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Women Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets 2006

Uniting expat women of the world...

Expatclic is an international web portal for all expatriate women of the world! In English, French and Italian, but soon also in Spanish and German, Expatclic is a virtual space where women living abroad can meet, compare experiences, exchange information, seek advice and inform about their hosting countries' cultures. Managed by language teams made up by expat women all over the world, Expatclic faces all aspects of life abroad - culture shock, countries presentations, moving with children, culture, creativity abroad, and much more. Website:, email: or

Claudia is an Italian living in Peru and one of the creators of the website,

You'll love this spot in Barbados...

For one of the most spectacular views in Barbados, head to Naniki Restaurant. High on a hill overlooking rolling woodlands, with breakers crashing on the Atlantic shore beyond, it offers a wonderful alternative to the island’s beachfront restaurants. Even on a hot day, there’s usually a cool breeze. The menu features authentic Caribbean dishes--don't miss the spicy pepperpot stew. The restaurant is expanding to include holiday cottages and a spa, so come before the crowds discover this gem. As of April 2006, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily; also Sunday brunch. Suriname, St. Joseph, (246) 433-1300. Website:

Laura Byrne Paquet is a Canadian freelance travel writer and author. Website:

Just ten rooms in Florence...

Ideally located for the Accademia, where a newly-restored David awaits you, the Morandi alla Crocetta hotel at 10, Via Laura in Florence, is a rare find. Just ten rooms, and an established reputation mean that advanced reservations are essential, though. Stairs lead to the reception area on the first floor, where all the rooms are located. Three overlook the courtyard, while the rest are on the street. All are double-glazed, however, so there is no problem with road noise. Each of the rooms is furnished in a different style. Two have terraces, while Room 29 has a frescoed wall. Some of the bathrooms might be described as a little compact. There is no night porter. If you go out, you take the keys with you. A very civilized way of behaving, if you ask me. Prices are 110 euro a night (about $US134) for a single, and 177 euro for a double, including tax, but excluding breakfast. For more info, contact 055 2344747/fax: 055 2480954/ Email: Website:

Roberta Kedzierski -- is a Freelance journalist, living in Florence, Milan, Website: &

She brings wine home safely...

Traveling to a wonderful wine region, it’s a foregone conclusion that the maximum quantity of vino Customs will allow (two bottles for Canada) will find its way into my luggage. For that reason I never leave home without packing materials for the return trip - a pair of airline tube socks, two thin sheets of bubble wrap, two plastic grocery bags and enough tape to seal it up. This way, my wine bottles are safe in a carry-on or even in a checked bag if wrapped further in soft clothing and packed so tightly in the middle of the bag they can’t move.

Anna Hobbs is a Toronto Star columnist and an Ontario freelance journalist with a passion for wine.

Walk, walk, walk...

Take a walking tour. The best way to see the most interesting sights and get to know any city, including your home town, is on your own two feet. If you take to the streets and walk, you’ll discover things you’d never notice from a car or a bus. You can choose to simply wander around neighborhoods that interest you, take a self-guided walking tour following a map and directions, or sign on for an organized tour with a guide to lead the way. I vote for guided tours, although there is usually a fee, because you’ll get the most information in the most digestible form. Check the tourist office to ask what’s available. For example, San Francisco has tours of Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Park, among others; in New York you can find a tour through every neighborhood in town such as the Lower East Side, Harlem, Greenwich Village; in Chicago, try an architectural tour of the early skyscrapers or an exploration of The Loop downtown.

Joan Heilman lives in New York State and is the author of 'Unbelievably Good Deals & Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're over 50' (McGraw-Hill)

Keep your luggage safe on the bus...

Backpacking through South America for six months, I spent many long, bumpy hours travelling by local bus. I kept hearing stories from other travellers of thefts on board while passengers were asleep, so I bought a cheap chain and key rings from a local hardware store. Although it¹s fiddly having to string the zipper tabs through the key rings every time you want to open or close your daypack, it¹s a great way to stop someone from pilfering your belongings. I used the chain to attach the bag to my chair frame and always made sure it was on my lap or at my feet (never on the shelf overhead). I don¹t know whether it was this simple precaution (or just the kindness of my fellow passengers) but over more than fifty bus rides, I wasn¹t robbed once.

P.S. My travel essentials are: zip-lock bags (for packing), a sarong (as a towel, sheet, shawl and skirt) and charcoal grey eyeliner (for painting the town red).

Nicolette Linton is the Senior Editor of ELLE Canada magazine.

Go. To. Newfoundland. Now!...

Go to Newfoundland, Canada. Now. It is stunningly beautiful, with fjords, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and an area with the highest density of moose in the world. The people are great, it is cheap and safe, and there is culture oozing out of every person on the island. Meeting one of the toughest, smartest, nicest women in tourism, Barb Genge, owner of Tuckamore Lodge ( alone is worth the trip. And, while there, go to Labrador: stark, touching, real. Go. Now. Before all the Europeans tourists -- who seem to know better than fellow Canucks (Canadians) -- completely colonize it.

Cleo Paskal is a Travel Columnist, Toronto Star. Website:

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