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I don’t travel enough on airlines that have Frequent Flyer programs to have “status” on any airline and I’ve found it beneficial to have both American Airlines and Qantas FF memberships. Two ways this has been helpful. 1. Sometimes radically different points needed for exact same award flights. For example, American Airlines from any Australian

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These two Paris food writers are good sources of info on chocolate shops (e.g. Bernachon chocolate or A l’Etoile d’Or), markets etc David Lebovitz is an American pastry chef who lives in Paris. His blog keeps it real so its a good source of insights into what living in Paris is really like. For example,

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The best site I’ve found for info on train travel from virtually anywhere to virtually anywhere is The Man in Seat 61 website. The site has info on the routing options, classes of travel, buying tickets, what to expect on particular trains etc. For some routes, the site even has pics of different class seats

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When I want to see what a place really looks like, unphotoshopped, I search for photos of it on Flickr. Flickr.com I especially do this for beach destinations. If I’m planning on traveling in say, February, I look for pics posted in around March since beach water that’s calm and glassy blue in some months

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My favorite tool for planning trips is Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree message board. You can ask a question about virtually anywhere in the world and someone will answer it. You’ll need to register but its completely free. A couple of etiquette tips: 1. Make sure you search first to see if your question has already