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Tuesday Travel Trouble: FLEAS

Alright, the Tuesday has finally come to share one of our most troubling travel stories.  We’ve waited to share this one because we are, after all, a website encouraging family travel, letting you know that “you can do it,” and “it will be great!”  Yes, these things are still true.  But part of the reason we share Tuesday Travel Trouble is to help prepare you for unexpected obstacles, for adventures you’d rather not have as part of your travels.

You may recall that Paris experienced a pretty good heat wave a couple of weeks into our stay.  During this time, we got used to sleeping with our windows open, and in the following days, I started noticing bug bites on my ankles.  Mosquitoes, I figured.  But after another day or two of new, itchy bites, I noticed our toddler had quite a few, as well. Read more

Tuesday Travel Trouble: That’ll be extra…

Last week I wrote about our visit to Normandy.  It was truly a wonderful add-on to our adventures in France.  But it sure started out rocky!  First there was the car rental snafu, but once we made it out of Paris in the rental, we figured we were home free.  If only we’d known at the time what awaited us at our “hotel.”

I’ve generally had good experiences with the various online travel agencies when it comes to hotels.  As far as the big names go, I’ve used Expedia, Travelocity, and Hotels.com several times.  I’ve even gone with some of the lesser-known (to Americans) online sites such as Booking.com (very good coverage, especially in Europe) and Venere.  And of course we’ve promoted the value of vacation rentals in the past from HomeAway and Airbnb—just as long as you know what you’re getting. Read more

Adventures in Paris: To the beaches of Normandy

When we arrived in Paris, we really anticipated staying in and around the city throughout our time in France.  In addition to a handful of sightseeing books focused just on Paris, we’d only gone one step farther from downtown with the book An Hour from Paris, which proved helpful in our visit to Provins.  Yet as time passed in Paris, Normandy kept coming to mind.  Not only would it provide a break from the city—it would also provide some fun on the beach (our boys LOVE the beach) and exposure to an important piece of world history with WWII sites along the coastline. Read more