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TNT's resident travel expert, Laura Lindsay from Lonely Planet, answers readers' travel questions. If you have a question, email traveltips@tntmagazine.com. If your question is published, you'll win a Lonely Planet guide.

Question

I want to take my girlfriend to Paris but I’m worried it’s too expensive. I know it is possible to find cheap tickets on the Eurostar, but will I be able to find accommodation for less than £50 a night per person? Nick, via email

Answer

I don’t think you’re the first boyfriend to have this dilemma but not to worry, accommodation in Paris for under £100 a night for a double room is possible! And what’s more, it doesn’t have to be in a rundown hotel that will make your girlfriend think you’ve scrimped on her romantic weekend away.

Going self-catering can reduce the cost of your trip further if you utilise local supermarkets and eat some meals in the apartment. Adagio (adagio-city.com) offer a range of apartments. The Adagio Access Paris Tour Eiffel block is a 15-minute walk from the banks of the Seine and the Eiffel tower, and costs £93.50 per night for two people. Alternatively, rent an apartment directly from the owner on popular website airbnb.com, where there’s a huge range of quirky flats to let in the city for a range of budgets.

If you would prefer to stay in a hotel, the Hotel Ecole Centrale (paris-marais-hotel.fr) is great value, offering weekend package deals for £70 for two people including breakfast. It’s just a short walk from the popular Marais area. An even cheaper option is the Plug-Inn hostel, which offers double rooms at under £50 a night and is located in the quirky district of Montmartre, home to some of the city’s best nightlife.

Question

I missed out on Olympics tickets and am gutted I’m not going to get to see the Olympic Park – is there any other way
I can check out the new facilities? Paul, via email

Answer

All is not lost, but you will have to be quick. One million unsuccessful applicants for Olympics tickets are eligible to apply for another ballot to secure tickets for a number of events from May 13-17 (this week!).

Each day a ballot will be held for a number of sports – for full listings of which sports are balloted on each of these days visit tickets.london2012.com. If you are not one of the million eligible to reapply, never fear, the remaining unsold tickets will be available to the general public on May 23.

Also available in the ballot this week are presale Olympic Park tickets for those visitors who are keen to be part of the atmosphere but have not secured a ticket to a specific event. Olympic Park day passes will be charged at £10 for adults and will allow visitors to watch the events on big screens in the park. They do not include access to the venues themselves. These will be available to the general public to purchase from May 23.

Furthermore, the remaining 1.5 million unsold Paralympic tickets will be available to the general public to purchase from May 21 and as demand is lower, you should stand a good chance of getting some tickets for these events.

Good luck!

Readers' tips

Send your tips to traveltips@tntmagazine.com. If your tip is published, you'll win vouchers (worth up to £60) for entry into one of No.1 Traveller's airport lounges at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. (no1traveller.com)Prague

Wet towel conundrum

Re: what to do with wet towels when travelling (TNT 1497). Give it a quick dry under the hand dryer in the bathroom, or with your hair dryer. If it’s still damp, leave it on the outside of your backpack while waiting for transport. Also, use a sarong as a towel on your last day at a hostel so that it will dry quicker.
Kay Buck, via email

Taxi trick

At Lisbon airport, avoid the taxis at arrivals and go for the ones in the departures area. You won’t wait and you will probably get a nicer cabbie. Also, boutique B&B The House is amazing and it only costs about £12 to get there from the airport by taxi (if you follow my advice!).
Alex McFarlane, via Facebook



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Paris on a budget: travel advice
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