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Travel Questions Frequently Asked Karen

TRAVEL QUESTIONS FOR KAREN:

Dear Travelers,

I hope you will understand that because of the overwhelming number of questions received each day it is impossible for me to answer every one. I will select questions to answer based on what I believe will benefit and interest the greatest number of travelers. Also, please make your questions as specific as possible and know that I do not have the luxury of time to plan or detail personalized travel itineraries.

If your question is not selected, I sincerely apologize, as given the time, I would answer them all. If your question is selected you will be informed that it is published on our website as well as receive the answer by email.

Kindest regards,
Karen

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Category: Ireland

Question:
Why is Belcamp Hutchinson not on your list anymore? That was my favorite B&B in 2005 on our trip to Ireland. Staying with Doreen was like staying with your mother, a good mother. Sorry to see Killeen House is no longer open, we enjoyed our stay there as well.
Asked by Carolyn Smith [Mar 17, 2009]


Answer:
Dear Carolyn, Like Killeen House, Doreen and Karl have returned Belcomp Hutchison to a private home. They stopped taking overnight guests at the end of the 2008 season. We wish them well and thank them for the hospitality and welcome they extended to so many of our readers. Do know, however, that Ireland is rich in accommodation with many wonderful inns and innkeepers! Thank you for using our recommendations. Karen

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Category: Britain

Question:
We are traveling to Wales in September, 2009 and want to use public transportation. I know we can take the train from Heathrow to Cardiff, but we are more interested in visiting the Northwest area of Wales. What would be the best way to get there from Heathrow and then is there transportation between the areas of Portmeirion, Conwy,Caernarfon, and Bodnant Gardens. We'd rather not rent a car. Thank you.
Asked by Kathleen Patterson [Mar 16, 2009]


Answer:
Dear Friends, I will copy below a link to Rail Europe that specifically addresses train travel in Wales. http://www.raileurope.com/europe-travel-guide/wales/rail-map.html Trains do exist and are a wonderful and relaxing way to travel. However, to truly explore the countryside roads and find the treasures off the beaten track and reach the smaller villages, it would be necessary to rent a car or even use local bus transportation. Enjoy your travels, Karen

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Category: General

Question:
We are going to France and need a driving + sightseeing and accommodation guide to the Languedoc-Roussillion area. Is there a separate book I can buy and what is the title and price? Before going to that area we will be in the Dordogne area for a week with a group staying outside of Sarlat and doing day trips which has already been prearranged by a wine and food tour. We may want to see a little more of the Dordogne area going in the direction of the Languedoc area but don't want to have to purchase another book for the Dordogne if not necessary. We prefer B&B's. Please suggest what guides to purchase for our trip in the next 24 hours if possible. We need to make some decisions right away that involve other people. Thank you, Susie HOW DO WE USE THE CODE IN THE BACK OF ANOTHER KB GUIDE (PORTUGAL) TO GET FURTHER INFORMATION FOR THIS UPCOMING TRIP
Asked by James Gale [Mar 15, 2009]


Answer:
Our guide to France is all-inclusive in terms of itineraries - they are in one title and are duplicated in both the Hotels versus the Bed & Breakfast title so you will receive them regardless of your preference of accommodation. Included are extensive recommendations for both sightseeing and places to stay in the regions of the Dordogne and Lot River valleys - you will love this region and it will be a fantastic location for a food and wine tour! The guide(s) do not have extensive recommendations in the area of Languedoc-Roussillion. In terms of the information we offer, the region is covered a little in our itinerary: Gorges du Tarn and Beyond (the "beyond" being an extension down through the region to the border of France and Spain - it is lovely and relatively undiscovered. You might want to consider purchasing the green Michelin guide that focuses exclusively on the region of Languedoc-Roussillion. If you do stay on in the Dordogne after your tour with a base in Sarlat, I would spend a few days on the Lot (either Mercues, St Cirq LaPopie) and then bridge the distance to Languedoc-Roussillion by travelling south via Cordes and then on to our Gorges du Tarn & Beyond Itinerary. In terms of the coupon and membership afforded you with the purchase of a 2009 guide, simply go the link as published in the guide and follow the directions. You will be set up in our database with a preferred membership that will entitle you to order a guide with a full-value coupon and also, you can use the incredible TRIP PLANNING function to create, play with and build and itinerary - it is great and a wonderful way to share the information with friends. Thank you for using our guides. Karen

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Category: Switzerland

Question:
I am traveling to Geneva and arrive on 28 April 2009. On Friday, 1 May 2009, I must arrive in Appenzell by 14:00 hrs. Can you suggest an itinerary and the best way to travel between the cities? Thank you Tony
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Mar 15, 2009]


Answer:
You don't have a lot of time between when you arrive into Switzerland and when you need to be in Appenzell. You could easily spend two days in Geneva, exploring the city and taking boat trips out on the lake to explore lakeside villages and then travel from Geneva to Appenzell by train. There are regular trains that leave Geneva and travel to Appenzell. Although, not direct (you will need to change trains in Gossau) it is about a five hour trip. You could leave the evening before and spend the night in Appenzell or even take an early morning train on the 1st of May and still arrive in time for your 1400 appointment. Another thought would be to rent a car and spend a few days sightseeing enroute to Appenzell. Not knowing what time you arrive in on the 28th - I will assume you will spend one night in Geneva (4/28) perhaps travel to Interlaken and spend one night (4/29), a night in Lucerne (4/30) and then continue on to Appenzell on the 1st of May OR one night in Geneva and then two in either Interlaken (would allow a day and time to venture up to the Jungfrauhoch) or two nights in Lucerne and then on to Appenzell. I would recommend using our website for information on the individual destinations and our TRIP PLANNING tool to help you build and create a personalized itinerary. Enjoy your travels and thank you for using our recommendations. Karen

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Category: Website

Question:
Hi Karen, First I love your Italy B&B book. My question is: Does the trip planner perform availability or booking based on the selected B&B / hotels? Or do I need to contact each place individually? Regards, Israel Olivkovich Palo Alto, CA USA
Asked by Israel Olivkovich [Mar 9, 2009]


Answer:
Dear Isreal, Thank you for using our Italy guide and loving it!!! To answer your question concerning Trip Planning, the Trip Planner section of our website just stores the itinerary your create. You can build in comments concerning reservations, etc. It is necessary to contact the properties directly from their Karen Brown Website page either by clicking on Contact Property or by Request a reservation - both will take you to an automated email form. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to write! Enjoy your trip to Italy! Karen

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Category: France

Question:
We want to rent a car to drive around France this summer. I will be 71 and my husband will be 72. Will there be a problem? Which car company should we use? Thank you.
Asked by Kathy Noneman [Mar 9, 2009]


Answer:
Previously it would have been an issue, but now there are car rental companies that have extended the age limit. I would recommend contacting AutoEurope (they are a consolidator and represent lots of car rental companies) so they can help you "shop" the best car based on your needs and budget. Their telephone is 1-800-223-5555 and be sure to mention that you are a Karen Brown Traveler - they extend a special discount to the readers of our guides and website. Enjoy your travels along the gorgeous countryside roads of La France! Karen

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Category: General

Question:
We are 2 sisters in our fifties, trip of our lives! Going to Italy 10/19/09-116/09. We will be spending 4 nights in Rome but we would like see Positano/Pompeii. Is that doable as a day trip from Rome? We are also considering staying in Positano for a night to see the Amalfi coast and would like to combine both of these sites. Is there transportation available from Positano to Pompeii? Thanks so much>
Asked by Barbara Meshulam [Mar 5, 2009]


Answer:
There are day trips on bus tours from Rome to Pompeii. It can be done in a day. If you want to stay in Pompeii, there are SITA buses that run about every hour from Positano to Sorrento. From there you can take a train to Pompeii and return the same way. Or, you can check at your hotel for the price of a tour or a taxi. With only four nights in Rome, I would definitely do it as a day trip. I don't think you would have time to combine both Positano and Pompeii on a tour from Rome. However, there might be some tours that do this which I don't know about. I would suggest you contact your hotel in advance to see if they know of any tour that combines both. Enjoy your trip to Italy!

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Category: General

Question:
I am planning a night or 2 around Nice and want to get a hotel suggestion. There is none in your book. I need to be fairly close to the airport one night in particular. Please give me some ideas of a moderate 4 star accommodation. Thanks! Mary PS I am HUGE fan of KB and have used your books to travel several countries for the past 20 years!!! I enjoy your itineraries immensely and would not travel without your guide book!
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Mar 4, 2009]


Answer:
Dear Huge Fan, Thank you! We love you, too! In terms of where to stay near Nice that is convenient to the airport, although, we don't have a recommendation in Nice proper (although there are lots of hotels), any property we recommend in St Paul de Vence would make for a great base and it is a short distance to the airport - you could stay there both nights and we have a good selection of some wonderful properties. You could also stay in Eze Village - a medieval village that is just off the autoroute that goes to the Nice Airport - but the properties we recommend in Eze don't qualify as moderate - they are in the "splurge" category. Hope this is of some help and thank you again for traveling with our guides! Best, Karen

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Category: General

Question:
I am planning a trip arriving Rome May 13 in the morning, departing Rome May 22, 2009. My thought is to leave the airport for either Pisa or Florence or somewhere in between as soon as we arrive. Spend 3 days seeing Pisa and Florence. From there we either go to a small town near Penne for a brief stay (where my family is from - Montebella de Bertone) or go directly to the Amalfi Coast. I want to see Capri, Pompeii, and Tarquinia while staying somewhere along the coast, allowing time to relax. Then finish our trip in Rome, preferably with a day-tour guide to ancient Rome and if time permits a day-tour of Vatican City. Please tell me how you may assist me! Thank you!
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Mar 4, 2009]


Answer:
It sounds like you have a wonderful trip ahead of you! In terms of how we can help you, I would suggest you use our Trip Planning function of our itinerary which allows you to create and build a personalized itinerary. As a guideline, you might want to superimpose on the interactive maps the Karen Brown Itineraries (click on the desired itinerary in the key box below the map and the itinerary route will then appear on the map.) There are eight itineraries published in our guides to Italy (they differ in the type of accommodation, one is titled ITALY HOTELS, the other ITALY B&B) or you can purchase the individual itineraries online. There is a summary of the itineraries available for your review on our website. The two itineraries that I think would cover almost every destination you want to visit are: Rome to Milan via the Italian Riviera (to include Pisa) and Highlights of Southern Italy. For Florence you can simply search for the city information on our page or if you want to explore more of Tuscany, I would recommend our itinerary, Romantic Tuscany. But the cost of two itineraries is about the price of a book - so you might want to consider getting everything in the one "book package". In terms of a day-tour guide for exploring Rome - this is an EXCELLENT way to see the city. Having someone local tour you around so that you can avoid the hassle of traffic and finding your desired destinations is wonderful and I think well worth the price. AutoEUrope, the company that we recommend for car rentals also can arrange a private guide. Their number is 1 800 223 5555 and you definitely want to tell them you are a Karen Brown Traveler as they will extend any discount available. Hope this serves of some help with your travel plans. Thank you for using our recommendations! Karen

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Category: General

Question:
We are planning a trip to Tuscany and Umbria following your suggested itinerary from Exceptional Places to Stay & Itineraries 2006. The only addition we are planning to make is to spend 3 days in Cinque Terre. Are we able to get around from place to place relatively easy using the train or bus, with an occasional taxi? We are not comfortable at the thought of renting a car and driving ourselves since this will be our first trip to the area.
Asked by Tammy Todd [Mar 3, 2009]


Answer:
THERE IS A TRAIN THAT RUNS ALONG THE CINQ TERRE THAT STOPS AT ALL THE LITTLE TOWNS. I WOULD SUGGEST STAYING IN MONTEROSSO AND DOING DAY TRIPS FROM THERE. Thank you for using our guides and recommendations. However, please note that we update annually and there is a 2009 edition now available.

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