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 California, (USA), Mussoorie, (India), Kfar Sold, (Israel), Toronto, (Canada), Berlin, (Germany) and Melbourne, (Australia) what follows are this issue's top twelve travelling tips. Enjoy, everybody.
1. SHOPPING STREET IN LONDON -- writes Danielle in London, England -- I recommend the smallish Broadway Market in London. It's a shopping street nestled in the heart of Hackney, East London that offers a mixture of interesting cultures and tastes. Believe it or not it has been in that spot since the 1890's. You can find it between Regent's Canal and London Fields There are independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes and of course stalls offering amazing fresh produce, authentic street food, the most original clothing, arts and crafts in London. All crammed into a little East End street between the Regent's Canal and London Fields. The Street & Schoolyard Markets are open 9am - 5pm every Saturday, shops, bars and restaurants are open all week.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's another five markets to explore when you are in London. Click!
2. DOES A CITY PASS MAKE SENSE? -- writes Wendy in California, USA -- Before I visit a city, I check to see if there is a museum pass (or city pass) available and then I check to see what it covers. If there are several places I want to visit, it makes sense to purchase one as I can avoid the ticket lines. I either purchase it ahead of time, if I can, or at the airport's travel information counter. Since it isn't activated until my first use, I'm ready to go and don't need to stand in any lines. Saves time (and hopefully money) in so many ways.
3. VOLUNTEER AS YOU TRAVEL -- writes Sally in Lavelle, USA -- Last year I spent three weeks in England helping a strong and independent farmer woman in the Yorkshire Dales with her 33 animals and also her holiday house. It was a connection made through workaway.info. It offered good hard work in exchange for room and board, a working holiday, and an opportunity for cultural immersion. After a good deal of solo traveling, it was a great pleasure to be in community, working to help a good woman, and participating in the daily life of someone of an entirely different culture and history. I built coal fires every night, walked up the rainy road on Friday nights to the Fish and Chip mobile (that has come for just 15 minutes to each little hamlet along the valley every Friday night for 45 years), bought homemade jam at the church choosing from about 30 flavors, not one the same. I fed newborn lambs, got attacked from behind by naughty geese, and was drenched to the skin hiking in winter in the Dales. Now that's what I call being a JourneyWoman!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Read 'He's a Volunteer and He Plays With Babies in Thailand.' It will touch your heart and make your smile.' Click!
4. TRAVELLING WITH TODDLERS IN MALAYSIA -- writes Darcey in Mussoorie, India -- I travelled to Kuala Lumpur with a 19 month old toddler and have a few tips about that for other JourneyMoms and Grandmoms. (1) People in Malaysia are thrilled to have children around. Most restaurants, including even some of the street markets, will have high chairs/baby chairs available. (2) Don't hesitate to ask - if the shop doesn't have one, they sometimes will go grab one from a neighboring establishment (3) Some of the waitstaff, hotel, restaurant or other service staff may ask to take pictures with your child (especially the closer to blonde-haired, blue-eyed they are). This is not intended as an insult, but a way to capture a moment with this cute tiny tourist that came into their lives one day. You can say "no" and your request will be respected. (4) Keep your toddler hydrated! We often forget, as adults, the importance of being hydrated while traveling -- we can't afford to forget that when it comes to the tiny ones, and on a recent trip to Malaysia, our toddler neglected to inform us when she was thirsty. We had to set an alarm on our phones to remind us to offer her drinks every hour, because she would get so caught up in playing or seeing things that she wouldn't ask us for anything. P.S. That's not a bad thing for adults to do as well to remind themselves to hydrate during the day.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Written by a guy with impeccable taste, this is a great shopping article to read if you are heading to Kuala, Lumpur. Click!
5. PACK A HANKIE FOR INDIA -- writes Marci in Los Angeles, USA -- On a recent trip to India, we discovered the great value of traveling with an absorbent handkerchief or two. While most bathrooms have a place to wash hands, they rarely have paper towels, or any other type of towel that you'd want to use. Our hankies came in so handy. We also found great comfort in carrying a lot of liquid hand sanitizer. I hooked my bottle onto my pack with a clamp and had it available at all times. Use it, use it, use it!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Read 'She Packs For India'. Very helpful, practical information. Click!
6. WOMAN-FRIENDLY GUEST HOUSE IN LISBON, PORTUGAL -- writes Egle in Kfar Sold, Israel -- I would like to recommend Pensão Rosinha Art Gallery House1 to other Journeywoman readers. The owners are a young couple, Camila from Brazil and Paulo from Portugal. They are both artists so the rooms are well decorated and their work is hung around the house. Paulo is also a chef and twice a week for only 15 euros you can take part in a goumet dinner that begins in the kitchen and ends with plenty of wine around the dining room table. It's a lovely way to meet the other guests and have a wonderful communal experience. Pensão Rosinha Art Gallery House1 is located just in the Barrio Alto near the famous 28 tram that takes you to all the tourism places. Address: Rua Da Quintinha, N°54, Misericordia, 1200-367 Lisbon, Portugal P.S. There's free WIFI. P.P.S While in Lisbon I also recommend that you take a free walking tour with a local. It is a special experience. Website: freewalkingtoursbylocals.com/lisbon/lisbon-free-walking-tours.
7. WHICH GLASSES SUIT THE SITUATION? -- writes Maria in Ottawa, Canada -- I travel with mirrored and non-mirrored sunglasses. I use the mirrored ones if travelling through the bazaar and don't want the shop owners to know I am just 'window shopping' or when I just don't want to be approached. I have bright blue eyes and that Canadian direct look which is often a detriment for a solo woman traveller. I wear the regular ones when I need them for the sun, but want to be more approchable or to have more social interactions. I fully remove them when I want to really converse with a person -- many cultures rely a lot on eye contact and body language for 'reading' another and it presents a more open and engaged interaction. I hope others find this tip helpful.
8. A SUNSET TREAT IN BALI -- writes Amit in Ubud, Bali -- Waeni's sits atop a cliff in Bunutan (east coast of Bali), overlooking glimmering waters and incoming diving boats and jukung (outrigger canoes) below. Glance over to the east and you might catch a glance of Lombok and the peak of Mt Rinjani. If you're not staying at Waeni's Bungalow's (we did not), the best time to book a seat at Waeni's Restaurant - for food and drink - is around 5 pm, when the skies light up with colors that signal the pending sunset. A truly breathtaking moment is the sight of the sun slowly slipping behind the eastern flank of Mount Gunung's volcano. Their restaurant service is prompt and surprisingly attentive. I recommend it.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Visiting Bali? Here's '25 Things to Know Before Visiting Ubud.' Click!
9. BE PREPARED WHEN BUDGET BACKPACKING -- writes Merry in Berlin, Germany -- In some really basic places in Asia there's only a bed provided, no sheets. I took care of this by travelling with a twin duvet cover that I bought at Ikea. It was simple to launder along with my clothes and with a duvet cover I had both a bottom sheet and a top sheet in one. Very clever:)
EDITOR'S NOTE: For 36 Gal Backpackers' Tips, Click!
10. LONG LAYOVER IN TORONTO PEARSON AIRPORT? -- writes Irene in Toronto, Canada -- Be an urban explorer. First free yourself by storing your carryon bags at the airport Samsonite store. Then grab an UP Union Pearson Express that will take you right downtown for up to six hours of shopping, sightseeing and meandering. Get back in time to catch the next portion of your flight. Fee: Canadian $27.50 for the Long Layover return ticket.
11. ENJOY FRENCH THEATRE IN PARIS -- writes Bonnie in Chicago, USA -- I've travelled to Paris many times and I'm always looking for new experiences. Here's something I enjoyed very much. I attended a French play along with an audience composed mostly of French people. You don't speak French? That's not a problem. Just as at opera performances there are English subtitles displayed on a screen. Check out Theatre in Paris. Currently there are five plays to choose from in five different theaters around Paris. Someone from the theatre meets with you before the play and gives you some history of the theatre and answers questions and then takes you to your seat. You can easily order tickets online in English and download the ticket at home before you go. Enjoy, everybody!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Read what a Paris local has to say about living in her city. Click!
12. CAROLS ON CHRISTMAS EVE IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA -- writes Elane in Melbourne, Australia -- Melbourne hosts a wonderful Carols by Candlelight each Christmas Eve - of course it's the start of summer down-under so it can be a warm or cool evening. Held in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, it attracts thousands of people and supports the charity, 'Vision Australia.' People of all ages bring picnics and sit on rugs or chairs, singing along to beautiful carols and waving their candles. A very special evening! Further information is at carols.visionaustralia.org.
PAST LINKS -- If you didn't read 'Best Tips for November' CLICK HERE or 'Best Tips for October' CLICK HERE
For oodles of more travel tips