If $ Were No Problem in Paris & Italy

May 19th, 2008, 07:40 PM
Original Poster
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If $ Were No Problem in Paris & Italy

If you weren't restricted by $ issues, what would you do in Paris and Italy that you wouldn't do otherwise?

For the record, this isn't my personal situation at all. I'm just curious what people would do and maybe getting some different ideas.

morgiesmom is offline  
May 19th, 2008, 07:52 PM
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I would use the extra $ to stay longer.
kybourbon is offline  
May 19th, 2008, 08:00 PM
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morgiesmom - I hated our apartment by the Spanish Steps. It was so uncomfortable, A/C did not work right, too many steps, no lift - uncomfortable couch. I wanted to check out and check into the Hotel De Russie (is that it?) It was down the street...we went for a massage one day... if money were no object I just might have.
MomDDTravel is offline  
May 19th, 2008, 08:09 PM
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eat in very good restaurants and buy many pairs of shoes!
danon is online now  
May 19th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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This is interesting. I'm trying to think of something different to say, but in all honesty the most special moments from my trips, the memories that mean the most to me, have nothing to do with money.

(well, they do have to do with money because that's what got me there in the first place, but you know what I mean)

If money were no object, I'd stay in luxury hotels, and eat at top-tier restaurants. I could buy my favourite perfumes that aren't sold in North America. I could hire expensive, scholastic guides to take me through the museums. I could buy an apartment in Paris and fill the walls with paintings and spend a lot of time travelling from there to Italy.

But none of that is different or unique and won't give you any new ideas for what to do on a trip.

One memorable thing in Florence was wandering the piazza della signoria at sunset, when it was quiet and empty and the light was beautiful and ethereal.

In Siena, I was transfixed by the frescos in the Piccolomini Library in the Duomo. Walking into the library was like walking into a painting. I was dumbfounded.

In Paris, I loved the St Denis Basilica. It's beautiful and unique and no big crowds. The town of St Denis was also a surprise itself, and I enjoyed spending a few hours walking around.

Another thing in Paris would be a performance at the Palais Garnier. Chagal's ceiling shouldn't work but it does. Everything is lush and ornate. And it so happened the ballet I saw was brilliant. I'll never forget that performance.
Apres_Londee is offline  
May 19th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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I would take my Brother and Sister-in-law and some best friends with me. I would use taxis more and never look at prices on menus
Sassafrass is offline  
May 19th, 2008, 11:21 PM
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What a wonderful dream!

I would stay in spacious, comfortable accommodations with beautiful views. In Paris, it would definitely be the George V. Renting a villa on Lake Como is just surreal.

Take lots of private cooking classes.

Not sure about restaurants as I prefer small, cozy bistros and trattorias. I've had my share of expensive restaurants while traveling on business -- now I want great food in a charming atmosphere.

Order three scoops of gelato at a time. (Along with dreaming about money, I'll dream there are no calories in gelato.)

Hot air balloon rides in Loire Valley and Tuscany.

Private car and driver. I know you said Paris specifically for France, but the French countryside is wonderful.

Not worry about running out of vacation time as I would not need to work and could stay "over there" as long as I wished.

Shop, if I'm so inclined without caring about cost.

Take a gondola ride every day in Venice.

Would fly over in first class, of course, and take several of my friends with me.

I know what I'm going to dream about tonight.

luvtotravel is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 02:29 AM
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I would convert my US$ into euros and stick them in a bank account in Europe to build a travel nest egg in euros Europe, so that when it's, say, $4 or $5 to the euro, one won't feel the pinch and discomfort and guilt of blowing a wad of cash on European travel.
May 20th, 2008, 02:50 AM
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I do not crave luxuries, and I actually pity the rich who have no access to normal life. My office is across the street from the George V, and we watch the groupies start congregating at 9am -- Don't they know that Céline Dion will not set foot out the door before 4pm? It's the same for all such stars who stay there. I think they should get a life.
kerouac is online now  
May 20th, 2008, 03:22 AM
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I would upgrade city apartments we stay at and eat at better restaurants. In Italy would rent a nice house in Tuscany or Umbria.

I would probably try hiring a good private guide at least once to see if this is really as much of an advantage as many people on this forum say.
I would try a few special events like the after hours Vatican tour.
Better seats at ballet, musical performances, etc.

For transportation I would probably upgrade to first class on planes and long train trips. I don't think I would switch to taxis over public transit in cities except when public transit routes are really inconvenient (due to combination of philosophical commitment to public transit and lack of comfort with taxi drivers in city traffic).

Basically I agree with Apres Londee that most of the things I really enjoy about European travel wouldn't be affected much by spending more money. Also, after so many years of budget to moderate travel I think I would have trouble adjusting to a much more luxurious travel style. I am pretty comfortable with the level we are at now.

I think (hope) I would upgrade somewhat and give more of the new money to charitable organizations.
Vttraveler is online now  
May 20th, 2008, 04:29 AM
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I'd install central heating in my house in France, then treat my SO and me to a week at Les Sources de Caudalies.
StCirq is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 05:08 PM
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If we really weren't under any financial constraints we would try a couple of the most luxurious hotels in each city - with the whole package - spa treatments, private butler etc.

Other than that I can't think what we would do differently. We already do one major splurge dinner in each city - and frankly we can't eat enough often enough for it to make sense to do 3* restaurants twice a day. (I've read a couple of articles of traveling chefs that did that and by the end of the second day I would be too stuffed to walk.)

And getting a 24 hour limo is, IMHO, just a pain to co-ordinate with (I've had them a couple of times on business trips). Taxis are usually available with no trouble and require less planning.
nytraveler is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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In France and Italy, I would stay in really expensive hotels and go out each evening to a fancy "fine dining" gourmet restaurant.

And order French or Italian champagne with our dessert -- yummy gelato!

tedgale is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 08:39 PM
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You guys have great ideas!

Some I already had (shoes, first class, nicer hotels) but heyJohn just made me laugh out loud (and then start toying with that idea myself till i remembered I didn't have the extra $ either!)

lovetotravel - sounds like if we had $ to burn we would do it the same way!

stcirc - you've reminded me to count my blessings.

apres londee - Some of my best vacation memories didn't involve $ either. (I once slammed the car door on my daughters hand in Alaska at a gas station stop!) My kids still talk about that one.

thank you everyone. that was fun. I'm going to have nice dreams tonight too......

3 weeks 3 days to go.
morgiesmom is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 06:09 AM
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oh yes, I did forget I would definately fly business class all the time.
MomDDTravel is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 06:25 AM
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I would fly first (or business, even) class.

I still don't think I would stay in a hotel. I would get an apartment again in the same areas (6th in Paris, Campo dei Fiori in Rome), but I would just get bigger, fancier apartments.

I'm not much of a foodie, so I wouldn't go to fancy restaurants, but I would stop anywhere I felt like stopping to eat, without even looking at the menu posted outside.

Oh yeah, I would definitely get a private car to pick us up at the airports. We did have that in Rome, and it was fantastico!
shelly_m is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 08:03 AM
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Yup, always fly first or business class. Then I'd hire a driver so my DH could enjoy the countryside like I do--without having to keep an eye on the road. Since we'd not be driving, we would order some of the great wines that are on offer at the great restaurants--and I'd go whenever I liked and often so that I could take in local festivals as they occur. I'd try some more upscale hotels but not stay in the really swishy ones--though I'd stop at them for a coupe de champagne whenever the spirit moved me.
JulieVikmanis is online now  

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