When I am planning a vacation to a new city, how do I decide where to stay?
I have a checklist that I go through
- Why am I even thinking about staying there?
- What do I want to see there, important points of interest or museums?
- What is available in the way of sightseeing tours on the Viator Website?
- Is it a big city with a Metro System?
- Is there a Big Bus Hop-on/Hop-off Tour Available?
- Is there a Farmer’s Market in the neighborhood?
- How close can I find a Brasserie or Cafè?
One of the first things I do after going over the checklist, is to look at the city on maps.google.com. Why?
- So that I can see major points of interest.
- So that I can see the map of the metro system.
- I want to find where 2 or more metro lines cross so that is easier to travel around the city and get back to my hotel/apartment.
- So that I can use the little yellow google man to walk up and down the streets.
(As an example, the photo below was captured from Google Maps and has a live link back to the original Google Map. Click on the photo so that you can look at the Google Map. Click on one of the encircled M’s to see the metro lines. You will also be able to see many points of interest on the map.)
(To make it easier for you to navigate around, the photo below, was been captured from Google Maps Street View from the same location of the above map view, and has a live link back to the original Google Map. Click on the photo so that you can look around to get your bearings.)
You can turn around and even move forward and back to get a look at the neighborhood. If you turn all the way around to the right and go up a block on Avenue de la Motte-Picquet you will see a Starbucks on the left. )
Why am I showing you this location? It meets several of the above items on the checklist. At this location, you see the Citadines Apart-hotel in front of you. We are standing under the above ground metro tracks. FYI, there are two other metro tracks below us, underground. To the right, under the tracks, you will find a Farmer’s Market one day a week, and just a few blocks away, on Avenue de Saxe to the right of the Ségue Metro stop, there is another Farmer’s Market on a different day of the week. Google Maps and Google Street View are great tools to explore a new city.
I always try to walk the streets, with the little yellow Google man, before I actually visit a new city. Click on the map view in the photo above and it will take you to the actual Google Map view; go to the lower right side of the map and put your cursor over the yellow Google man, Click on him and drag him to the Trocadéro on the other side of La Seine from the Eiffel Tower, drop him on the small square box in the reflecting pool and have a look around. Try it on your home city or a big city close to you that you have visited and look for points of interest, metro lines, etc…
On a final note, if I do decide to buy a Big Bus hop-on/hop-off tour package, I will buy it on the Viator Website so that I am only dealing with one online vendor for all of my tours and sightseeing packages. If a Big Bus tour package is not available for the city I am visiting, I am sure to find another company that provides that service on the Viator Website.
Turning Dreams into Memories,
One Vacation at a Time.
As you might guess, this document is a compilation of information from our travels as well as from other travelers. I hope it has been of value to you. Check out the important links below.
- Packing Checklist
- Parent Authorization Letter For Unaccompanied Minors
- Medical Treatment Authorization Letter
- Travel With Minors-Permission Letter
Don’t hesitate to email us when you return from your trip with any suggestions that will make this document better for you and your fellow travelers!