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Family Holidays in France
Top Reasons Why France is Perfect For Family Vacations

5 Reasons Why France is Perfect for Family Holidays. Vacations to France is a dream for many families.  It has wonderful beaches, fantastic countryside, fairy-tale castles a some truly remarkable cities.   The country is full of beauty, rich history, and an endless array of things...

How To See The Best of France In 14 Days

A Two Week Tour of France That Visits All The Best Sites. I believe that everyone should visit France at least once in their lives. This 2-week itinerary travel through France makes a great introduction to this amazing country....

Paris Nightime traffic
Easiest Ways to Get Around While Visiting Paris

Easy Ways to Get Around in Paris - Best Public Transportation Options As one of the most popular destinations in the world, Paris, France, continues to be a place where over 6 million people visit each year. From The Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, there is...

Paris Plages Summer Beach on Seine
Fun City Beaches Pop Up Across The Globe

Best Urban Beaches From Paris to Philadelphia - Summer City Beaches Are Popping Up In Land-Locked Cities Around The World July is almost here when all thoughts turn to lazing at the beach with friends. In major land-locked cities across the globe, temporary beaches are...

Lonely Planet Offers Free “Best of” Travel Apps

All of my favorites are included!  Just in time for the new iPhone 5, free apps for the very 'best of ' are being offered free of charge for Barcelona, London, New York, Paris, and Rome by Lonely Planet, one the most respected travel publishers...

A Single Traveler’s Guide To Paris

The Singles Guide to Surviving Paris, the City of Love It always struck me as particularly one-sided to regard Paris as the domain of lovers, as little more than a love nest with a big tower and lights.  Paris may be the ultimate honeymoon destination, but...

Essential Guide To The Best Paris Wine Bars

5 Top Wine Bars of Paris Paris is a great hub for a range of clubs and bars. Many Parisians visit local bars and cafes to meet their friends and enjoy the city nightlife. Most of the city monuments and roads remain illuminated throughout the night...

Guy Fieri
Tours Inspired By Your Favorite TV Shows

Have you ever watched an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and wished you were sitting in that red Camaro riding along with Guy Fieri, nibbling and chatting your way down the road?  Or perhaps you've  watched a PBS special and fantasized about exploring a...

Paris By Pastry – Exquisite Madeleines

There are so many iconic French foodie experiences, it's hard to know where to begin.  Surprisingly it's often the simplest ingredients executed to perfection that produce the tastes we crave long after returning from a trip to France.  While many famous French confections ooze with...

Favorite Cheap High-Quality Hotels in Top European Cities

ParisWe’ve selected our favorite inexpensive accommodations in three of our favorite European destinations, London, Paris and Budapest to help you stretch your vacation budget.

When you think about the term ‘cheap accommodation’, what comes to mind? Visions of dingy shared hostel dorms with iron bunk beds and thirty people to each bathroom? Subsistence meals from all-you-can-eat buffets? Poor security and sketchy neighborhoods?

These types of lodging certainly exist, but cheap doesn’t automatically mean substandard. If you want to save stretch your budget when traveling, there are plenty of youth hostels and cheap hotels available that will give you a great stay.  Here are some of our favorite top value hotels and hostels: 

Paris On Our Mind – Tried and True Paris Tips

Paris cafe for breakfastHere are some Paris travel tips that will make  your journey safe, comfortable and fabulous. I’m always spouting, “When you see a super great deal – make yourself drop everything and go!”  That’s exactly what happened to us last month when Linda and I had the opportunity to fly off to Paris at a fabulous promotional rate.  We had a little over 2 weeks to pull our trip together, so we focused in right away.   Here’s what we did:

#1  A Quick Brush Up On Our High School French
Linda found a terrific language learning program – EarWormsLearning.com.  Despite the crawly name, the concept is amazing.  They believe that you learn better, faster and with more recall when you learn with music.  So their language lessons come with music playing in the background.  We loved it and listened on our iPods all the way to Paris.

30 Words French TranslationAnd for extra reassurance, we picked up a quick translation guide – 30 Words ($9.95).  These are terrific passport sized accordion folded translations of tourist phrases that are waterproof and tear-proof – perfect for toting around.

Paris Greeters Program – Meeting The Friendly French, No Kidding

Paris Greeters, a volunteer organization of amiable Parisians who look forward to welcoming visitors to their city are changing the impression that Paris is a less than friendly city, one tour at a time, every day.

As Linda and I make our away across the city from the broad perfumed boulevards of the Champs Elysee to the gritty, lyrical lanes of the Left Bank,  we are giddy with anticipation.  We are about to meet a new friend that we met a few weeks ago online thanks to the Paris Greeters organization.  Our Paris Greeter / guide, Laurent, has volunteered to show us his city on this particular Saturday afternoon.  We’ve been in touch by email to set a time and place to meet, discussed our mutual interests, and exchanged photos so we can recognize each other outside the Metro station.

Within minutes of meeting we are talking, laughing and already appreciating the nuances of Left Bank neighborhoods and seeing French culture through new eyes.  Beyond a litany of Louis’ and their royal accomplishments (how DO they keep 18 Louis straight?) we stroll by a Pierre Herme´ pastry shrine  (you really can’t call it a bake shop when there are 50 people waiting in line to get in the door!); Paris Market - Wild Asparagusthen on to Gelati D’Alberto where the iced delights look like rose blossoms, and  of course we can’t resist ogling the decadent cheeses and fragrant produce at an open market.  Oh to be a Parisian on market day! Laurent schools us on choosing restaurants to dine in, “NEVER enter a restaurant that has ‘French Cuisine’ on the sign or menu”, he admonishes,  “they are just for poor unsuspecting tourist!”