Warning: You need a valid passport to take your dream vacation to Paris

Shelly Clements and her husband recently headed to the airport to take off on their long-awaited trip to Paris. Unfortunately, for her, she didn’t have a valid passport.  In all her planning, she had neglected to check the passport requirements for travel — and the news wasn’t good at the check-in counter. Read more “Warning: You need a valid passport to take your dream vacation to Paris”

We’ll always have Paris and other useful advice

The terrorist attack in Paris was our number one story this week — specifically, Ned Levi’s useful advice on how to stay safe on your next international trip.
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A ‘deceptive’ Airbnb rental in Paris

Sharon Shaughnessy’s apartment rental in Paris is a wreck. Her host offers her $30, but it’s not enough. Does she deserve a full refund?

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They promised us Paris, but $18,000 later …

Even if the vacation club she bought didn’t work out, and even if the “free” trip to Hawaii never materialized, Tali Buchman figured she’d always have Paris.
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What to do about that nonrefundable refundable hotel rate in Paris

Something tells me Fatima from the front desk of the Hôtel du Triangle d’Or wants me to mind my own business, and I will. But not before telling Monika Christian’s story.
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Sacré Coeur! This isn’t the hotel I booked

When it comes to Hotwire, you know the drill: You book an unnamed hotel in a vaguely-defined neighborhood in exchange for a steep discount.
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Hotels.com left me in Paris sans hotel

Iohan/Shutterstock
Iohan/Shutterstock
When Judi McManigal arrives at her hotel in Paris, she discovers she doesn’t have a reservation. Her online travel agency won’t help her. Is she stuck with the bill?

Question: We made a reservation recently on Hotels.com for a hotel in Paris. When we arrived, the hotel informed us that they had canceled the reservation due to an issue with the credit card transaction. Apparently, not all U.S. credit cards are accepted in Europe, which we also learned when we tried to buy train tickets from a machine with the same credit card.

Our hotel told us that they had notified Hotels.com of the credit card issue and cancellation before our arrival. They even showed me a printout of the email. However, Hotels.com never notified us of the credit card problem, nor the cancellation. The hotel had only one night available, so we had to find another hotel at the last minute for the three remaining nights.

We called the Hotels.com number in France, and the agent stated that they had the cancellation in their system. But after speaking with several representatives, Hotels.com refused to put us in another hotel at the same rate.
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A perfect Paris vacation foiled by a flagging flap — what can I do?

It was supposed to be a special trip for Alana Pitts and her father to celebrate his birthday in Paris. They’d made reservations at the Hilton Arc De Triomphe hotel in Paris back in June, using his HHonors points, and selected a special room on the executive floor with two queen-size beds.
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Murphy’s unfortunate stay in an AirBNB apartment

You know Murphy’s Law — “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”? Well, Eric Schwartzman had one of those experiences when he rented an apartment from AirBNB recently.

Before I get into his story, I should mention that Schwartzman is a fellow journalist who was referred to me by another colleague. I help a lot of journalists off the record, but it rarely gets to this level.

And what level is this? Schwartzman is unhappy with the way AirBNB handled a difficult stay in Paris with his family, and is disappointed by the reaction from the company’s management when he questioned its policies.
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