«October 2013»

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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Traditional Roman Walk

Traveling ProfessorOn  tours to Italy we always take a day to walk through the heart of Rome.  As we stroll through the heart of Rome it is a tour through thousands of years of history.   We see some of the most famous sights in all the world.  I know all the health experts say that walking will help someone lose weight, but on our tours of Italy, we consume so much gelato, delicious pizza, tartuffo and other treats, our 1-mile walk through Rome might be an experience where we put on a few pounds, rather than lose them.  Take a look at my blog post to see how we plan our walking tour of Rome while visiting Italy.

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Markets of Paris

An essential part of a tour to Paris should be a visit to one of the many markets.  There are probably hundreds of markets (called a marché) in all shapes and sizes offering everything from flowers to foie gras, baguettes to books, and Cabernet to Camembert.   I’ve listed those that are most likely of the most interest to those on a tour of Paris and are easily accessible when taking a tour to Paris.

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Day Trip to Lucca from Florence

On our tours to Italy, a day trip over to the walled-in city of Lucca is always a treat.  Lucca is decidedly Tuscan in every way.  It's double-fortified walls make it one of the best preserved cities in all of Italy.   Within the walls, the streets are nearly car-free making it an excellent destination for a full-day stroll.  Even better, rent a bicycle and ride either through the city or along the 2-mile ramparts surrounding it.  On your next tour to Italy, take the train ride over from Florence and see what the beautiful city of Lucca has to offer.

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Day Trip to the Champagne City of Reims

Champagne TastingSometimes we like to take a diversion from the city on our tours to Paris and head out to the countryside to the Champagne region of France.  So, we'll take the 45 minute fast train to Reims and celebrate by visiting one of 20 or so Champagne houses like Pommery, Taittinger, Mumm, Krug, or Piper-Heidsieck.    It's a fun day, easy to do.  So next time on one of your tours to Paris, decide to pop the cork and head out to Reims.

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Day Trip to Giverny - The Home and Gardens of Monet

Traveling ProfessorOn my tours to Paris, we sometimes take a side trip to the home and gardens of Impressionist painter, Claude Monet.  It's an opportunity to be IN a Monet painting as opposed to looking at one.  Monet's home and gardens are located in a small town, about a 45-minute train ride from Paris, called Giverny.   In this blog post I will describe how to get to Giverny from Paris and how to enjoy a day at the home and gardens of Claude Monet.

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Take a Cooking Class in Paris

cooknwithclassOn our tours to Paris we always go to great museums, eat delicious food, and enjoy the art, culture and history of the city.  But there is more to the City of Light than that.  In this guest blog post, we have invited our friends from Cook'N With Class to describe some of the cooking classes in Paris that are available to travelers.   It sounds like fun and a great way to meet other people.  So, on your next tour to Paris, try something different and take a cooking class.

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What to See and Do in Florence Italy

DuomoOn our tours to Italy, Florence has become a city that everyone wants to go to.  They are enamored with the art, the history of the Medicis and the famous artists and writers, the food ain't bad either.   One of the reasons I love to visit Florence is because it is so compact - just about everything is within easy walking distance.   There are also quite a few "hidden" spots we visit in Florence too - like the artisan shops and newly discovered places like the Last Supper of Saint Appolonia, painted 50 years before da Vinci's masterpiece.   So while everyone loves to visit Rome and Venice, I find Florence to be my favorite stop on my tour of Italy.

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Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Paris

Paris can be an expensive city.  Hotels are pricey.  A good meal in Paris will cost some euros.   However, there are ways to save money in Paris without sacrificing luxury or comfort.  In today's blog post we come up with The Traveling Professor's 10 best ways to save some money on your next tour to Paris.   

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Using Your Phone in Europe and South America

traveling professorStaying in touch while away is the norm these days.   In the past, it was nearly impossible to do and very expensive.  It can still be expensive to use a cell phone while on vacation in Europe or South America if not done right.   In this blog post I will detail ways you can use a cell phone or communicate back home while on a tour to Europe or South America.

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New Tour: Italy's Amalfi Coast

Just about everyone who has gone on my tours to Italy has asked me, "When are you doing the Amalfi coast?".   I never thought it was a practical tour for a small group, but after spending quite a bit of time researching the logistics, the hotels, and the attractions.  So after a lot of planning, I have come up with an exciting and ambitious tour of the Amalfi coast.  Read the blog post for details.

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We're Going to Peru

PeruWe're off on one of our small group tours to Peru and Machu Picchu at the end of the week.   There will be 16 travelers and 2 guides on our adventure.  We have a lot planned for our tour of Peru and keep in touch by watching my regular Peru blog posts next week.  I will do my best to bring you the excitement of Lima, the Colonial atmosphere of Cusco, the mystery and awe of Machu Picchu, and the wonderment of Lake Titicaca.  Take a look at my blog post to see what's on our Peru itinerary.

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Paris For Ladies Only

This year The Traveling Professor introduced a new Paris tour, "Paris - For Ladies Only" and it has been a smashing success.  We stay at luxurious 4-star hotels, take a relaxing day trip to the Champagne region of Paris, visit chocolatier, markets, the famous Opera,  take a Seine River Cruise and of course we visit all of the famous sites on this tour of Paris.  Take a look at the blog post to see how we do Paris without those annoying guys!

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