Title: Travel Expert, Blogger, TV Personality
Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Spring Destinations
Accommodations: Hotel Paradis Paris – A Chic hotel just a 10-minute walk from Gare du Nord train station. It’s also close to the Palais Garnier opera house and plenty of restaurants. Good for couples, girlfriends or families, starting at about $114 a night.
Casual Restaurant: Holybelly 5 – Located near Hotel Paradis Paris, this breakfast/brunch cafe is bright and popular with great coffee, cuisine and service. Sarah Mouchot’s breakfast pancakes (with eggs, bacon, bourbon butter and maple syrup) and black rice porridge are among one of their most popular meals. No reservations needed!
Dinner Restaurant: Brasserie Floderer – Also located near Hotel Paradis Paris, offering Alsatian Dishes prepared with authenticity in a classic French atmosphere.Great steak tartare, traditional browned-onion soup, bread, butternut squash soup, chocolate creme brulee. Surprisingly good prices! Reservation recommended.
The Palais Garnier Opera House – A 1,979-seat opera house, built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. Have an amazing schedule of shows and offer guided tours of this spectacular opera house and the historic architecture.
Beautiful Catholic churches nearby, like Saint-Vincent de Paul that are gorgeous in the spring.
Cost of flights in Spring: $450 – $1000
When to book: About 99 days in advance (3 ½ months)
Airport to fly into: Charles de Gaulle Airport – Also known as Roissy Airport, it is the largest international airport in France and only a 45 minute train ride from Hotel Paradis Paris.
How to get around: Train/public transportation
Any other tips?
Instead of trying to see all the major attractions Paris has to offer, pick and choose a few places you’d really like to visit, and enjoy your time with those.
Buy your tickets for any museums or activities you do ahead of time!
Accommodations: Kilkea Castle in Kildare, Ireland
Restaurant: On property
Restaurant 1180 – A fine dining experience in their private dining room, located in this 12th Century Castle.
The Keep – Kilkea Castle’s gastro pub (drinks and burgers)
The Bistro – The Bistro offers an informal dining experience with plenty of food choices.
Hermione’s Restaurant – A simple and sophisticated setting
Activities: Falconry, sing-alongs in the pubs and walking the gardens. You get to sleep in a real castle too!
Cost of flights in Spring: $399- to $1000 for business class
When to book: Best Time to Book Flights is 5-6 months in advance; The cheapest month to book flights is January.
Airport to fly into: Dublin Airport
How to get around: Train or Uber, rent a car too
Any other tips? Stay one night in Dublin if possible before and after your trip. That’s enough time. We stayed at the Brooks Hotel. Clean and right off Grafton street so great for walking around and seeing the Dublin sights. Check on price for business class. Some rates may surprise you and be somewhat affordable. It’s worth checking.
“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”
What’s in Your Suitcase?
TikiTunes Wireless Speaker by Limitless Innovations
$39.99 at www.limitlessinnovations.com
This 6.5” x 4”, rechargable, battery-operated wireless speaker is perfect for your upcoming spring and summer outdoor parties! Not only does its dual sync capabilities allow you to pair multiple speakers, but it can also connect with bluetooth from a maximum distance of 30 feet. It even lights up, giving your party or camping trip a natural glow, just like a flame!
What’s on your phone?
Highest Customer-Rated Travel Apps (J.D. Power Inaugural U.S. Travel App Satisfaction Study)
JetBlue ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among airline apps, followed by Southwest and Alaska Airlines.
World of Hyatt ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among hotel apps, followed by IHG and Hilton Honors.
Orbitz ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among Online Travel Agency apps, followed by Priceline and Expedia.
National ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among rental car apps, followed by Enterprise Car Rental and Hertz.
What’s the tip?
Softshell vs. Hardshell luggage
More durable for longer periods of time
More flexibility – can fit more into compact spaces
More accessible with more pockets
Not water resistant – absorbs water and could cause bad odor
Harder to maneuver than hard shell, usually only having two wheels
Limited amount of options for suitcase colors
Water resistant, no bad smells
More likely to protect items in the suitcase from liquids
More easy to maneuver, since most come with four wheels
Easier to find at baggage claim since you can pick a bright color or pattern
Hard edges can make it difficult to fit in the overhead storage or at your feet on the flight
Not as flexible, making it difficult to pack as much or bring back souvenirs.
Items inside not as easily accessible