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Sometimes, you plan the vacation of your dreams — cash in all your hard-earned points for the trip of a lifetime. And still, things don’t go as planned.
That’s what happened to Kovi Reichman of New Jersey, a father of two, who booked the ultimate European adventure for his family using mostly points and miles. “It was going to be magical,” he told TPG.
Reichman planned to take his wife and two daughters to visit three countries over the course of two weeks, culminating with a week in Paris for his eldest daughter’s birthday. “[She] had always wanted to go to Paris,” Reichman said. “We decided that the time had come to make that dream a reality. In preparation of our trip, we read the kids books about Paris [and] watched movies that took place in Paris,” he added.
But the family trip was horribly derailed. “We never made it to France,” Reichman explained. “At the beginning of our trip, we were involved in a serious car accident.”
Here at TPG, we believe that every family deserves the chance to redo a trip gone awry. That’s why we asked our readers to share their experiences with us — missed connections, sick kids, the time Grandma and Grandpa booked a hotel in the wrong San Jose. And from hundreds of family vacation horror stories, we selected the Reichmans for a chance to do it all again.
This summer, we’re sending Reichman and his family to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, and experience the City of Light, as they had planned years ago. We spoke to Kovi Reichman to learn more about how he plans to take advantage of the ultimate family vacation do-over. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
The Points Guy: How did your daughters react to hearing about the trip?
Kovi Reichman: Surprised, excited, “OMG, I can’t believe we are going to Paris,” happy screams and jumping up and down! It was awesome to be able to share this news with them.
What are you looking forward to most? What do you want to keep the same about your original itinerary, and what will you change?
I’m really looking forward to the chocolate croissants! But seriously, one of the things I really love about travel is the chance to see and experience new cultures and learn new things. I believe exposure to new places, people and cultures helps open your mind and makes you a more well-rounded person. This is something I really want my kids to experience. Paris is a city that has so much to offer — history, art, architecture, world-class museums and cuisine. Our plan was, and is, to hit all of the highlights: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Le Marais, Montmartre, Versailles.
One of the things I plan on doing differently this time around, is getting the kids more involved in the planning. Since they are a little bit older now, I think they will really enjoy the process and that will make the trip more enjoyable. I’m sure we will be making time for some shopping this time around, too.
What’s one thing you’re most excited about doing and seeing for the first time?
When you think about Paris, the first thing that comes to mind is the Eiffel Tower. I can’t wait to see their faces when they see the Eiffel Tower for the first time both during the day and, especially, all lit up at night.
Why do you think it’s important to give this trip a second chance?
My kids still talk about how much they wanted to go to Paris, how horrible the accident was and how sad they are that we never got the chance to finish our trip. I hope this trip will bring some closure and healing after a traumatic experience and create happy memories for our family!
Featured photo by Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon / Getty Images.
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