Thursday, April 16, 2015

Road to France Pt. III - Advance Tickets

Are my Francophile tendencies showing yet?

Or am I driving you crazy with my French vacation that is now 100 days away? My apologies if I am!  I get overly excited, or so I'm told.

Now that Mom and I booked the flights and hotel reservations, I feel like I can finally sit down and start planning what we'll be doing in Paris and Nice. I love planning these vacations, but I’m also anal about it. My itineraries are planned almost to the hour and include detailed travel directions (street names, metro lines, travel time, etc.) between the sites I intend to visit. Crazy, I know.

My Fodor’s Guides are on a rotating schedule in my bag, and I’ve read them from cover-to-cover several times already. My list of the museums, tourist attractions, shops, and restaurants I want to visit has gotten very, very long. Mom is somewhat concerned about the survival of her feet!

Since I have some idea of what I want to see now, I've started buying advance tickets and booking tours. This was the most budget friendly approach I've figured out for seeing all the sites, and it saves you time while you’re there too. Instead of having to make a dent in my spending money to buy tickets while in Europe, I put aside money each month before the trip and book everything that I can online. Most museums have advance tickets available on their websites, and you can usually print them out. The best part? The queues for advance ticket holders are ordinarily short or non-existent. I also love using to book day-trips and skip-the-line tours. These tours sometimes give you access to areas that are not open to the general public, a great little perk! With my spending money intact, I get to do a lot more shopping and eating than I might have otherwise.

I learned the hard way from my Italy trip last year that it’s important to consider proximity so you don’t end up going across town multiple times in one day, for the sake of your wallet, if not your sanity. So, as far as Paris goes, I’ll be trying to stick within a particular arrondisement each day (and sometimes going into the adjacent ones).

We did some booking last weekend, which was super exciting. So far we've booked the Eurostar to London, a Seine River dinner cruise, a French Riviera sightseeing cruise, and Versailles day-trip as well as advance tickets to Musée du Louvre and Musée de l'Orangerie. We'll be booking more next month too!

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