News & Features by Adam Taplin

  • Consider apartment and house rentals

    If you are interested in a single-destination vacation, or are staying in one place and using it as a base for exploring the local area, renting an apartment or a house can be a good idea. However, it is not always possible to ensure quality beforehand, and you may be responsible for supplying your own bed linens, towels, etc.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 08, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • Look for rental car alternatives

    City Car Share and Zipcar are membership organizations for any person over 21 with a valid driver's license who needs a car only for short-term use. You must join their clubs beforehand, which you can do via their Web sites. They're especially useful if you only want to rent a car for part of the day (say 4 to 6 hours) or find yourself far from the airport. Their membership fee often allows you to use their service in several metropolitan areas. If using such a service, you can rent a car by the hour as well as by the day.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 07, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • A Fodor's Community Member Remembered on NPR

    It is with sadness that we share a story aired on NPR's All Things Considered last week. In it, a fondly-remembered and much-missed member of the forums named Robespierre is memorialized by the long-time Fodorites who knew him well. The piece is part of a larger series called the "Obituary Project," and you can listen to it here.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 06, 2010 at 11:26:08 AM EST Tagged: Community
  • Know that tax is included in French prices

    All taxes must be included in posted prices in France. The initials TTC (toutes taxes comprises—taxes included) sometimes appear on price lists but, strictly speaking, they're superfluous. By law, restaurant and hotel prices must include 19.6% taxes and a service charge. If they show up as extra charges, complain.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 06, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • Tip waiters in France appropriately

    The French have a clear idea of when they should be tipped. Bills in bars and restaurants include a service charge, but it's customary to round out your bill with some small change unless you're dissatisfied. The amount varies: anywhere from €0.50, if you've merely bought a beer, to €1–€3 (or more) after a meal.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 05, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST Tagged: France
  • 11 European Museums You Should See In Your Lifetime

    If you've never been to these museums, you're missing out. From ancient books in Ireland to modern architecture in Spain, here are Europe's essential museums.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on November 03, 2009 at 11:59:18 AM EST Tagged: Ireland, England, London, France, Paris, Germany, Madrid
  • Antarctic Explorer Robert Swan on Walking to the South Pole

    I recently had the opportunity to speak with Robert Swan, the first person to have walked to both the North and South Poles, about his travels to Antarctica and and his organization, 2041, which seeks to preserve the most desolate place on earth. From his first inspirational experiences on the ice to his don't-leave-home-without yellow backpack, here are are the things that keep this professional traveler going.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on October 28, 2009 at 1:53:14 PM EDT Tagged: Antarctica, Life Changing Trips
  • Just Back from the Chilean Wine Country

    Fodor's Adam Taplin recently spent seven days in Chile's Wine Country, a 450-square-mile region between Santiago and Chillán at the base of the Andes. What he found were abundant land, high-quality wines, and a winemaking community working anxiously and eagerly to define itself. Talk Travel in the Forums: Have you tippled in Chile? What surprised you? I don't think it's possible to truly appreciate just how huge the Andes are until you've been in Santiago. They loom over everything, dwarfing office buildings and reminding you just how close to the end of the world you are. They also happen to be one of the main reasons Chilean wines are so successful -- the foothills of the region create perfect little valleys of rich soil through which Pacific Ocean breezes blow, regulating temperature and keeping the vines healthy. What were your most memorable experiences? One of the wineries I visited in the Maule Valley had a power failure throughout the entire hacienda just before we were se

    Posted by Adam Taplin on March 11, 2008 at 11:59:51 PM EDT