By Bryan Pirolli in Paris—
What’s the biggest expense for anyone coming to Paris? Usually, the plane ticket. If you’re looking to trade in that round trip for a cheaper one-way ticket to the City of Light and start up a life here, it’s harder than you think—but not impossible.
Expat Aurelia D’Andrea, a California native, literally wrote the book on moving to France, “Living Abroad in France,” published by Moon Guidebooks. It’s a handy resource for those dreaming of living among baguettes and cheese shops more permanently.
A guide to moving abroad
Travelers dreaming for a more permanent stay will find plenty of details on how to move to France, including practical information for the move and a breakdown of some of the country’s best regions. D’Andrea sat down with us recently over some café allongé to discuss how she met her deadline and what budget tips she picked up along the way for potential cheapo expats.
D’Andrea set out to write “Living Abroad in France” in a stressfully short four months. A whirlwind trip to every corner of the Hexagon landed her back in Paris where she penned the book to help fellow Francophiles looking to move abroad. “I want to help other people who have the same sorts of dreams to bypass a lot of the trials and tribulations,” she explained of her motivations.
Even though she chose to live in Paris, her ideal city, D’Andrea has fallen for the food of Nice and the quaint towns of Dordogne. If forced to move, she’d venture towards the Mediterranean for some Italian inspiration, great cuisine and sunshine. But expatriation can be a pricey affair that needs careful planning and consideration to make sure there are a few euros left over for a decent bottle of wine and a baguette or two.
Finding a legal way to move to France is a headache and a half, with no secret recipe for success. Once you find the right situation, start-up costs are one of the biggest concerns for anyone moving abroad. Between finding a place to live and filling it with one’s possessions, the bills can start to soar. Shipping a container of personal items and finding temporary housing while finding a permanent solution are concerns that should be priced out in order to minimize costs.
While furnishing a home, heading to Paris’s Bon Marché or even BHV department store is not the best idea for cutting costs. But buying quality products can pay off in the end, especially for highly-used items like kitchen appliances. “I won’t have to replace my espresso maker while here,” she said
D’Andrea also said that taking castaway items from other expats is a great way to save money and to be green-minded. She suggests scouring the internet to find great used items looking for a home. “Using Craigslist, for example, is a great way not to reinvent the wheel,” she said.
More handy information on the process, from A to Z, can be found in the Moon guide, “Living Abroad in France.” Take a look and then let us know any other cheapo-friendly tips for starting up a life in France!