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Women Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets 2008...

Evelyn Hannon

Publishing this annual 'female writers travel secret article' is one of my most enjoyable assignments. It provides me with the lovely opportunity to reconnect with female writers at home in Canada and internationally. These are the lovely women I've chatted with by phone, by email, and often, face to face. They are the friends who, over the years, have kindly chosen to interview me and who've helped to spread the word about or to write about travel from a woman's point of view, themselves. Most importantly they are my community -- the women I go to to learn about the latest travel trends and to exchange bits of advice that help to make us all better writers. I'm extremely grateful to all these journalists for their women-centered wisdom and their generosity of spirit. Enjoy everybody!


Splurging on hotels could save you money...

Too many solo women travelers book the least expensive hotel rooms. After all, why should they spend money when they’re on the road? The reason is simple and this "splurge” generally saves money. Reserve a room on the executive floor. Some of the advantages of this upgraded status are: extra personalized service, free breakfast, free sodas and non-alcoholic beverages during the day and usually (if not always) a free cocktail period accompanied by appetizers. Don’t be surprised if you’re offered champagne, smoked salmon and so many hot and cold selections that it takes real self-control not to eat everything. I’m embarrassed to admit I often eat more than my fair share of edible goodies and call it dinner. Most importantly, you won’t feel such a sense of isolation. For women traveling alone, it’s nice to be able to join a conversation or simply read in the lounge.

Karen Fawcett lives in Paris, France, she blogs at and is the President of Bonjour Paris.


Eco conscious London eateries...

I can recommend Leon's, a chain of eight London eateries, eco-conscious and delicious. How about a sweet potato falafel for under five British Pounds? Leo's offers meat dishes as well, many with a Morrocan flavours, and no one can beat locations that include Oxford & Regents Streets, The Strand, and the perhaps best - just behind the Tate Modern. Website:

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


Wear skirts with tailored front pockets...

When I travel, especially for African travel, I like to wear full skirts (printed ones are fun) with tailored front pockets made like men's back pockets. I select the skirts I'll pack and send them out to a tailor with my specifications. In one front pocket, I pack a pocket knife (a simple Barlow knife rather than a Swiss Army knife is fine) and a bandana (handy for multiple uses). In the other pocket, I toss items such as my camera or perhaps sunglasses, or small notebook. I wear my essentials (money and passport) in a pouch around my neck, tucked in my bodice, African-style. What I love about skirts, is that they never are not the wrong thing to wear and are enormously versatile. Even in these days of wider acceptance of slacks, locals in villages often enjoy seeing a woman in a skirt and respond a tad more warmly and openly to a skirted woman. Peeing standing up in a skirt is a definte plus, even on pit stops with no brush cover.

Janet Grace Riehl is a poet, blogger, and Afrophile. You can read her work and join in the discussion at dedicated to creating connections through the arts and across cultures.


Dining delight in Chicago, USA

'I'd like to recommend Tempo restaurant to all your Journeywoman readers. Solo travelers have a unique advantage at this popular Gold Coast restaurant. We can bypass the long lines for tables and sit with other singles at the counter. Breakfast is the specialty and I highly recommend the spinach and feta omelet as the best I’ve had anywhere. Address: 6 East Chestnut (at State Street) Tel: 312-943-4373.

Sharon Wingler is a travel writing international flight attendant.


Photos of kids as you travel...

I love photographing children as I move around the world. One thing I learned is that it's a mistake to shoot your photo from adult eye-level. Get down to their level by kneeling. This way you don't seem so large and frightening to the youngsters. You also get a much better shot of their sweet little faces by shooting 'up' rather than 'down' on them.

Evelyn Hannon is the editor of


Delicious spa choices in Toronto, Canada...

Considering a spa treatment in Toronto? Several of the city’s pricier spas can end up seeming like a bargain when you factor in access to ultra-relaxing facilities. At the Stillwater Spa in the Park Hyatt Hotel (, for example, even a simple manicure includes use of the women-only whirlpool and sauna. After your treatment, you can let your nails dry in a private dressing-room cubby equipped with a reclining seat and its own television. Massages, facials and body treatments at the Elmwood Spa ( include admission to the Water Therapy suite of swimming pool, whirlpool, steam rooms and poolside lounge. Leave yourself plenty of time to indulge and you’ll leave feeling pampered and refreshed without spending a fortune.

Susan Catto, travel journalist and columnist,


Bonus Book Box #1
Be prepared for India...

A girl's guide to India, a survivor's handbook is written by Louise Wates. Inspired by other women's questions and her own travels to India over more than two decades, author and illustrator Louise Wates writes an essential A-Z, including topics such as what to pack, sexual harassment or 'Eve Teasing', the intricacies of train travel, navigating the Indian toilet system without public humiliation, and meeting the Dalai Lama.

Bright Pen book, ISBN: 978-07552-1086-2 Website:


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