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About ljandgb

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  1. They provide transportation, for a fee, if you wish. If you go to the website, you'll have to proceed thru a dummy booking as the transportation options are right before you make the reservation. It's about 45 minutes from Reykjavik and a taxi would be about $100+ one way.
  2. Americans are currently not allowed in, and Iceland just instituted a mandatory 5 day quarantine for anyone entering the country with 2 separate Covid tests. As for what the rules will be in the future, it's anyone's guess.
  3. To save some money in London for a quick meal look for Pret a Manger. It's a nice alternative to heavier restaurant food, at a good price. They seem to be as ubiquitous as Starbucks. https://www.pret.com/en-US
  4. My feeling has always been that VRBO's cancelation policies are individual, by the property. I don't think there is an across the board standard, since each location is privately owned, or multiple properties are owned by companies. We just rented a house thru VRBO that is also listed on Airbnb and something called Renter's Club. Interestingly, the prices were different on each. I assumed VRBO is just a way to collect multiple properties and their reviews all in one site.
  5. Strange. Might be your browser. I've not had any issues with the actual site. You are correct in that you can't always figure out floor plan. I can see how that would be a deal breaker. Does Airbnb allow you to filter out for elevators?
  6. VRBO has been around longer than Airbnb. We used them in Italy 8 years ago even. I tend to go with properties that have been reviewed only. I’m not willing to take a chance when it comes to big vacations. You can also contact reviewers to ask specific questions. I understand your gripe about refunds and good customer service. Some companies have been above and beyond others. (Here’s looking at you, lame-o United. Grrr) Ultimately, though, you just have to make lemonade with what you can.
  7. Regarding Airbnb, you are having the same problem as most of the planet. There are plenty of forums where people are posting they can't get their non-refundable deposit back when they couldn't travel. Unfortunately, none of those companies really need to give anyone any money back. And to give everyone their full money back would just push those companies into bankruptcy sooner. This is true for lodging, tours, cruises, airlines, etc. I've got money in 3 different tour companies and 3 airlines that have allowed me to push my deposit out to as much as 2-10 years, but I'm not getting it back into my account. The order of the day now is to only book places that either have fully refundable deposits, or be ok with losing the money. (I realized that wasn't how anyone needed to think prior to the pandemic, but again, the entire planet got hit unexpectedly by this situation.) Only you know what you're ok with. I was supposed to be in Iceland this week, and had booked a full complement Airbnb stays, but only ones I could get all my money back. There were a few I really liked, but was unwilling to gamble on a nonrefundable portion. Instead, I'm currently sitting in an amazing VRBO staycation home in a city nearby my hometown, feeling fancy and eating lots of good takeout. FWIW, check out VRBO. I've found better places there than on Airbnb on average.
  8. I'd agree to that. My oldest, 21 in a week and about to graduate college, would not do this sort of vacation on their own, and not likely for the foreseeable future. They would happily do it with us, on my dime.
  9. I have 4 kids, ages 15-20. They love to travel, and would enjoy tours that were geared towards not-70 year olds.
  10. Sorry, but I really can't. The cost, for the whole 8 days, included lodging, a high speed train to Avignon, rental cars, an entire BnB to ourselves and transfers to the port. It was not broken down by item. They picked the lodging, which is not at all my usual style as I tend to research the snot out of it first, but what they picked was perfect in every sense of the word for us. I'd recommend the Paris hotel to you, but it had narrow stairs down to the breakfast in the basement and was 3 blocks to the metro, so maybe not the best choice for your family. It was the Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais. That said, they were eminently affordable. I am not a luxury traveler, per se. I like to stretch my travel dollar, so I can travel more. The cheapest is always arranging everything yourself, take public transportion, etc, but sometimes I like to have someone else do the heavy lifting. Having no idea what your budget is, I can't guess if you'd like them, but it can't hurt to ask a ballpark figure.
  11. France Just for You arranges whatever details you wish. (For our travels, I'm not shy about contacting companies online and asking about "off label" services. Worst they can say is no.) They were very good a communicating during our planning stage, offering suggestions, and working with what we wished. If you let them know what your "must sees" are, and what your food preferences are, I'm sure they will have good advice and suggestions. For example, for the 4 day Paris part of our trip it included: 1. A 100 page bound book of information regarding our specific plans (1/3 was Paris specific), French customs, suggested walking routes for our DIY time, French phrases, recommended restaurants, and French road rules and signs for our rental cars. Maps of all the areas we would be in. Metro tickets, 2 for each person in our trip. A binder to hold everything. All contact info for every person or reservation on our trip. Specific ticket and transportation information for places I'd inquired about that we wanted to do on our own. 2. A car and driver to pick us up at the airport and deliver us to the hotel. 3. Once there, we had a private guide all day that met us as the hotel our first morning. Our tour was a walking tour of the near by neighborhoods, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre. We also had her explain in full the metro and bus system for our next couple of days. 4. A car and driver to take us to the train for our next destination. We've lived overseas and are comfortable navigating a city once we get the lay of the land, so really didn't need any more guided tours than that for Paris. We were supposed to have been in northern France and Normandy with them this past June. We would have had tours at least every other day, by guides that would pick us up at our lodging. As for food, I'm a foodie, but really don't care for standard French food. I do LOVE their boulangeries and patisseries though. I could eat from those the entire time.
  12. The earlier suggestion I had didn't work. They really were about tours and I'm not going anywhere else. Was that the suggestion I had about the France Just for You? They do tours, but have done 2 private trips for us based on what we wanted, not their package tours. If you haven't contacted them directly, I would. I do suspect they will be happy for the business and can help with Paris. If they can't, then I 'd be surprised.
  13. I love the London Tube, but be careful of walking distances TO the stations. Search hotels very carefully with this in mind. The buses are also very easy. My dd's favorite thing of our entire London trip was sitting in the front row of the top of the bus. The app Moovit can give you VERY specific directions on bus/subway details. You can get an Oyster card for each person from the airport, which works as a bus/train/subway pass.
  14. I'm glad someone likes Excel. Not my cup of tea! My daughter loves it too, enough that her degree uses it heavily. I really don't remember the London car service, and it was 2 years ago. I'd just ask over on the TA London forum. It sounds like you have a really nice trip planned. I understand the time crunch. With our kids and their responsibilities there was usually a 2 week window in July that everyone was free to travel. This is actually the first July in over a decade that I've been home for the entire month.
  15. I'll add I'm the travel coordinator for our family and it can be stressful. I, too, have a binder with info for each stop, contact info, envelopes of money for payments, etc. I've begun to enjoy package tours since I can just show up and let someone else do all the work. LOL I do those with friends, and leave my family at home. I love time with my family, but those other tours have become my true vacations as far as relaxation goes. Have you been to London before? You might want to check the TripAdvisor travel forum there and get suggestions on a good location for a large group. Someplace with easy access to the tube and restaurants would be good. I got a good suggestion on the forum for a car service to Heathrow, though I can't remember the name right now, but that would make transporting all those people easier.
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