Small Group Tours to Paris, Italy, Spain, Peru and Machu Picchu
We take about 4 small group tours to Peru and Machu Picchu each year. Every time our group is surprised how modern, up-to-date and in some ways, how favorable the services, hotels, transportation, and especially food is compared to other places they have traveled in Europe and other parts of the world, including the United States. Peru has some terrific hotels, great restaurants, and other features that make it one of the most interesting and exciting places to visit in the world, while it still retains its cultural charm.
When traveling solo to Italy or leading one of my small group tours to Italy, I like to stay in smaller, family run hotels. They offer more intimacy than those big tourist-class hotels. The small family-run hotels in Florence that I use offer specials service and make their guests feel cared for and unique. The small, family-run hotels I like in Florence also offer greater value than tourist-class hotels. Read my blog post to find out more about two picks for family-run hotels in Florence for your next tour of Italy.
Looking for something unique and unusual in Paris? Have I got two hotels for you. They are both in VERY desirable locations and priced well below average. One of them offers typical Paris rooms but the location (probably no other Paris hotel is more centrally located than this one) and situation is very unusual. The second one is eclectic and each room is different, a throwback to a different time. So, read my blog post and find out about two very unique Paris hotels.
I ran my first small group tour to Paris in 2008. The cost was $999. But while it is true I have upgraded hotels and offer far more services such as professional guides since then, the cost of running a tour to Paris has more than doubled. When I ran my first small group tour to Italy back in 2011, we could offer a great tour for just $1,499. But now that cost is up by over 1/3. Again, we have upgraded hotels and offer more professional guide services. I'll explain why Europe has gotten so expensive and why the trend will continue to go that way.
When the euro hit a high of $1.50 against the dollar a few years ago, The Traveling Professor decided to develop small group tours to Peru and Machu Picchu. Not only is Peru and Machu Picchu a spectacular place to visit, it offers travelers a fantastic value without sacrificing luxury or comfort. In my opinion the overall quality of hotels and services exceeds those I experience in Italy, Paris or Spain. I can also tell you that the culinary reputation of Peru is top-notch and I would rate Peruvian restaurants right up there with those in Europe. Take a look at my blog post and see why you might want to consider holding off on a trip to Paris or Italy, and look at Peru now.
Italy Packing List
On Wednesday I embark for a one week tour of Italy. When I take people on a small group tour of Italy I have a well-defined itinerary but this time, since I am traveling on a personal trip to Italy, my itinerary is somewhat more flexible. All I know now is I will arrive in Rome and stay for 2 nights, probably taking a trip to Assisi, then I will go up to Florence for a few nights taking side trips to Pisa, Venice and perhaps Siena. I will probably spend the last night in Milan before heading home. Check out my blog post to see what I will be packing on a trip to Italy.
Italy Trip Report: Day 1
We started out from Great Barrington, MA on Wednesday at 11 a.m. We made it to JFK by 4 pm to catch our 6:15 pm flight to Milan. After arriving in Milan it was a train to Milano Centrale train station then a 3 hour cruise into Rome, checking in at 3 p.m. To say I am tired is an understatement, but I still went out and did a good 5 hours of touring. Check out the blog post to see what we did today in Rome.
Italy Trip Report: Days 2,3,4 & 5
I have been to Italy many times in April, but never with great weather like this. No rain, temps in the 70's. I could use less crowds but for the most part, they have been A-OK. Since my first report we have continued to roam about Rome, headed up to Florence, traversed over to Padua and Venice. I have seen most of the sights while leading my small group tours to Italy, so I am doing my best to enjoy the weather, relax, and eat some good food.
Top Tips for Visiting Paris in the Summer
Traveling to Paris (and the rest of Europe) can be a challenge in the summer. The crowds are pressing, flights are expensive, it can be tough to get a good Paris hotel. However there are things you can do to make a tour to Paris more enjoyable in the summer. I will be running two small group tours to Paris this summer and i will be taking these steps too.
Money Exchange Tips
With exchange rates putting North American travelers at a severe disadvantage these days (it costs nearly $1.40 to purchase a euro), being smart about getting and spending currency while on a tour to Paris, Italy, or Spain is more important than ever. In this blog post we will talk about how to spend foreign currency and some innovative ways to get it that I am sure you have never thought of before. Read my blog post on European money matters and be money smart!
Things to Consider when Visiting Venice
Venice is one of those beautiful and unusual places on this earth. I traveled there last week and on my next small group tour to Italy we will be traveling there again. Usually I will stay at least 2 nights when traveling to Venice but it is do-able as a day trip from either Florence or Padua. Take a look at my blog post for some pointers on how to enjoy a tour to Venice.
Why Peru is Such a Travel Bargain
Why Europe is Getting So Expensive
Two Quirky Hotels in Paris
Favorite Family-Run Hotels in Florence, Italy
THE TRAVELING PROFESSOR
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GREAT BARRINGTON MA 01230