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 Amed, (Bali), Kuala Lampur, (Malaysia) and Singapore, (island city state) what follows are this issue's top twelve travelling tips. Enjoy, everybody.
1. FANTASTIC FRIES IN REYKJAVIK, ICELAND -- writes Margaret in Hamilton, Canada -- Yes, Iceland is a magical place and yes, Iceland can be pricey. However, I found an economical treat called, Reykjavik Chips. These are homemade chips (french fries) cooked while you wait and then offered with eight different choices of sauce. And these are not just dipping sauce. These chips are served in a large cardboard cone with a layer of sauce (mine was Hari Kari -chili mayo) then a layer of chips, sauce, more chips, sauce, more chips. One order all washed down with a cold Viking lager made my dinner tasty and a delicious bargain. Check these taste treats out at www.reykjavikchips.is (10 Vitastig Street)
2. A LAUNDERETTE IN ATHENS, GREECE -- writes Sally in Watkinsville, USA -- Traveling for several months from spring through fall, I need to do laundry on a regular basis. Hotel laundry service is usually terrible expensive so I went online and luckily found the Athens Launderette. It's located centrally near the Acropolis Museum at 3A Veikou Street, Makryianni, GR 117-42. There are four washing machines and four dryers, all very clean, in a small room with a couple of chairs and a table. Best of all, it's located beside a back-packers hotel that gets rave reviews, and between (1) a cafe where I got a superb omelet for breakfast and fresh orange juice and (2) a sports bar where wifi is free and so is the soap powder for your washer. Fine, kind, diligent staff and interactions with other travelers made this a fun morning doing laundry. As a result, my one washer and two dryer run cost 9 Euro and breakfast was just 6.50. Who knew!
3. EXCELLENT GUESTHOUSE IN AMED, BALI -- writes Amit in Bali -- Amed is a long coastal strip of fishing villages in East Bali. On a recent stay I found GaneshAmed Guesthouse a low- to mid-range price option. Expect six rooms tucked into a patch of trees and flowers along the coast, with the best rooms (#1 and #2) facing directly onto the beach. A small swimming pool and a pair of tables set right on the sand add a distinctive flavor to the ambience. The staff is friendly and helpful; Wayan might even offer to grill the catch of the day supplied by fishermen who, after a night's expedition out at sea, pull into a nearby bay each morning. The rest of the food served at the restaurant is very tasty as well. If you plan on a visit to Bali, be sure to save this tip.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For another 25 Juicy Things to Know Before Visiting Bali, click here.
4. A RECOMMENDED RESTAURANT IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MEXICO -- writes Marilyn in Montreal, Canada -- The name of the restaurant I want to tell other members about is Cumpano no IL, their address is Correo, 29, Colonia Centro. This place is similar to a French Bistro. Me and my girlfriend each ordered one different appetizer plate and shared both of them. Our choices were duck tacos which were delicious and an eggplant dish that also was fabulous. Each dish was about $10 and the portions were more than ample. There is also a full menu and one can order hamburgers, tuna steak, salmon, ribs, etc. These main plates are in the $20 range. We returned there often for a tasty and economical shared lunch.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Want to know what fun thing editor, Evelyn Hannon did in San Miguel? Click here.
5. WOMEN'S DORM ON PENANG ISLAND -- writes Tan Choon Hoon in Kuala Lampur -- For Journeywomen making a stop on Penang island, I'd like you to know there is a female-only dormitory there called Sogor Girls Dormitory. Location is at Jalan Kek Chuan, a quiet street off a busy road filled with street foods, restaurants and shops. Easy access to public transport. This is a capsule style hotel with double security door, air conditioning, free WIFI, laptop access, hot and cold water dispenser, fridge, common living room and free laundry facility. You are assigned a bed with privacy blind, a foldable table, hangers, reading light and international power sockets. Their cafeteria is excellent as well. Website: www.sogor.my
EDITOR'S NOTE: Scroll down here to March 19th Semester At Sea diary entry for some notes and photos from Penang.
6. GET RID OF UNWANTED MEN -- writes Deborah in San Diego, USA -- Here's a little trick I learned while traveling solo in Greece. I found it increasingly annoying (and sometimes alarming) the unwanted attention from groups of men as I walked by alone. I'm not picking on Med Men, but this is where I encountered the pestering most persistently. One day, on my way to the Acropolis, I found an effective way to thwart them. I put my music earbuds in my ears, but left the music turned off. Consequently, the men I passed saw the hanging white cord and said nothing assuming I couldn't hear them. Yet, the plugs were turned off so I could still comfortably and safely hear everything going on around me. When I reached the top of the Acropolis I sat on an ancient stone, cranked up Casta Diva sung by Callas, and then revelled in the breezes blowing off the sea, the music filling my head, and the ancient history all around me. What a moment!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Be a savvy Journeywoman. Read 'Culturally Correct Flirting 1966 Style.' Click here.
7. DON'T FORGET TO PACK YOUR LUGGAGE SCALE -- writes Jean in Saint Peter, USA -- We bought a hand-held luggage scale so that we can weigh our suitcases before we head to the airport. The important thing I want to remind you about is to pack that scale to take along with you on your actual trip. That way, when it's time to return home you'll know if your souvenirs have overloaded your suitcases or not and also how to redistribute the weight. Maybe some of your old clothing can be left behind so that in the end overweight luggage fees will be eliminated.
8. WELL LOCATED APARTMENT IN ROME -- writes Kim in British Columbia, Canada -- The apartment we rented in Rome was absolutely to die for. It had three bedrooms and two bathrooms - plenty of space for me, my husband, and our two boys, plus my mother and sister who joined us for the Roman leg of our journey through Italy. We had a roomy, fully-equipped kitchen (which included a sparkling new Nespresso machine). The apartment was situated in the Spanish Steps, a fabulous, mostly pedestrian neighborhood frequented by real Roman locals-uber wealthy and dripping with designer handbags, but locals, nonetheless. It was a short walk to many world-class sites (the Trevi fountain, the Parthenon, Villa Borghese). And right outside the door there were: two gelaterias, three restaurants with outdoor terraces, a café with excellent cappuccino (for only 1.50 euro), and ... wait for it: two shoe stores. No JourneyWoman can resist! Here's the link: http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/rome/2380812
9. EXCELLENT GUIDING IN ETHIOPIA -- writes Diana in Oshawa, Canada -- I am a woman who unexpectedly (long story) found myself in Ethiopia. I chose a tour to the isolated, relatively undeveloped southern part of the country with Yama EthiopiaTours. My goal was to visit tribal groups still living in traditional ways. I can highly recommend this company. They were responsive to my realities, treated me with courtesy and respect (a solo female traveler with an Ethiopian driver). The six days I was on the road with this guide rank as some of the most fascinating days of my life.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out our section on 'Female Friendly Guides Around the World.' Click here.
10. AN INEXPENSIVE GIFT IDEA -- writes Lyn in Philadelphia, USA -- My very inexpensive, yet very local gift that I bring home to girlfriends is a shopping bag from the country I'm visitiing. Keep your eyes open for some very attractive designs. This past week I picked up a recyclable bag imprinted with a vintage photo of Vienna's Naschmarkt. Total cost for this unique souvenir: 2.8 Euros. Happy shopping, ladies!
11. USE LARGE CHARACTERS FOR HELP WITH DIRECTIONS IN ASIA -- writes Julie in Singapore -- To help yourself when using public transport in a foreign country, ask the hotel or guesthouse staff to write your destination in the local language, preferably in extra large characters. On the flip side of that paper you write the translation for yourself in English (helps when you have multiple destinations so you won't get your directions mixed up) and you can show it to the cab or bus driver. Not all drivers will have their reading glasses ready so make the words big. Also, even if the bus driver misses his stop or forgets to inform you, other passengers will be able to see the characters and let you know when you are nearer to your destination. I did that in many Asian destinations, never got lost and made many friends in this process.
12. DELIGHTFUL HOTEL IN ST JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND -- writes Joy in Regina, Canada -- My tip is about the cozy, relaxed, 3-star Franklin Hotel in St John's Newfoundland. This establishment combines a small hotel with a tiny daytime restaurant filled with groups of women lunching and an bar (that opened in the evenings). The location is terrific - a block or so from the ocean, a few blocks from George St, and in an area with interesting shops (seal earrings anyone?). The hospitality is warm and wonderful, there is free WIFI and the staff will leap up the stairs with your two huge heavy bags while you tag along empty-handed. I believe that Newfoundland is an unsung treasure and the modest welcoming Franklin Hotel is a delight. Website: www.thefranklinhotel.net
EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out 'Three Women and a Chevy Pick-up Truck in Newfoundland.' Click here.
PAST LINKS -- If you didn't read 'Best Tips for September' CLICK HERE or 'Best Tips for June' 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 email@example.com right now before you become distracted. Put 'Juicy Tip 2015' in the subject line. We're counting on you, ladies!
HUGE THANKS to everybody who sent us their travel tips this September. It was one of the largest collections we've received to date. Keep it up ladies. You are absolutely wonderful and I am a lucky editor, indeed.
For oodles of more travel tips