veniceFile this one under the “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” category.  Executive International runs two “Crack of Noon” tours for travelers who want the perks of an organized bus trip (low-stress, knowledgeable guides, little planning) without the breakneck pace and pre-dawn wake-up calls of traditional coach packages. Last fall’s inaugural visit to Italy (with stops in Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Bologna, Modena, and Venice) was so popular that the California-based company launched a “Crack of Noon France” option that will tour Paris, Provence, Aix-en-Provence, and the French Riviera this fall. The 12 and 11-night trips, respectively, cap out at 24 people and focus on mixing up scheduled tourist activities with local eats, delicious drinks, and, of course, a solid night’s rest (the earliest wake-up call for either tour is 8:45 a.m.). The best promise of all: You’ll never hear the phrase “Bags out by 6 a.m.” again. Hurry, though. Booking ends June 30, and only two trips are scheduled this fall (France, Sept. 22 – Oct. 3, and Italy, Oct. 6 – 18). 

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