If you're heading to Paris and you want to see a little more than just the usual tourist fare, Richard Nahem is your guy. He runs Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which aims to show visitors a more authentic side of the city -- from medieval castles to great shopping to award-winning pastries.
Richard was kind enough to share his answers to some of our burning questions about travel.
TA: Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
Richard: I am an ex-New Yorker living in Paris and re-invented myself when I moved here in 2005. I was a chef and caterer in NYC and I am now a personal tour guide, blogger, travel writer and photographer. I lead personalized, private tours of Paris showing clients the unexpected, off the beaten path Paris they don't typically find on their own.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Richard: My first to trip to Europe was a class trip when I was 16. Been hooked mostly on Europe and USA ever since, but have traveled to Bali, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Richard: I specialize in giving neighborhood tours showing more of the local culture than the usual tourist spots.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken? (Where did you go and why did you love it?)
Richard: My first trip to Europe when I was 20 years old. I traveled for almost a month to Amsterdam, London, Paris and south of France. I fell in love with Paris so much that I moved here in 2005.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Richard: Buenos Aires.
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Richard: A book or my kindle.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Richard: Try not to over-plan too many activities in one destination. For instance, if you come to Paris and miss the Louvre, it will be there on your next trip.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
Richard: Afar Magazine, The New York Times travel section, CN traveler, Travel & Leisure.
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Richard: Turkey. The currency rate is very favorable against the US dollar.
TA: What is your best money-saving tip when dealing with airlines?
Richard: When planning a trip, always get the earliest flight possible and the latest flight returning, so you have the most of the day on both ends. Even if the airfare is more , it's still cheaper than having to spend the money for an extra night.
TA: What's a travel scam travelers should be wary of? And if you've ever had someone try to pull a scam on you while traveling, please share the story!
Richard: Be careful of people asking you if you speak English at tourist sites. They usually want to get money off of you. In Paris, there are groups of young, dark-skinned Romanian teenagers going around with clip boards pretending they are deaf and asking tourists to sign the petition, so that they can distract you and pickpocket you.