Do You Want to See the Mona Lisa?

Okay…you read all the brochures about the pristine, white sand beaches, looked at pictures of how romantic it is at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and have always wanted to see the Mona Lisa up close.

If this is what you’re striving for on your vacation…be prepared to do a little work before you go. Why? Advance planning goes a long way if you are joining a bunch of other vacationers who want the same thing as you.

I’m not advocating planning, planning, planning. But, there are certain times and events where planning gives you a better vacation.

Buy those Eiffel Tower tickets at home, print them if you can, and avoid the long wait lines at the base. And, I do mean long wait lines. Same goes for museums in Florence, Venice, and other popular places. Check the Internet for the specific site to see if advanced tickets are available. Many cities have ‘museum passes’ which are good for a series of days. Investigate to see if these will save you time and money. We buy our Paris ones at the kiosk at the airport when we arrive.

If you’re going to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre…go early. Go when they open. Once inside, go directly to see her. I know there are other great pieces of art on your way there. But, see her first and then see the rest. You’ll be glad you did.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to make pasta, or wondered why chocolate from Bayonne tastes so good, or wanted to visit with a winemaker in Saint Emilion. Here’s where advance planning is a must. Set up your classes or appointments ahead of time.

Having given you some ideas where planning is a good idea, I have another suggestion.

Be spontaneous. Don’t plan every moment. Sometimes these unplanned days are the best days of the vacation.


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