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Women Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets 2008...


Where to shop in Dubai...

Dubai is the United Arab Emirates's shopping center. Its 40+ shopping malls are filled with the latest in designer labels, luxury goods, and arts and crafts. The famous Gold Souk and most major shopping centers and top hotels have numerous shops offering gold and jewelry. If you're interested in carpets, arts, and crafts, a trip to the Blue Souk in Sharjah should be on your list. The Dubai Mall (world's largest in 2008) boasts 1,200 shops and 120 food and beverage outlets. P.S. You'll find good selections of spices and teas in various hypermarkets.

Ron and Caryl Krannich are the authors of 'Treasures and Pleasures of Dubai', Abu Dhabi, Oman, and Yemen: Best of the Best in Travel and Shopping. Website: www.ishoparoundtheworld.com

 

Pack light, light, light...

Saving space and weight in a suitcase these days is pretty important. I can get along with one pair of sock liners and two pairs of black socks even for long journeys. I wash the sock liners every night and they are dry in the morning, something clean and moisture-wicking on my feet every day. I wait until I have at least two days in one hotel before I wash a pair of socks. They take longer to dry. As for panties, if you can't afford the expensive fast-drying ones you can get along with two pairs and a dozen or so panty liners. I use one fresh panty liner a day and can replenish my supply most anywhere in the world. That means I only need to wash panties a few times a week.

Ruth Lor Malloy is the author of Beijing guide and travel writer/photographer. Website: www.china-travel-guide.com.

 

I never bothered with medical evacuation insurance until...

Whether traveling to a foreign country or skiing locally, I highly recommend having 'medvac' insurance. The word, 'medvac' typically refers to a team that is organized with the skills for the purpose of proper medical evacuation in situations of emergency. i.e. http://www.medjet.com. I never bothered with this particular type of insurance. I always thought I’d just be able to get to the closest hospital if I needed to until I nearly lost my life in a devastating bus accident on a remote jungle road in Laos. Luckily I was eventually driven to Thailand, but when you’re that injured you just want to get home right away. My brother flew over and maxed out five credit cards, to get me out of there. It was $25,000 out of pocket just for the plane flight.

Alison Wright has traveled the world working as a photojournalist and has recently published a book chronicling her devastating accident and recovery, 'Learning to Breathe,' by Penguin publications. For more info visit http://www.alisonwright.com.

 

How to get an audience with the Pope...

An audience with the Pope is my most vivid memory of Rome. Every Wednesday morning, the huge circle St. John’s Square in Vatican City is packed with 5,000 pilgrims. The Audience is not a church service, but felt more like a cross between a pep rally and a convention. A choir sang, the Pope rode in to wild cheering, and young priests from various countries translated his greetings and blessings. Women don’t have to cover their heads, but a simple kerchief or small hat is respectful and keeps the hot sun off. Wear conservative clothing, and carry water and snacks. Start arranging your tickets at least 2 weeks before your trip. Check the Got a Question? link at: http://www.stpetersbasilica.org/

Floridian Sandy Huff is an internationally published travel and outdoor writer, with over 1100 published articles in 120+ publications. Her book 'Paddler's Guide to the Sunshine State' covers 236 waterways around Florida, with tips on how to survive and thrive despite wind, sunburn, cross currents, and even alligators.

 

A special gift from the road...

My area of expertise is in RVing (recreational vehicles) but this tip will work from anywhere and everywhere and it's fun for everybody involved. For the traveling grandma who wants to send a gift to her grandchild, try wrapping your present in special wrapping paper. By that I mean wrap it in a map of the area (free at any tourist kiosk) and pinpoint exactly where you are on the map along with a little note giving the history or the geography or a special fact about the place. Put it all in a brown bubble envelope and mail. The kids absolutely love it and never forget where it came from! P.S. I travel with a bunch of these envelopes -- three for $1.00 at local Dollar Stores.

Joei Carlton Hossack is a solo RVer, the author of seven adventure travel books, a regular contributor to magazines (RV Times) and on-line zines and anthologies. She is a travel writing teacher and speaker. Her website is: www.joeicarlton.com

 

Tears can work when all else fails...

I hate to recommend that women rely on their perceived fragility or weakness to get by, but in my experience, occasions arise when this is the most effective approach. There is just something about a lonely foreign woman crying that opens the doors, wallets, and hearts of the people of this planet. It is how I got all of my critical documents replaced in Istanbul in record time, without penalty or rush fees. (Read Tears From Turkey for details.) It is how my friend Daphne evaded costly traffic violations across Africa and literally stopped a departing airplane in Angola. Use only as a last reserve, but if you're going to do it -- go full throttle. If you're trying to avoid an exorbitant fine, jail sentence, or getting thrown off the Trans-Siberian train in the middle of the night for not having your papers in order (which happens….), think: Oscar. Drop to your knees. Convulse. Make such a scene, passersby get involved. If the situation is truly critical, consider fainting (but only if you've gotten enough sympathetic people involved that your oppressor/ bureaucrat can't just toss your body off the train!).

Stephanie Elizondo Griest is the author of 100 Places Every Woman Should Go, website: www.aroundthebloc.com.

 

Bonus Book Box #2
Fodor's Green Travel

Green Travel is the must-have guide to the world's best eco-lodges & earth-friendly hotels around the world. Featuring 100 environmentally responsible accommodations that are nature friendly and work to support local communities, Green Travel celebrates the growing availability of green travel experiences. Also included is the practical information on getting to your destination (and the best time to go there) as well as social and environmental ratings for each listing.

Published by www.Fodors.com ISBN: 978-1-4000-0753-0

 

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