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Popular travel guide book series Lonely Planet has released their lists of “Top Ten Countries” and “Top Ten Cities” for the coming year.

Some of these “hot” destinations will be out of reach for most of us (Malaysia, Nepal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, etc.) but some are surprisingly accessible. According to the experts, this just might be the year to visit Germany, Greece, Portugal, Charleston (South Carolina), or Cork (Ireland).

I’m especially pleased to see two of my planned 2010 destinations on the list — I’ll be visiting Cuenca, Ecuador in May and Vancouver, Canada in July!

And, if you’re interested in the “Best Value Destinations” for 2010, Lonely Planet has a list for that too. It includes such popular spots as Mexico, London and Las Vegas. I absolutely concur that there are bargains to be found in all three of those destinations, so give me a call and we’ll have you on your way!

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Read a great article by travel guru Rick Steves today about the Eurostar train between London and Paris. Talk about easy! You go right from one city center to the next in about 2.5 hours flat, without any of the hassles of air travel.  No need to get transportation out to the airport, deal with security lines, pay extra for your baggage, etc. 

With high speed rail service like this, there’s really no need to have to choose between fish and chips in a London pub or wine and cheese in a Parisian cafe — you can have both in one trip!

I have some clients who used the Eurostar this summer for a quick trip to London and Paris. They were lucky enough to grab a promotional discount for the upgraded “Leisure Select” service (complete with a gourmet meal, private departure lounge, and more) and they absolutely loved it:

It was great. Super comfortable, announcements in all languages, good food, and very fast.  Such an easy way to travel – beats the plane any day!

I know that a trip through the Chunnel is on my “bucket list”.  How about you?

 

I was just reading an article in one of the travel trade magazines that confirms what I’ve been seeing first hand — travel to London is more affordable this year.

Why? Well, it’s a combination of things. 

The (global) economic situation has led to discounting (on hotels, tours, sightseeing packages and more) in many destinations, including London. Plus, the dollar has been steadily gaining on the British pound (it was at $1.38 in mid-March, a low not seen since 1985). The end result is that the average room rate (in dollars) has fallen by up to 30%.

If you’ve always wanted to see Big Ben, watch the changing of the guard, ride on the London Eye, and grab a pint at a pub, now is the time!

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