Hi Frugalistas! I know I’ve been quiet lately, but I definitely haven’t been idle. No, I’ve been planning a spring trip to Europe. Planning a trip to Europe is something I’ve done many times before – it’s my best time to visit Europe, and I never stop looking forward to both the planning and the travelling. And this time, I’ve got some very special things to do in Europe to share with you in upcoming posts.
Flying Business Class on Qatar Airways
I’m so excited to be taking my first flight on Qatar Airways in their very dreamy looking Business Class. Riding the A380 all the way from Sydney to Doha, then onto Paris, I know I’ll have plenty of time to get an accurate impression.
I’ll be flying home on the Qatar Airways A380 from London to Sydney.
You know I’ll give you the low down on my experience. Whether you have the opportunity to ever fly on Qatar Airways, or ever get to fly in Business Class, it’s always fun to read and enjoy a little “plane porn” isn’t it?
Planning a trip to Europe in Spring: European escapade
I’m flying into Paris, and while I’m only staying for the night, I’m still making it count.
I’m trying a new hotel in Paris, the Hotel de la Porte d’Oree in the up and coming 12th. It comes highly recommended by a French friend, and the price is unbeatable. It could just become my new favorite Paris hotel if all goes well. (and it is nearby the Gare de Lyon for the next part of my trip).
Because the price of my hotel in Paris is so keen, it means I can have a little splurge during my stay in Paris. My plans are not exactly finalised as I write, but rest assured it is definitely a splurge frugal first class travel style. And yes, there may be food involved……..
Staying in Paris for just a single night is a big sacrifice for me, but one I’m prepared to make for the next part of my trip. I’m heading south to partner with Liguria Holiday Homes, staying in their stunning Medieval townhouse in the hilltop village of Pigna.
As well as having the opportunity to enjoy village life I’ll be exploring the Italian and French Rivieras and bringing the best of my experiences to you.
Then it’s onto London
I haven’t been to London for about four years. I’m really looking forward to staying in Southwark, home to the Borough Market (which you know I’ll be visiting) as well as the Tate Modern. I want to spend my time in London exploring both some old and new friends as well as old and new London. And yes, it wouldn’t be London unless I went for afternoon tea, would it?
It will be a whirlwind two weeks unfortunately, but one I’m definitely looking forward to. I also can’t wait to share the best of my experiences with you.
Which part of my trip do you particularly want to read about? If you leave a comment below you may inspire a future post!
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So excited for you Jo. Is cost the main reason you choose certain itineraries? Love to know more about the 12th ad in Paris – shopping, eating, hotels, sights, etc.
Looking forward to reading more. Cheers.
I am curious as to how you are getting to your Pigna stay. It looks like the nearest train station is in Montpellier. will you be renting a car? (we always find places within walking distance of a train station.)
Hello. I recently discovered your blog and I am a first time commenter. I’ve been mulling over whether to travel to Paris (first time), so I’d be interested in your thoughts about travel as a single female, safety concerns, as well as any fun tips. Have a wonderful time on your trip. I took my first solo trip to England in 2015 and had a fabulous time. All the planning was worth it! My one regret was not going to the Tate Britain to see the Whistler paintings…now I’ll have to go back. 🙂
Deb Davey says
I want to come with you. How lovely. Enjoy!
Deb Davey says
Actually, Jo, could you do a little piece on Monaco? The glamorous side?
Thank you for the tip on Hotel de la Porte de Dorée! After some quick research, I booked our week trip there in October.
Enjoy! I didn’t get to go to all of the places that I wanted to in London last year, so hoping to head back in a couple of years. I am getting to go to Paris in two weeks from today – as an Australian, any tips for what to wear in Paris in spring? (their spring). I really feel the cold, and the temperatures look like an Australian winter! (especially in Annecy, where we are spending one weekend). But I remember that the humidity in London last year meant that 20 degrees there felt like warmer than 20 degrees here would. What has your experience been? – I so don’t want to under-pack and be cold. At the moment I have three tops (1 blouse, 1 versatile l/s tee, 1 fitted shirt), three lightweight wool sweaters, 1 skirt, 1 l/s dress, 2 pairs of pants planned to pack, plus leather jacket, puffer jacket (I think I’ll need this in Annecy) and various scarves and underlayers like leggings, don’t think that this is too over the top?
Hi Cathi, yes, it will be a bit like a Melbourne or Adelaide early winter – chilly (7-10C in the mornings, and 20C on a good day in the afternoon). If the sun is out, it will still be very pleasant. I find laying works best, so if it is a little milder in the afternoon I tie my scarf and knit to my handbag. I find a pair of knitted gloves that I can take off and pop in my coat pockets very handy. I think your basic wardrobe sounds fine. I would add in a light thermal top to wear underneath your other tops if you need it. Annecy will definitely be colder – particularly around the lake, and you certainly need a coat that is warmer than a leather jacket. You may also need to double up and wear two sweaters. If you get short on warm things try UniQlo (near Galeries Lafayettes) for cheap cashmere, or there is a Jack Wolfskin near the Louvre (I think it is on the far side away from the Pyramid courtyard). Have a wonderful time!
I hope it turns out to be OK for you Dorothy. I’ll certainly be letting everyone know either way
Oh yes, Deb, it is definitely on the list
Hi Sky, you do not need to be worried about travelling in Paris as a solo female traveller. Just check out my posts on Paris tourist scams: https://frugalfirstclasstravel.com/2016/01/09/five-tourist-scams-paris/ and travelling tips for solo female travellers:https://frugalfirstclasstravel.com/2014/09/28/brilliant-readers-safety-tips-for-solo-women-travellers/ and also https://frugalfirstclasstravel.com/2013/08/23/traveling-safely-a-guide-for-solo-woman-travellers/
And be sensible like you would in any big city
Welcome to frugal first class travel and thank you for your question
Hi Theresa, no the nearest station is Ventimiglia. I’m catching the train from Paris there, with a change of trains in Nice. There is a short bus trip from Pigna to Ventimiglia for those (like me) who don’t drive.
Thanks Lynne. This itinerary is largely being driven by some work I need to do for my day job in London. I was actually planning on going to the French Riviera, but then was invited to go to Pigna so adjusted my plans. What I’m doing in each place is basically everything I’m interested in that I can fit into the time available – I set a pretty cracking pace!
Dianne W says
Smart planning to stay at a hotel near your departure train station, Gare de Lyon. Are you going to have a meal at the very famous Le Train Bleu, inside the station? I had lunch there and, while I was disappointed at the cursory lunchtime table service, the architecture and decor were well worth the small splurge.
Not this time Dianne unfortunately. I actually like the café underneath Le Train Bleu – they usually do a very good scrambled eggs at breakfast.