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France is Expensive

France is ExpensiveFrance is Expensive. I have not yet been to a more costly country on the planet. I cannot comprehend how people can live here, let alone travel. I live and wander as a pauper who goes in the guise of a king. Here, I am only a pauper. . . like everybody else. [...]

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France is Expensive

France is Expensive. I have not yet been to a more costly country on the planet. I cannot comprehend how people can live here, let alone travel. I live and wander as a pauper who goes in the guise of a king. Here, I am only a pauper. . . like everybody else.

An item that could go for two dollars in the USA fetches five here. A forty minute train ride costs $12, a fifteen minute cab journey will costs $45, a cheap beer in a bar- $5, a hotdog- $5.50, entrance fee to an archaeology site- $15. I cannot report here how much a meal in a restaurant will costs, as I have not had the balls to try one; nor can I tell you how much any recreational activity will run, as I have just been absconding in the home of my Chilean friends in Anduze. But I can tell you that it will be expensive- everything is. The cost of living in France is absurd.

Usually, staying with friends and in people’s homes is a sure way to travel the world cheaply. But here in France I am graciously taking free hospitality while, at the same time, dropping more money than I ever had in any country on this planet.

France is not for travelers. France is not for the working class. France is not for anyone.

My friend Sergio is making $6,000 a month, and he still cannot make ends meet.

I bought a round of beers for myself and two friends and dropped nearly thirty dollars.

Thirty dollars is two to three days of travel almost anywhere in the world- Gone in the time it takes to empty a pint.

I am in disbelief.

Come here with pockets the weighted down with lead . . .

Leave here as light and poor as a bird.

France is Expensive.

Wanderjahr Jill- Without money and angry in France

$5.50 cheap hot-dog in Nimes, France

More Photographs from France on Photographs from the Open Road:
France Photos

Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
Anduze, France
December 11, 2007


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Filed under: Europe, France, Travel Preparation, Travel Problems

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3722 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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3 comments… add one

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  • planteplume May 29, 2013, 10:34 am

    What a bunch of c..ppy nonsense. The median salary in the Anduze area is much lower than 6000 s (something like 1700 €, I let you do the conversion) and still, people leave, e.g. own a property, cars, eat three times a day etc… They aren’t rich though (the Gard department is the poorest in France in terms of income per capita with Corsica), but give me 6000 dollars to live there, and I am the king. My parents have a pension of 2500 euros netto per month (for them both), live in Alès, and change their car regularly (every 4 years), have a decent house which has been modernized, a computer, two flat screen TVs, smartphones, nice old furnitures, eat mostly organic food (more costly than the food from the supermaket) etc… And do not own any debt.

    People in general save much more money in France than elsewhere in Europe and twice more than in the US. The debts owned by the french households is about 70 % of their income, compared to someting like 120 % in the US. University in France is free. You do not need costly private insurance as there is social security (you’ll need a complementary insurance though, much cheaper than a private insurance cover). Income taxes in France is very low for those who do not earn a lot, and also for the middle class (under 15 000 euros per year you do not pay any income tax). Old people nearly don’t pay any income tax, nor social security contribution, unless they are rich.

    Na, what a heap of b…shit, Munich in Germany, Nottingham in the UK or other places in Italy and Spain are more expensive than Anduze in the Cévennes. Not to mention the housing market, with very decent prices near Anduze compared tot he rest of Europe/US.


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    • VagabondJourney May 29, 2013, 10:44 am

      You seem to exist in a world of big expenses. Maybe for you France is not expensive. Sure, there are more expensive places in the world, but that doesn’t mean that, on a global scale, France is not an expensive country to travel in.

      This article is written from the perspective of a foreigner traveling in France. All the benefits you list here have nothing to do with us. Anyway, it seemed to me as if an incredible number of people in this part of the country were living off the government. So I guess you may be right, if you can get the government to pay for most everything for you, France may not be expensive. Unfortunately, this country is not yet providing hand outs for travelers, so it is relatively expensive for us.

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      • planteplume May 31, 2013, 7:45 am

        “My friend Sergio is making $6,000 a month, and he still cannot make ends meet”

        With 6000 dollars (US dollars I assume), your friend Sergio earns more than 90 % (and even more than that, I would think) of the population in France.

        Therefore, I cannot understand what you say.

        Funnily enough, I had a chat last year in a plane with a woman having a daughter who leaves in the US. She told me that her daughter and her husband were both well educated, both worked, and had a household income of about 6000 US dollars before tax. According to the mother, the couple had difficulty making end meet. Education fees –> 1000 dollars/month/child. Health Insurance–> expensive. Private pension, mortgage etc…