Travel: A day trip to Paris from London on a budget

Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget

PARIS, the capital of France is only a 2hr train ride via Eurostar from London St. Pancras or a short 45mins flight from London Stansted or Gatwick. However, train tickets and flights can cost you an arm and a leg if you don’t book far enough in advance. But fear ye not, because I’m going to tell you how you can visit Paris on a budget AND do it in a day (Well, sort of – I’ll explain later)… Happy days!

How to travel to Paris cheap

If you really want to travel to Paris the cheapest way possible, it would be by coach. But for that dirt cheap price comes the compromise – time. The journey is approximately 7-9hrs and depending on which coach company you go with, you can either arrive close to the centre of Paris, the airports or the suburbs of Paris.

This is why I previously wrote “sort of” for doing Paris in a day. If you want to be able to explore Paris in a day, you’ll need a night coach journey so you’ll arrive in Paris early in the morning allowing you to have all day to explore the city.

Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget

The main coach companies taking you to Paris from London are Eurolines, Flixbus and Ouibus. Coach tickets will set you back £11-15 one way and if you’re lucky, you might even find a next day return ticket for as little as £18! Now take that into consideration to a £49+ one way Eurostar ticket. However, saying this… IT IS POSSIBLE to travel to Paris from London cheaply on the Eurostar if you book during their promotion sale. These start from just £29pp one way which is amazingly cheap plus, it’s the quickest way to get to Paris.

When my sister and I went on our impromptu day trip to Paris from London, we took a night coach and arrived early morning. We spent all morning and afternoon exploring and sightseeing then caught an evening coach back home. We spent around £100 each for our day trip which included a few Uber rides in between. I bought a lot of dry food to bring back home with me so that added to our expenditure however it is possible to eat cheap, skip the hotel and save your money for the attractions and museums.

Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget

How to get around the city

The easiest and cheapest way to get around the city is by metro (underground). It’s fast, frequent and pretty reliable. Just like London travel, you’ll need a ticket to get around – a day pass is the cheapest at 12EUR but they also offer 3, 5 and 7 days pass. The main parts of Paris are within zones 1-3 but if you need to get to the airports (CDG and Orly) or Disneyland this will be outside of the zones and you’ll need a separate ticket for this. If I’m not wrong, you can buy an extension which can be added onto your current pass.

The Greenwich Mummy | A day trip to Paris from London on a budget
The Tariff map for zones 1-3 / Credit: Paris Visite RATP
What to see and do in Paris

Just like London, there are LOTS to do and see in Paris. However with only a day to spare and doing it on a budget won’t be easy so your planning skills need to be on point here. Research beforehand on Google maps all of the main attractions you’re interested in and see where they are located and how close they are to each other. Below are some great touristy places to see. I’ve included all of these locations in the Google Maps, just click on the markers to view them.

For a day trip, visiting 4-5 attractions should be enough to satisfy your wanderlust without burning you out and still leave you with time to relax and have something to eat and drink. Check admission prices online to make sure you stick to your budget. Alternatively, skip entry and make up for it with lots of photos instead.

Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget
Sacré Coeur
Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget
L’Arc de Triomphe
Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget
Louvre Museum
Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget
Eiffel Tower
Main attractions:
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre museum
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Champs Élysée
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • Sacré Coeur
  • Montmartre
  • River Seine
  • Montparnasse
  • The Catacombs of Paris
  • Pompidou Centre
  • Grand Palais
  • Palace of Versailles*
  • Disneyland Paris*

*ONLY if you decide to make them your only attraction to visit in Paris.

Tickets to Paris museums are free if you are a child under 18 or a student under 25.
One weekend a month, the museums do offer free entry to everyone but this varies from museum to museum so check out their admissions/tickets page for more details.

Another fantastic way of seeing many attractions in one go is to go on a walking tour.

‘Free’ Paris walking tours

You basically pay as much or as little as you like. Some are completely free and you can just tip instead. My sister and I did a free Montmartre walking tour which was a great way to see the area and learn some cool facts along the way. Ours was a tip-only tour so we tipped our guy €5-10 for his time.


Check out the sites below for free walking tours:

New Europe ToursFree Tour – Discover Walks – Free Tours By Foot

Top tip: make sure you wear comfortable trainers or walking shoes when embarking on a walking tour as they can range from 1-3 hours


Where to eat in Paris

Just like London, there’s all different cuisines for you to try from in Paris. The Independent online compiled this list of the best cheap eateries in Paris with main dishes coming in less than €10 it’s a win-win situation.

Top tip: AVOID the restaurants opposite the Eurostar Gare du Nord station because not only is it severely over-priced, the food is absolutely terrible! I made the mistake of eating there once and spent over 60EUR for our family of four and the food was terrible! We would’ve been better going to the McDonalds also on the same row of restaurants.

Not sure what to order?
Try some French classics; order an onion soup for your starter or a creme brulee for your dessert. If you’re feeling really brave, why not try their delicacy of snails… let me know how that one goes! Paris is well known for their pastries so head to a café and order something sweet, team it up with a hot drink like a latte = café au lait (“kaffay-aw-lay”), hot chocolate = chocolat chaud (“shoh-koh-lah-shaw”). If you fancy something stronger, ladies would usually order a red wine = vin rouge (“van-roozj”) or a white wine = vin blanc (“van-blohn”) and men typically a beer = bierre (“bee-air”).

If you have some cash to splash, buy a box of delicious Ladurée macarons. The macarons come in many flavours and colours and the box packaging is to die for!

bram-naus-736745-unsplash

I was craving some home cooking and headed out to a local-looking Vietnamese cafe in Choissy and ordered traditional dishes. The starter was around €4-5 and main was between €9-13. I spoke to the staff in Vietnamese (which was nice) and funnily enough it felt really comfortable like being at home. I think most Vietnamese cafes in this district are family-owned which is nice because there are so many chains and franchises nowadays it’s nice to support small and local businesses.

Where to stay in Paris

If you want to stay in Paris on a budget, the best option (if you don’t mind sharing) is a hostel. Unless you have a lot of cash to splash, most hotels in Paris are budget hotels and 1-2 star. It’s usually not much different from a decent hostel in my opinion. Some hostels like the Generator Paris offers single rooms with private bath/shower rooms at a premium so at least you have the option to choose.

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A beautiful skyline view of Paris

There’s a super useful post by the Budget Traveller which has a list of the best budget stays in Paris so make sure to check those out as well as doing your own research on cheap stays: https://budgettraveller.org/6-of-the-best-budget-places-to-stay-in-paris/

The Generator Paris hostel is a popular choice – voted by The Independent Online and the Budget Traveller as one of the best places to stay in Paris. It offers free WIFI, sharing rooms (dorms) and private rooms, female only rooms, bar, lounge area and more.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: How to do Paris in a day on a budget
Stylish and modern sharing dorm rooms at Generator Paris / Source: Generator Paris

I hope that this post has given you some inspiration or ideas on how to construct your day trip to Paris on a budget. There’s so much information online and Paris in a day is usually already on most travel blogger’s list so don’t be afraid to read their experiences and recommendations.

Bisou! X


P I N  T H I S  P O S T

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | A DAY TRIP TO PARIS FROM LONDON ON A BUDGET


 

My top 5 breastfeeding products I couldn’t have lived without

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Top 5 Breasfeeding Products I couldn't live without
Photo Credit: BabyCentre

It feels like so long ago since I was nursing Baby Girl and even longer with LO. Unfortunately with Baby Girl, I only managed to exclusively breastfeed for two months as she started to become very colicky and constipated. So I made the decision then to switch her on to formula and it worked well for us. When I had LO I was able to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months before he decided to start yanking at the nipple – that’s when I decided he needs to start getting onto the bottle so I expressed for a month or two then moved him onto formula after that.

During my first pregnancy, I literally bought everything there was to buy for a new mum and baby from changing units to swaddle blankets and nursing apron covers. Some were very convenient to use and some were more of a one-off thing for me. There are a few products that I know I couldn’t live without during my nursing days and if you’re a new mum looking for products to invest in, here are five that I highly recommend you consider ( you may even already have them!)…

1. Nursing pillow
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Top 5 Breastfeeding Nursing ProductsThe nursing pillow is my all-time favourite breastfeeding item. It’s perfect for propping baby onto when you’re breastfeeding and makes a great neck pillow. I stopped breastfeeding when Baby Girl was 2 months but to this day, I still using the nursing pillow for myself.

If you’re expecting, you can also use the nursing pillow when you’re pregnant as a leg pillow if you tend to sleep on your side. Place in between your legs when you’re sleeping or resting and it can help to reduce any pelvic or lower body discomfort (very common if you’re in your third term).

Nursing pillows also make great baby shower gifts that not many people think about so keep that in mind for when you’ve got another baby shower coming up.

2. Lanolin nipple cream

Top 5 breastfeeding nursing products - The Greenwich Mummy BloggerIf you’re a first-time mum, get ready to learn something new today. If you’ve had a bubba before, what I write next may bring back some painful memories… literally. The first two weeks of breastfeeding are HELL – I am not going to pussy-foot around or lie to you. You need to mentally prepare yourself. As long as baby has a good latch and your milk is letting down, it’ll only be two weeks of hell.

The feeling of breastfeeding can’t really be explained but I’ll try my best. The suction is something you can’t really compare it to – it’s strong and powerful and if baby’s latch is not a good one it can be extremely painful. (More about baby’s latch later.) Some women experience soreness, cracked nipples, bleeding nipples, sometimes a combination of all these things. Your best friend will be a really good nipple cream. Sometimes the nipple cream might not be enough and you may have to think about nipple guards or even expressing breastmilk to feed baby to give your poor nipps a break.

Lansinoh nipple cream is made of pure lanolin – it’s thick and the best thing is you just put a generous amount on the nipple after every feed to help them repair. You don’t have to worry about baby swallowing/eating it as it’s a natural product that doesn’t harm baby if consumed.

Baby’s latch: how do you know if the latch is a good one? You will be able to see that baby is getting enough milk (or colustrum in the first few days of feeding as the body is making the milk supply) as the cheeks are rounded and full and baby’s head is tilted back enough to take in the milk. If you hear a clicking sound, this could be a sign of a poor latch or tongue-tie. To correct a poor latch, use your small finger to break the latch. Make sure the finger is clean before doing so.

A poor latch can cause baby to not take enough milk and cause you to stress but try not to worry. Simply see your HV as soon as you can if you are worried about your baby having tongue-tie, a poor latch, baby not feeding enough or a low milk supply. Remember that the milk supply doesn’t come into full swing until about day 5-6.

3. Emma Jane nursing bra

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My top 5 essential breastfeeding and nursing products

This nursing bra is my favourite. It’s not pretty but really does the job. The cotton is lovely and soft, the sizing was spot-on and very generous in terms of accommodating to milk-filled boobies which can one minute be as big and hard as watermelons then as shrivelled and soft as prunes after feeding. The bra comes in three colours; white, black and nude. I had the white and nude colour but the black looked great – they just never had my size. You can find these for around £8-15 and are sold everwhere including Amazon, Ebay, Mothercare and most parent and baby stores. I bought mine online. For mums who prefer a wired nursing bra, check out ThirdLove for some bra ideas on what’s out there.

Don’t forget to get yourself some breastfeeding pads (I recommend the Lansinoh ones for softness, comfort and absorption), leaky boobs are common especially around your usual feeding time or when your boobs are too full. Either feed baby an extra feed, express the milk or if you’re at home use a hot flannel or have a hot bath to encourage milk let-down and drain some of the milk to reduce pain, the boob going hard, and mastitis.

4. Muslin cloths

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 10 Buys Kiddicare Wishlist

An overall life-saving product. They’re great for placing around baby for discreet nursing, wiping away milk possets and even using as an alternative blanket during those hot and humid summer days when a cellular blanket is too warm to use. My favourite brand is aden + anais and I completely recommend them. They are made from 100% cotton and are the softest muslin cloths I’ve tried. I bought mine from TK Maxx for a bargain – get the swaddle ones as they’re much larger than normal muslin square cloths.

Muslin cloths can so make great teething soothers – simply tie a knot at one of the corners and voila! Babies love chewing on it! 🙂

5. Manual hand pump

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My top 5 essential breastfeeding and nursing products

If you’re a mum content on exclusively breastfeeding you may feel like expressing is just a cop-out way for feeding baby but this is the wrong mindset. Of course you want to give baby the best ad you don’t want to confuse baby with breast and bottle (teat) but if you are having problems breastfeeding, or your nipples are so cracked that nursing feels like torture or if you’re just so damn tired you can’t cope, a day or two of expressing may just provide you with that little bit of relief mentally and physically. I think sometimes there is just too much pressure on women to exclusively breastfeed but remember we are not “one size fits all” so do what is best for you, your baby, and your current situation.

Don’t force yourself to feel like you need to measure up to what another mum is doing, just do you! You have to take care of yourself as well as baby and your wellbeing is just as important so remember that. I had a really hard time breastfeeding Baby Girl because my nipple was too large for her mouth she kept gagging on it which is the reason why she had a bad latch. She was also constipated on breastmilk (yes, it can happen) so I had to make the decision after two months to just give it up. I and Baby Girl both felt much better after that, her poos were regular and soft and I got back some of my sanity.

For those thinking about expressing there’s plenty of tips on how to express successfully. If you’re contemplating on whether to go for a manual or electric pump I think it depends on your personal preference. I had both and I much preferred my manual one, it actually took near enough the same amount of time to express (I think electric was just 5mins faster for me). My favourite pump is the Medela one. It’s easy to use, easy to clean and the bottles are bigger than some others so more milk storage.

That’s my top 5 essential breastfeeding/nursing products!

I hope this post has helped you out in considering what to buy for your breastfeeding and nursing needs. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: WPC
Baby Girl seconds after she was just born (2016)

Other breastfeeding tips and advice:

  • Make sure you express a little bit of milk if your boobs are too full, a hot bath or warm flannel over the breast can help encourage the milk let-down
  • Milk storage: Any expressed breastmilk can be kept unrfriderated for 1-2hrs then must be discarded, in the top shelf at the back of a refridgerator for up to 5 days, in the fridge ice compartment for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months
  • If you want to feed discreetly in public, make sure your muslin cloth is long enough. If you want something specific, think about purchasing a breastfeeding apron.
  • Another nursing trick is to wear two tops; a low-scoop vest inside and a loose top over it. This way you can pull the vest below the breast and the loose top over the breast to feed baby. It should give baby enough ‘boobage’ but still keep you nicely covered and you don’t have to fuss with buying other equipment.

My top 10 products to buy a new mum & baby

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 10 Buys Kiddicare Wishlist
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 10 Buys Kiddicare Wishlist
Stock Photo: Pixabay

Firstly… CONGRATULATIONS!

(If you’re not expecting and reading this, here are some great gifts for family members or friends who are)

Expecting a baby whether it’s your first or third is a wonderful experience but it can also be a stressful one. Planning ahead can make things a little easier but from my experience I found that by ‘winging it’ and improvising along the way yields near enough the same results so why add on the extra stress? It’s a bit harder to not stress when it’s your first baby – I remember when I was pregnant with LO I made plans and notes constantly. 1) because of baby brain, I could hardly remember anything and needed constant reminders and 2) I became a little OCD with planning because at the time it felt like it was making a difference and made me feel more in control of my pregnancy.

If you’re a mum to be, you can use this post as a starting point for your wishlist… gifts are what baby showers or  baby sprinkles (mini showers for 2nd, 3rd babies) are for! Don’t be shy ladies, everyone who has children knows how hard and expensive raising a child/children can be and we all need a little help from time to time and showers are the time they should be accepted without arguments. Just don’t go crazy and extravagant with your wishlist or your guests may not turn up! 🙂

I decided to split this list into 5 products for baby and 5 for the expecting parent because gifts aren’t always for bubba, they’re also for the new mum. (sorry Dads-to-be!) Continue reading “My top 10 products to buy a new mum & baby”

Mummy loves the Aveda Shampure and its amazing aroma

The Greenwich Mummy Loves...

avedashampure

I really can’t get enough of this stuff – the aroma is simply divine!

It’s made up of 25 pure flower and plant essences and is such a joy to use. I first started off with the Shampure shampoo and conditioner which was lovely. It made my hair smell nice all the time and the shampoo was milk but very cleansing. The conditioner was lightweight but did enough to quench the hair. I’ve currently switched my hair care to the Aveda Scalp Benefits shampoo and condition and using the Scalp Remedy as my dandruff has become more of a problem.

The Shampure composition oil (£23) is my current go-to product when I get straight out of the bath and cannot be bothered to moisturise with my body butter or lotion. I haven’t used my Shampure body lotion (£24) yet as I can imagine it to be lightweight so I am saving it for the warmer months ahead. Right now the only products that can moisturise and hydrate my skin are oils or body butters.

The Aveda gift sets are all out for sale now too! If you’ve never purchased their products before and want to give it a try, gift sets are the way to go because they’re value for money and you get a few travel-sized products to try in each set. Aveda also includes some full-sized products in their sets but it’s a little more pricey.

I’m getting ready to purchase mine at next payday. 🙂 I’ve got my eyes on two boxes from the range but don’t know which one to go for… I think the first set is the winner at the moment.

“A Peaceful Journey Is A Gift”

aveda-gifts

Contains:
Shampure hand and body wash 50 ml
Hand Relief moisturising creme with Shampure aroma 40 ml
Shampure composition oil 30 ml
(£24)

“A Gift Of Peaceful Days”

aveda-gifts2

Contains:
Shampure hand and body wash 125 ml
Shampure composition oil 50 ml
Shampure body lotion 50 ml
(£39)

Mummy loves CND Shellac nails

The Greenwich Mummy Loves...
CND Shellac

I LOVE Shellac. I think you may have gathered that by now with my numerous Manicure Monday posts revolving around this special polish. I have come to realise I never gave itthe proper heads-up so this post is dedicated to my love for CND Shellac.

What is Shellac?
The first time I heard about shellac was when I was working at a nail salon doing manicures and pedicures. They told me about this amazing service that offers the wearer a guaranteed 2-week manicure (full 14 days worth of wear) before it needs to be removed. Shellac is the actual name of the CND’s branded gel polish however as it’s become so popular, the generalised term is used to describe all kinds of soak-off gel polishes is ‘shellac’. It’s applied on to the nail like standard polishes but needs to cure a UV or LED to set. A base coat is needed, then two coats of the colour, then a top coat application and that’s it.

Here are some quick facts about Shellac…

    • It’s a gel polish that cures under UV or LED light
    • Shellac comes in all different colours. You can get opaque, sheer, semi-sheer, metallic, and glittery ones.
    • It’s relatively easy to apply and takes only 1-2 mins to cure each layer which is super fast and there is NO DRYING TIME so you’re ready to go as soon as you’ve cured the top coat.
    • Removal is also super easy. It takes about 10 minutes and just needs to be taken off with foil wraps.

Why I like it:
It’s uber shiny. Chip-free. Smudge-free. There’s no drying time… What more can you ask for in a polish?

The Greenwich Mummy | #ManicureMonday
My CND Shellac nails

Mummy Loves… Grafix ABC Flash Cards

The Greenwich Mummy Loves...

ABC Flash Cards

Flash cards. They’re a great learning tool, especially for children. Most flash cards will have a picture of the word on one side of the card and the word in text-form on the other. This is my third pack – first and second got stolen from me by my cheeky little nephew, Lils.

These Grafix ABC flash cards are from Tesco’s for a measley £1! Seriously, learning doesn’t get any cheaper than that. It’s aimed at children from 3+ but to be honest, I never really look at these age ranges. Your child shouldn’t be limited by the standardised age labels as every child is different and learn things at different ages. Some are faster than others and some take a little longer. From the first and second time I bought this pack, I knew what it contained and knew that LO can recognise around 40% of the photos. There’s 52 cards in total from A to Z (two cards for each letter).

ABC Flashcards | The Greenwich Mummy

The cards have the word and picture on one side, and the other side has the word only. Children that are slightly older would be able to use these cards as a game. Simply show the card to your child(ren) with the picture side up and cover the word (this encourages the children to guess what the picture is). With LO, all I do at the moment is show him the picture side and he tells me what they are. As he can’t read yet (although he can distinguish some letters) he just shouts out what the picture is. A game I was thinking of playing with him when he’s a bit older is to group the cards by their food groups i.e. group all the vegetables together, group all of the living room objects together, etc.

LO loves to learn so I am very glad that he responded well to these flash cards. I also think that by encouraging him to learn new words at home gives him the opportunity to develop his knowledge of objects and things as well as improve his memory as he may be able to remember the new things he’s learnt when he sees them in real life. I’m hoping to get him a few more educational games such as puzzles and memory games to give him the best start in academia.

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature