There is currently a very reasonable airfare to Paris from Halifax in December. It’s even available on popular travel dates including the week between Christmas and New Year’s. If international travel is in your thoughts as we gradually emerge from pandemic purgatory, this might be an option worth considering.
Halifax to Paris round trip airfare – $820
This fare is on Air Canada connecting in either Montreal or Toronto depending on the departure you choose.
For example, you could leave Halifax (YHZ) at 5 pm on Saturday, December 25th (head to the airport right after Christmas dinner), connect in Montreal (YUL) and arrive in Paris (CDG) at 8:45 am on the 26th. Then depart for home at 11:45 am on Saturday, January 1st, connect in Toronto and be back in Halifax at 9:57 pm.
That would give you 6 nights in Paris. Other dates and times are available if you want more nights or different layovers although it might cost you extra. You’ll also pay more if you choose a fare type above Economy Basic.
A round trip airfare of $820 from Halifax to Europe is a good price, but is especially good for popular travel dates around a holiday.
Note that Air Canada’s current COVID-19 policy allows you to change your booking with no fee for tickets issued before June 30, 2021.
Accommodation will be more challenging if you’re in search of a bargain. You might want to look for a reasonably priced small independent hotel. Just be sure to read the description and reviews carefully so you know what you’re getting. A lower rate might mean no elevator or an extra tiny room.
When it comes to apartments, remember that short-term rentals are regulated in Paris so check to make sure any listing you’re considering has a registration number to ensure that it’s legal.
If you prefer to default to a chain hotel in a good location, maybe book something like the Holiday Inn Notre-Dame. It’s in a very convenient spot and you’ll earn some IHG points on the stay.
You’ll notice that hotel rates shoot up on Thursday and Friday (New Year’s Eve) so if you have some points to cover those two nights (even if you have to switch hotels), that might be a good plan.
Sightseeing and Dining
How much you’ll spend on activities will depend on whether you intend to do the typical tourist stuff or simply focus on soaking up the Parisian vibe. The same goes for food. It’s quite possible to eat on the cheap if splurge-worthy restaurants are not a priority.
If you plan to visit lots of museums, consider buying a Paris museum pass. I don’t know how crowded the popular ones will be during this period, but the pass might let you skip the line to save some time. It also can provide some motivation to pop into the lesser known places for a quick look around.
If you’re concerned about winter weather, I wouldn’t worry too much as a Canadian. Just come prepared. (I was in Paris once in February and it was not very cold but you could be lucky or unlucky with unseasonable weather either way.)
France announced that fully vaccinated travellers from “green” countries may enter with no requirement for quarantine or proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. Canada has recently been put into the green category. Although the advisory against non-essential travel outside Canada remains in place, hopefully circumstances will allow that to be lifted in the relative near future.
In the meantime, if travelling is on your mind, keep an eye out for good fares like this Christmas deal to Paris. (Just don’t book this trip as a gift for a loved one and spring it on them Christmas morning – the anticipation is worth more than the surprise. Just my opinion.)