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Women Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets 2008...

Tour with an historian in Victoria, Canada...

When visiting Victoria, B.C., take a tour with historian and author, John Adams. Casual, knowledgeable, and humorous, John's Discover the Past tours are worth every penny. Gold fever struck Victoria in the 1800's. In 1858 the arrival of Chinese immigrants heralded the beginning of what has become the oldest Chinatown in North America. Re-live this fascinating historical drama delivered by a charmingly Shakespearian teller of tales.

We also joined the evening Ghost Walk, which whet my appetite to sup with the Dinner Ghosts at some of the spooky eateries for, in John's words, "a unique evening of ghostly lore and paranormal presentations". Obviously more than BC politicians lurk in this province's capital city. John Adams' tours can be found on-line at

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis is the Managing Editor, Cloverdale Reporter News. Website:


Whistle when you’re in trouble...

As a single traveler who walks slowly, I’m probably a mugger’s dream victim. So I wear a brightly colored plastic whistle on a cord around my neck. Twice when I was being hassled by young men, once in Ecuador, once in Luxor, and after repeatedly asking them to SHOO! I blew my whistle long and loud. The eyes of everyone around us turned in our direction, and the ruffians slunk off quickly.

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.


Shopping for unique souvenirs...

When I want to buy a special souvenir or gift, I always visit museum and art gallery gift shops. In my home city of Toronto, for example, I found classy ceramic plates, vases and teapots at The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. The new ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) Store is a treasure-trove of gifts from around the world, for all budgets, while ROM Kids Store sells fun and educational toys.

Barb Kroll co-publishes the trip-planning website, KrollTravel, with her husband, Ron.


Choosing the right spa for you...

When it comes to spas, it's now a buyers market but keep in mind that you can't spa 24 hours a day so look for what's beyond the spa walls. Consider the style of accommodations (hotel, resort, inn, B & B - spas are everywhere ). Ask yourself if your culinary preference runs to light, healthy spa cuisine, gourmet cuisine or something more family-style. Does the spa have a fully-equipped gym or offer fitness classes such as yoga or Pilates? Would optional outdoor activities - hiking, golf, cycling, kayaking, for instance - enhance the holiday? Would side trips to attend a food/wine festival, indulge in a little retail therapy or mingle with local artisans help give you a greater sense of well-being? Remember it's not just about the spa but about the total spa experience.

International spa industry journalist Anne Dimon is also founder/editor of


Six tips from a travel pro...

These are several very simple bits of advice that always come in handy for me and my family.

1. Take half as many clothes and twice as much money as you think you'll need: this old saw turns out to be both reliable and true. Also, leave room on your credit card for all the unexpected expenses you are bound to incur.

2. Upset stomach? Whether caused by rich or just different foods, try drinking a Coke. I never drink the stuff here in North America, but in Europe it tastes different with stomach-soothing qualities.

3. Trust your instincts. Just because you've met someone from 'home,' doesn't mean you have to become instant pals; if alarm bells are dinging-this guy's a bigot, for instance, or this woman is totally inebriated--listen. Back away. Say goodnight.

4. Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile. That old song really works - at customs especially. Don't challenge officials here or at security. My son arrived in London not knowing the address of the friends' where he was staying (they were picking him up) but by smiling and being polite, sailed through with just a tiny sarcastic remark from Heathrow Customs.

5. In Paris, never change metro stations at Chatelet. C'est un couchmar (It's a nightmare!).

6. Send postcards: even in this email age, a picture and note and a foreign stamp capture the moment and touches our hearts.

Nancy Wigston is a Canadian travel writer, photographer and reviewer. Website:


See city sites with a running tour...

One of the hot, exciting ways to see the sights when you visit a new city is with a running tour. Two companies I tried and recommend are Quebec Jogging Tours (offering tours of Quebec City and next spring, Montreal) and City Running Tours with operations in New York, Chicago, Washington (D.C.) San Diego (Cal.), and Austin (Tx). Both provide licensed guides, pick you up at your hotel, and will customize according to speed, distance and interest.

Anne Dimon is a Spa & Wellness Travel Writer, the founder/editor of, the e-magazine for the wellness-minded traveler.


Women run the world...

This is a new website member of the Journeywoman Network of classified advertisers. The site helps women travelers find running partners. The uses private Google Groups for message boards and also lists group runs in several destinations that visitors can join, so you don't have to run alone when you are traveling! Join your local WRW group today and show visitors what you love about your city! Website:

Evelyn Hannon is the editor of


Bonus Book Box #3
100 Places Every Woman Should Go

Discover the world's best places for women. Seeking the tranquility of a Buddist meditation center? The raucousness of a rumba club? 100 Places Every Woman Should Go will not only inspire but compel you to hit the road -- in a group. with a friend or solo. Divided into sections such as 'Powerful Women and Their Places in History.' 'Places of Indulgence,' and 'Places of Adventure,' this guidebook includes contact information, resources, and recommended reading. Its 'Ten Tips for Wandering Women' features safety advice and pointers on how to stop departing airplanes and avoid getting tossed off trans-Siberian trains.

Author: Stephanie Elizondo Griest. Publisher: Travelers Tales Website:


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