Journeywoman.com was born in 1994 and was based on our belief that women travellers are the best networkers in the world. From the very beginning we asked our readers to share their best travel secrets and travel advice with other members of the Journeywoman Network. And, since 1994 they have never let us down.
We're extremely proud of the fact that our tips are truly international submitted by readers living around the world and that their submissions are based on their own true travel experiences. This year some of the best bits of advice comes from Bali, Vietnam, Russia, Israel, Hungary, Switzerland, Canada and the USA.
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 2010. 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.
CONNECTING WITH LOCALS IN PARIS -- writes Holly in Durham, USA -- This past year I visited Paris for the 5th time and was looking for ways to see less-touristy places and connect with 'real' French people. Here are the two special ways that worked for me. Perhaps other Journeywoman readers would like to try, too? (1) I connected with Paris Greeters, an all-volunteer group who share their love of Paris with you. I enjoyed a wonderful walking tour and history lesson of the 19th Arr. and the Parc des Buttes Chaumont with them. There was no official cost but they do ask for a small contribution to keep their services running. It was well worth it. (2) The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau also offers many options for ways to connect. The one I chose was called, Meeting Parisians At Work, where you visit a craftsperson's place and get a behind-the-scenes tour. I visited a boulangerie with an interpreter and six other tourists. We made baguettes and croissants. Merveillieux and délicieux!
A TRAVELLER-FRIENDLY BUFFET IN COPENHAGEN, DENMARK -- writes Linda in Tualatin, USA -- Since I don't understand Danish, I found the restaurant menus in Copenhagen somewhat intimidating. Then I discovered a wonderful place named Riz Raz (two locations in the city). They open at 11:30 for lunch and serve a terrific Mediterranean buffet. You can see all the food possibilities and can help yourself to luscious salads, fresh baked breads, desserts, etc. without having to decipher a menu. Weather permitting, outside seating is available so you can people watch while you eat. On several occasions I enjoyed a larger, leisurely lunch there and and then had only a light snack for dinner. Highly recommended. Website: www.rizraz.dk
EDITOR'S NOTE: Need more tips about Scandinavia? They are right here.
A CRAFT MARKET IN TEL AVIV -- writes Sunny in Tel Aviv, Israel -- Don't miss this. It's great fun. Nechlat Binyamin is a pedestrian only space that runs alongside the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. Each Tuesday and Friday from 10:00 AM to late afternoon this street is magically transformed into a wonderful street fair. Tables and booths laden with Israeli crafts stretch for two city blocks, performing artists show off their skills, and cafes and coffee shops around the perimeter do a booming business. This is a perfect spot to simply browse, chat with the artisans and perhaps pick up goodies for yourself and the folks at home. You'll find everything from whimsical toys to silver bracelets, earring, paintings and candles.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Travelling to Israel? You'll this article.
WARNING TO TRAIN TRAVELERS IN ITALY -- writes Denise in Ottawa, Canada --Train travel in Italy is fast and efficient. It's a wonderful way to get around the country. However, I send this warning to my sister travelers. Be diligent and always have your ticket time-punched through those yellow boxes beside the track your train will travel on. If not, and a ticket inspector sees that your ticket is not time stamped you are fined 40 Euros, payable on the spot. Those inspectors have a job to do and they do it.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Pay attention ladies -- The 40 euros you might pay in fines could buy you lots of pizza, red wine and lattes.
I REALLY LIKE THIS INDIAN RESTAURANT IN LONDON -- writes Barbara in Bern, Switzerland -- If you love Indian food and are willing to spend the extra British Pound, The Bombay Brasserie is the place to go. It is fine dining at its best. The tastes are divine and the preparation like art. I love sitting in the conservatory or having a pre-dinner drink in the bar where you can watch people come and go. The Bombay Brasserie’s clientele is mostly Indian, which I think is a very good sign. It’s located on Courtfield Road just behind Gloucester Road tube station on the Piccadilly line. Website: http://www.bombaybrasserielondon.com/
HER WASHINGTON D.C. INSIDER SECRET -- writes Bonnie in Virginia, USA -- Most JourneyWomen may know about Washington's famous Cherry Blossoms in April. However, few know about the annual Georgetown House and Garden Tour sponsored by St. John's Episcopal Church which takes place every year on the final Saturday of April. The tour includes a booklet chock full of information on all the houses (including a map) and a bounteous Parish Tea (cold drinks, sweets and tea sandwiches) in Blake Hall back at the church, Past years' tours have included houses lived in by JFK, famous socialites, Charles Darwin and other historic figures. Cost for the day's outing is $50 per person if purchased by April 16 ($55 afterward). April in DC is idyllic anyway, and this walking tour makes it even more so. For more information, visit the website: www.georgetownhousetour.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's another 50 Things to See and Do in Washington DC. Simply click here.
A HOSTAL IN MADRID CLOSE TO PRADO MUSEUM -- writes Denise in Ottawa, Canada -- Please note a hostal (not a hostel) refers to a type of family-run pension typically common only in Spain and a few other Spanish-speaking countries. While travelling solo in Spain I found one of these hostales very centrally located at 16 Calle Prado about seven minutes from Prado Museum, and five minutes walk to Plaza Santa Ana and Puerta del sol -- the heart of Madrid. The owners live there too and one cannot get better and friendlier service. It's very clean and secure. There is a camera at the street level door and the actual hostal is accessed by elevator to the third floor. I also found some great restaurants nearby. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website with photos and room rates can be found here: http://www.hostalsardinero.com
A BOOKSHOP IN BALI -- writes Tandy in Ubud, Bali -- If you're looking for specialty books on Bali and Indonesia I'd like to recommend Ganesha Bookshop. Located on Jalan Raya, near the Ubud Post Office, Ganesha Bookshop has an amazing selection of new and used books (bought and sold) - the majority in English. Topics include everything from your Balinese horoscope to yoga and children's books. They also have some books in Indonesian, French, German, and Dutch. They sell magazines, maps, postcards, locally made bookmarks and note cards, and even musical instruments. The staff are helpful and friendly. Secondhand books bought at Ganesha can be returned for 50% credit or cash. Website: www.ganeshabooksbali.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: Are you a bookwormette? Simply click here for oodles of fun bookstores around the world.
Neat hiding place for your money...
another hiding place for your money? Try sewing a mesh,
envelope style pocket in the front or back of a stretchy
camisole that you wear under another piece of clothing.
If you like you can secure the pocket flap with a small
safety pin. Paper money sits perfectly inside this pocket
and is not obvious at all. Another option is to turn
up the hem of a stretchy camisole and sew vertical lines
to make compartments the right size for your money.
You can also secure these with safety pins. Whenever
I travel I use one of these options and they have worked
well for me. P.S.
If you aren't able to do the sewing yourself, you can
have it done easily and cheaply at shops that offer
Meet the locals + volunteer in Japan...
Feeling lonely in Tokyo and want to meet a group of English speaking folks who have fun while giving their time to a good cause? Volunteers are always needed at the Tokyo Union Church in Omotesando (their subway stop is the same name). We meet every day (not in July or August though) at 9 am in the basement of the church to make 'onigiri' (rice cakes) for the homeless in the city. It only takes an hour or so of your time. No previous experience is required and you can just show up. We hope to meet and greet you there. Website: Tokyo Union Church Womens Society
Going to Japan? We think you'll love the article, 20
Things Women Should Know About Tokyo.