Compiled by Evelyn Hannon
HERE ARE THIS MONTH'S TOP 12 JOURNEYWOMAN TRAVEL TIPS -- As usual, your many female-friendly bits of advice from all over the world continue to inform, inspire and amuse. This time, from wonderful travelling women across the U.S. and Canada to those in Venice (Italy), Adelaide (South Australia), London (England), and Kfar Sold (Israel) what follows are this issue's top twelve travelling tips. Enjoy, everybody!
1. BUDGET WISE IN ICELAND -- writes Ceridwyn in Eugene, USA -- Everyone knows that Iceland is an expensive place to travel. To keep food costs down you can sample the local hot dog, the plysur, for just a few dollars. Surprisingly, they are delicious (not the mystery meat variety) especially if you order one with the spicy mustard and crispy onions. If hot dogs are not sounding good, head to a grocery store. Our favorite was the Bónus - (look for the piggy bank logo). If you are hitting the road, you can load up on all sorts of tasty snacks (my favorite was the dark chocolate dusted licorice, or lakkris) including fresh fruit and vegetables which notably are inexpensive due to geothermic greenhouses in the Hveragerđi region. Don't forget the skyr (Icelandic yogurt)--a healthy, protein-filled snack!
2. DON'T GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT YOUR UMBRELLA -- writes Deb in Vancouver, Canada - Yes, I know you have one but my advice is to buy yourself another small, light umbrella just for travel. Don't use it at home; keep it in your suitcase so it's always there when you go away. Whether to shield you from rain or wet snow or from the blazing sun in hot climates, I promise you it will always come in handy.
3. HEALTHY GREEN JUICE IN PARIS -- writes Cynthia in Denver, USA -- When you've stuffed yourself full of pastries, bread and cheese and crave freshly made green juice, Bob's your uncle. One of a group of restaurants, Bob's Juice Bar in the 10th arrondissement serves smoothies, baked goods and, oh holy of holy, green juice. Made from leafy greens like kale or spinach, their green juice will make your inner veggie sing. Also check out Bob's Kitchen and Bob's Bake Shop. Oh, and they're the Bob behind the lovely new cafe at Shakespeare and Company Bookshop. I told you Bob's your Paris uncle. Get your green on here: www.bobsjuicebar.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you'd rather be 'chocolate decadent' in Paris, click here!
4. WOMAN-FRIENDLY BUDGET HOTEL IN MOSHI, TANZANIA -- writes Liz in Spartanburg, USA -- I would like to recommend the Haria Hotel in Moshi, Tanzania. This establishment is located in the heart of Moshi. The accommodations are minimal but it is safe. And the rooftop bar and lounge area is worth it because on a clear day you can see Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance. The rooms are fitted for multiple people. I stayed in a room with two double beds across the hall from the bathroom. Other rooms have multiple bunk beds to accommodate groups. This hotel is operated by women and they know the importance of empowering women around the world. When I stayed there two years ago, they held a "festival" on the rooftop with women's groups from the area for International Women's Day March 8th. The cost per person per night is around $10. If you would like a traditional Tanzanian breakfast: Fruit, Juice, Pancakes, Bacon, Eggs, toast, this will cost you about TSH 3000 $1.37. *side note, because this hotel is located in the heart of Moshi you will hear traffic and prayers over the load speakers, if you are in a room facing the street. Not recommended for the light sleeper. Website: www.hariahotel.com
5. AWAY FROM THE CROWDS IN ITALY -- Writes Laya in Ramat Hasharon, Israel -- I spent three perfect days on the tranquil Italian island, Isola Polvese - away from cars and noise. The Fattoria Il Poggio was a lovely surprise - I paid hostel prices with good, clean, ensuite accommodation. Every evening was perfect - enjoying the delicious, home-cooked food on the verandah over-looking Lago Trasimeno; each evening watching a beautiful sunset over the lake. I walked all over the island, swam in the lake and took an interesting guided tour. The staff at Il Poggio were delightful, very friendly and helpful. 2016 prices are: Double room, private bath for 2 people - 60 euros including breakfast and towels. Single room, private bath for 1 person - 42 euros including breakfast and towels. Private apartment with kitchen for 2 people - 90 euros; 3 people - 100 euros not including breakfast. Meal including service and water - 16 euros. Website: www.fattoriaisolapolvese.com/en
EDITOR'S NOTE: Read 'She Teaches Italian Men,' a sweet story. Click!
6. FOOD TOURS IN VENICE -- Venice expert, Anne Henley reports in the Tribune -- 'Being such a tourist magnet, Venice is hopping with guides - of varying quality. Some of the best are the more specialised kind. For all things edible, I would recommend Monica Cesarato (monicacesarato.com), who offers calorific tramps through intriguing backstreets to experience traditional Venetian dishes, cakes, wines and cicheti - the local equivalent of tapas.'
EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out this archived article for more restaurants in Venice. Click!
7. HOSTEL NEAR SAN JOSE AIRPORT, COSTA RICA -- writes Eileen in Calgary Canada -- I just returned from six weeks in the mountains of Costa Rica. Beautiful people, amazing landscape and safe easy travel. For San Jose airport arrivals I recommend Laura's new hostel in la juela where the airport is located. She will pick you up at the airport for approximately $6US and take you to her lovely new spotlessly clean hostel. Delicious individually prepared breakfast is included. Laura speaks excellent English, has a wealth of information and suggestions for independent travelers. Early departures are no problem, Laura gets up and prepares breakfasts and arranges taxi to the airport. Contact: email@example.com P.S. Local and long distance buses are right there. I arranged for a rafting trip in La Fortuna and the rafting company van picked me up at the door for an extra $20US on the cost of the rafting trip. It made for easy travel on the first day.
8. BEST INDIAN FOOD IN TORONTO -- writes Marilyn in Toronto, Canada -- I'd like to recommend Bukhara Grill, a relative new addition to our city's dining scene. They serve some of the best Indian food I've had outside of India, including a number of dishes I'd never seen on an Indian menu before - including the Kashmiri naan, a deliciously crisp, thin and buttery bread enclosing a filling of fruit and nuts that I will order forever. It's clean and comfortable with white linen tablecloths and napkins, and a good selection of beers and wines. P.S. I'm told that Monday is the chef's volleyball night, so perhaps Tuesday - Sunday might be a better choice to visit. Address: 2241A Bloor Street West. Runnymede subway station.
9. PRE-THEATRE DINING TIPS IN LONDON, ENGLAND -- writes Simon in London, England -- When you sit down to eat, tell your waiter you are going to see a show. If they know their oats, they will know when the curtain goes up and when to get you out by. Just to be on the safe side, order the bill well in advance. Chances are a lot of your fellow diners will also be heading to the theatre and wanting to pay at the same time. If you are struggling to get through that bottle of wine you ordered, ask the restaurant to save it and tell them that you will come back after the show to finish it and have coffee and dessert: what a great and relaxed way to discuss the show with whoever you have gone with... and look out for cast members grabbing a late bite.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I asked Simon to give us more pre-theatre meal tips. Click!
10. CAR RENTAL TIP -- writes Anne in Waterloo, Canada -- I'm not sure whether this has been mentioned previously in a Journeywoman newsletter, but when renting a car, in addition to checking for dents or damage by previous motorists, please check the amount of gas in the tank prior to signing. We rented a vehicle in Halifax, Canada and signed on the dotted line. After about 15 minutes of driving in an unknown area, we noted that the "Buy Gas Now" warning light came on. I called the rental company and explained. Thankfully, he indicated that we could just present the fuel receipt when we returned the car. Whew! Now we take a picture of the mileage, gas gauge as well as the exterior. Just a little something to avoid hassles later.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For more car rental do and don't's, this post is very helpful. Click!
11. EXCELLENT FEMALE TRIP PLANNER AND GUIDE IN AFRICA -- writes Mari in New York City, USA -- I've just returned from three weeks in Botswana, Zimbabwe (one day to see Victoria Falls) and South Africa and can't say enough good things about Adel Hefer-Jooste who arranged the entire trip for me and another woman. Adel is smart, can work with any budget and is a lovely person. She shepherded us through Johannesburg on various connections and was our guide in the Joburg/Pretoria area. She's incredibly knowledgeable and completely at home dealing with East and South Africa. Highly recommend her. Write: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: +27 832699070
12. SWIM NAKED IN HELSINKI, FINLAND -- writes June in Adelaide, Australia -- I went to Finland last year and braved the Yrjönkatu Indoor Swimming Pool, (the oldest pool) built in 1928. Freezing cold and snowing outside and (gasp) naked women inside. Check the separate bathing times for men and women before you go and take your courage and enjoy the best of Scandinavia. Recently renovated to house three pools and wonderful saunas, there is an extremely convivial atmosphere where women meet after work and have a sauna and swim followed by a drink (served by female waiters who are clothed). Staff are also very helpful and speak English. From my cultural perspective, it was pretty confronting, but I am very glad I took my courage with me. No-one really cared about body shape or size and seemed very comfortable in their own skin. That was a valuable lesson and experience. P.S. If you choose to wear a swim suit the option is there.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Planning a trip to Finland? For many more tips, Click!
PAST LINKS -- 'Best Tips for March' CLICK HERE or 'Best Tips for February' CLICK HERE
A Call For Tips, Tips, Tips ...
Share your tips -- We always want and need your unique travel perspective. Any country, any city - hotels, hostels, little museums, restaurants, street food, what you always pack in your suitcase, great guides you've had, and other terrific ideas that work well for you. Send your 2016 contribution to email@example.com.
We're starting a new web section called DIRT CHEAP TRAVEL -- Its success will depend entirely on you and your budget tips and experiences. For this section, there are only three categories we are looking for. (1) inexpensive, safe accommodation (2) inexpensive restaurants/fast food suggestions (3) inexpensive shopping opportunities including gifts to bring home for family and friends. You all have the knowledge. Please share it with us in an email. Don't forget to list your own first name and city. Subject line: 'Dirt Cheap' and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're offering a DIRT CHEAP PRIZE -- To inspire you to share your tips we're offering a cheap but fun and funky necklace bought in the Tel Aviv Carmel Market for just $4.00. The multi-coloured stringed beads can accessorize any solid shade you wear. And, it's perfect for travel. Bonus: If it's stolen or lost there will be nary a dent in your pocketbook. One winner will be picked at random and we are ready to mail this prize anywhere in the world. Deadline for submissions April 30, 2016.
For oodles of more travel tips