Great Travel Advice

December 5, 2009


View of Arc d' Triomphe from top of the Eiffel Tower

One of the best pieces of advice we got for traveling was to adopt a neighborhood and live like the locals.  It was so much better to be in a hotel with personality then in some big hotel chain.   Surprisingly, I paid less for the quaint and charming hotel in Paris then I pay for a chain hotel I stay at in Philadelphia every year – and I get a discount at the chain hotel!

The hotel in Paris was QUIET, clean, charming and we had a variety of choices for where to eat nearby.  I don’t have these luxuries at the chain hotel in Philadelphia. And yes, quiet is a luxury in a run of the mill hotel.

I especially enjoyed the cafe culture in our neighborhood in Paris, Rue Cler.  Taking your time over a meal and savoring the food and coffee while watching those walking by was lovely.  I needed that lesson of slowing down and really living the experience of where I am.  This is what makes the moments you treasure.  Why?  Because you can remember them!  Who can remember the blur of running from one place to another?  I do that at home and probably don’t remember much of the last year because of it.  So remember that when you’re traveling: don’t do what you do at home.

View from Napolean's apartments at the Louvre.

The other nice thing about our adopted neighborhood were the markets.  There are open vegetable stands and great shops along Rue Cler.  I enjoyed the linen shop and the wonderful toy stores.  The variety of shops and just the atmosphere of the neighborhood.

Next up on the great travel advice is:  only use your credit card!   Why not play it safe and take all the protections that are covering your credit card and maybe not your debit card?  It’s best to play it safe.  You don’t want to come home like I did and have your bank account cleaned out.   It just makes life a little bit crazier.

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