advertisement

It's true what they say; Paris is deservedly considered the most romantic, beautiful, and enchanting city in the world. If you're heading there soon, you'll be taking a chance on battling a scorcher of summer and a dense throng of fellow tourists. Look to later in the fall, and you'll find prices dropping and those crowds thinning.

If you can take the heat, France Vacations (tel. 800/332-5332; www.francevacations.net) has several trips offered through summer's end. A five-night air and hotel package starting from $549 provides a number of different hotels from which to choose. Travel is valid through August 31, 2005, and prices are per person, based on double occupancy and don't include additional taxes and fees. Flying from New York (other gateways are also available), the five-night trip includes roundtrip airfare, accommodations including city tax, daily breakfast, and a 10 percent discount on purchases at Galeries Lafayette. This is a do-it-yourself-Paris trip that lets you see the city at your own pace. While exploring, make sure you hit the Musee Rodin (tel. + 00-33 0 1-44186110, www.musee-rodin.fr), housed in Rodin's Paris mansion complete with full gardens, for a bit of a time travel. If you're looking for a true French brasserie, try Le Petit Zinc (11 rue St-Benoit in the 6th Arr.; tel. 01 42 86 61 00; www.petit-zinc.com) or try the less expensive Le Petit St.-Benoit (4, rue St.-Beno¿t in the 6th Arr.; tel. 01 42 60 27 92) for a spartan atmosphere that serves incredibly authentic French country cuisine in hearty portions at low prices.

France Vacations also offers an even shorter three-night Paris shopping spree starting at $539 per person with airfare and hotel. Like the previous trip, price is based on double occupancy; you can choose from over 20 hotels in different sections of the city ranging from budget to moderate to luxurious. Of course, the total price of your package goes up based on the level of your hotel. In addition to the air and hotel portions of the trip, this Parisian package includes daily breakfast, a 10 percent discount from Galeries Lafayette, one-way airport transfer, a Paris shopping guide (book, not person!), a three-day Metro pass, and a Galeries Lafayette shopping bag.

Go-Today (tel. 800/227-3235; www.gotoday.com) has a "Paris Getaway" good for three nights between September 7 to October 31, 2005. Cost for this trip starts at $539 per person with a purchase deadline of August 11, 2005. Most of the hotels are three-star properties by European standards, meaning the rooms are on the small side, the elevators thin, and the amenities few. Locations, however, are often stellar and service is extra-personal with excellent recommendations. Daily breakfast is included and hotel service charges and taxes are included with this package. Air and security taxes are not. Add-ons are available from other U.S. gateways including $20 from Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.; $70 from Atlanta; and $100 from Chicago, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

If you're already thinking about Thanksgiving, Go-Today has a special three-night trip to Paris over the American holiday starting from $399 per person for this air and hotel combo. The single supplement is $150. Accommodations for this low-priced special are at the Holiday Inn Express Porte D'Italie, just a quick Metro or RER ride to the center of town.

1-800FlyEurope (tel. 800/359-3876; www.1800flyeurope.com) also has flight and driving packages to Paris that include roundtrip air and rental car. Accommodation in Paris and elsewhere in France are up to your discretion and budget. A seven-day economy or manual transmission rental car with airfare starts at $426 from New York City. Departures from other cities such as Raleigh, NC and Dallas start from $488 and $532 respectively. This trip is good for mid-week departures between September 5 and October 31, 2005. There is a surcharge for weekend travel, and air taxes and security fees are not included in the package price.

Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our France Message Boards today.