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 Ubud, (Bali), Pune, (India), Manchester, (United Kingdom), Menton, (France), Bangkok, (Thailand) and Sydney, (Australia) what follows are this issue's top twelve travelling tips. Enjoy, everybody.
1. WONDERFUL SPA TREATMENTS IN UBUD, BALI -- writes Amit in Ubud, Bali -- Ever so slightly off the beaten track in the center of Ubud (Bali), Narasoma Body Spa offers a sanctuary of quiet and calm. A short walk down a lane (Gang Beji) off Monkey Forest Road leads you to the reception desk, where you can book a massage or another of their plentiful treatments. While waiting for your appointment, treat yourself to a dip in the pool, or luxuriate on a reclining rattan chair while you're surrounded by lush palm trees and a gurgling stream below. The 1-hour Salt Foot Bath and Foot Massage is heavenly, and will set you back less than USD$10; while a natural body scrub - Sweet Almond, Coconut or, the Balinese specialty called Boreh - added to your deep tissue massage will bring the total to less than USD$20. After your treatment, a cup of fragrant ginger tea will leave you feeling rejuvenated - enough to resume your shopping or head out to a walk among the rice paddies. Ah-h-h-h ...
EDITOR'S NOTE: I think you will enjoy reading, 'She Comes of Age' in Bali. Click!
2. A TIP FOR MUSEUM DOCENTS -- writes Molly in San Antonio, USA -- This tip is for all Journey Women who are also museum docents in their own city. If you have a docent badge from a museum with your photo on it and valid date, take it with you to New York City. Show it at the "members desk" at any museum and you will get free admission for yourself and often for a guest. This can be quite a time and money saver. I've used my badge from the San Antonio Museum of Art many times and have never had to pay admission fees. Thanks for all the great newsletters!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's 10 museums we think you will enjoy visiting. Click!
3. A LOVELY HOTEL IN LIMA, PERU -- writes Christine in Vancouver, Canada -- I'd like to recommend Casa Inca Boutique Hotel to other JourneyWoman readers. The hotel was small and one of the nicest I have ever stayed in anywhere in the world. The staff were awesome and I felt safe there. I had a single room on the upper level that was done up with a spa feeling to it - all white linens and excellent bath products (worth taking home!) The room was airy and comfy and just a luxury after a day of touring. The classic room, at this time, should be about $89.00US per night (they accept both US and local currency) and included breakfast (eggs, baked goods, fruit, coffee, juices) There was also a mini bar in the room (prices in US) and nothing is better than a nice glass of wine on the terrace at the end of the evening! Location is excellent, calle Comandante O Donovan 115 Miraflore, Lima Peru.
4. BEST EMPANADAS IN NEW YORK CITY -- writes Debra in Toronto, Canada -- Empanada Mama's in Hell's Kitchen makes the best Columbian empanadas. Order two as your main and one as dessert. I adore the Viagra (seafood) and the Cuban (pork), but the Figs, Caramel and Cheese with Vanilla Ice Cream is my all-time fave. Their guacamole is served with vertically sliced plantain chips. Visit: http://www.empmamanyc.com/
EDITOR'S NOTE: Do you have a tip about travel in New York City? We welcome them. Just send to firstname.lastname@example.org and that will make us very happy.
5. ACCOMMODATION AND BIRDING IN MINDO, EQUADOR -- writes Maria from Ottawa, Canada -- If you will be visiting Mindo, I'd like to recommend The Yellow House. It has a variety of rooms, including a hostel. I stayed in the Caimito (with separate, but private kitchen) for under $20 a night. Julia Patinio is a local bird guide affiliated with the lodging, and I can also recommend her services. P.S. At their website there is a link that connects to a list of birds that one visitor was able to see just from the balcony of The Yellow House.
6. A PARIS HOTEL RECOMMENDATION -- writes Marlys in Menton, France -- This is my review of Hotel Avenir (across from metro station Anvers) I will use a 5-star rating - 5 is best and 1 is least. 1. Location: 5 stars. 2. Price per night for 2 people w/ 2 single beds at 58 euros: 5 stars 3. Size of room (really tiny): 3 stars (but we've seen same sized room for 5x more the price) 4. Hygiene: a. Bathroom/toilet: 5 stars (which means it's clean and shows no signs of mould. b. Floor (carpeted): 2.5 stars (I don't feel comfortable walking barefoot on it.) c. Bed sheets clean/mattress comfy (checked for signs of bedbugs, nil): 5 stars 5. Hotel decor over all (from reception to the room) 3 stars. Very basic. No effort for aesthetics. 6. Amenities: 3.5 stars. No fridge (and on hot days you would want a fridge to have cold water at hand.); no hooks for towels, no free shower cap, no soap holder in shower cabin, no body lotions, no hair conditioner. Come prepared. 7. Internet: 5 stars free and fast Summary: If it's just a place to sleep you want you can't go wrong with this hotel. If you want more, you will have to pay more. I hope this review helps other women traveling to Paris. Address: 39 Boulevard de Rochechouart, 75009 Paris, France Phone:+33 1 48 78 21 37
7. TREKKING IN SICILY FOR GEOLOGY JUNKIES -- writes Mei in Manchester, United Kingdom -- For the adventurous JourneyWomen heading to Sicily and wanting to try their hand at exploring and trekking up Mt. Etna, I highly recommend Sicily Wild Trekking. They offer full-day and overnight treks at very reasonable prices, and the guides are amiable and knowledgeable geologists (fluent in English) who love their island - and it shows. I was really impressed with the level of geology details offered to us. You can contact them at: email@example.com, or by phone: +39 345 6171 552.
8. SUSHI IN BARCELONA -- writes Jodi in Bangkok, Thailand -- When I visited Spain, my first meal in Barcelona wasn't tapas and it wasn't paella: it was sushi. I was craving salmon sashimi, and nothing would stop me from finding it. Luckily, SushiYa2 was nearby and they had a huge sashimi plate for 10 Euros, as well as a mixed salmon and tuna version for a few euros more. The staff were well-versed with celiac disease and had special gluten-free soy sauce kept aside for customers. The sashimi was fresh and delicious. For those without any eating restrictions, the restaurant has a good value lunch combo menu, with both bento boxes and donburi bowls on offer. They come with miso soup, salad, and the main meal. Open daily, 1:00pm-11:30pm Address: Carrer del Cometa, 3 P.S. Here's a guide to Barcelona restaurants highlighting choices for those Journey Women who deal with celiac disease.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's much, much more about Barcelona. Click!
9. GET YOUR LAUNDRY DONE EASILY -- writes Leonie in Sydney, Australia -- This is a very simple tip but it can be very helpful for budget travellers. I always put three wire coat hangers and six plastic clothes pegs in my luggage when I travel. They weigh nothing, take up no space and are great for hanging washing if there is no clothes line included in your bathroom.
10. CIRCUS SCHOOL IN BALI -- writes Yakuta in Pune, India -- My name is Yakuta and I am a 28 yr old wedding planner from india. I enjoy traveling. Reading travel blogs gives one hands on experience from other people's experience. Its a great way to connect and know how people travel the globe. I thought I would suggest something that you could include in your tips about Bali. Currently I am traveling here and I am taking a class at the Bali circus. It's a small but very professional and unique set up in Canggu. I stumbled upon it while I was looking for things to do in Bali. I suggest you visit their website balicircus.com. They teach aerial acrobats, juggling, hula hoop etc. I just finished a hand stand class with them and I am in awe of them. What a great way to spend your holiday!
11. BIG SPLURGE IN MERIDA, MEXICO -- writes Elizabeth in Hingham, USA -- I travelled to Mexico with my sister. Our hotel in Merida, the Boutique Casa Lecande, is quite a special place with only seven room available. From the exterior it is pretty nondescript. But when you open the big wooden doors and enter the salon, you find yourself in what used to be a private hacienda. All the rooms are beautifully tiled with 20 foot ceilings, wooden beams, original tile clay floors and wooden fans hanging from the ceilings. There's a reception room, an elegant bar, a dining room, the kitchen and three bedrooms. All of these rooms open onto the common areas which consist of six glorious spaces open to the outdoors. Our open space was a living room with sofas. We loved being located in this section across from all these wonderful common areas. When we came back to the hotel after a day of sightseeing, we always had the place to ourselves. It felt like our own very well-staffed hacienda. For photos, rates and more information see: http://www.casalecanda.com
12. RESEARCH TAXI COMPANIES AT YOUR DESTINATION -- writes Sarah in Wichita, USA -- I always walk or use public transportation in my travels, but after being stranded three miles from my hotel after a late night ballet performance, I now research taxi companies for my destination cities before my trip and put the phone numbers into my cell. In an emergency or if I just get tired, I can make a quick call instead of hoping for a successful Google search on the side of the road. P.S. That night, without emergency numbers I walked the three miles, boldly and with authority, and saw a side of San Diego not on the usual tourist maps.
A CHARMING NOTE AND TIP FROM A U.K. READER
Evelyn, I wonder if sometimes I take Journeywoman for granted -- writes Andrea in South Oxfordshire, England -- I read your newsletter each month and receive so many wonderful ideas, tips and travel ideas yet I forget to give some back. Usually the information is not right at hand, but aha ... it is now ... so here you go and thank you for being there and congratulations on your wonderful success.
ANDREA'S TIP -- My recommendation is about a bookstore called Daunt Books in London (Marylebone High Street). I used to live in Leamington Spa so I came into Marylebone train station (also worth a visit, as the station is stunning and the flower shop is overwhelming) and would walk Marylebone High Street over to my dentist on Harley Street or down to Oxford Street. Daunt Books has introduced me to some amazing new authors that the likes of 'mainstream' bookstores would not even consider, or would bury them amongst the thousands of easier sellers. I can spend hours in this shop. The staff are all very helpful and really know their stuff especially when you are looking for something specific. P.S. Their lovely display of books forces you to touch and pick them up so leave a lot of time for your visit. Address: 83/84 Marylebone High Street London W1U 4QX
EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks so much for your tip, Andrea. It's because JW members like you share their travel knowledge with us that we can still afford to offer everything free of charge to our Network. Journeywoman is like a co-op of sorts -- everybody offers to share their individual bit of experience and then all the thousands of us continue to stay informed.
PAST LINKS -- If you didn't read 'Best Tips for October' CLICK HERE or 'Best Tips for September' CLICK HERE
HUGE THANKS to each and every travelling woman who sent us their travel tips this October. It was one of the most varied collections to date with 50% received from women travellers living outside North America. You are all absolutely wonderful and I am a lucky editor, indeed.
For oodles of more travel tips