Summer                   2016
VOL. 20                   NO.  3


FRANCE On Your Own banner

  The Independent Traveler's Newsletter

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                     " . . . When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money.
                           Then take half the clothes and twice the money."                      
- Susan Heller                                                                                                     


Nine Surefire Ways to Ruin Your European Vacation
    by Zeneba Bowers and Matt Walker

Twisted Tongues
      ~  Challenging French phrases

Ici et Là

Provence Art Exhibits
~   courtesy of the Var Village Voice
by Anita Rieu-Sicart

Restos du Coeur
an article by Arthur Gillette


View from Saint-Robert, Corrèze.  Copyright Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.e 
View from Saint-Robert, Correze, Limousin

Featuring the Limousin - Part 2 of 2
       ~  the départements of Creuse and Corrèze


Nine Surefir
e Ways to Ruin Your European Vacation
                                                                                                                                        by Zeneba Bowers and Matt Walker

The authors from Nashville, Tennessee, who have mastered the art of authentic,
immersive, affordable travel, share all the things you shouldn't do
on your next European vacation,  along with tried and true tips you should try instead.


finally happening.  Your long-awaited vacation is just around the corner, and you're ready to take France by storm!  Or Italy!  Or Spain!  In any case, you've maxed out your suitcases, and you're about to do the same with your credit cards.  Soon you and your family will be frantically rushing from one overrated tourist trap to the next and waiting in line to eat at uninspired restaurants aimed at American tourists.  You know you'll come back more exhausted and stressed out than before you left ~ but, hey, that's just how vacations go, right?

"Sadly, this is the way many people travel when they tour Europe," says Zeneba Bowers.  "And, it's hard to blame them since most people don't take frequent overseas vacations.  When they do, they all tend to make the same tourist mistakes."  Bowers, along with her partner, Matt Walker, authors of the Little Roads Europe travel guides, make travel an integral part of their lives and visit Europe about five times a year, despite the fact that they are average people with average incomes.  In addition to their books, Bowers and Walker also have an Itinerary Building Service for tourists looking for authentic immersive experiences while traveling.

Keep reading for the couple's no-fail ways to RUIN your vacation ~ followed by their expert advice on how to have an unforgettably great trip!

And now for what you shouldn't do  . . . 

  • Opt for a cheaper flight with a terrible schedule.  Walker says, "Speaking as a professional cheapskate, I totally understand the desire to save a few bucks, especially on something as un-sexy as airfare.  That said, any joy you feel from depriving the airline from wrenching a bit more money out of you will dissipate the minute you realize you are stuck for an 8-hour layover at JFK airport.  Your time is a commodity, and you need to think about it like that.  If you save the money on airfare but arrive at your destination filthy, frustrated and exhausted, your first day will be a nightmare."
  • Pack too much stuff.  Do pack your bag so that it is never more than 3/4 full.  Include an empty duffel bag or tote in the bottom and a lot of bubble wrap.  This will inevitably mean a drastic decrease in clothing, shoes, books and toiletries.  You can buy cheap shampoo, soap and other toiletries abroad.  And sure, some people might look snazzier than you, with multiple changes of clothes and shoes, but those are folks who are throwing their backs out schlepping their giant bags through the town square at 8 AM.  Plan to fill your bag with cheese, oil, liqueurs, wine, grappa, honey and jams.  On the flight back home you can check a bag for free, and your bottles will be safely tucked inside the bubble wrap you packed.  Take the duffel as a carry on and fill it with your extra clothes, plus breakable non-liquids you bought on your trip.
                                                                                                                               continued on page 3



LOOK INSIDE     . .  with a click  

>  to learn all about major art exhibitions that may interest you if you are heading for Provence this summer and fall.


>  for one of the last contributions to our newsletter from our dear friend Arthur Gillette ~ Restos du Coeur:  a program to ensure everyone has enough to eat.

>  for Part 2 of our Feature on the Limousin, this time focusing on the départements of Creuse and Corrèze ~ rural, historic and ideal for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday in France.

>  and, of course, the conclusion of our front-page article about how NOT to ruin your European vacation from the authors of the Little Roads Europe travel guides and web site.

  Coming in our Autumn  issue. . .

We will review a book by Will Bashor ~
Marie Antoinette's Darkest Days:
Prisoner No. 280 in the Conciergerie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              contributed by Arthur Gillette

Welcome to Twisted Tongues, a French word game everyone can play.  Can you come up with the correct translation of the phrase in question?  You'll be surprised by how it differs from what you first thought it meant.

Answer from our Spring issue:  "Un baveux" -   Is that describing someone who droolsYes, but the slang version is more common: "someone who talks a lot" or, depending upon the circumstances, "a lawyer"! 

Phrase:  "Devoir une fière chandelle?"     Does that mean "owe a proud candle"?  That's an old expression referring to the act of taking a lovely candle to offer during a church service.  And today?  It has an entirely different meaning.  Can you guess?

Look for the correct translation in our Autumn 2016 newsletter.  Have fun!

 We will continue to include Arthur Gillette's "Twisted Tongues" in our newsletter
until we exhaust the selection he kindly provided.  We hope you enjoy them as much as he
enjoyed the French language.  We are sure he would want us to continue the game . . .

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