«August 2013»

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Professor Steve SoloskyIt seems that everyone wants to be like The Traveling Professor.   I introduced my concise book, "The Traveling Professor's Guide to Paris" in 2009, now I see people like Rick Steve's doing "pocket" editions of his books.    I started with a "small group tour" concept and now I see other tour companies like Intrepid and Overseas Adventure Tours trying to do the same thing by offering small group tours.   However, I think I still offer something these big, impersonal tour operators can't do and I write books that are not for everyone, but they are probably for you.
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A Visit to Padua

Before leading a small group tour of Florence and Venice earlier this year, I took a personal 2-day trip to the Venetto region of Italy.  Padua (also known as Padova) is located here, about 30 miles west of Venice.   Although Padua is a small city and below the radar of many traveling to Italy, it is rich in interesting and under-rated sites.   I like how laid-back Padua is compared to the tourist crowded cities of Florence and Venice.   Take a look at my blog post to find out what to see, where to eat, and where to stay in Padua.
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Medical Insurance Coverage When Traveling Abroad

traveling professor medical insuranceLuckily, in the years I have been taking small group tours to Italy, Spain, Peru, and Paris, we have not had a serious illness or injury. However, I get questions from travelers all the time regarding the purchase of medical insurance for their travels.   The first step is to see what kind of travel insurance your personal insurance company covers, then decide if you need medical coverage for a trip to Europe or South America.   Read my blog post for more details on medical coverage when traveling abroad.

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Win RER Tickets from Paris CDG Airport into Paris City Center

RER Ticket GiveawayThe fastest and most reliable way to get from Paris CDG airport is to take the RER train.   The train leaves directly from the airport and gets into Paris in about 35-45 minutes.   I have two extra RER tickets that I am GIVING AWAY within the next 5 days to a lucky winner who registers for www.travelingprofessor.com.   Paris is an expensive city - here is a way to save money in Paris on transportation so you can spend it on something good - like a nice bottle of Loire Valley Sancerre.   Look at the blog post for details and enjoy your trip to Paris.
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Why European Travel is Going to Get More Expensive

Traveling Professor Small Group Tours to ParisIn a few years, it may either be too impractical or too expensive for the average American to travel to Europe.   In my opinion, there are a few reasons why it may soon be nearly impossible to take that trip to Rome you always wanted to go to.  The cost of a trip to Paris may be prohibitively expensive by 2020.  Hotel and restaurant prices in Spain might be out of reach.  Read my blog post to find out why Europe travel to Paris, Italy, or Spain might be a good idea now instead of later.

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I'm Off to London and Paris

Traveling Professor Tower of LondonOn Sunday I will be departing JFK airport in New York City and arriving in London on Monday morning.  I will be staying for 2 nights then taking the Eurostar chunnel over to Paris for a six-night stay.   Mostly, I will be doing research for my upcoming book, "The Traveling Professor's Guide to Paris, 2nd Edition".  Since I plan to offer tours to London in 2014, I will also be checking out hotels and touring options.  Read the blog post to see what I have planned in London and Paris.
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What I'm Packing for My Tour to London and Paris

Packing List for EuropeOn my 8 day trip to Europe I won't check any bags.   The first reason is that experience tells me about 10% of all checked bags never get to their destination.   Lost luggage will ruin a trip.   The second reason is that I don't want to lug heavy bags up and down stairs, on and off trains, and drag bags through the cobblestone streets of the Left Bank of Paris.  Everything goes in a small rolling suitcase plus my backpack as a carry on.  I have been running tours to Paris, Italy, Spain and Peru for years and have learned to pack very efficiently.  Check out my blog to see what I will be packing for a trip to London and Pairs.
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Paris and London Trip Report: Day 1

London Traveling ProfessorI am visiting London to "scope" out the potential of putting a London add-on to my small group tours to Paris.   After spending 3 days and 2 nights in London, I will take the Eurostar train through the chunnel to Paris where I will be collecting data to finalize the next edition of "The Traveling Professor's Guide to Paris".   The trip to London and Paris is off to a good start.  Read more in my blog post about my trip to London and Paris.
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Paris and London Trip Report: Day 4

August in Paris can be a bit strange in that the streets, busses and trains can be relatively empty because many of the Parisians are on vacation themselves.    All the museums and attractions are open, but some restaurants and shops are closed.   Crowds are moderate at attractions also, but not overwhelming.    The weather is warm, 80's during the day but cooler at night.   Check out my blog post to see what we did on our first full day visit in Paris.

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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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