. The next little challenge that I had, there were a few times where, one time I got on the wrong train, so I was in Blois and there was a train to Orleans and then there was a train to, it was a city like four kilometers outside of Orleans.

[00:29:52] Josh Taylor: And I got on the train to Orleans, which is not where my connecting train was. The conductor scanned my ticket and he said, oh, you’re on the wrong train. And I was like, oh no, this is not good. So very quickly I was able to figure it out because there was a train going from Orleans to that other train station, a couple minutes after Iarrived. It was a stressful 15 minute interchange, but I got to the train ticket, and then it was just a minute until my connecting train was leaving.

[00:30:19] Josh Taylor: So that was where the SNCF Connect app came in handy because you can book tickets really easily through that.

[00:30:27] Josh Taylor: And so, don’t freak out if something like that happens, you’re going to be able to get to where you need, eventually. Might take another couple hours and you might need to spend a little bit more money on a different ticket. But,that app was really very user-friendly and keeping it all on your phone and having the ticket on your phone and everything was very convenient.

[00:30:45] Annie Sargent: I think SNCF Connect is a good app. It really helps and it gives you notifications if there’s any changes or you know, the train’s not going for whatever reason, probably a strike, but it could also be that there is a, I don’t know, there was an accident on the tracks. You know, you’re young people, use apps, like that’s what they’re for. They’re really handy once you learn how to use them, they’re really helpful.

[00:31:09] Josh Taylor: Exactly.

[00:31:10] Physical Exhaustion

[00:31:10] Another thing, not specific to my trip, just kind of in general, physical exhaustion. I definitely dealt with a lot, especially because part of my trip was a three day solo bike tour for the Loire Valley. And so I was, in total, I biked 110 miles over three days.

[00:31:24] Josh Taylor: And I’m not like a cyclist here in the States, I ride my bike kind of casually. That ended up being a lot, it was almost was reaching the threshold of what my body couldn’t handle. If you’re going to do that, then definitely be aware of your capabilities. I was proud of myself for finishing it because it was definitely a difficult thing.

[00:31:42] Josh Taylor: And obviously, it was beautiful and definitely the scenery was worth it, but be aware of your bodily capabilities, even just walking around. Plan in times to rest and sit down and just a couple hours just sit, maybe eat a snack, go to a garden and just sit and enjoy the scenery, people watching, don’t be on your feet.

[00:32:03] Remember to take it easy

[00:32:03] Josh Taylor: Don’t plan to be on your feet 12 hours a day, 14 hours a day, because it’s going to get to you after a few days.

[00:32:10] Annie Sargent: Yeah. And if you’re an office worker every day for years, and then you go to Paris and all of a sudden you have to be walking everywhere. Let me tell you, it’s going to be difficult on your body, okay. The older you are, the harder It is. Yeah, so if you can, start walking before your trip, so you get used to it, but if not, just accept the fact that you’re tired and you just need to take it easy, slow down.

[00:32:34] Josh Taylor: I never felt disappointed when I had to stop and I just kind of sat in the park for an hour, an hour and a half and listened to a book or, just kind of watched and ate a baguette or something. Those are just as enjoyable experiences as going through a restaurant or going and seeing a big tourist attraction.All of these things just kind of conglomerate that make your trip into something that’s very unique and special to you. If you have an hour to sit in the garden, then you might have a fun experience with someone coming and talk to you, or you might see a fun little thing happening in the garden, or band might start playing. All of these things, whatever you end up doing, I doubt that you’ll be disappointed because it just, like I said, kind of conglomerates into making your trip special to you.

[00:33:16] Annie Sargent: Yeah, and it’s also different from home anyway, quite a bit different, so it will be pleasant.

[00:33:20] Don’t have too many expectations

[00:33:20] And then one of the last things, so this is my second time going to France and the first time it was before my senior year in high school and it was my first time out of the country, so everything is very exciting. I went with a few friends, and it was a trip through the high school. So my French teacher was there and constantly, I was just like, my mind was boggled by all these amazing things, what I was seeing, this cool culture. And so throughout the whole trip, I was just on this constant high of, this is all so cool, and I’m having a great time and I’m with my friends. And, I think I was partly expecting, on this trip, to have a very similar experience, but because I was alone, or traveling alone at least, and it was my second time here, then some of the magic had kind of dissipated to the point oflooking at things from a more realistic perspective. And so like your first time seeing the Eiffel Tower is really cool, but thenit’s not the same as the third time on your second trip that you just, you have to come to it, and it’s like, all right, that’s fun.

[00:34:19] Annie Sargent: Yeah. I guess my advice for that is, try not to have too many expectations for your trip, plan things that you’re excited about so that you have activities that you’re really looking forward to going to. But just kind of let your vacation turn into whatever it’s supposed to, anddon’t have any expectations for this specific thing to be amazing because if it ends up being a little bit disappointing, then you’re not going tohave your day be ruined.

[00:34:46] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Beware of Facebook friends who had the best everything, you know, and then you go in, you’re like, oh, it’s not the best. boo hoo, you know?

[00:34:58] Josh Taylor: France is incredible, but it is still just like a country and bad things can happen and good things can happen. Just let your trip turn into what it’s supposed to be, and don’t put too much pressure on it to be the most incredible thing that has ever happened to you and ever will happen to you.

[00:35:14] Annie Sargent: Excellent, that’s good advice. That’s good advice.

[00:35:17] Favorite activities

[00:35:17] Annie Sargent: Okay. Let’s talk about your favorite activities that you did. We won’t have time to go into all the places that you visited, but at least favorite activities. That would be fun to know.

[00:35:24] Chaumont-sur-Loire jardins

[00:35:24] One of the things that was very surprising to me that I wasn’t expecting to be great, but actually ended up being one of my favorite things to do was, I don’t know if you’ve been to them, it’s this whole exhibit, I think it’s I think it’s like 30 or 40 different little mini gardens that different artists have created and set up there.

[00:35:41] Josh Taylor: And so there were so many, just very incredible things. There was one that was kind of like Alice in Wonderland themes, and there were a few little modernized Japanese gardens, there were some like abstract art, there was trees cut into weird shapes, different like abstract art scattered throughout this little mini garden.

[00:35:59] Josh Taylor: And so you take this path, that’s a couple of kilometers long, and you’re in kind of this tunnel of trees, and on your left, and there’s a little tunnel through the trees and it opens into this mini garden and then you experience that, and then go back out on your right there’s a different little mini garden that you experience.

[00:36:15] Josh Taylor: And there’s like Kenyan-themed fountain garden, and there was like a Mediterranean-themed garden.

[00:36:21] Annie Sargent: Yeah, that sounds really intriguing, I want to go now, great.

[00:36:25] Josh Taylor: I had a couple hours there and I honestly could have spent four or five, because there were, I think I missed like half the gardens because it closed while I was there.

[00:36:33] Annie Sargent: Are you a garden fan in general or was this one really?

[00:36:36] Josh Taylor: I do, I definitely enjoy the gardens at the chateaus more than the interiors. I wouldn’t say that I’m like a garden fan necessarily, but I do definitely appreciate them. And this was, even for people who aren’t necessarily super interested in gardens, there was lots of really cool visual art in each of the gardens, and it’s really fun to see these different, different artistic garden set up.

[00:37:01] Annie Sargent: Very cool.

[00:37:03] Musée d’Orsay

[00:37:03] Josh Taylor: Yeah. So another one of my favorite activities that I didn’t necessarily expect to, but ended up being really incredible was Musée d’Orsay. I’m not necessarily like an art fan or an art appreciator, but I was excited to see some of the pieces at the museum.

[00:37:17] I ended up spending twice as long there as I expected to because I was just fascinated by all these different paintings and I would walk past something by this very obscure artist and then look at it for like 10 minutes, just appreciating how they painted the lights. I was so fascinated by how different artistsutilize light in their paintings.

[00:37:37] Annie Sargent: It was just so cool. Did you do a tour, like an audio tour or was it just you enjoying the museum like that?

[00:37:43] It was just me. I had the audio guide. I used it less than I expected to. I kind of just went through the chronological and then circled back to the sculptures and photography. I didn’t have time to do any of the temporary exhibits, butit was very, very incredible. So if you like art at all, would definitely recommend.

[00:38:00] Jazz Club 38 Riv

[00:38:00] Josh Taylor: And a couple of other more authentic experiences, I guess. I went to a jazz club on the Rue de Rivoli, that it was in this littleunderground kind of cave you went down these stairs, pretty small, there were maybe like 30 seats and they were all packed together. But it was just me and a bunch of other university students from what I could tell.

[00:38:21] Josh Taylor: And there was a little 30 minute like jazz concert, and then it turned into kind of like this jam session, so you could go up and play the piano and the other two drummers and that drummer and the base would just kind of go along with you. And it was just a really, really cool experience. I had some fun conversations with a couple of the students there and got to practice my French.

[00:38:41] Josh Taylor: Andit was just really fun. I felt like this is something that I would do if I were a student at the Sorbonne or something.

[00:38:47] Annie Sargent: Yeah. So did you play or?

[00:38:51] Josh Taylor: Yeah, I did, I did a little bit of piano. I kind of embarrassed myself at the beginning, but we got to the point where we played and played some music together.

[00:38:58] Annie Sargent: Oh, it’s wonderful.

[00:38:59] It was all very, very fun experience.

[00:39:01] Drag Show Madame Arthur

[00:39:01] Josh Taylor: And then some other thing I went to a drag show in the 18th, and it was at a place called Madame Arthur. It was something that was, this specific drag club was featured in a TV show that I really liked, and so that’s kind of what got me interested in going.

[00:39:15] So I was like, I’m going to have the same experience that this character that I like went to. And again, it was something, everyone there was French, there wasn’t anothertourist there. And I was just up on this balcony looking down at the stage and it was a hilarious show, all of the drag queens were very talented and I really, really enjoyed.

[00:39:34] Annie Sargent: So was this RuPaul? This is somebody who was on RuPaul?

[00:39:37] Josh Taylor: No, it was, the show is the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and she goes to Paris and goes to this Drag Club. That’s the Drag Club that to.

[00:39:45] Paris Ballet

[00:39:45] Josh Taylor: So then the other thing, one of the things that I really enjoyed, this is my, my splurge activity, I guess. I went to a ballet at the Palais Garnier and it was absolutely magnificent. I spent 80 euros on the ticket, so definitely more expensive activity, but it was something that I was really looking forward to for a while, so it was something that I was willing to spend more money on. And it was kind of three-in-one.

[00:40:13] I’m not going to go into too much detail, but they had a little mini Carmen ballet and then there was another contemporary dance, it kind of told the story of this couple, through their marriage and death. And then there was this very modern art piece throughout the whole ballet, there’s this guy filling up a bathtub as all the dancers were dancing.

[00:40:29] As it got more intense than the music got louder, and then at the very end all the dancers were dancing very wildly and the orchestra was going crazy. And then the guy filling up the bathtub runs and jumps into the bathtub and it splashes everywhere. And then the lights go dark. So it was a very, very contemporary piece but I loved it, it was so visually interesting.

[00:40:51] Annie Sargent: I will add to the show notes a link to buy last minute tickets. There’s a ticket exchange for the ballet for The Garnier, so I’ll put the link there. You never know, you might find something less expensive, but usually the ballet the opera is expensive. I mean, that’s just how it is.

[00:41:08] Josh Taylor: Yeah. And there are student deals for specific shows as well that you can get a ticket for 20 euros or something. And also if you’re there at the right time, then they do a special premiere showing for students, where all the tickets are 20 euros, right before their opening night, then they’ll have a special showing for students specifically.

[00:41:25] Blois, Son et Lumière

[00:41:25] Josh Taylor: Yeah, so really quickly, I really enjoyed the Son et Lumière show at Blois. And I know that most of the Chateau have those. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did, but it was this really immersive experience with all the projections and music and told all the history of the Chateau and it was really, really cool.

[00:41:41] Annie Sargent: Oh, yeah, those are good. They’re very immersive and very, just really nice.

[00:41:47] Île de la Cité

[00:41:47] Josh Taylor: Yeah. And then the last thing, when I was in Paris, I woke up really early one morning and did a walk on Île de la Cité, saw the sunrise and it was really gorgeous, there was pretty much no one on the streets. And the people that did, that were on the streets, I noticed were very, maybe it was because I was alone, or maybe because there wasn’t very many people there, but five or six people stopped and just talked to me,asked me what I was doing and there was someone who asked me out that morning and I was like, thanks, but no, but it’s a fun, little experience that I had.

[00:42:15] Annie Sargent: Yeah.

[00:42:16] Josh Taylor: So yeah, I did notice throughout the trip, it was probably because I was alone, but people were very, like a lot of people stopped and talked to me for this reason or that, but it made it really nice to have a lot of little interactions with French people.

[00:42:30] Check out the guest notes for more from Joshua

[00:42:30] Annie Sargent: Oh, that’s great. Okay. So you have other recommendations, but we’re not going to go into them because otherwise it’ll be too long, but there will be, if you visit the show notes for this episode, there will be a guest notes button. Click on that, and you’ll see the other things that Joshua has not had the chance to talk about.

[00:42:49] Annie Sargent: Joshua, it’s been lovely talking to you. I really think this is really helpful information for young people and people who want to visit France on a student budget, young people who are not students, some of us, you know, we have to watch our pennies and there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with that.

[00:43:07] Annie Sargent: Merci Beaucoup, joshua.

[00:43:09] Josh Taylor: Merci Beaucoup.

[00:43:10] Annie Sargent: Au revoir.

[00:43:11] Outro[00:43:11] Thank you, patrons

[00:43:11] Annie Sargent: Again, I want to thank my patrons for supporting the show and giving back. Patrons get several exclusive rewards for doing so. You can see them at patreon.com/joinus. I’m still working on reorganizing the rewards a little bit, and I haven’t gotten through that either. Thank you all for supporting the show. Some of you have been doing it for years, you’re wonderful.

[00:43:40] Annie Sargent: And a shout out this week to new patrons, Melanie Ingler and Linda Nyland. Thank you so much for becoming patrons and making this podcast possible.

[00:43:51] Visit the website

[00:43:51] Annie Sargent: If you’re planning a trip to France, and I hope you are, and listening to as many episodes as you can to get ready, keep listening, because that’s a great way to get ready for your trip. Search the website because you know, there’s been a lot of episodes, even I forget what all we’ve talked about, so if you just go by your memory, even if it’s stellar, you are going to miss a lot of stuff.

[00:44:16] Hire me

[00:44:16] You can also hire me to be your itinerary consultant. I’ve made some changes to the service to make it better. Here’s how it works now. You purchase the service on joinusinfrance.com/boutique, and then you fill out a document to tell me what you have in mind. We make a phone appointment and we chat for about an hour, and then I send you the document with the plan we’ve discussed.

[00:44:39] Annie Sargent: Now, remember that my time is always booked up several weeks in advance. You’ll see the date for my next appointment availability on the only page where you can buy this service, at joinusinfrance.com/boutique. Pay attention to that date, please. I am recording this on June 23rd, and as of today, I’m booked up until August 15th, just to give you an idea.

[00:45:03] I do love talking to you, my listeners. Your questions always bring up new things. I love this job, but there’s just one of me and lots of you, so please be patient.

[00:45:15] Self-guided tours

[00:45:15] Annie Sargent: And if you can’t talk to me because I’m all booked up, you can still take me in your pocket by getting my GPS self-guided tour of Paris on the VoiceMap app. So there’s five of them in Paris. Let’s see if I can remember them all. First one was, île de la Cité, the second one was Le Marais, the third one was Montmartre, and then I moved on to Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and then the last one, the Latin Quarter.

[00:45:43] Annie Sargent: So if you do those tours, you will get a wonderful overview of Paris and I take you to some really, really cool places.

[00:45:52] Annie Sargent: Now, I understand that to some of you, eh, this is a new thing. Why use an app? Maybe you prefer to be an in-person thing. Sure. In-person tours can be very good, but usually, for most people it’s either an app or bumbling around on their own. And the app makes it a million times better than bumbling around on your own.

[00:46:14] Related episodes

[00:46:14] Annie Sargent: If you enjoyed this episode, you might also want to listen to episode 364, about spending a month in France on a budget. That was with our friendly Canadian police officer. And an oldie but goodie, episode 141, it was called, Paris on a budget.

[00:46:31] This Week in French news

[00:46:31] Annie Sargent: This week in French news, the legislative elections are over and the big winner is, Marine Le Pen. Her party got enough representatives elected to be a major force of opposition to Macron’s party. She did 10 times better than everybody predicted. The whole time, the press wouldn’t stop talking about Mélenchon and his Nupes left wing coalition, but he did really poorly by comparison.

[00:47:01] Annie Sargent: Now in a way, I’m happy that the parliament is going to be a better representation of how French people feel and vote. I wish they didn’t feel the way they do, but I think it’s better to listen to people that you don’t agree with than shut them out entirely, and then get surprised when they go nuts.

[00:47:19] But the reality is, it’s not going to make life easier for Macron, it’s going to be hard for him to get very much done, but nobody ever said that being the president is easy. I fear we’re going to be back to gridlock to some extent, because you know, the far left, the far right, and Macron’s party, which is kind of in the middle, will fight over everything. But it won’t change anything for you visitors, so don’t worry about it. It probably won’t change that much for me either, and I live here full time.

[00:47:51] Annie Sargent: COVID is on the uptick again. Nothing super worrisome, but there is an uptick. Still no restrictions of any sort in France, other than the obligation to wear a mask when visiting hospitals and doctor’s offices.

[00:48:07] Annie Sargent: But I think it’s wise to wear mask anywhere you’re in close quarters with people. I can’t wait to get my second booster shot. It’s only available to people 60 and up in France right now. But the second they make it for people 50 and up, I’ll get in line right away. I need it. Well, I think I need it. Maybe it’s just all in my head, who knows?

[00:48:31] Personal update

[00:48:31] Annie Sargent: For my personal update this week, I got my electric car. It is such a joy to drive. It’s very different from the old VW. It’s an MG Marvel R and it’s a car that they don’t sell in the US, so you haven’t seen it around, but it’s pretty spectacular-looking if you ask me.

[00:48:51] Annie Sargent: By the way, someone emailed me saying that my use of the term ghetto car last week was offensive. Now, I did not mean to offend at all. It didn’t even occur to me that it might be offensive. The car is being recycled as we speak, and that’s good because it was very old, nothing worked in the car. It had outlived its usefulness, which is why I called it the ghetto car. But maybe I shouldn’t have, who knows?

[00:49:19] Annie Sargent: This week was exciting because I had a medical appointment to get my left knee looked at. It’s been hurting for months and my doctor said I needed to do an arthogram of that knee. If you don’t know what an arthogram is, be glad, it’s not pleasant. The exam per se, wasn’t that bad because they did a local anesthesia, but when the anesthesia wore off, yeah, not pleasant.

[00:49:47] They had obviously put needles in places where they’re not supposed to go.

[00:49:51] Annie Sargent: But it is getting better now, 28 hours after the procedure. I have a full report from the radiologist, very friendly, very nice young radiologist. We’re very lucky, we have a lot of really pleasant doctors in France. When I was a kid, I didn’t like doctors, but now that I’m an adult, I’m like, you know, these people are really trying hard to make everybody comfortable and do the best they can. Anyway, so I’ll take my result from the radiologist to my family doctor tomorrow and she’ll explain it all. But just from googling what the radiologist wrote, I fear that there might be a knee replacement in my future anyway. But I want to be able to keep walking and keep doing things, and so whatever it takes, I will do, to stay healthy.

[00:50:38] Annie Sargent: The thing is, I had to take my new car to a crazy busy part of Toulouse where that clinic is. And I had planned to park in a parking lot with EV chargers, not far from the clinic and get a boost and all that, and try this new public charge station, you know, because it’s always exciting. It’s all new to me.

[00:50:58] But I couldn’t, because my EV is a kind of SUV size, it’s a big car, and that parking lot where they have the chargers is teeny tiny, and I just couldn’t get in. I tried twice. You know, I took one try and no, and so I left and then two minutes later I went, well, you are the parking queen, you can do this. And so I went back and no, I still couldn’t do it.

[00:51:25] Annie Sargent: So I parked at a nearby grocery store where it’s such a busy area that they charge for parking at that grocery store, which is unusual. They normally don’t do that. And I found a good spot that was big enough for the SUV, and I had room on all sides.

[00:51:41] You know, having room on all sides where you park is a luxury in France. So when you come to France, do not rent an SUV, unless you absolutely have to, because even if you are the parking queen, sometimes you can’t do it. So I’m a bit paranoid, I took photos of all sides of the car around me and all that, you know, my car and the cars next to me, and nobody bumped me or anything. It’s just paranoia. How long do you think the paranoia should last with a new car? I don’t know, it’s been so long since I’ve had a new car, I don’t remember.

[00:52:13] Annie Sargent: But this EV is perfect for me. I, you know, I drive cautiously all the time. Now even more so, because this car is like a computer on wheels. It’s amazing, it rings and buzzes, I’m not always sure why. Sometimes I know, but sometimes I’m like, eh, why , but I am still loving driving this thing.

[00:52:35] Annie Sargent: First road trip in the EV is today, the day I release this episode, and we’ll visit a new place in the Pyrenees that I’ll be happy to tell you about at some point.

[00:52:47] Closing

[00:52:47] Annie Sargent: Show notes and full transcript for this episode are on joinusinfrance.com/395, the numeral. Transcripts, remember transcripts, they make the website easy to search. And you can help your francophile friends plan their visit to France and have a great time. Go to joinusinfrance.com, click on the Share buttons on the side and tag your friend. They will thank you because they’re going to learn stuff.

[00:53:17] Next week on the podcsat, Rosa Bonheur

[00:53:17] Annie Sargent: Next week on the podcast, an episode with Elyse of Toulouse Guided Walks. She’s my favorite art historian. And that episode is perfect for her because it’s about an amazing artist called Rosa Bonheur. Rosa Happy, isn’t that a great name?

[00:53:34] She was the opposite of the starving artist. She painted some of the most amazing pieces, just a very inspiring person, so I think you will enjoy that episode.

[00:53:45] Annie Sargent: Send questions or feedback to annie@joinusinfrance.com. Thank you so much for listening and I hope you join me next time so we can look around France together.

[00:53:55] Annie Sargent: Au revoir!

[00:53:56] Annie Sargent: The Join Us in France travel podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Annie Sargent and copyright 2022, by Addicted to France. It is released under a Creative Commons, Attribution, Non-commercial, no derivatives license.

Raspeberry pastry: France on a student budget episode

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Categories: France How To, France on a Budget