skipping the queue | what's it worth?

from commons.wikipedia.com, photo owned by the Saeima Chancellery and used by permission

Here's a long line winding around the corner in Saeima, Latvia. Why so many people in queue? They've come for the Night of Museums, an annual event held across Europe. The following equation describes the phenomenon we're seeing here...

free admission = lots o' people = long queues

... which brings up a question I just responded to on fodors.com: "Just wondering if it is worth buying skip the queue tickets for Versailles." My short answer: Yes!!! Read on for my long answer...

Life is short... Thus begins the provocative headline on a recent advertisement I saw, but I disagree with the ad's conclusion: "Life is short: you should be playing the world's finest golf equipment!" NOT!!! Life is a gift, I would say, so make the most of the time with which you've been blessed!

This is especially true of travel. Say France is on your bucket list, and visiting Paris and touring Versailles are something you've been looking forward to for years. So you plan your trip, spending thousands of dollars on flights and hotels. What that nets you is time in Franceyou've essentially bought 3 or 5 or 7 days to explore Paris and to experience all it has to offer.

So how do you want to invest your precious time? You could spend hours of your vacation waiting in queue: an hour in line at the Louvre, an hour at the Musée d'Orsay, another hour at Versailles. That time adds up, and you will have squandered that most precious of resources, your leisure time. If 5€ could buy you an extra hour to sit outside a café, sip your cafe au lait, and watch as Paris walks by your table — wouldn't that be worth it?

So, yes, skip every queue you possibly can. Buy your tickets in advance. Get the Paris Museum Pass that gets you right in. Ask your travel advisor about engaging expert guides who can help you experience so much more while making much more efficient use of your time. (And while we're on the subject of queues, get Global Entry and TSA pre-check to avoid those lines as well — the best $100 you can ever spend).

copyright (c) 2017 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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