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I'm from India and I'm going to study in France. However, since I'm arriving on the weekends, I'm not quite 100% sure if my school representative will pick me up.

In that scenario, I wanted to know that if I stay in a hotel for two nights, is it possible to pay by cash? I don't have a credit card and my debit card from a governmental Indian bank does not work abroad.

Has anyone tried to get a hotel room in France via cash before? And what were the formalities?

  • Yes. Cash works. Pecunia non olet. :) – JoErNanO Sep 29 '16 at 11:04
  • I haven't tried recently (read: in the decade or two since Internet booking platform appeared) but independent hotels certainly (use to) accept cash. In France, you would often write a check for part of the amount to confirm a reservation (that's called arrhes and won't be refunded if you decide not to show up). Nowadays I typically book online but, unlike big chains everywhere, independent and boutique hotels still do not make an imprint of your credit card at check-in. – Relaxed Sep 29 '16 at 11:38
  • Relaxed, thanks for letting me know! I don't think I can write up a check either since I don't have a French bank account yet. But maybe they can take some security deposit? – justa.human Sep 29 '16 at 12:20
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Is it possible, yes. Will it take some extra effort, maybe. And keep mind that every brand/property can have different policies.

Practically every hotel will accept cash as final payment so that is the smallest issue.

Where guests have trouble is with the reservation or deposit. If you are a walk in, the reservation is problem is eliminated so what you have to prepare for is any cash deposit requirement which could be anywhere from 0-200 Euros depending on the class of property.

If you want to try to make a reservation, this is where you can expect some work since you will have to interact with the property directly or try to make an online booking and see how far you can get.

Special Note: thx to contributor JonathanReez, I see Booking.com has a Book without credit card option. The result is very limited, but that's an option if you really want to pre-plan.

But, you may not need an actual reservation, especially if you won't know until day of arrival if you need it. In that case, make a list of your preferred properties and if you need the room, call ahead to check availability and ask them to hold a room for you as a walk-in.

  • @Johns-305- Thanks for the reply! Regarding the security deposit? Do you need to provide the security deposit in a form of credit card or I can use cash for that as well? – justa.human Sep 29 '16 at 12:23
  • As I mentioned above, most hotels will take a Cash deposit, then apply it to the final payment. Since you expect to pay in Cash, you should have enough to cover the deposit. A lot of booking engines will have the Deposit requirement somewhere the description but you have to look around for it. – Johns-305 Sep 29 '16 at 13:19
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Till a few years ago my parents cycled through France every holiday. Some time in the afternoon they would decide to look for a hotel, stop when seeing the next one or in the next town or village and look for a hotel there.

They would check in, leave their luggage in the room, sometimes have dinner in the hotel and at other times in town, sleep, eat breakfast and only then the first money would change hands. Often they had to find someone to give them the bill and accept the money, before leaving for their next day cycling.
They did not have a credit card at the time and never booked before arrival.

Not all hotels are as casual about it and with online booking becoming more the norm they might become less so, but there are still enough old fashioned hotels where service is the norm and money is not asked for till you leave.

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