Torquay family flew to Paris because it was £100 cheaper than UK theme park trip

Brody, 11, and Romeo, seven enjoyed a lovely day out in Paris for their mum Stefanie's birthday
Brody, 11, and Romeo, seven enjoyed a lovely day out in Paris for their mum Stefanie's birthday -Credit:Stefanie Curran/SWNS

A Devon mum flew to Paris for 11 hours for her 40th birthday with her kids, claiming it was cheaper than taking them to a UK theme park. Stefanie Curran, 40, from Torquay, took her two sons Brody, 11, and Romeo, seven, to France after realising she didn't have enough money for a week-long holiday.

She spent £55 each on return flights and spent the day sightseeing, eating pastries and shopping. The single mum estimates she saved £100 in comparison to a day trip to a theme park.

"I wanted to do something for my birthday but didn't have enough for a full-blown holiday. So I just started looking around for ideas and realised we could go to Paris and back in a day."

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She added: "We didn't do it as cheap as we could have, but it was definitely cheaper than taking the kids to a waterpark or some of the attractions in the UK which are extortionate. So I think we did pretty well for the price."

Stefanie Curran and Romeo in Paris
Stefanie Curran and Romeo in Paris -Credit:Stefanie Curran/SWNS

Stefanie flew from Bristol at 7.15am in April 2023 and arrived in Paris at 9.30am, heading straight to the Eiffel Tower for breakfast - costing her €73.

The family travelled across the city via the sight-seeing bus Tootbus for the combined price of €83. "The bus saved our legs from getting tired and meant we could see loads of the main sights. You can get on and off wherever you want, which worked really well for us," she said.

"My eldest's only goal for the trip was having a croissant and he wanted the most expensive croissant in Paris, so we were able to stop off on our way and do that."

The Tootbus also enabled Stefanie to visit her favourite shop Le Creuset and see the Champs-Elysees. They enjoyed avocado and sundried tomatoes on toast before finishing back at the Eiffel Tower.

Stefanie and her boys took a €57 taxi back to the airport for their 8.10pm flight, arriving back in the UK at 8.25pm. Stefanie says that the trip was a cost-effective substitute to a day out at home - even including the additional shopping and travel costs.

She said: "Even our local water park costs £95 for the day with parking included. It costs £500 for Legoland with an overnight stay."

Brody in Paris
Brody in Paris -Credit:Stefanie Curran/SWNS

Stefanie felt lucky the day all went to plan - with no delays. She said: "I had to do a lot of warning my kids that this could be a complete disaster because if you get a couple hours delay, you've missed half your day.

"My eldest is autistic and my youngest would have got bored if there had been any delays, so I brought a whole bag of fidget toys which broke everything up a bit.

"It's a whistle-stop tour so we had to decide not to go into any of the attractions because of the queuing time, but it was a really good way of experimenting with travelling with the kids. I felt really good because I'd survived taking my kids to another country in one day it was a proud single parent moment."

Stefanie advises those considering a similar jaunt to don comfy shoes and pack as much as possible "without making your bag too heavy". She shared: "It was a really fun adventure. We're hoping to do another one in the summer, ideally to Alicante."

The entire outing, with all expenses tallied, came to an estimated £400.

  • Return flights for three amounted to £166.

  • Bus fares totalled £70 (€83).

  • Food and drinks cost £50.

  • Taxi charges reached £111 (€130).

  • Grand total - £397.