Subject: Re: Planning next trip to Paris
Hi Diana,

That's wonderful news that you are healing so well - and even better is your Carpe Diem attitude towards revisiting Paris.

You mentioned GoAhead could get you 7 nights including airfare for from US$1500 to $1700 depending on what month you go. And you also mentioned Rick Steves' advice regarding months to travel to Paris. If you are considering a package tour to Paris have you considered his City Week Stay tour? Rick's Best of Paris in 7 days US$1,295

Granted, it is only 6 nights of hotels not 7 and it does not include airfare and I have no idea how much that could be in US$ from USA to Paris. It includes 6 breakfasts, 6 other meals, museum entrances and walking tours with his guides etc. That being said - half the fun of Paris is eating where you want when you want so the meal inclusions may be a restriction, but the walking tours and metro fares and museum entrances do count. And of course with Rick Steves there are no single supplements - they room you with another single traveller. I have no doubt that you could replicate his tour at a cheaper cost by being your own tour guide.

Personally I'm sure you can have a wonderful economical time in Paris doing your own thing - unless of course the GoAhead package provides maximum savings! Your hotel does sound delightful, but as another wise Ziner pointed out most hotels are close to most Paris attractions as they're only a metro ride away.

As far as single rates go - I stayed in Hotel Royal Phare (in the 7th, near Rue Cler, Eiffel Tower and Ecole Militaire metro stop) as a single in 2001 and for the room with shower paid 360FF per night. Nowadays the rate for the same room is quoted as 59 euro per night. (No distinction listed for time-of-year so there may be fine print.)

As far as other cost savers - a museum pass will save you time and money if you plan to visit a few museums (but do check which are covered by the pass), and a carnet of metro tickets will do the same. Other than that so many of the best things of Paris are free or relatively cheap - walking the bridges, an inexpensive lunch on the rooftop of the Samaratine department store with views to die for, strolling the streets, browsing the markets, people watching over coffee, hot chocolate and pastries. Be sure though to lash out for the special things that will make your Paris trip complete for you - be that a cruise, ascending the Eiffel Tower, or a fine meal. :)

Megan Brisbane, Australia