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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: France

Question:
We definitely are doing this, is Dijon driving friendly from the train station, do you recommend Beaune instead?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 25, 2013]


Answer:
When I travel to Burgundy I always train out of Paris to Dijon.  I choose Dijon over Beaune as there is a TGV that services the route so it is faster.  I reserve through AutoEurope*.  The rental car agency was within walking distance of the station and if you have studied the maps in advance it is pretty easy to navigate out of Dijon and you will soon find yourself on wine country routes. 

You could also consider Beaune - it is a smaller town at the heart of the region and if you are planning to overnight here I would wait to pick up the rental for when you are ready to leave the town/city in order to save on the rental, parking cost and nuisance.

You can check train times and fares through: Rail Europe

http://www.raileurope.com/index.html?WT.mc_id=CJ.rail_travel.affiliates&AID=10401540&PID=594393

* AUTOEUROPE is a car rental broker that works with the major car rental companies to find the lowest possible price. Auto Europe offers our readers the best discount available (cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions) and, occasionally, free upgrades. Be sure to use the Karen Brown ID number 12008470 to receive your discount and any special offers. Reservations can be made directly online with Auto Europe; via our website, or, as we prefer, by phone to discuss with an agent your specific needs and resulting options, tel: 800-223-5555.

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Category: France

Question:
While I LOVE your Burgundy itinerary, we are a little intimidated of driving through France - what is the best "map" tool? It would be awesome to have constant GPS, but is that something we can count on? As well as constant wifi to be able to connect to your site if we need to? Any tips you can offer will be so appreciated! Karen Larson
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 24, 2013]


Answer:

Thank you for the glowing feedback - much appreciated!  While many people love GPS I still prefer detailed maps.  GPS will navigate the most efficient route and I love to plan my trip based on the most scenic routes. I actually study maps and make plans each night! Michelin maps actually highlight the scenic stretches with a green shadow line. Also, Burgundy is a relatively easy region to drive.  With the exception of Dijon, the towns are small and even Beaune is pretty easy to access and find your way around.  I wouldn't discourage you from getting GPS (cheaper if you take your own than a daily rental charge - just make sure it is internationally compatible) but, I would encourage you to also use maps.

Too avoid the hassle of getting in and out of Paris - I would encourage  you to train from the heart of the city out to Dijon or Beaune, pick up a rental car there (just be sure your train arrival does NOT coincide with the rental office closures).

Concerning wifi - you will find internet cafes (MacDonalds!) and many of the places where you stay will have wifi.  Be sure to ask when you make your reservation if it is available in your room; limited to the public areas; if they have a computer for public use, and if there are fees associated. Smart phones provide access, however, you will incur shockingly high roaming fees.  I would definitely research international plans that might be available through your provider in advance of your departure to minimize charges.

I love Burgundy!  Enjoy!

Karen

Michelin Map 519 supports our Burgundy Itinerary

http://www.karenbrown.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=146_153&products_id=225

 

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Category: General

Question:
Do you have guides to areas like the Dakotas and surrounding states?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 22, 2013]


Answer:

Unfortunately, we have yet to research this area of the United States!  I wish I had recommendations to share.  If during your travels you find some wonderful places we would welcome knowing about them and sharing them with other travelers.

Thank you for your interest in our recommendations!

Kindest regards,

Karen

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Category: California

Question:
Looking for some place lovely and romantic in Napa Valley for two people. Dates are either 10/10/13 to 10/13/13 or 10/11/13 to 10/14/13.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 18, 2013]


Answer:

There are many wonderful places to stay in the Napa Valley and October is a glorious time to visit! I would suggest you refer to our list of places to stay either from our website list or from our itinerary, Wandering the Wine Country.  You can then either email or use the online RESERVE NOW link to inquire about availability. 

Thank you for your interest in our recommendations.

Kindest regards, Karen


For your ease of reference:


Link to Wandering the Wine Country Itinerary (Available for purchase and includes ALL the properties we recommend with email, website and reservation links):
http://www.karenbrown.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=101_105&products_id=304 />


Link to list of places to Stay (from our website - not all properties participate):
http://www.karenbrown.com/List_Regional_Hotels_Inns_Bed_and_Breakfasts/California/Wine_Country/148/name/page_1.php />


Link to Wine Country Itinerary:
http://www.karenbrown.com/Trip_Planning_Itinerary/California/Wandering_Through_the_Wine_Country/72.php>>

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Category: Ireland

Question:
I would like to submit some reviews but do not find the places I wish to review. EXAMPLE "Dun Ard B & B" in Na Ceithre Gaotha, Ring, Sungarvan, County Waterford, IRL. How can I do this?
Asked by Edward Kiely [Aug 22, 2013]


Answer:

Apologies for the delay in responding....we were traveling in Alaska and rarely had internet! 

In terms of posting a review - THANK YOU!  We welcome traveler feedback on properties we currently recommend and also places you have discovered and are willing to share.  If you are posting a review on a property, attraction or city we recommend you can do so very simply by scrolling down their website page to below the editorial and click on CLICK HERE TO LEAVE YOUR OWN REVIEW & PHOTOS.  If you are submitting a recommendation for a place we do not currently have in our database, you need to enter the information through the Karen Brown Community.  The direct link is:

http://www.karenbrown.com/user_discovery.php

We hope to be able to share your discovery with other Karen Brown Travelers!

Thank you,

Karen 

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Category: General

Question:
Have any of your guides been published after 2010? If not, are you planning any updates?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Aug 10, 2013]


Answer:

We are now publishing our guides in electronic (E-Book) format.  All of the e-books that we have produced are 2012-2013 editions.  If you let me know the title you are interested in I would be happy to let you know how much content has changed since the 2010 print edition.  Some have changed more than others. But, regardless of content, the E-books are a completely different layout and make for an incredible travel tool. Links within the E-Book facilitate navigation, and external website and email links afford easy communication for additional information and making reservations. Enhanced with color photos and maps that link through to interactive maps.

Thank you for your interest in our recommendations!


Kindest regards,

Karen

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Category: France

Question:
I am thinking of booking a room in Dinan, Brittany at Hotel d'Avangour. Photos on your website of individual rooms look great but on the hotel's own website, rooms look dreary and 2nd rate. Have you reviewed this hotel lately?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 19, 2013]


Answer:

I have not seen the property in a few years but, have no negative feedback on record and also, do regularly correspond with the owner who takes great pride in his hotel.  I am often surprised that hotels and bed & breakfasts do not use the best quality photos to present/market their property!  I apologize that I cannot offer more current feedback.

If you do decide to stay here, I would welcome your feedback.

Kindest regards,

Karen

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Category: Britain

Question:
Hi Karen, I am new to your site and I am interested in purchasing a Guide to England specifically for itineraries for Derbyshire, the Peak District, the Lake District and the Cotswolds. I would like to buy the printed version and not the downloadable ebooks. Is this possible as I could not find it on you site. Thanks for your help.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jun 29, 2013]


Answer:

Unfortunately, we are completely out of the printed guide with no plans to reprint. Sadly, even if I wanted to there is no distribution outlet for the printed guide - or I would.  I hope you will consider the ebook - it is trulya much better tool with both internal and external links as well as photos and interactive maps.

I do sincerely appreciate your interest in our recommendations!

Kindest regards,

Karen

 

PS Our Ebook includes all the regional itineraries for the areas of your interest as well as all of our recommendations for places to stay and it is priced at just $9.99 - half the price of the printed guide.

Or  you could purchase the itineraries individually at $2.99 each.

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Category: Switzerland

Question:
Hi -- I purchased your Switzerland guide online and put it on my husband's kindle to take with us to Europe.. sadly, he left his kindle on the airplane! Might you be able to resend it to me? Also, I need a recommendation for an inn between Zurich and Val Poschavo. Can you make a recommendation? We used your guide 20 years ago in that area and every place we stayed was wonderful. We are a family of 4 and each of us does best if we have our own bed (bad backs). We are on our way to stay 3 nights in Val Poschavo and if we like the place a Swiss friend sent us to, I will let you know. Thanks.. we are traveling now and are in Paris. Sincerely, Debbie
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jun 18, 2013]


Answer:
Dear Debbie,
It is still available in your Karen Brown Store account to download.  Just login from the box in the upper right hand corner of any page and then once logged in, from that same box click on MY ACCOUNT - and you will see the Ebook available for download.

In terms of where to stay enroute from Zurich and Val Poschavo....not sure your route, but assuming you travel east and then south, I would recommend any of the following:
HOTEL MEISSER in GUARDA -  http://www.karenbrown.com/Hotel_Guide/Switzerland/Graubunden/Guarda/Hotel_Meisser/5160.php
CHESA GRISCHUNA in KLOSTERS  http://www.karenbrown.com/Hotel_Guide/Switzerland/Graubunden/Klosters/Romantik_Hotel_Chesa_Grischuna/3304.php />
Please do let us know if you like the property recommended by your Swiss Friend - I am sure other Karen Brown Travelers would welcome the recommendation!

Enjoy Paris! 
Best, Karen

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Category: Italy

Question:
Hello. My husband and I will be in Italy in Sept. We have been before and love it. We would like to travel from Rome to the Marche, and spend about a week there. How feasible is it to traverse from west to east across the mountains by rental car? Would appreciate any recommendations. Thanks! janice
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jun 12, 2013]


Answer:

There is an autoroute, the A24 that efficiently travels the distance east from Rome to the coast and the southern boundaries of the Marches region.  Distance east to west is approximately 150 miles and I would anticipate 2 1/2 to 3 hours to travel the distance. Once on the coast you can easily travel north into Marches.  OR you can navigate a more leisurely trip north and then east through the Sabine Hills, Umbria and/or Tuscany. You could piece together a route based on recommendations from our three itineraries that detail the regions:

The Undiscovered Sabine Hills

 http://www.karenbrown.com/Trip_Planning_Itinerary/Italy/Undiscovered_Sabine_Hills/109.php

 

The Haunting Beauty of Umbria

http://www.karenbrown.com/Trip_Planning_Itinerary/Italy/Haunting_Beauty_of_Umbria/43.php

Romantic Tuscany

http://www.karenbrown.com/Trip_Planning_Itinerary/Italy/Romantic_Tuscany/42.php

Enjoy your explorations of Italy!

Best, Karen

 

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