The Best Cities In The World For Travel Fun


It doesn’t matter if this is your first time traveling out of time or if you have racked up thousands of frequent flyer miles; the prospect of taking a trip out of town can be a very exciting and stressful time. For some insight into making a trip to remember, check out the advice in these travel tips.

When selecting a destination for your travels, keep abrest of the recent news. Picking locations that are in high levels of turmoil may not be the best idea. However, don’t let over-anxious friends and relatives talk you out of a trip to a safe destination that has recently been the victim of some kind of attack.

If you are a woman traveling overnight on business, be sure that the blouses and underthings you wear and bring can be washed in the sink and hung up or blow-dried. Missed luggage and/or connections can mean you arrive at a hotel late at night, with only the clothes on your back to wear the next day. Lightweight, wrinkle-free polyester or microfiber blouses and tops can be washed and hung up, and will be dry in the morning, as will all your lingerie.

Check prices directly with your hotel or airline company to save money on your trip. Although it is often small, some search engine sites add a fee to their rates. To avoid the fee, check the airline website directly or give the hotel a call for their rates. You will typically find that the rates are lower when you book directly.

When traveling by airplane, look for shops in the airport that have swap shelves. These shelves are for travelers to brings books and exchange them for other books. So if your flight is delayed and you finished your book already, head over to a swap shelf and exchange it for one you’ve been wanting to read!

During your trip if you’re staying at many different hotels, you can rest assured there is an easy and cost effective gift you can give your friends as a souvenir. Collect all of the little samples such as shampoos, body washes, body lotions and coffee packets that hotels give out, put them in a basket and give them away as gifts to your friends. It makes a nice gift because it gives a taste of culture from different hotels and is cost effective to you for making a friendly gesture.

Don’t get carried away with taking too many photographs on your trip. Some people get so caught up in taking pictures of everything that they forget to experience the culture and landmarks. Take a few pictures, but also make sure to spend enough time outside of the lens to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

When traveling, always make sure you have money and photo ID with you at all times. In the event of an emergency these two items will allow you to access resources that you need. If you take medication regularly be sure to carry a two-day supply on you as well.

If you’re going on a cruise, make sure you bring a small day bag with you. You’ll find that your luggage won’t be available right away when you board the ship. So you’ll want to have a bag with a swim suit, a book, an extra change of clothes in it, and anything else you might need right away.

Always try the local cuisine when you visit a new destination. Part of a country or localities culture and lifestyle is in the food. You can’t completely experience these places without trying all that their food has to offer. Seek out the experience of locals and ask for their favorite lunch and dinner spots, then make several of those must-do’s of your list.

Winter travel can contribute to the flu and cold during that time of year, adding a terrible element to your holiday or winter travel stress. Visit your doctor’s office, before you leave, and get the flu shot. Wash your hands or use sanitizer constantly as most germs spread by contact.

Even the most seasoned traveler sometimes needs a little reminder about how to make the most of their time spent abroad. Whether you need some fresh insight into packing, planning, or making memories during the course of your trip, keeping these tips in mind is sure to help you from start to finish.

A Quick Guide to Travelling in Paris

Travel forums are gold mines of information if you care to review the postings of enchanted and disgruntled travelers coming back from abroad.

As Senior Editor of “Paris Eiffel Tower News”, I often peruse these forums to find out about the concerns voiced by fellow travelers headed to the ‘City of Lights’.

Among the postings which keep coming back, one stands out from the crowd: what does a 3-star rating really mean? Travelers tend to be confused by the many star-rating systems in use. I felt the subject called for an educated explanation.

The meaning of stars in the US

First of all, let’s be clear: there is absolutely no relationship whatsoever between the number of stars commercial travel sites award to hotels, and the hotel rating system in use in France.

The core business of commercial travel sites is to sell you hotel rooms, flight tickets, car rentals, and cruise packages. They purport to guide your choice by awarding stars to the products they peddle.

When you book a room on such sites, a significant portion of your money goes to the travel operator which presents the hotel – up to 50% on well-known websites.

For this reason alone, you could reasonably ask yourself: are these ratings unbiased, or tainted by corporate greed?

To make matters more complicated, each travel website uses its own rating method. Consumer Reports published an enlightening article on the topic in its November 2005 issue.

In other words, the number of stars awarded by commercial travel sites is not a fully reliable yardstick for selecting a hotel.

The meaning of stars in France

The French hotel rating system works on a completely different set of rules.

1.It is a standardized system: meaning, all hotels across France are categorized on the same unique basis.

2.The rating system was not born out of mercantile purposes: it was framed by the French lawmakers without any concern for profit.

3.Last but not least, the French hotel rating system does not measure quality. Instead, it uses 22 measurement criteria to assess the presence or absence of certain features in the hotel.

Among the main criteria used:

– Room sizes and numbers
– Room soundproofing
– Heating and air-conditioning
– Design of bathroom facilities
– Phone system
– Electrical equipment
– Elevators

Each requirement varies from one star category to another. (See link to full article below.)

Subjective quality vs. objective quantity

The French rating system does not take into account subjective quality criteria.

And because of this limited approach, it does not guarantee your expectations will be fulfilled.

First, there are keen differences in perception between populations. For example, American travellers are used to larger sizes of rooms and beds than the average room and bed sizes offered in Parisian hotels. This can be a source of disappointment.

Moreover, the French rating system does not measure service quality – cleanliness, absence of smells, staff attitude, speed of service, etc.

It may thus be chancy to base your hotel choice solely on the French rating system.

The safer bet

To afford the best chances to pick the right hotel in Paris I recommend the following 4 steps:

– Have a basic understanding of the French rating criteria
– Check guests’ reviews on Travelocity
– Visit the hotel’s own website
– Do not hesitate to e-mail your questions to the hotel.

Many travellers use Travelocity to write reviews on the hotels they stayed at. No hotel satisfies 100% of its guests throughout the year, so both extreme judgments and moderate opinions can be found on this open forum. My advice: favor moderate reviews with some flesh on the bones. They will usually give you a useful picture of what to expect from the hotel – good and less good.

Visiting the hotel’s website will usually allow you to see multiple views of its rooms and bathrooms. I insist on visiting the hotel’s own website since it usually is the place which offers the greatest number of photos.

Lastly, e-mailing your questions to the hotel owners may or may not get you an answer, usually depending on the proficiency of the receptionist in your language. Receiving informative answers to your questions is a good sign that the hotel cares for his prospective guests.

Following these 4 steps should help you minimize the risk of being disappointed during your stay in Paris. This is no guarantee though. Remember that cultures differ from each other, and your expectations of service might not be fully understood. In such case, communicate with the owner. They are usually keen on serving you to the best of their means.

Have a safe and pleasant trip to Paris!