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Ask a vague question, and the overwhelming response will be “Get a good guide book!” Forum contributors are ever ready to advise, answer questions, and share their experiences, but they aren’t travel agents. Only you will know what’s going to work for you and your travel companions, and you will get better responses if the contributors have a background on what you are wanting in your trip.
To decide what you want to do, do some homework. A good guide book is essential, but also use TA’s resources. On a destination’s home page, you can find an abundance of information: In the green bar at the top of the page, you will have access to member hotel and restaurant reviews, and to narrow your search, use the filters on those pages. In the same bar, select the destination and “Things to Do” will be in the drop down list. This is where you will find reviews of various attractions and services. There are regional and destination home pages, and in the Cote D’Azur, look under “Cote d’Azur/French Riviera” (this is reversed on some browsers) and the specific locales. Traveler’s pictures on these pages can be particularly helpful.
For the traveler, the next thought can be “How does one piece this together?” That’s where TA contributors come in, and to get your best response, here are some things you should share:
1) The dates of your travel, the length of your stay, and the number and age range in your party. Also share any mobility issues or if you will be using strollers or carriers for young children.
2) From where are you traveling and from where will you depart? This information is helpful as contributors can often streamline your destinations and help you avoid extended “travel days.” Nice has an international airport and flying “open jaw” (into one city and out from another) may be an option.
3) Will you have a car or will you be using the region’s (excellent) public transportation system? Again, share any mobility or other issues that may affect how you get around.
4) What is the purpose for your trip: A once in a lifetime trip and you want to see a much as you can, a family trip, a romance/couples holiday, a beach-y “chill,” wine, spirits and dining, the arts, camping, a business trip, a student break, a combo of these selections or something else?
5) Tell the contributors about yourself and your interests: Do you want to visit museums, explore the region’s history, go for the nightlife, find entertainment for children, enjoy bistros and restaurants, shop, venture into the Maritime Alps, or lounge on a beach and simply rest? You may come up with additional criteria.
6) Your base is where you will you start and end your day, and it’s where you will “live” for the extent of your stay. Do you want city conveniences and direct public transportation routes, Riviera glitz, old town, "village-y," nightlife, contained resort, something inland, or someplace “beach-y?” The last criteria will vary as the natural coastline in the Cote d’Azur is “stoney” or coarse, but several towns import a sandy surface. Do you want the natural surface that is unique to the region or do you want softer sand?
7) If you are asking about lodging, will you be looking to stay in a hotel, B&B, apartment, or villa? If it’s a hotel, do you want a boutique hotel, something larger, or an international chain? Do you want a pool and other amenities? What is your budget or the level where you want to start: low (hostel), moderate or luxury? Include the places you may be considering.
8) Posters are sometimes hesitant about revealing their home locales in their profile, but this is helpful information for the contributors. Share your hometown, region or at least, your country, and it won’t go any further than that. This information helps responders tailor their responses so they can be most helpful to you.
What makes trveling to the Cote d'Azur unique is that it is a string of resorts and nearby mountain villages with easy connections via public transportation. Each town has its own personality, and the hard part is deciding “Which one?” The good news is that “which one?” applies only to your base, and you can visit the other wonderful locales through the region’s excellent train and bus service. A car is only necessary to reach some inland destinations, but though traffic and parking is sometimes tricky, a car is what some travelers will chose. Read your guide books, use TA’s resources and once you have an idea of what most appeals to you, go onto the forums for insider tips.