Here they are folks! These are the 'best of the best' travel tips you've submitted over the last year. It's always such a treat to review all the newsletters we send out and then to decide which tips will have the 'prestige' of being posted on our site for posterity. As you'll see these are all travel suggestions 'by women for women.' They are all (to the very best of our knowledge) authentic, culturally correct and tested by females.
You'll also notice that these tips are being submitted by our Journeywoman members all over the world -- from New York City, USA to Cambridge, England and from Singapore to Toronto, Canada, Helsinki, Finland and many other destinations in between. Each bit of advice we chose is designed to keep you safe, healthy, comfortable, budget-conscious and having fun as you go out to explore our great big world.
For those visitors to our website who are not yet receiving our newsletter, here is a sampling of the best tips our members read in 2008. For those who do receive our newsletter, here, again, is a helpful trip down memory lane. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, and thank you to everybody who helps to make our Journeywoman Network the largest and the juiciest in the world.
ARE YOU AN AMAZING RACE JUNKIE? -- writes Editor, Evelyn Hannon -- Do you watch this TV program and wish you could compete? Well, wish no more. Competitours is now offering their own exciting team travel competition for ordinary travellers who want a fun, but not breakneck-paced European trip. You can expect a daily series of surprise challenges and a terrific grand prize worldwide travel spree. Don't worry. There's no climbing mountains, eating worms or being sleep deprived. It's brains, creativity and spontaneity that will get you over the finish line first.
Points are earned by accomplishing a series of fun, quirky and interactive challenges documented via videocam for Competitours judges to score. You and your partner might be asked to visit a graffiti-filled part of the Berlin Wall to shoot a mock video explaining the meaning of that graffiti or, find out where the 'secret VIP' room is while soaking at a famous German natural hot springs/spa.
Teams are composed of two people, no matter
their age or relationship. Each secret itinerary is 8, 10
or 14 days. Costs range from $1995 to $2850 and includes international
airfare, lodging and Eurail Pass. P.S.
Competitours is so sure that they can deliver on this new
venture that participants' credit cards are not charged until
after their return. To find out more go to: www.competitours.com
THIS WINE SHOP IN ROME BECOMES A RESTAURANT AT LUNCH HOUR -- writes Mary Jane in Vetralia, Italy -- I'd like to recommend Corsi in Rome, Italy. This family-run wine shop turns into a dining room at lunch hour. Located on Via del Ges in central Rome (Largo Argentina). The daily specials are written up on the blackboard at the door, the tables -with paper table settings - are often shared. You'll meet bankers and office workers on their lunch hour, politicians, journalists, local expats and only a few tourists. Expect friendly service, noisy, very Roman. English spoken and inexpensive for Rome. Have your after lunch coffee at nearby Tazza d'Oro or a gelato near the Pantheon.
RAIN OR SHINE TRAVEL UMBRELLAS IN SINGAPORE -- writes Chris in Singapore -- When travelling to Singapore, be sure to buy one of their umbrellas with the silver heat reflective coating on the outside of the umbrella. They fold up tiny and are the lightest weight umbrellas you will find anywhere so you can carry them with you at all times. You can purchase them at Takashimaya or Isetan Department Stores on Orchard Rd for $10-$15. They are a Godsend for sightseeing in Southeast Asia as they truly lower the temperature by 10 degrees, to say nothing about their use also for the torrential downpours throughout the area. You will 'fit-in' with the locals as many of the Asian women use umbrellas for sun protection as well as for the rain. I even used my Singapore brolly sightseeing in Charleston, S.C. and Italy and received many comments on how clever I was to do so.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Last year I spent a few days in hot, hot, hot Singapore and blogged about my experience. You can read about my adventures and see my photos here. Just scroll down to the March 20 entry.
A COMFORTABLE B&B IN LONDON -- writes Kate in Toronto, Canada -- Here's a tip for women planning a trip to London, England. I've stayed several times at the Vicarage Inn, a B & B in a splendid Victorian house in Kensington. Rates range from L42 for a single sans bath to about L150 for a double in high season with bath, full breakfast included for both. There's also a nice library/tea room with a telly. You can choose from lots of different-sized rooms. The location is great -- close to a park, a 15 minute walk to the Victoria and Albert Museum and plenty of fabulous shopping near by. Check out their website at: http://www.londonvicaragehotel.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: Going to London? Learn from the locals. Read: She Recommends Good London Food for Less.
WHAT TO WEAR IN MOROCCO -- writes Abi in Cambridge, England -- I would like to add my 'what to wear' suggestions for travelling to Morocco and Marrakesh, in particular. I packed a headscarf and wore 'below the knees' cropped trousers or a long linen skirt, coupled with ordinary t-shirts with round neckline. I found that I was not hassled at all by anyone there when I wore my headscarf and sunglasses even though I was on my own, have blond hair and blue eyes, and wasn't wearing a wedding ring. I saw women of many nationalities wearing extremely revealing clothing and I was offended on behalf of the locals as I believe in dressing appropriately and respectfully. Another tip is to wear shoes that cover your feet and not flip-flops, thongs, or 'barely there' sandals. The streets are not fantastically clean and the sewerage system is non-existent and so wearing footwear that protects your feet from manure is essential. I found a pair of sandals that were plastic which I could wash in the shower every evening and they were excellent.
MUSEUM OF PURSES IN AMSTERDAM -- writes Elina in Helsinki, Finland -- I'd like to inform other members of the Journeywoman Network that there is a wonderful Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam. I feel it is 'true heaven' for all handbag enthusiasts. The museum is easy to reach by public transport (take a tram #4 or #9 to Rembrandtplein). The address is Herengracht 573. It's open every day and admission fee is 6,50 euros. In the museum's cafe you can enjoy a cup of coffee or reserve a sitting for a posh afternoon high tea. In the museum shop you can buy a new, wonderful designer handbag (many euros) or a foldable shopping bag (just a few euros). Very friendly staff! Website: www.tassenmuseum.nl
P.S. The museum welcomes children and offers gallery trails suitable for visitors from six to twelve years old.
A GREAT B&B IN MILAN, ITALY -- writes Ann in Naples, USA -- Did you know that Milan has canals? This B&B in Milan was suggested to me by my Florida neighbour. It's run by his sister and her Italian husband. My husband and I stayed there a few days ago and can now report it is cute, clean, comfortable and located in the canal area of the city called, 'Navigli.' The owner Pier Luigi is friendly and helpful with suggestions on where to eat, what to see, and insider's advice on 'what's on it town.' Check out Villa Magnolia B&B. Website: www.bbvillamagnolia.it.
Are you French Journeywoman?
It's been said that women in France should think twice about marrying a man from Portugal. Statistics tell us that the highest life expectancy in Europe is among French women who live to the ripe old age of 81.5 years - and the lowest is among Portuguese men who sadly only get to 70.7.