Forget Paris in the spring. Visit now, and reap big savings. Due to the November terrorist attacks, many vacationers scrapped plans to visit the City of Light. Their loss can be your gain, as I discovered during a mid-January visit. Here are four wallet-friendly reasons why you should consider popping across the pond now.
Transportation: Airfares are low. Through a quick Google search, I found round-trip airfares from Boston for as low as $450 for travel in February. I explored the city using a mix of narrated L’Open Hop-on Hop-off double-decker buses, the Metro, Uber, and walking.
Lodging: The double whammy of low season combined with fewer tourists means rates for accommodations have dropped. I found rooms for less than $135 at three- and four-star hotels, but opted for a Paris Perfect [www.parisperfect.com] apartment with well-equipped kitchen, making it easy to enjoy cheese, charcuterie, croissants, and wine in my comfy digs; a washer and dryer, allowing more room in my suitcase to return with shopping finds; and a killer view of the Eiffel Tower. Included in the price were Wifi and telephone calls to the states.
Sightseeing: Crowds are down, so lines are short to nonexistent at major museums. I walked into both the Louvre and Picasso, which can have waits approaching two hours. The only line I encountered was about 10 minutes for security at the Pompidou Centre.
Shopping: In France, the government regulates [en.parisinfo.com/shopping/info/guides/sales-in-paris], and there’s one in progress through Feb. 16. I walked down one street lined with designer boutiques, all with 50-60 percent off signs in the windows.