Welcome to Travel Diaries, a Refinery29 collection wherein we tag along as actual women embark on trips around the world and song their travel costs down to the closing cent. Here, we provide an in-depth, intimate account of while, wherein, and how our friends spend their vacation days and disposable profits: all the food, adventures, indulgences, setbacks, and surprises.

This week’s journey diary: A 29-yr-vintage senior copywriter goes to Paris with her boyfriend to finalize the acquisition of their Parisian condo.
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Occupation: Senior Copywriter
Salary: $85,000 (plus $1,000 – three,000 a year freelancing)
Annual Number Of Vacation Days: Last yr, my company introduced a flexible day without work policy which has grown increasingly famous because it allows personnel mental freedom while saving the business enterprise from having to pay out unused vacation time. In addition to the week off among Christmas and New Year’s, I took 25 days, so I assume the alternate is a win-win.

Location: Brooklyn, New York
Trip Location: Paris, France
Trip Length: five days
Travel Companion: Boyfriend
Travel Companion Salary: $two hundred,000 (plus annual bonus)
Travel Companion Number of Vacation Days: 20
Cost: The value was $545 for my price ticket from NYC to Paris, Bordeaux to Madrid, and Madrid to NYC. After Paris, my boyfriend and I spent four nights in Bordeaux (we offered to educate tickets from Paris for $50), and from there, I met a friend in Madrid before flying home. My boyfriend’s price ticket was $625 from NYC to Paris, and Paris to NYC, which includes the value of 1 checked bag both ways. To travel back to Paris from Bordeaux, he took the educate (the price ticket become miraculously $19 the day of).
When did you e-book? Do you believe you studied you got a good deal?
I booked my flight approximately a month ahead of my departure. Given that I booked a multi-town ticket, I assume I got an exceptional deal.
Total: $1,239
Costs: I am very into lodge credit score playing cards, so I always try to e-book resorts the usage of points, or a mixture of coins and factors to help keep trip expenses down. Plus, with European lodge rooms being notoriously small, it enables us to have a loyalty card for upgrades! In Paris, we stayed inside the Opéra district at the Marriott Ambassador Hotel for $250 a night time.

Total: $746.93
Miscellaneous pre-holiday spending
The day of my flight, I saw that there was a Retrofit pop-up pattern sale happening. They are a favorite Israeli clothing line that’s been throughout social media, so I excitedly ran over there to score a lovely dress for my journey. They were out of the robe to get dressed I wanted, but I discovered something higher in its place. Typically $six hundred, I scored an adorable black-sequined bodysuit and flare pant set for $a hundred and fifty. It’s also the appropriate outfit for my 30th birthday, so I have already got a few occasions to wear it on. Update: If I needed extra validation, the emblem came up in a verbal exchange with friends while I become in Madrid, and it seems my buddy’s friend who turned into with us is close with the clothier couple. He sent a photo of me in my outfit to them, and they spoke back at once, announcing I seemed fantastic in it!
– 2 Tickets to Atelier des Lumières: $32

– 2 Tickets to Taste of Paris: $127
– three tickets to the Louis Vuitton Foundation: $53.86
Total: $362.86
Miscellaneous submit-holiday spending: I had more than one clothes dry-cleaned that price $24.80
Do you have credit score card debt as a result of booking this excursion?
No, I do not have credit card debt because of reserving this holiday. I am big on saving, so I can enjoy holidays with out stressing approximately finances!
Day One

8:45 p.M. — The Uber arrives at our Brooklyn cope with and my boyfriend, B, masses our luggage into the trunk. Band I usually percentage a big suitcase to test, and each bring a carry-on. The driver confirms our destination, JFK, and earlier than I comprehend it, we are cruising along the Belt Parkway. Finally able to relax, I take one of those deep, shuddering sighs that simplest takes place once I understand I have zero responsibilities for the next week, or in this situation, ten days. I currently switched groups at paintings and don’t begin the brand new one till I return, so in a way, it seems like a ruin among jobs. $forty.50

10:30 p.M. — After an extended queue to test our bag, were seated at a café by means of the gate. B is munching on a ham and cheese sandwich ($eight.Fifty five) and I thieve some mediocre bites. As we wait to board, I crack open Jane Eyre, a traditional piece of literature that by some means slipped through the cracks of my excessive school analyzing listing. It is rather relevant, and I am right here for the increase and electricity of Ms. Eyre! $8.55
eleven:25 p.M. — Wheels up! I plan to sleep in this purple-eye but assume two times once I spot A Star is Born inside the entertainment selection.
Daily Total: $ forty-nine .05
Day Two
12:20 p.M. — We land and head immediately to baggage claim. Our bag appears after several minutes, and we stroll out of doors to the Roissybus price tag device. There are other public transit options. However this bus goes immediately to Opéra, that’s most effective an 8-minute walk to our inn, Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador. $27.50
12:50 p.M. — Over the direction of the forty-minute bus trip, B and I chat about our plans for the next few days. This is our fourth ride to Paris collectively at some point of our 3-yr courting, and while we don’t want an excuse to maintain coming returned, we are right here to finalize the acquisition of a -bedroom condominium! I am nonetheless in disbelief that my francophile fantasy of getting my pied-à-Terre is coming actually.

Here’s the way it took place: I spent over a year looking at homes on line, lusting after tiny, overpriced flats. One search yielded a new-construct in Puteaux, a suburb just west of Paris, with rental plans that seemed relatively inexpensive for my rate range. I, first of all, inquired approximately a studio condo, something I may want to come up with the money for on my own, but after discussing the prospect over dinner, my boyfriend and I decided to go 50/50 on a two-bed room, 1.5 bath unit. My 1/2 of the down-payment and prices turned into $65,000, nearly all of my liquidity, however, it was worth it. To attempt to placed it into words: among following creator George Clason’s recommendation in The Richest Man in Babylon, adhering to no-spend days, and taking over facet hustles, I fed every little bit of financial savings to my proverbial piggy financial institution. The day I signed for the apartment changed into the day I smashed that piggy bank and went out, oui, oui all the manner to my new French home.

While I don’t have the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre at my doorstep, it’s only a 12-minute metro ride to downtown Paris, and greater space for a rate I can find the money for. Going on my second yr residing in Brooklyn, I truly see the cost of getting more dwelling area in alternate for a quick commute.
2: forty p.M. — Once we throw our luggage within the room, we walk to a nearby department of Banque Populaire to transfer the remaining budget to the notary earlier than our assembly the next day morning, and we’re slicing the switch a piece close. For the 20% down price, B and I invest in a shared French account. However, we’re chargeable for ensuring the budget from the lender who authorized our mortgage are transferred to the developer, that is what we’re looking to do now.

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