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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:
 We and another couple are planning a self-drive trip to Ireland in September and will be following the itineraries and staying at four of the recommended places to stay from the Karen Brown Ireland guide. (We have been faithful followers of the Karen Brown guides for many years and have used them for previous travels in France, Italy and Spain finding always reliable and easy to follow.)   Our question is this: We will be spending four days touring the West and five days in the Southwest of Ireland (9/6-9/15) Christian Louboutin and have six more days (9/15-9/21) that Top replica watches we would like to use to see another country ...  but where should we go? replica breitling The only criteria is that It should be somewhere easy to get to from Shannon (and return to Dublin since that is from where we will be returning to the U.S.) Of the neighboring countries, we have been to London but not to the English countryside. Have also never been to Scotland or to Holland or Belgium or to the Normandy or Brittany regions of France.   Can you offer some suggestions that might help us narrow down our choice?  (Of course, Karen Brown Guides will be our travel guide!)Please call or write.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Apr 30, 2013]


Answer:
There are so many options - but, time is the constraint. One thought would be to simply keep your car and cross over from Dublin to Wales and explore Cornwall, Cotswolds and/or Lake District.If you want to fly somewhere - it is just important to note that regardless of distance you will realistically use most of a day getting to and from when you consider dropping car, time allowance for check in and the repeat on the other end.  That being said, I would consider checking flights and prices with Ryan Air - very reasonable rates...and...1) fly to Amsterdam - love this city and you could easily spend three days here and if season is right take a day trip out to the tulip fields2) fly to Brussels and include a trip to Brugges (you can travel by train) - lovely hotels on the river3) fly to Paris and rent a car right from CDG - visit Giverny and then continue on to Normandy.Link to our Normandy Itin: http://www.karenbrown.com/Trip_Planning_Itinerary/France/Normandy/19.php 4) ;;; You could also fly to Edinburgh as you suggest spend a few days in the city and then rent a car to explore the countryside - you would have ample time.Link to our Scotland Itin:  http://www.karenbrown.com/Trip_Planning_Itinerary/England,_Wales_and_Scotland/Scotland/8.php Enjoy your travels and thanks for using our recommendations.Best, Karen 

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Category: Italy

Question:
When traveling in Tuscany how does one arrange assistance for a handicapped individual in car free cities and zones.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Apr 28, 2013]


Answer:

Although, every destination makes a sincere effort to accommodate everyone, accessibility will vary by city.  I have sent off an email to the tourist office asking them in general about Tuscany and will relay whatever information they share. In the meantime, I also found information published on their website with a link to an organization called, "Village for All".  I would recommend contacting them concerning your specific destinations and needs.  There may be some instances where arrangements will perhaps need to be made in advance.  In terms of hotels located in pedestrian zones my experience has been that they almost always have access available to guests so that they can check in and unload luggage.  The individual hotels can advise you of their policy and access.

The tourist office website link is: 

http://www.italia.it/en/useful-info/accessibility.html

The link to Village for All is:  http://www.villageforall.net/en/

Again, I will share anything I learn and I would so very much appreciate it if you would be willing to share your experiences for other travelers with accessibility concerns.

Kindest regards,

Karen

 

 

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Category: Portugal

Question:
How do I make reservations at your recommended hotels and B&B from your website? I am travelling to Portugal for a few weeks from mid June to early July. I will be driving and following some of your suggested itineraries. Do I really need reservations? I would rather just wander and check in as I go along. Will I have problems finding good places to stay? Do hotels often have same day cancellations?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Apr 26, 2013]


Answer:

You can make reservations by clicking on CONTACT FOR RESERVATIONS AND INFORMATION from the property page on our website.  This takes you to an email form where you can easily contact them with any questions.  Another option, if the property is affiliated with bookings.com there will be a red, RESERVE NOW that displays on their property website page.  This will allow you to make immediate reservations without any additional fees. As to whether or not it is necessary to make reservations, this question is always so hard to address as one truly never knows. You are traveling during high season for Portugal and while I am certain you could always find somewhere to stay, you might have to spend much of your afternoon securing a reservation and traveling a bit further than desired. And/or you will find accommodation but not with the charm, comfort or ambiance and possibly at a higher price. The pousadas often book long in advance. That being said, I like you, love to travel footloose, without commitment and decide day by day how to pace your trip. You might want to make a few reservations in advance in the more tourist oriented destinations. As you travel, I find another wonderful resource for where to stay are the hoteliers themselves - they can often recommend places based on your next destination.

Safe travels, Karen

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Category: General

Question:
The maps in your ebooks are hard to read. Is it possible to enlarge them?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Apr 21, 2013]


Answer:

YES!  It took me a while also, to understand and learn the "mechanics" of the various aspects of the Ebooks. To view larger images, simply click on the map and it will open, enlarged, in a separate window.

Hope you like the Ebook!  Best, Karen

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Category: General

Question:
Dear Karen Brown, My son and his fiancé want to spend their honeymoon in Croatia, especially Dubrovnik.  I was hoping that you had a book or an itinerary for this location.  We have always sought your advice in the past.  Please advise. Thanks.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Apr 18, 2013]


Answer:

When are they off on their honeymoon?  We just returned from Croatia (Slovenia and Hungary) and I am trying to get content for the destinations and places to stay onto our site as well!  It should be there by the end of May/early June.

In the meantime, check out our blog on Dubrovnik.

http://www.karenbrown.com/blog/category/croatia/dubrovnik/

Thank you so much for your confidence in our recommendations!

Kindest regards, Karen 

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Category: France

Question:
Need to make a deposit to secure a reservation. The Bed and Breakfast did not answer phone, what is a safe way to send credit card info to L'Auberge des Seigneurs et du Lion d'Or?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Apr 3, 2013]


Answer:

I am surprised they are not answering their phone as we have been in communication with them.  Are you dialing correctly:  04.93.58.04.24 - assuming you are dialing from the USA, you would dial 011 33 4 93 58 04 24 (it is necessary to drop the zero).

My preferred means of communication is by email since  you do not have to be worried about time zones and whether or not you are disturbing anyone's sleep.  Their email is: sandrine.rodi@wanadoo.fr. You could send the credit card information in two separate emails...the first with perhaps the first 12 numbers, the second with the final four and expiration date.

Or you can always fax.....their fax is 04.93.24.08.01 and again, from the USA you would dial 011 33 4 93 24 08 01.

In any case I would definitely request that they confirm receipt of deposit.

Thank you for using our recommendations. The Auberge des Seigneurs is charming!

Best, Karen 

 

 

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Category: Italy

Question:
Karen, I am wondering whether you would have any reservations about planning a trip to Sicily at this time. My husband and I plan to drive down from the Amalfi Coast. Give the current economy and concerns in Cyprus, I thought I'd check to see whether you have heard about problems there. Thank you.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Mar 23, 2013]


Answer:

I have not had any feedback from travelers and I have not had occasion to travel there in recent months so I cannot advise you based on personal experience. I would recommend contacting the Italian Tourist Office and address any questions or concerns that you might have.

The link to their website page with their contact information is:

http://www.italia.it/en/useful-info/contact-center.html

Kindest regards,

Karen

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Category: France

Question:
My boyfriend and I are very interested in traveling to Burgundy in October or November of this year. We love wine and are somewhat concerned about the tasting opportunities available in the region. From what I understand, you don't just "pop in" to a winery to do a tasting. Could you please let me know how that works? Thank you so much!
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Feb 28, 2013]


Answer:
Based on my most recent trip to Burgundy, yes it is possible to stop in to wineries and wine taste. Some now have a fee - usually about 15 euros.  Watch for "Degustation" signs which are an invitation to "wine taste."  I prefer the smaller, lesser-known houses as they often prove to be more intimate and afford an opportunity to meet the owners.  More famous houses, Replica handbags such as Chateau de Pommard, will require advance reservations which can be made through their website.À votr¨¦ sant¨¦, Karen 

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Category: Ireland

Question:
At age 75 my husband and I would like to visit Ireland for 10 days and stay at Bed and Breakfasts along the way. Since we are not replica handbags allowed to rent a car at our age, how would we travel from town to town?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Feb 26, 2013]


Answer:
I checked with Auto Europe and they said that Hertz will rent to drivers up to 79 years of age!  You can contact them tollfree at 1-888-223-5555 toll-free and be sure to mention you are a Karen Brown Traveler for a preferred discount!Driving is the only way to truly experience the backroads of Ireland!Kindest regards,Karen

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Category: General

Question:
Karen, we are planning our first trip to Italy. Your itineraries have been very helpful. Our plans are to start in Venice, travel by train to Florence and then rent a car to do your Romantic Tuscany Tour. We will end our trip with 4 nights in Rome. My question is: Can you recomment a central location on the Romantic Tuscany tour that we might rent a villa for a week which would allow us a place to relax with close restaurants, good scenery and also to take day trips to your reommended tour sites. Thank you for your help and recommendations.
Asked by Linda Wassberg [Feb 21, 2013]


Answer:
nothing

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