Plan ahead for the trip of a lifetime

January 2022

    You might not think so right now, but travel will be returning in a big way and those who plan for it now will reap the benefits. As the pandemic fades, try to be one of the first to make a trip to Europe and enjoy it in a blissfully uncrowded way. Try making a detailed yet fluid itinerary without precise dates. Pencil in the days of the week only, noting which of your preferred sights are closed on Sundays or Mondays, etc. This will give you a basic framework on which to build your dream journey.  

     The more you can plan beforehand, the better it will be. At Clued In Travel Books we are big believers in having reservations at the restaurants we most desire rather than settling for our second or third choices. Dinner reservations are especially likely to fill up if not made in advance. As for the best sights, well, these must be booked ahead (due to the requirements of contactless service.) And with absolutely everyone now booking ahead, these too are more likely to sell out.

    Travelers visiting our particular website probably understand this so we won’t beat a dead horse. If you are the type of traveler who likes to go somewhere with no plans or reservations in order to just see where fate takes you, we say, “Good luck and bless your heart.”

    So, grab one of our travel books and peruse through it to the end. You’ll be shocked at how a city you knew nothing about is suddenly as familiar as can be.  It’s almost magical.   Happy travels, Dean & Andie

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

The folks here at Clued In Travel Books wish you and yours a wonderful and safe holiday season filled with lots of love and lots of food. If you avoid conversations about religion, politics, and mask mandates you’ll be just fine! Let’s hope we get back to some normalcy in 2022, especially in regard to travel. It’s what we live for.

All the best to all of you, Dean & Andie

Christmas concert in Piazza San Marco, Venice

The United Kingdom implements new entry rules

To enter Great Britain you now must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test even if you are vaccinated. This is due to their current surge. The result can be from the rapid antigen test but must be taken within 48 hours of your flight time. Before you fly you must also fill in their official “locater form” as well as reserve and pay for a Covid test ahead of time for your first or second full day after arrival. The all-important info can be found here. By the way, London’s BOOTS PHARMACY happily accepts non-British visitors for the rapid test. They have many locations so book ahead through their website.

Christmas at Trafalgar Square

Heads up if you’re going to France

Here’s yet another update: To enter France you now must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, even if you are vaccinated. This is due to their current surge. The result can be from the rapid antigen test but must be taken within 48 hours of your flight time. (And remember, if you also end up needing a test once you are in Paris, Pharmacie Bader on Boulevard St. Michel happily accepts non-French visitors for the rapid test. The cost is around 25 euro.)

Happy and safe travels, Dean and Andie

The incomparable Lido Show in Paris

Go to Europe in the spring

Now is the time to plan a glorious trip to Europe. The spring months should be amazing, with the crowds still at a minimum and hotel prices on the lower side. Take advantage of it for sure. We were in Europe for the entire month of October 2021 (before the current winter Covid spike) and each city we visited was fun, joyous, and utterly fantastic. It will be this way in the spring we predict, so book those cancellable flights while you can.

The biggest difference we noticed on our recent trip was in London; the British capital had gone almost entirely cash-free in order to provide contactless service. It will probably stay that way for a long time to come. We couldn’t give away our British Pound notes! From pharmacies to cafes to movie theatres, no one would take our cash. We were finally able to find some black cab drivers that accepted it, along with the famous Rules restaurant in Covent Garden. We say, Use the winter months to find the perfect credit card, one that’s completely free of foreign fees. You’ll be glad you did.

Also, note that all of our new editions of our Clued In travel books for 2022 are up on Amazon.com (except for Clued In New York) as well our new editions of Bored in London – Awesome Experiences for the Repeat Traveler and Bored in Paris – Awesome Experiences for the Repeat Traveler. They’re chock full of surprises and the paperback version makes a great gift under $10.00!

Happy and safe travels, Dean and Andie

Our 2022 editions are here.

Wow what a year it has been for us, with lots of travel and tons of writing, but we got it done! We must confess that we didn’t know what to expect when we set foot in Paris at the start of our whirlwind European jaunt. The truth is that the atmosphere there was as if nothing had ever happened. People in Paris (seemingly mostly locals) where filling the streets and cafés every night in a joyous mood, perhaps just happy to be out and about again. We thought, Okay that’s the French for you… they want to live their life and don’t worry about things so much.

But then it was the same way in Italy, Spain, and the UK. That’s why we say yes, go to Europe now. It’s fantastic. Sure, you might have to take a Covid test here or there, especially if you go from one country to another by airplane or rail, but it turned out to be no big deal.

Anyway, the new 2022 versions of our travel books are super-fun and have more than a few surprises, like our new independent excursion from Rome to Tivoli’s breathtaking Villa D’Este for only €18 a person complete! It’s much better than the multitude of online tours that charge you a fortune and tell you when to sit, when to eat, etc. With our books you’ll always know how to do everything on your own!

We sincerely hope you enjoy these new books. Happy travels, Dean and Andie, & the Clued In Travel Book team

Oh one more thing… we were so busy traveling that we neglected our home city of New York. We are working on that book now and hope to have Clued In New York for 2022 published around the start of the new year.

A change to our Rome dining recommendations

We just got home from Italy and will be making an immediate change to our “Clued In Rome” book which will be republished immediately on Amazon to reflect it:

Unfortunately, one of our recommended restaurants, I Clementini, has been sold and is under new ownership with the same name, same google info, same pics, etc. We can no longer endorse this restaurant due to the recent changes to their food.  As usual, we are the guinea pigs so you don’t have to be! It will not be included in our upcoming new edition of “Clued In Rome” for 2022.   

We just got home from Europe…

Yes, we’re back and we have a lot to share with our readers. (All of it will be presented in our soon-to-be-released 2022 editions on Amazon.com) As usual, it was one of those wild Clued In trips that leave us completely exhausted -in a good way. We hit Paris, Rome, Tivoli, Florence, Chianti, London, and Oxford. Whew! And five Covid tests later, we’re still “negative.” We ate countless meals in countless restaurants through three countries and can honestly tell you that there was one standout, hands down, no contest. Our best meal in the month spent traveling was Babette in Rome. If you are in Rome this evening or will be going there soon, make a reservation right now. There is something for everyone on their menu and it is seemingly all exquisite. As an added bonus it happens to be located at the end of our favorite street in the Eternal City: via Margutta. Run don’t walk!

Important info regarding Covid testing in Paris:

We just got home from France… If you need the health “Pass Sanitaire” and necessary QR Code but don’t know where to go, there is only one place we found that will help American tourists… and it’s quick and easy. Visit Pharmacie Bader at 10 Boulevard Saint-Michel, which is open every day. In less than 30 minutes you will have your code and be on your way for under €25.

The official Covid testing centers that have been set up in tents all around Paris will not give out the code unless you have a French cell phone. Who has that? Most pharmacies don’t even offer the testing! It’s very frustrating, so just go to this location instead and you’ll be very happy.

All of this could have been avoided of course if our French QR codes for being vaccinated had come through the official website but alas we waited 30 days to no avail. We flew here with nothing and went looking for the Covid testing right away and were lucky enough to stumble upon the pharmacy mentioned above.

Happy and safe travels, Dean and Andie.