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 Sydney (Australia), Sulmona (Italy) Tel Aviv (Israel), Florence (Italy), Melbourne, (Australia), Wellington (New Zealand) and Salinas (Ecuador) what follows are this issue's top twelve travelling tips. Enjoy, everybody.
1. RENTAL APARTMENT IN PARIS -- writes Sue in Melbourne, Australia -- I'd like to recommend Rosemary Allan's apartment in Paris. It's in the 9th arrondissement, tucked away in a local area just down the street from the Moulin Rouge and the way up to Montmartre. It is well served by public transport with buses outside the door and two nearby Metro stations. It is beautifully furnished, very well equipped, has excellent wifi, a phone enabling free landline calls to many countries including the US and Australia, and a thick folder of travel brochures. Despite all the busy life of Paris outside the door, the apartment was very quiet and no extraneous noise is allowed in the evenings and early morning. Rosemary was happy to provide information, advice and company as we wanted it, always responsive to our requests but also leaving us free to get on and enjoy Paris by ourselves. She is a thoroughly charming hostess. The apartment is very secure as you enter through the street door with a key code and then the building with another code, and the apartment with a key which deadlocks the door so there is no risk of intruders! Website: www.52clichy.com P.S. Rosemary also has a room available for bed and breakfast in her own apartment upstairs.
2. INTRODUCING SULMONA IN THE ITALIAN PROVINCE OF ABRUZZO -- writes Linda in Sulmona, Italy -- I am a new part-time resident of this city just two hours east of Rome. I think it's fantastic here, a gem of a place that is largely undiscovered by North Americans. I can recommend accommodations like Hotel Ovidius and Airbnb Casa del Cuore that provide friendly, local, reliable experiences. And be sure to try restaurants like Da Gino and Il Vecchio Muro. One regional specialty that Il Vecchio Muro does exceptionally well is Cacio e Pepe: a spaghetti dish cooked only with grated local pecorino (sheep) cheese, salt and pepper. And this is sheep country: the lamb dishes everywhere are fantastico! Give Sulmona, with its 13th century acqueduct running through it, a try. And here's a P.S. Another good place to stay? My apartment, Casa Linda: www.airbnb.com/rooms/5859500
3. SMALL NEIGHBOURHOOD HOTEL IN TEL AVIV -- writes Evelyn in Toronto, Canada -- I just spent two nights at the small (ish) family owned, 3-star Hotel Gilgal in Tel Aviv. It's located on a small, interesting street just five minutes from the Mediterranean Sea. The rooms are well appointed and spotless. Bathrooms are modern and efficient. Guests enjoy free WIFI and special beach towels are handed out at reception should you plan a day at the beach. Full and filling Israeli breakfasts are served in their rooftop restaurant and best of all there is a lovely, welcoming casual ambiance about this whole place. I loved their complimentary tea and coffee station situated in the ground floor lounge. Home baked cookies were always available. Bonus: It is a 10 minute walk to the Carmel Market and two minutes from a sweet café at the corner. Highly recommended. Tell them Journeywoman sent you:) Website: HotelGilgal.com
4. EAT AT MUSEUM CAFES IN VENICE -- writes Virginia in Sydney, Australia -- One of the best tips my two teenage sons and I were given was by a lovely Canadian couple in Venice. They told us to always eat in the museum cafés in Venice and we did just that. Thanks to this great advice we sat in the Doges Palace Museum Café, saved on table charges, and watched (via a doorway to the canal beyond) a fascinating assortment of gondolas floating by. As we continued our travels, we ate in museum cafés in Vienna as well. They were generally a source of simple but delicious, well priced fare.
5. VOLUNTEER IN INDIA -- writes Debbie in San Ramon, USA -- I volunteered for one week with Lha Charitable Trust in McLeod Ganj, India. This well-run organization supports Tibetan refugees. I tutored two Tibetan women in English in the mornings and participated in conversational English classes with larger groups in the afternoons. It was an incredible experience and I learned so much about Tibetan culture from the people I met. Plus I can't imagine a more committed group of learners. By the second day, people I had met in the classes were saying hello to me when I walked down the street in McLeod Ganj. Read about Lha volunteer opportunities here: www.lhasocialwork.org
6. WHAT TO WEAR IN ITALY -- writes Lisa in Florence, Italy -- First and foremost about proper dress is to not offend, and in Italy, skin is not shown a lot. Shoulders and knees need to be covered to duck into churches, and it is the acceptable wear of women in general. I have found dresses, skirts and great walking boots are so comfortable, give enough coverage, and keep you looking put together. Also, women in Italy do not leave the house without being "dressed"...no flip flops, sweats, or sloppy wear of any kind here. It doesn't have to be over the top (because I certainly can't compete with the designer wear fashionistas!), but your appearance will make a difference in your experience. You may want to argue if that's fair or not, but that is an absolute in Italy! Appearance counts. I wear a lot of black, interchanging pieces, always keep a light sweater in my purse, and let the scarves accent and change up the outfits. Loud patterns and bright colors are not seen on women...maybe teenagers, but not older than that. Keep it classic, and classy!
7. SAVE NOTE PADS FROM HOTELS -- writes Lorraine in Wellington, New Zealand -- Lots of women who travel save the shampoo and soaps from their hotel stays and offer them to charities that collect and regift them. I suggest that you save the note pad and pens left for your use in your hotel room. I give these to the village children I meet when travelling in Cambodia and they seem to like them and make good use of them.
8. GREAT HOTEL IN QUITO -- writes Kathy in Salinas, Ecuador -- If you are visiting Quito, Ecuador on your way to the Amazon Region or the Galapagos Islands I would like to recommend Hotel Antinea, a darling boutique hotel (where English is spoken). It is locally owned, located in the center of the city on a quiet tree-lined lane, a short distance to buses and the ecovia trollies. The Antinea offers quiet rooms with charming patios and a hearty breakfast served in the quaint dining room is included. A fire is usually crackling in the lobby. Wifi is accessible in all the rooms. A single room rate is approximately 71. Ask to see several rooms; they are all different. Room 11 has a private patio and is exceptional. Website: www.hotelantinea.com
9. DO ONLINE RESEARCH AND SAVE MONEY IN CANADA AND U.S. -- writes Shari in Fairview, USA -- Well in advance of your North American trip, sign up for e-mails from daily deal sites such as Groupon.com (U.S. and Canada) and Livingsocial.com (U.S.). Temporarily subscribe to the cities you are going to visit for deals on lodging, attractions. activities and restaurants. I have saved money on everything from hotels and meals to kayak rentals and theatre performances. There's no harm in trying, is there?
10. MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- writes Karen in Victoria, Canada -- My favourite restaurant spot is is the Tibetan Kitchen located at 680 Broughton Street. The female chef here cooks both Tibetan and Indian dishes and all I've tried are excellent. Check out their menu right here. Good to know she uses ground cashews to thicken her sauces so it is suitable for dairy intolerant eaters. All soups created from scratch; no soup bases or canned items are used. Website: www.tibetankitchen.com/
11. MIDTOWN MANHATTAN BOUTIQUE HOTEL -- writes Leslie in Etobicoke, Canada -- The Refinery Hotel hosts the most sought after hidden gem of a bar in its exclusive rooftop terrace. Check out the up close and personal view of the Empire State Building (only two blocks away) while sipping fancy cocktails and eating light bites. Opens at 4pm daily. Get there early or call to book a table in advance as it's a real draw for hipsters and hotel guests alike. And be sure to consider staying at the hotel itself (a rebuild of an old hat factory), which is both hip and charming with more than decent sized rooms. Be sure to say hello to manager Albert on your way in. As a frequent guest, every time I stay there I'm greeted with a "welcome home Miss Leslie" and a complimentary bottle of wine or cupcakes. Heavenly luxurious splurge. 63W 38th Street between 5th and 6th. Website: www.refineryhotelnewyork.com
12. EAT WITH LOCALS AROUND THE WORLD -- writes Andrea in Tel Aviv, Israel -- EatWith is a global community of passionate home cooks that create unique and authentic dining experiences around a communal table. Originated in Tel Aviv, this platform lists alternative dining experiences with incredibly creative cooks. Eat gourmet and creative meals here in the homes of Tel Avivians or other cities you travel to. Expect to be super full, so make sure you wear stretch pants...and expect the alcohol to be flowing. But note: you will need to register for these meals in advance - not for the spontaneously inclined. Website: EatWith.com
PAST LINKS -- If you didn't read 'Best Tips for April' CLICK HERE or 'Best Tips for May' CLICK HERE.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Now that you've read everybody else's tips, do you have a bit of advice or a recommendation you'd like to share? Don't put it off, please. Send your juicy tip to firstname.lastname@example.org right now before you become distracted. Put 'Juicy Tip 2015' in the subject line. We're counting on you, ladies!
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