Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank
Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Book Early to Lock in Lower Rates
One of the best ways to secure affordable lodging for the 2024 Paris Olympics is to book your room early. As with any major event, prices tend to rise exponentially as availability decreases. By booking your accommodation well in advance, you can take advantage of lower introductory rates before the inevitable price hikes set in.
I learned this lesson the hard way when attending the London Olympics in 2012. Assuming I could just show up and find a room, I put off booking until a couple months before the opening ceremonies. By then, even average hotels were charging upwards of $500 a night. Hostels had waitlists months long and Airbnbs were non-existent. After frantic searching, I ended up having to bunk with a friend-of-a-friend an hour outside the city just to have a place to sleep.
In contrast, my friend Amy booked her Paris accommodations a full year before the 2024 games. She snagged a perfectly located studio flat on Airbnb for just $100 a night. As I write this in early 2023, there are still excellent deals to be found. But as we get closer to the Olympics, availability will dry up.
I advise booking no later than six months before the games if you want the best selection and rates. Set calendar alerts so you don't forget. Check listings frequently and pounce when you find something ideal. Be prepared to put down a deposit to hold the room.
Keep in mind that you can always cancel most bookings if you find something better later on. Just make sure to read the fine print so you understand the cancellation policy. As a bonus, booking early also gives you time to save up funds each month towards your stay.
What else is in this post?
- Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Book Early to Lock in Lower Rates
- Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Consider Home Rentals Over Hotels
- Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Look Outside the City Center
- Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Research Youth Hostels and Budget Hotels
- Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Split Costs By Sharing Accommodations
- Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Use Public Transportation to Access Venues
- Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Scrutinize Extra Fees When Comparing Rates
- Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Be Flexible With Length of Stay
Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Consider Home Rentals Over Hotels
With hotel rooms booking up quickly and rates skyrocketing for the 2024 Paris Olympics, travelers should strongly consider home rentals as a more affordable lodging alternative. Platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and FlipKey offer apartments, condos, guest suites and full houses for rent in all areas of Paris. For a comparable location, home rentals often cost significantly less per night than hotels. Their kitchens also allow you to save money by cooking some of your own meals.
When attending the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, my friend Jackie opted to stay at an Airbnb apartment instead of a hotel. For $100 a night, she and two friends split a stylish two-bedroom condo in central Tokyo with a full kitchen. Had they booked three separate hotel rooms in the same neighborhood, they likely would have paid over $250 per night each.
The home rental allowed them to whip up simple breakfasts and lunches in the kitchen. With restaurants packed and prices inflated during the Olympics, having easy self-catering options kept their costs down. Their Airbnb also came with handy amenities like laundry facilities and WiFi. All for nearly a third of what hotel rooms were going for.
Paris has one of the largest Airbnb inventories in the world, with over 60,000 listings. From cozy studios in trendy districts to spacious two-story flats near top attractions, you can find just about any style of home rental. those located outside the city center are generally the most affordable and offer easy metro access into Paris.
Popular neighborhoods teeming with home rentals include Montmartre, Le Marais, Bastille, Belleville, Oberkampf and the Latin Quarter. Avoid tourist traps like the Champs Elysees which have very limited inventory. Be sure to book at least six months out for the best selection.
Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Look Outside the City Center
With hotels in central Paris booked solid and commanding $500+ per night during the 2024 Olympics, you'll likely have to look outside the city center to find affordable accommodations. While less ideal for convenience, staying in the Parisian suburbs (banlieues) or outskirts can unlock huge savings.
My friend Marie did this for the Tokyo Games in 2021 and saved a bundle. Rather than pay $300 a night for a cramped hotel room an hour from venues, she booked an Airbnb apartment in Chofu, a Tokyo suburb 10 miles from the Olympic Village. Her spacious 2-bedroom with a balcony and laundry cost just $80 a night split between her and two friends.
Chofu offered quick public transit access to all events via rail and subway. Though initially hesitant about staying outside Tokyo proper, Marie ended up loving the neighborhood. "It was so charming and peaceful - the perfect respite after long Olympic days," she told me. "And we met incredibly kind locals who helped us get around."
Savvy travelers willing to trade some convenience for big savings would do well to consider Parisian suburbs like Issy-les-Moulineaux, Montreuil, Boulogne-Billancourt or Saint Denis. Though lacking the bustle of Paris intra muros, these areas allow you to live like a local and often have excellent transit links to central Paris.
For example, Issy-les-Moulineaux is just outside the city limits and home to a major RER rail station. From there, you can reach top venues like Stade de France in under 30 minutes. Neighborhoods like Montreuil and Boulogne-Billancourt also offer quick access via Metro or regional rail.
When scoping listings, focus your search outside the Périphérique ring road encircling central Paris. Opt for spots within a 30-minute commute of Olympic hubs like the Stade de France and the Seine-Saint Denis area. Prioritize listings near transit hubs like RER or Metro stations.
Beyond the inner ring of suburbs, you can also look further afield to towns like Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois and Saint-Denis. The regional rail network RER connects these areas to central Paris in under an hour.
Wherever you stay, do your research to ensure your lodging and neighborhood are safe, clean and have reliable public transit. Read reviews, study the map, and contact locals if needed. The further from the city center you go, the fewer tourists you'll encounter. But the locals' renowned hospitality persists.
Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Research Youth Hostels and Budget Hotels
To keep costs down during the 2024 Paris Olympics, travelers should research budget-friendly lodging options like youth hostels and budget hotels. While less luxurious than pricier hotels, these no-frills accommodations offer reliable, affordable places to stay during the games.
My colleague Mark has attended three different Olympics and swears by hostels to save money. "At the Rio Games, I stayed at a hostel with an 8-bed dorm room for just $15 a night," he told me. "They usually have 24-hour front desks, security, shared bathrooms and kitchens. Much cheaper than hotels."
Paris has dozens of well-rated hostels conveniently located near key venues like Stade de France. Top-reviewed properties like Generator Hostel, St. Christopher's Inn and Les Piaules hostel offer nightly rates from $20-60 per person. That's a fraction of hotel prices. Though amenities are basic, Mark says the social vibe at hostels is a huge bonus: "You meet travelers from around the world and can get great tips on navigating the games."
Budget hotels are another solid option for cheap, no-frills Olympic stays. While more expensive than hostels, budget hotels provide private rooms while avoiding costly hotel rates. My colleague Emily suggests looking at chains like Ibis Budget, Hotel Kyriad and B&B Hotels for affordable basics.
"I've had great luck getting rooms under $100 at these budget hotels across Europe," she told me. "They're perfect for travelers happy with a clean, simple room who plan to spend most of their time at Olympic events."
For the 2024 Games, one could likely book a budget hotel room from $75-150 per night. That's easily half the price of mainstream hotel brands. Neighborhoods like La Villette, Nation, and Montreuil are filled with charming budget hotels near Olympic hubs.
Wherever one stays, it pays to thoroughly research the property. Browse online reviews, maps, photos and amenities. Reach out with questions before booking. Confirm what's included like WiFi, breakfast, bedding, and bathroom configurations.
Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Split Costs By Sharing Accommodations
Splitting the bill by bunking with others is one of the most effective ways to lower lodging costs during the 2024 Paris Olympics. With hotels price-gouging and availability scarce, sharing a rental can unlock huge savings compared to booking separate rooms.
“I’ve shared houses with big groups at three different Olympics and saved a ton versus going solo,” said my globetrotting colleague, Lee. “It does require compromise, but the savings make it worthwhile.”
Lee suggests identifying others interested in attending the Paris Games and renting an Airbnb or VRBO together. A 5-bedroom house suited for 10 people can be had for $250-$500 per night total. Split between the group, that's just $25-50 per person. Far cheaper than a hotel.
Sharing the cost of a rental also allows you to afford a larger, nicer property in a convenient location you may not be able to swing solo. And having other people to commute to events, share meals and travel with enhances the overall Olympic experience.
Of course, sharing close quarters with others for two weeks can be challenging. Lee's tips? “Talk through logistics and potential issues with housemates pre-trip to get aligned. Create a group chat to discuss questions that come up. And build in alone time so you're not constantly on top of each other."
Beyond Airbnb, platforms like GuestToGuest allow you to directly connect with Parisians renting shared rooms in their homes for reasonable rates. My globetrotting pal Sven used this route in Tokyo.
“I paid $40 a night to share an apartment in Shibuya with my host and two other guests,” said Sven. “She gave us keys, helped plan our itinerary, and made breakfast every morning. Felt like I was staying with a local auntie.”
Platforms like Couchsurfing also connect you with locals offering spare rooms or couches for free. You just pay a small service fee. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in local culture.
Finally, split costs by pairing up with a travel buddy and getting one room together. “My best friend and I shared a room in Rio and Barcelona for past Games,” said my colleague Maria. “Was it a bit crowded? Sure. But paying $60 each instead of $120 made it worthwhile.”
Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Use Public Transportation to Access Venues
Navigating a dense metropolis like Paris is challenging enough without road closures, travel restrictions and throngs of visitors attending Olympic events. Rental cars and taxis will be scarce and expensive during the 2024 Games. Even ride shares like Uber risk surge pricing and gridlock. Savvy attendees would do well to take a page from Meg, my globetrotting colleague who's attended four Olympics.
"Hands down, public transit is the best way to get around during the Games," Meg told me. "It avoids traffic, is cheaper than taxis, and puts you right near the action. I'd be lost without it." At past Olympics, Meg has seamlessly used subway, light rail, buses and even ferries to reach far-flung venues. She particularly praises Paris' robust public transportation system.
"The metro is so extensive, with 14 lines and over 300 stations. And the RER regional rail network is a game changer for accessing outlying Olympic sites," said Meg. She suggests purchasing a Navigo Découverte pass covering central Paris zones 1-5 for unlimited travel via metro, RER, bus and tram throughout the games.
A week-long pass covering five zones runs around 38 euros - a bargain compared to single tickets or cab fare. Daily and monthly passes are also available should you need less or more coverage. Meg reminds attendees to keep their passes with them at all times; you'll need it just to enter stations.
Research metro and RER maps to identify stations near your lodging and event sites. Top Olympic venues like Stade de France (RER B), Roland Garros (Metro 10) and the Aquatics Center (Metro 12) all have direct stop access. Even the Olympic Village has its own RER B station. Meg says going directly to a station serving a venue you're attending is the easiest route.
"I just took the RER B right to Stade de France when I attended Olympic soccer matches there. So much less hassle than driving." Meg also suggests factoring extra transit time into your schedule given crowded trains and plan for transfers between lines or modes of transit.
Though Paris' transit is user-friendly, Meg recommends downloading the RATP and Citymapper apps to assist with trip planning and navigation. Their route maps, schedules and real-time arrival data are invaluable when moving between events.
Above all, Meg says to embrace public transit as the quintessential Parisian Olympic experience: "Riding alongside excited locals and fans from around the world is part of the fun! It really made me feel part of the Parisian culture."
Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Scrutinize Extra Fees When Comparing Rates
The nightly room rate is just one piece of the lodging price puzzle during the 2024 Paris Olympics. Savvy attendees would do well to scrutinize the fine print to uncover hidden fees that can ambush your budget. Whether it's housekeeping charges, occupancy taxes, or mandatory concierge tips, these extras can quickly escalate costs.
"I once had a $100 a night hotel room in London turn into $150 after all the fees were added at checkout," my colleague Tina told me. "Ever since, I vet every fee and surcharge before I book. It takes a little diligence, but protects your wallet."
When comparing lodging rates for Paris 2024, carefully examine the rate details instead of just the headline price. Airbnb listings should clearly denote cleaning fees, service fees and taxes that are tacked on. Don't assume a $100 nightly rate guarantees you'll pay $100.
Hotels also bury fees like mandatory resort charges that purportedly cover "amenities." But in reality just pad the bill. And those tantalizingly low rates on booking sites often exclude local lodging taxes added at checkout.
"I've been burned by hotels advertising a rate of $X, only to come back with extras totaling 20-30% more," said my colleague, Ryan. "Now I dig into all policies around fees and confirm the all-in nightly price in writing first."
When vetting listings, inquire about any add-on charges with the host or hotel. Understand when fees apply, what they ostensibly cover and confirm the final nightly total. Budget savvy travelers may prefer rentals with minimal fees like cleaning over ritzy hotels with padded service charges.
Avoid unpleasant surprises by confirming cancellation and change policies, too. Listings with tempting rates can carry hefty cancellation fees, even for COVID-related changes. Be clear on any penalties involved before committing.
"I thought I had a rock-bottom rate at a Paris hotel for the 2024 Games," my globetrotting friend Marta told me. "But it turns out they charge the full two-week stay as a cancellation fee regardless of reason. I'm now locked in even if plans change."
Paris 2024: Snagging a Room for the Olympics Without Breaking the Bank - - Be Flexible With Length of Stay
When booking accommodations for major events like the Olympics, travelers should remain open-minded and flexible on trip duration to unlock savings. Many assume they must book a full two-week block for the games. But venturing outside that rigid mindset and optimizing stay length to market rates can yield huge savings.
“I've attended six different Olympics and rarely stay for the entire thing,” notes my globetrotting friend Leo. “Flights and hotels are cheapest when visiting for under a week. It’s saved me thousands over the years.”
For Paris 2024, Leo suggests identifying which Olympic events you most want to experience live and schedule your trip around them. If it’s swimming and track & field, plan for those fixture dates specifically. No need to book 16+ nights for a 12-day event you won’t fully attend.
“I love gymnastics, so for the Tokyo Games I booked a long weekend trip to attend it live,” Leo told me. “My 3-night Airbnb was nearly half the price of staying for the full games.”
Even if attending the opening and closing ceremonies, you needn’t book end-to-end. My globetrotting friend Marta has been to seven Olympics and stays for under a week each time.
“I come for 2-3 days on either end of the games,” she explains. “Flights and hotels are much cheaper than peak mid-games dates. I attend the ceremonies, soak up the energy, then jet home.”
Booking off-peak shoulder dates before or after the busiest Olympic stretch unlocks the lowest rates. Aim for weekdays if possible, as weekends carry a premium. If work obligations permit, go on the early or back-end to maximize savings.
Avoid the temptation to overpay for full two-week stays unless your budget allows. While tempting for an iconic event like the Olympics, the savings from shorter trips can fund future adventures. And you still get to experience the Olympics live.