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Ask Peter: Hotel Bed Bugs, Cuba Travel & More

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This week, Peter is using his “Ask Peter” column to debunk some common travel myths. He’s answering your questions and showing: you can travel directly to Cuba as an American; you can visit the South of France and eat on budget; and you can stay in a New York hotel without fearing bed bugs.

Have some travel myths you need to clear up? Then, ask Peter! The Travel Detective will be standing by to take your calls on May 1 (starting at 6pm ET) on his Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Broadcast.

You can talk to him at 1-888-88-PETER (1-888-887-3837), email,  tweet questions to @petersgreenberg (use #askPeter), or post questions on his Facebook page

This week, Peter shares his thoughts on New York’s bed bug epidemic, people-to-people trips to Cuba and having the best food experience in the South of France.

Lisa from Lansing, Michigan asked:  There’s been a lot of talk about Americans visiting Cuba lately but I’m still can’t find information on how to get there.  Is there anyway to do it if I want to book a vacation myself?  My husband and I want to book a trip sometime this year, is there anyway we can do it?

Peter Greenberg answered:  You can book it yourself. The relaxed restrictions means that almost anyone can go, but legally you’ll have to go as a group.  You can go as a part of an educational, religious, research, medical, or a people-to-people group, but it has to go along with one of the 12 organizations that have been given permission by the U.S. Treasury Department and the State Department.  One group is called Insight Cuba, I went down with them when we did our piece for CBS News.  They offer four to 10 day trips. These trips do not include a lot of lounge time on the beach, but that’s not why you’re going to Cuba. You’re going to immerse yourself in the culture and see a place before KFC gets there. And Cuba travel is growing; right now there are over 300 scheduled round trip flights every month between Miami and Havana.

For more information on Cuba travel, pick up Peter Greenberg’s  Cuba…Like a Local guide (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million) and also check out his CBS News report on how Americans can travel to Cuba.

Rita from Orlando, Florida asked: My boyfriend and I are taking a trip to Cannes, and it’s our fist time in the south of France. We’re so excited, but want to ensure that we’ll have the best food experience.  Where should we eat to get the most authentic Southern France experience?

Peter responded: First and foremost, bring your wallet because it won’t be cheap.  There are tons of restaurants that will set you back a lot so the trick is to get away from the beach and go into side alleys where you’ll find great little bistros that will be just fine for you.  Also, be warned that if you go somewhere for dinner at 7 or 8 PM then you’re really early, you’ll have to arrive around 10 to truly immerse yourself with the locals.

Here are my two picks. Go to Le Park 45, which is a pretty cool place with a nice young chef and a three course menu that will probably set you back 30 euros. It’s about $40 a person, but that’s cheap in Cannes.  I also happen to like simple food. It’s a relatively expensive sandwich, but I’m going to tell you to go to the Intercontinental Hotel to their beach restaurant, which is right on the shore and order a grilled cheese sandwich or you could even have a croquet monsieur.  I’ve never had a better grilled cheese sandwich in my life. It’s about $14 but it’s worth it! And of course you order that with the appropriate amount of french fries.

For more information, check out Suzy Gershman’s Postcard from Monte Carlo.