Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets 2008...
Three tips from a British
Keep soap in the string bag that was originally used with laundry
tablets. You can shower using it as an exfoliator and then hang
it up to dry so you don't have mushy soap in your backpack.
When travelling in a country where you don't speak the language,
keep photos of essentials on your digital camera so if you need
directions you can show people what you are looking for.
The humble hot water bottle can be an essential addition to your
luggage. Taking up little room and adding barely any weight to
your luggage, it is easily carried and the benefits far outweigh
any inconvenience in taking one. On a cold night a hot water bottle
makes sleeping a lot easier. On a hot day, fill it with cold water
and it can offer temporary relief against the endless heat.
Louise Wates is author of A Girls'
guide to India, a survivor's handbook published July 2008. Website:
Carry helpful notes when
sure to carry the name and address of your hotel with you when
you leave the premises, so you can show it to the taxi driver
or perhaps to a policeman or passerby if you need directions.
This is especially important in foreign countries because you
may not pronounce the name correctly or, if you're traveling a
lot with many changes of hotels, you may not even remember what
it is. By the way, the older you get, the more likely that can
happen. For the same reasons, before you set forth into an unfamiliar
city, write down the name, address and telephone number of your
destination -- the restaurant, museum, whatever---and put it in
your pocket. And hey, while I'm at it, don't forget to make a
note of where you've parked the car. I once mislaid my car in
Washington, D.C., and spent a frightening and frantic hour searching
Joan Rattner Heilman is the author
of Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures that you Absolutely
Can't Get Unless You're Over 50, 2009-2010, McGraw-Hill, $16.95.
This is the 18th annual edition of this bestselling guidebook
for 50-plus travelers.
Go to a spa with someone
my Journeywoman writer's tip for 2008. If you're a female planning
a spa getaway - whether for a day or a longer stay - go with someone
you love. Mother, sister, daughter or best friend will 'notch
up' the experience immensely.
Anna Hobbs is a Toronto Star columnist
and an Ontario freelance journalist with a passion for wine.
Guess where you’re
going for dinner?
wanted to break bread with the locals in a foreign city, but were
unsure how to meet them? Contact Amsterdam-based company Like-a-Local
and 'invite yourself over for dinner' in a private home in one
of several European cities, including Madrid, Amsterdam and Lisbon.
You’ll spend the evening enjoying a home-cooked meal. You
can also arrange to meet locals for a typical meal in a restaurant.
Expect to pay about €40 per person. Similar services include
the fledgling Dine with Locals (www.dinewithlocals.com),
with hosts in several cities in Europe and North America, and
Home Food (www.homefood.it),
where you can sign up for dinners in private homes in Bologna,
Ottawa-based travel writer Laura Byrne Paquet
shares other tips on “travelling like a local” at
her website, www.LaVidaLocal.com.
Seek out the local library...
to get some work done away from the noise of a bustling hotel
lobby or café? Try the local library. An added advantage
in addition to the usual Internet service -- there are English
newspapers, clean washrooms and friendly, informative staff who
are happy to answer questions about their city/town. You'll generally
find benches or comfy chairs for cosy reading and sometimes books
or magazines in English that tell you what's on in town. Even
if the magazine racks offer only information in Swedish, Italian,
Chinese, etc., the photos in these local publications will still
undoubtedly give you a lot of valuable information about the place
you're in. Head for the library, ladies!
Kate Pocock is a Toronto-based
family travel writer and photographer, and teacher at Ontario's
Fleming College. Website: http://www.familytravelink.com
Tips for travel journaling...
you want to keep a travel journal but tend to have difficulty
keeping one going, before setting off, assign yourself a project.
Make it your goal, for instance, to publish at least one brief
extract from your journal in a magazine (Transitions Abroad is
always a good bet) or on a Web site (Journeywoman.com or Vagablogging.com).
Even a letter to the editor or a post on a popular travel blog
will suffice to inspire you to write. If you're artistic, you
might promise to paint a watercolor for your nieces and nephews
in each town or country you visit. If you're a photographer, volunteer
with your local library or elementary school to give a slide show
upon your return—this will force you to keep notes to accompany
Lavina Spalding is a San Francisco
professional freelance writer and editor. She is the author of
"Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing
Traveler" (Travelers' Tales, Spring 2009). Website: www.laviniaspalding.com
Pile all your travel clothes
on your bed...
mean it -- ALL on your bed. One of the tricks to packing wisely
is to put everything you plan to take with you on your bed before
you start putting it into your suitcase. This helps you to eyeball
the towering pile of 'stuff' you want to take versus the size
of your suitcase. Now you're forced to make some tough decisions.
Plus if you have to weed something out, you don’t have to
dig into the bottom of your neat piles to remove it. Finally,
pack everything that's left on your bed all in just one go. Bon
Martha Chapman is Global Television
(Ontario) Morning News resident travel expert.
Galeries Lafayette wine
& champagne tastings...
Grand Magasin is now offering wine and champagne tastings. Fun,
hour-long sessions led by expert sommeliers include a comprehensive
explanation and tasting of three different wines (or champagnes),
3 cheeses and 3 breads, for only 20 euros. Representatives from
the wineries are often on hand to explain their offerings. A memorable
experience! Make a reservation in advance by calling 01.40.23.52.31.
Held every Thursday (wine) and Friday (champagne) at 5:30 PM in
Le Chêne Vert, behind La Bibliotheque Des Vins in Lafayette
Gourmet (on your left-hand side immediately after getting off
the escalator for the Gourmet store).
Karen Henrich runs her tour company
NuitBlanche Tours and
is the author of Practical Paris, Everything
You Need to Know About Paris But Didn't Know to Ask. Also
featured prominently in National Geographic's Best Girlfriends
See New York with a local...
a slice of New York City you might miss unless you were lucky
enough to have a friend or relative in town. The Big Apple Greeter
program provides visitors with a free volunteer free guide for
a two to four-hour informal, unscripted walk through his or her
favorite areas of the city. This is a great opportunity if you're
traveling alone and want to make a personal connection. You’ll
meet your guide at a predetermined spot and go by public transportation
to explore pockets of the city that reflect New York’s cultural
and ethnic diversity. Greeters can welcome visitors in 22 lanuages,
and there’s a no tipping policy.
Carol Pucci is a travel writer
for The Seattle Times. Website: www.seattletimes.com
Water buffalo roam Vancouver
minutes north of Victoria on Vancouver Island, there is a Shangri-la
with the warmest average annual temperature in Canada. The fertile
35-mile-long Cowichan Valley deserves its nickname, Canada’s
Provence. About mid-valley sits Fairburn
Farm Culinary Retreat and Guesthouse, a period-renovated 100-year-old
house surrounded by a tranquil farm hosting the country’s
only herd of gentle, steel-gray water buffalo. Breakfasts are
laced with smooth, healthy water buffalo yogurt and cheese, served
up by world-renowned Slow Food pioneer, Mara Jernigan. She is
not only your hostess but also a chef worth shadowing. Sold out
months in advance, Mara offers Saturday cooking classes in the
spacious guesthouse kitchen where participants go from picking
ingredients out of the one-acre organic garden to preparing several
dishes and enjoying a bang-up meal. Several times a year, she
also offers five-day culinary boot camps that make creative, fun
vacations for the truly committed gourmands.
Alison Gardner is a Canadian travel journalist,
editor of Travel with a Challenge website: www.travelwithachallenge.com.
Finally, always look
out for other women...
out for other females when you travel. Return The Good Sister
Karma. Spread the love. Be nice to female travelers you encounter
at home, and try to help out your local sisters abroad. Make it
a point to support female artisans, vendors, tour guides, and
taxi drivers wherever you wander. Your money will almost certainly
go where it is needed most.
Stephanie Elizondo Griest is the
author of 100 Places Every Woman Should Go, website: www.aroundthebloc.com.
Bonus Book Box #8
China for Businesswomen...
by Tracey Wilen-Daugenti this is a smart practical guide for any
woman who does business -- and needs to suceeed -- in China. A
western businesswoman in China confronts all the obstacles her
male counterparts do. But the challenges in China for a woman
on business are unique. In addition to covering crucial business-related
protocals, this book also provides essential insights for women
only: how to make sure your authority is recognized, how to avoid
social awkwardness, how to rise above traditional gender-based
distinctions to lead your team, and a whole lot more.
Publisher: Stonebridge Press ISBN 978-1-933330-28-0
Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets 2007
Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets 2006
Travel Writers Share Personal Tips 2005