Europe, here we come!

After a couple of years being stuck at home due to the pandemic, it’s time to travel again. We are going to be spending 10 weeks in Paris starting in February, where I will be doing research at the National Archives for my dissertation.

But it won’t all be work. We plan to do blog posts about various historical sites in Paris and the surrounding area. This will give us the chance to share the history behind some of the most famous places in the world.

As you know from our previous posts, we are fans of accumulating points that can be exchanged for plane tickets. For this trip we started looking for award availability over 4 months ago. We found business class tickets on Air France and let the available dates determine our departure and return dates. This flexibility let us choose the least expensive option. While some people may have fixed dates that they can travel, we have found that searching a range of dates usually yields the best results.

We also needed a place to stay, and a 10-week hotel stay would have broken the budget before we ever checked our first bag. When looking for an apartment, it is always better to corresponded with the owners prior to booking. Not only can you get an initial sense of them, but they can do the same of you. While photos are helpful, they can only go so far. Also, explaining your needs to the owner is the best way to make sure the apartment will work for you.

As is sometimes the case, our first choice was rented before our dates were set. So we actually had to start the process again. After looking at many apartments in and around Paris, we picked one in the Batignolles area of the 17th arrondissement (northwest Paris) near the Saint Lazare train station. The location offers quick access to the city center with public transportation and easy transfers to the National Archives.

Until the next time, think about this. We have all seen pictures of the Eiffel Tower, but do you know why it was built in the first place? What did it symbolize for France during the late 1880s? We’ll explore this and more in an upcoming post.

Until then, stay safe and see you around the world.

Author: TTG Michael