Travel blog

Visiting Versailles: What to See and Tips to Beat the Crowds



The Palace of Versailles is one of France’s most famous sites. The sprawling manor was France’s principal royal residence from the golden age of the Sun King, Louis XIV, through the violent tumult of the French Revolution. Thousands of starving, angry citizens marched on the palace in 1789, and forced the royal family—including the indecisive King Louis XVI and the despised queen, Marie Antoinette—to travel with the well-armed mob to Paris and their eventual doom. After the royal family met a legendarily nasty end, the monarchy was abolished and the Palace of Versailles was transformed from what had become a loathsome symbol of royal excess and indifference into a spectacular museum celebrating France’s greatest historic, cultural, and artistic achievements.




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Topics: Europe


How to Pack for Your European Vacation



 

Booking a European tour is exciting – especially escorted tours of Europe because you don’t have to worry about researching hotels or planning your daily activities. The one thing that can take some of the enthusiasm out of your upcoming trip is the stress of packing. While your packing list will vary slightly based on the weather, we’ve compiled a list of essential items that you will use during every season.




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Topics: Europe, Travel Tips, Packing Lists


The Best Places to Travel With Your Mom





We have a lot to thank our mothers for. They’re the ones who carried us, who nurtured us, who showed us right from wrong, how to get over heartbreak, and the key to choosing the best watermelon (does it sound hollow when you tap it?). Our mothers are some of the most precious women in our lives, and Mother’s Day is the perfect day to celebrate them.

This year, why not rethink your Mother’s Day gift? Cooking classes and flowers are nice, but if you want to really treat your mom, don’t overlook the power of a well-planned experience. We have a list of options your mom is sure to love. These are the best places to travel with your mom—whether she wants to take a Bucket List European vacation, or to finally stand at the rim of the Grand Canyon, we have something for every style of traveler.

Not sure where to start? We can help you narrow down the kinds of trips your mom would like by determining her travel style. Here are eight of the most common styles we’ve seen, and the best affordable tours for each type!




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Topics: Asia, Americas, Planning a Vacation, Europe, Rose Parade, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Balloon Fiesta, History, New Zealand, International Travel


The Colorful Background of Murano Glass



Not far offshore from Venice is the island of Murano, Italy, home of some of history’s most famous and innovative glassmaking. Authentic Murano glass can be found in shops all over Venice. Murano glass is recognizable by its stunning quality, intricate craftsmanship, innovative designs, and unexpected bursts of color. Look for evidence of gold or silver, and for imperfect details. True Murano glass is hand-blown, so a few bubbles and asymmetry are just the proof to look out for!




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Topics: Europe, Italy, Senior Travel, International Travel


Your Guide To Tipping When Traveling Abroad



Escorted tours make visiting new countries easy and convenient. Your tour company will take care of booking everything from transportation, hotels, and meals. But there will likely be occasions where you go out with your new travel friends to have dinner or plan an excursion independently. During those times, tipping is a great way to show appreciation for the various services you experience abroad, but expectations differ across continents and may even differ among countries in the same region. We’ve compiled general guidelines on how to tip when traveling to various destinations:




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Topics: Asia, Americas, Europe, Travel Tips, Australia, New Zealand


Best Places To Visit In 2019



Whether you’re chasing the sun, searching for fall foliage, or looking for your own winter wonderland, seasonal travel opens up a world of vacation possibilities… literally! Not only can you enjoy the best climate for your desired activities, you can also avoid crowds and make the most of your budget. Here’s a guide to the best places to visit in 2019 by season:




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Topics: Americas, Cuba, Europe, Hawaii, US National Parks


8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to Put on Your Bucket List



With so many things to see and do in the world how do you determine where you’ll go next? To help make your travel plans easier, we suggest you look to UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Each year this organization identifies World Heritage sites—buildings and archeological sites, natural wonders and national parks— chosen for their outstanding value to humanity. From the Great Pyramid of Giza to the Sydney Opera House, each of the now 1,073 UNESCO sites on the World Heritage list are a rare privilege to explore. Here are just a few of the ones you can add to your travel bucket list:




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Topics: Asia, Europe


4 Most Popular Wine Regions In Europe



Some people say that wine in Europe is equivalent to water in America. Wine is a distinct part of European culture and did you know it predates the Romans? During your European travels, you will not only experience how art, history, and the sciences have influenced various regions of a country, but also observe firsthand how wine acts as an important part of life.




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Topics: Europe


Top European Destinations To Visit In Spring



The snow has melted, and blooms now carpet the landscape in brilliant colors as Europe rolls out the welcome mat for travelers. Spring is the ideal time to grab your passport, pack your bags, and head abroad. March, April and May offer more than just pleasant weather and longer days for sightseeing—the shoulder season also brings more affordable airfares and accommodations. Join the locals as they head outdoors to celebrate the season at five of our favorite springtime destinations:




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Topics: Europe


Top 9 Things To Do in Copenhagen



If you’re looking for the best reason to visit Copenhagen, you won’t find it in a guidebook. Those in the know come here for the attitude, the feeling—what the Danes call hygge. Something akin to coziness, it’s that feeling of homeyness that comes from curling up with a good book, wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket, or gathering together with dear friends. While you may have never walked Copenhagen’s cobblestone streets, the warm sense of welcome is something everyone will recognize. 




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Topics: Europe