What makes ReidsParis.com different

The ReidsParis difference:
One voice
• Professional quality
• Expert opinions
• Detailed itineraries
• Alternative lodgings
• Beyond "top 10"
• Truly helpful tips
• Trip-planning advice
• I work for you
There are loads of Paris travel sites out there, so why should you bother with this one? Here are nine of the features that help set ReidsParis.com apart.

1) One voice

Reid BramblettThis site is not an anonymously crowdsourced wiki, a compilation of reviews by amateurs, or a sales pitch from some tourism bureau. It wasn't cobbled together from licensed content and freesourced text, nor stitched together from tourist board pamphlets and stale guidebook coverage.

ReidsParis.com is a one-man show: written, designed, coded, and published entirely by Reid Bramblett for the express purpose of providing informed travel advice, expert opinion, and thoroughly researched reviews. So what? There are plenty of solo blogs and websites out there. The difference is that ReidsParis.com is written by a seasoned travel professional with more than 15 years' experience writing about Paris. Full story

2) Professional advice

Reid is a full-time professional travel writer who has lived in Europe off and on since the age of 11. Reid has written three guidebooks covering Paris for teh Dummies and Idiot's Guide series, and has contributed France coverage to Frommer's guides and Conde Nast's Concierge.com. He has also served as an in-house editor and writer for major travel guidebooks (Frommer's), websites (MSNBC.com), and magazines (Budget Travel). Full story

3) Expert opinions

Writing about travel is my day job, not my hobby. Unlike the typical TripadvisorTripAdvisor reviewer—who can recite a litany of observations about room 105 in Paris's "Hotel X" based on a single visit—I can tell you how that room compares to others in the same hotel and, more important, how that hotel compares to the one down the street (I can even tell you whether there's a B&B in between that's a better deal, or how you can rent an apartment around the corner for even less). This is because I have been to Paris many times, toured dozens of its hotels, and spent years carefully researching such things with a critical eye and a notebook in hand. Same goes for sights, restaurants, and the practical details of planning a trip to Paris.

4) Detailed itineraries

Most Paris itineraries out there are vague lists of places to visit each day. ReidsParis.com itineraries take into account the details of an actual trip: things like how long you should spend at each sight, discount cards that can save you money and let you skip long entry lines, travel time from place to place, and more.

I have extensive experience at this. In addition to planning research trips of my own, I have helped plan Paris trips for everyone from families to scout troops to individual travelers. Full story

5) Lodging alternatives

I have nothing against hotels. They are reliable, widespread throughout Italy, and you know what you're going to get. However, hotels aren't the be-all, end-all of lodging options in Italy. Non-hotel lodging options are not only usually cheaper than hotels, they also usually offer a far more interesting experience, a chance to get closer to the local people and culture.

This site describes more than a dozen alternatives to traditional hotels: Apartments, B&Bs, Camping, Chains, Convents, CouchSurfing, Sleep for free, Historic inns, Home swapping, Hospitality exchanges, Hostels, Motels, Overnight trains, Residence hotels, and University dorms. Full story

6) Beyond the "Top 10"

Kurt Vonnegut wrote that "Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." Break away from the ordinary! Iconic Paris—the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, the Louvre, etc.—is well worth the time, but don't let your vacation become just a litany of postcard attractions. Sure, this site helps first-timers plan by listing all the un-missables.

However, ReidsParis.com also delves deeper to showcase less famous, unusual, and offbeat sights and experiences. Whether you've been to Paris before and are ready to move beyond the "Top 10," or simply want an Paris experience that differs from the typical highlights trip, ReidsParis.com can help, both with the Reid's List of lesser-known sights, and the "Do" page of Paris activities and experiences. These may not be the marquee sights, but they could very well end up being the highlights of your trip. Full story

7) Truly helpful tips

Plenty of sites (and traditional guidebooks) tell you all about the masterpieces in the museum or history of the castle—but few travel guides bother telling you what you really need to know: how long you should spend at the sight, how to get to it, how to circumvent the hour-long lines, on what day admission is free, whether there's a dress code to get in, when admission is covered by the Paris Museums Pass, how to book a tour, and whether the gift shop closes early or late.

ReidsParis.com does. It provides all the helpful hints and tips to get the most out of your vacation—and not just on visiting the sights, but on every aspect of trip planning.

8) Extensive trip-planning advice

Sure, this site highlights the sights, hotels, and restaurants—but it also contains more than 260 pages devoted solely to helping you plan your Paris trip. There are sections dedicated to every aspect of trip-planning: airfares and accommodations, rail passes and rental cars, packing and passports, tours and travel insurance, credit cards and cell phones, phrase books and pickpockets, shopping and Skyping, safety and sightseeing, money matters and meals and more—each section packed with practical advice, insider tips, and the resources you need to get the most bang for your vacation buck. Full story

9) I work for you

I have no hidden agenda. I'm not trying to sell you anything. I'm in the business of providing travel advice, not spreading a thin layer of descriptive text over a retail site in hopes of keeping your interest long enough that you'll buy something. Oh, sure, I'd love it if you click on the Google ads or purchase your tours, hotels, luggage, etc. through one of my partners—that's how this site earns its keep—but my primary goal is to offer the best unfiltered advice possible.

I pick my partners carefully, but alongside them I also recommend any rivals that offer just as good a product or service (but, alas, no affiliate program). To me, that's just good journalism. It's also better business: unless I provide sterling, rigorously unbiased travel information, you probably won't use this site or recommend it to your friends—and I really, really want you to recommend it. My job is to help you plan and enjoy the Italy vacation of your dreams. Full story




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