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 Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Matfield East (Australia), Kampala (Uganda), and London (England) what follows are this issue's top twelve travelling tips. Enjoy, everybody!
1. BRING HOME A FREE TRAVEL MEMORY -- writes Vivienne in London, England -- I suggest that nothing can be cheaper than this idea to provide a momento of countries and places you have visited. On each journey I pick up a stone and write the year and the name of the place where I found it. After much travelling, I have a large container of stones of all shapes and sizes from all over the world. My grandchildren can select one and ask for a story about its origin. At no intrinsic cost this provides a lesson for the young ones and a trip down memory lane for me. In all, the experience is priceless.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Need more ideas? Read, 'Travel Souvenirs Bring Back Memories.' Click!
2. DINNER INVITATION TO A SAUDI HOME -- writes Maren in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia -- I thought this information might come in handy for Journey Women visiting a Saudi home. Wondering what to bring as a gift? A box of chocolates is always appropriate. Saudis love chocolate and every town has at least one street full of chocolate and sweets shops. Saudis, themselves, give dates to one another, but foreigners do not. Depending on the occasion, men and women may be divided into separate rooms. There will be sofas and chairs and coffee tables set against the walls and the guest is expected to go around the room saying hello to each person. The same is done when departing; a casual general goodbye at the door is not done as in the United States. Bahour or incense will be passed around and you fan the scent towards you. You will be offered Arabic coffee in little cups. Saudi Arabic coffee is a beige color, strong in flavor (with cardamom) and bitter. It is impolite not to accept at least one cup. After the first cup, you may say 'bes' and shake your cup for no more. Tea in a thermos will be offered after the coffee and will be poured into tiny glasses. Sometimes sugar will already be added (Saudis like their tea very sweet) and sometimes it will on the side. Small sweets will also be offered. When dinner is served, it may be at a table or offered 'traditional' on a covered floor. All dishes are served at the same time, there are no courses as in Western cuisine. A traditional meal will consist of sambussa, several salads and a rice/lamb dish such as kabsa (pieces of lamb cooked in rice) and, perhaps, jereesh (a wheat dish, a bit like oatmeal) plus other side dishes. You may leave the table as soon as you are done eating and not wait for others to finish.It is not considered impolite. Dessert will be served back in the sitting room, and will consist of Arabic pastries and or a cake. Tea will be served again, too. I hope this explanation helps.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Read how one traveller mistook a funeral in South East Asia for a party. Click!
3. A HIDDEN GEM IN ANTIBES, FRANCE -- writes Patricia in Toronto, Canada -- Hotel Le Relais du Postillon has 16 rooms completely renovated, all equipped with shower, hair dryer, safe-deposit box, WC, telephone, TV, air conditioning and Wifi. During high season, the rates range from 65 Euros to 149 Euros depending on the room. Front (south) facing rooms have the best view. Don't be put off by the 2-star designation. The service, setting, and ambiance are excellent. I would not stay anywhere else in this delightful town.
4. BED AND BREAKFAST IN CASCAIS, PORTUGAL -- writes Eleanor in New Westminster, Canada -- I just wanted to pop in and recommend a great B&B, the Pergola House in the town of Cascais, Portugal. We stayed here for four nights. The accommodations were wonderful. One of the best places for single women to stay at. The front gate is secure and you cannot get in unless you buzz and someone will greet you at the door. This is an old mansion with marble stairs and it's full of antiques. It is still owned by the original family and has great staff and service as if the family were still living there. They take care of all your needs. The breakfasts are full and plentiful, with lots of choices. Everything is fresh. The town of Cascais is right at your door, you walk left to the beach or the train station which takes you directly into Lisbon in 40 minutes. Go to the right and find lots of shops and souvenir stores to browse in. I would love to go back and just relax and walk that town again. Such a lovely way to relax and still get your exercise in. Click here for more information.
5. THE PLEASURES OF MEANDERING -- writes Lois in Vancouver, Canada -- When I travel, to really get the feel of a place I try to stay there a minimum of three days. Each morning I set out on foot with my guidebook tucked safely in my daypack. I move around the town or city serendipitously, ducking along interesting streets, visiting public buildings, gardens and museums as I run across them. Then at lunchtime, I find a congenial place to eat, and only then take out my guidebook and figure out where I am and how to get back to where I started. In this way I see things I might not have read about, but I still don't miss out on important landmarks and sights. I urge you to give it a try, yourself!
6. GLUTEN FREE AND DAIRY FREE IN LONDON, ENGLAND -- writes Anna Marie in Kampala, Uganda -- As someone who, by necessity, must eat gluten and dairy free, I am always looking for places that provide 'safe food' at an affordable price. Pret a Manger has branches everywhere in London and to my utter delight provided decent coffee and choices that were safe and convenient. They offer breakfast, light meals or simply, snacks. I appreciated the fact that this restaurant chain labels their food and everything I have eaten there has been fresh and 'reaction free' which for me is a bonus every single time. Website: www.pret.com/en-us
7. VISIT THE HOME OF MYSTERY WRITER, AGATHA CHRISTIE IN DEVON, ENGLAND -- writes Laura in Victoria, Canada -- If you find yourself in Devon, England, a visit to Greenway, Agatha Christie's holiday home, is well worthwhile. Ms Christie set three of her mysteries here. An enjoyable day's outing is to take the steam train from Paignton to Greenway Halt, walk through the field and on the path to Greenway, self-tour the house, walk the paths through the gardens and trees of the property and have a picnic on the lawn overlooking the River Dart. P.S. Wear appropriate shoes - the paths can sometimes be a bit muddy. Review these three sites to help plan your day. (1) www.englishriviera.co.uk/agathachristie/things-to-do/national-trust-greenway-p1205523, (2) www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway and (3) www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/tours/greenway-halt.
8. CULTURALLY CORRECT CLOTHING IN IRAN -- writes Marsha in New York City, USA -- I recently travelled to Iran and this is what I learned about culturally correctness. Women have to have their head, hair, and neck covered. Infinity scarves (about $3 in the shops) work well. Don't buy silk because it slides off your hair. Go into a scarf shop and ask them for a tube like triangle that is a convenient all in one head, neck and shoulder cover (they will show you how it works). For everything else, long and loose--long (not 3/4) sleeves, tunics, jackets or shirts that fall mid-thigh, and ankle length skirts and full pants. Most women are dressed all in black, but blue, gray and brown are fine too. No sandals--shoes and socks are appropriate. Makeup and jewelry are OK. Big cities are a little more lenient, it is generally OK to show a little hair at your temple. And, remember, you must be dressed appropriately when you get off the plane.
9. ITALY CAN BE A BARGAIN IN THE OFF SEASON -- writes Anne in Georgetown, Canada -- Based on my own experience I suggest you travel to Ravello, Italy in the off season. From November to the end of March, Hotel Parsifal offers a week long 'Active Package' for four or more people that is not only economical but a lot of fun. Attend Italian language classes, enjoy cooking lessons, take a guided tour of the village, hike the hills and visit famous local villas and gardens. The package includes some meals, comfortable accommodation, and the all important pick up and drop off at the airport or train station. Staying at this hotel was like visiting foreign cousins that you'd never met. When our luggage went astray on Good Friday Antonio, the proprietor, knew exactly where we could buy new underwear!
10. BUDGET SHOPPING IN JERUSALEM, ISRAEL -- writes Giovanna in St George Brant, Canada -- I'd like to add my cheap travel tip to your list. For inexpensive shopping I recommend Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, Israel. The bargain stores are amazing if you are interested in Israeli jewelry. A necklace pendant can be purchased for approximately $US2.00. At the beauty stores it's not uncommon to find a 100 ml jar of good hand cream for about $US1.50. Not only are the prices amazing but it is such a fun shopping experience. I have been to Israel four times and hope to go again. As soon as I arrive in Jerusalem and unpack I head for Ben Yehuda St. and all the little streets that veer off from it. It's the perfect place to buy your small gifts for friends back home.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Most visitors to Israel also spend a few days in Tel Aviv. Here's some shopping advice for that city, too. Click!
11. A RESTAURANT FAVORITE IN BUDAPEST, HUNGARY -- writes Linda in Chicago, USA -- One of my favorite restaurants in Budapest is Borkonyha WineKitchen where an appetizer, main dish and dessert runs about 10,000 HUF ($36 USD). I know that is not particularly cheap but it is a real bargain for a Michelin-star restaurant. If you enjoy wine, their list has 200 Hungarian wines to choose from. Like fois gras dishes? They offer those, too. Not only is the food delicious, but it is also so beautifully plated, it's almost too pretty to eat.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the perfect time to suggest the article, 'How Not to Gain Weight as you Travel.' Click!
12. MY CHOICE FOR SPECIFIC CHEAP AND CHEERFUL EATS IN LONDON'S MARKETS -- writes Claudia in Los Angeles, USA -- Street markets are a great way to find cheap eats throughout London. I especially recommend Whitecross Street Market in the Islington neighborhood of London. Both food stalls and food trucks serve quality cheap eats. Two of my favorites are the traditional British fare at the Eat my Pies stall and the freshly made burritos from the Luardo's food truck. I also suggest the international street food market on Golborne Road at the end of Portobello Road in an area known as Little Morocco. The Moroccan fish and chips stall is fabulous. Open Monday thru Saturday. Give these a try, ladies!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's a lot more advice about the 'Top Five Markets in London.' Click!
PLEASE OFFER A TRAVEL TIP AND HELP US CELEBRATE OUR UPCOMING FALL ISSUE -- September is our anniversary month. To mark this milestone let's make this issue an extra special one. Submit a bit of travel advice that you know other members of our network will find helpful. Hotels, museums, books, restaurants, hostels, guides, shops. There are so many categories to choose from that sending your tip our way should be very easy. Put 'Happy Anniversary 2016' in the subject line, and email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, everybody.
PAST LINKS -- or 'Best Tips for May' CLICK HERE or 'Best Tips for April' CLICK HERE
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