«September 2013»

London and Paris Trip Report: Days 5-7

One reason I keep coming back to Paris, even after 35 visits or so, is that I always discover something new to me.  On my past tours of Paris, I took several visits until I found things like the Musée l’Orangerie, my favorite restaurant, Le Pre Verre, the Musée Arts et Metiers, and the passageways and walks that make a visit to Paris almost like a new experience every time I go.   Read about my last 3 days in Paris and find out about the sites I have visited again and what’s new in Paris for me.
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A Visit to Honfleur from Paris

honfleur traveling professorHonfleur is one of those picturesque towns located in Normandy where the Seine meets the Atlantic.  Walking the streets narrow streets of the wooden framed buildings with the smell of fresh seafood and baking bread is still with me since my last visit.  I have traveled to Honfleur from Paris several times.  My friends and guest bloggers Brigitte and Philippe Mercier of Beehome Guest House in Honfleur bring us the story of this Norman village and how to visit Honfleur.

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Day Trip to Verona

Traveling Professor VeronaI have toured the major cities of Italy like Florence, Rome, Venice and Milan several times.  People who have traveled with me before ask me to take them somewhere new in Italy.   I have been exploring taking small group tours to the Venetto.  Those towns include Vicenza, Padua, and medieval Verona.   In today’s Italy blog I will talk about visiting Verona, the romantic home of Shakespeare’s Juliet.  BTW, look for The Traveling Professor to offer a small group tour to Verona in Fall of 2014.
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Segovia - A Day Trip from Madrid

Segovia Traveling ProfessorI first visited Segovia in 1992.  I remember my first sight of Segovia being the impressive Roman aqueduct spanning the small city.   Underneath was the quaint Spanish town, filled with wonderful restaurants and narrow cobblestone streets.   The castle, straight out of a Disney movie, was a delight.  I returned earlier this year on one of my small group “preview tours” of Segovia.  In this blog post, I will tell you how I experience the Spanish city of Segovia.
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Lost/Delayed Luggage? Cancelled/Delayed Flight? Denied Boarding?

Cancelled FlightOn almost every small group tour I run, someone has a delayed or cancelled flight, loses their luggage, or is denied boarding.  In fact, just this year alone I have had two flights to Europe and one in Peru cancelled or significantly delayed.  Most people don't know what their rights are when this happens.  For this guest blog post, I have enlisted the help of a legal expert, Attorney Christopher D. Aulepp, to outline what you can do not if, but when your flight is delayed or cancelled, the airline loses your luggage, or when you are denied boarding on your next trip to Europe.
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Traveling Between Paris and London on the Eurostar

Traveling Professor EurostarOne of the most popular side trips from Paris is a trip to London.   By train, it is only about 2.5 hours on the Eurostar fast train. Since The Traveling Professor is considering expanding our small group tours for adults to Paris to include a side trip to London, I have done the research to see the best options for taking the chunnel train between Paris and London.  Read the blog post for more details and tips on taking the Eurostar from Paris to London.

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Favorite Restaurants in Florence Italy

Il Latini Traveling ProfessorOn our small group tours to Italy, Florence is one of our favorite stops.  I like it because the city is very compact.  There is very little need for public transportation in Florence.  Of course there are great attractions like David, the Uffizi, Santa Croce, Piazza Signoria, the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.   We always have some special places to visit when we travel with our small groups to Florence too.   But what about where to eat?  In this blog post I will give you some of my favorite Florence restaurant recommendations.
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What's Involved in Visiting Machu Picchu?

One of our most popular and fascinating tours is to Machu Picchu.   There are right ways to visit Machu Picchu and there are wrong ways to visit Machu Picchu.  It took us about a year to plan our small group tour and in this blog post I will pass on my expert advice on visiting Machu Picchu.   See what The Traveling Professor says about  transportation, hotels, and itinerary planning for a trip to Peru and Machu Picchu.

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Tour Guides in Paris, Italy, Spain and Peru

Paris Tour GuideWhen I ran my first Traveling Professor tour in 2009 to Paris, I was the tour leader and guide.   Things have changed since then.  A  law was passed requiring all tour guides to be licensed and authorized to conduct tours inside museums, monuments, and chateaux in and around Paris.   Only those possessing an official license are authorized to accompany tourists.  It can take months or years of study and the successful completion of challenging examinations to obtain a touring license.  Most municipalities in Italy and in Peru have followed suit.  Take a look at my blog post and see my comments regarding tour guides in Paris, Italy, Spain and Peru.
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Padua - The Perfect Italian City

Padua traveling professorThe top spots to visit in Italy are Rome, Florence and Venice.  But after visiting these places I looked for something a little more laid-back, a little less touristy and crowded, a little bit more authentic.   So, I traveled to Padua in the Veneto region last March and fell in love with it.   I liked it so much that we will be offering regular small group tours to Padau and the Veneto region of Italy in 2014.   Read my blog post to see why you want to put Padua on the list on the next tour to Italy.

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Traveling Solo to Europe and Peru

solo travelTraveling alone has its advantages and some disadvantages.  I have traveled to Paris solo many times.  I once spent 10 days in Rome and Florence just by myself.  I like the ability to do what I want, when I want to do it.  However, the thing I miss when traveling alone is dining with someone else.   There are also a few other factors to consider when traveling alone.  Take a look at the blog post to get my views on how to plan a trip by yourself.

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Paris Public Transportation Ticketing Options

Paris MetroWhether traveling on one of my Traveling Professor small group tours to Paris or going on your own tour of Paris, the best way to get around is by bus or metro.   Both the Paris bus and metro are economical, cover the city extremely well, and operate frequently.   In this blog post we won't talk too much about the virtues of the Paris public transportation system, but we'll discuss what kind of transportation tickets to buy for your next trip to Paris.

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Beware of the Pick Pockets!

I have lived in New York City nearly my entire life and I have not come close to being victim of a pick pocket.   Unfortunately, pick pockets are much more common in Europe and Peru.  pick pocket I remember seeing someone having their pocket picked on the Paris metro, I can recall someone having their bag stolen in Lima, Peru and one of our travelers on a small group tour to Rome would have had his pocket picked (her hand was actually in his pocket) if we didn't scare her away.   Violent crime is unusual in Europe and Peru, but the annoying pick pockets are unfortunately, way to common.  In this blog post I give some tips to avoid having your pocket picked.

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What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Paris?

Paris Traveling ProfessorWhat is the best time to visit Paris?  It's a question I get from people who travel on my small group tours to Paris as well as others planning individual trips to Paris.   Every season has its advantages and disadvantages.  In this blog post The Traveling Professor provides insight on which season to visit Paris depending upon weather, crowds, and in terms of best value.  

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Customer Service - European Style

Traveling ProfessorOne of the reasons we travel is to experience the different customs and cultures of foreign people.   When taking a tour to Paris, Italy, or Spain, travelers may find different approaches to customer service than what they are used to in the United States or Canada.  In this blog post I'll go over a few things that might be encountered in terms of customer service in Europe in order to prepare you better for your next trip. 

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How to Get the Best Airfares

When do I buy my ticket to Paris?  What website gives me the best airfares to Italy?  What is the cheapest way to get to Spain? How do I get the best flight to Peru?   What airline do I fly to Venice?  These are questions I get almost every day.  And while airline travel is confusing, getting more and more expensive each year, travelers are using more strategies to get the cheapest airfare to Europe and South America.  I am involved with purchasing airfare for travelers all over the United States to Europe and South America.  In this blog post I will pass on to you what I have found as the best way to find the best air itineraries for travel to Paris, Italy, Spain, Peru & Machu Picchu whether traveling on your own or going on one of The Traveling Professor's small group tours to Paris, Italy, Spain or Peru.

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