Travel Writers Share Their Best Tips 2005
I need travel advice I usually turn to my female travelwriting colleagues
for answers. After all, they've been 'there' and done 'that' --
all over the world and all from a woman's point-of-view. These journalists
have travelled solo and in groups -- in big cities and throughout
the countryside. They've learned how to stay safe, fit into new
cultures and find great travel goodies along the way. To say the
least, they are experienced and exceptionally savvy travellin' women.
why I asked these newswomen to share some of their "know-how" --
to pass along bits of advice that will, I hope, make us all better
travellers. Here are their interesting and varied words of wisdom...
My special thanks to all these 'friends' who took
time from their busy schedules to make this list possible!
She never leaves
in Third World Countries, there are several items I never leave home
without and that I always use. I take J-cloths to wash with, Skin
So Soft to deter the bugs, an antiseptic cleanser for hands while
on the road, a flashlight (it once helped me to spot the HUGE tarantula
in my jungle hut), a small but well-stocked first aid kit, and a water
bottle with a filter. The latter is invaluable - it is called an Aqua
2000 and has a natural coconut carbon filter.
-- freelance travel writer from British Colombia,
Canada. Author of 'Vancouver
The Ultimate Guide' (Greystone Books, Vancouver;
Chronicle Books, San Francisco) and co-author of '52
Weekend Activities Around Vancouver'
She rides the waves...
you dream of riding waves on a surfboard � la Endless Summer? Head
out to Canada's Pacific Coast where Surf Sister runs Canada's all-girl
surfer school. On the beautiful west coast beaches of Vancouver Island,
Jenny Stewart and her patient and knowledgeable female surfer staff
teach lessons to girls from six to 60-something. Special Mother/Daughter
camps run July and August. Girls (or boys) can sign up for kids-only
weekend surf clinics; those 12 and up for teen-only weekend surf clinics.
Sessions run from $75 to $495 including instruction, snacks, flower-powered
Hawaiian surfboard and wetsuit. 1-877-724-SURF; Website: www.surfsister.com
-- travel writer and Toronto Sun columnist, "Family
the older adventuress...
you reach a designated age - sometimes a mere 50 but usually 60 or
65---you become eligible for an astonishing number of good deals and
you'd be pretty foolish not to take advantage of them. Don't wait
for anybody to volunteer information about your special privileges.
Ticket takers, reservations agents, store clerks, waiters, travel
agents don't know how old you are, nor do they care. So, at home or
abroad, wherever you go---the movies, museums, hotels, riding the
bus or the commuter train, pharmacies, even health-food stores and
restaurants---make it a practice to ask if there's a discount or other
age-related privilege to which you are entitled.
example, in the United States you can get 10 percent off your meal
at your local Applebee's if you sign up for a free Golden Apple
card at age 55+ or stop in at a Denny's and order from the special
senior menu that gives you smaller portions and smaller prices.
Join a Bally's gym and pay less than your more youthful friends.
Ask for your discount---anywhere from 10 to 30 percent---when you
book a room at a Choice Hotel (Quality Inn, Clarion, Comfort Inns,
etc.) anywhere in the world. And, did you know that most major theaters
in Washington DC sell half price tickets to performances; so do
those in London, England for that matter. PS:
Always carry proof of your age with you.
-- author of 'Unbelievably
Good Deals & Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless
You're over 50' (Contemporary Books).
Hand in glove
delicious present for yourself? How about a pair of gloves in myriad
delicious colours? Perfect too for gifts -- compact, feather-light,
and easy to pack. In Milan, the place to go is Sermoneta at 46 Via
della Spiga. This may be right in the heart of the Fashion Quadrilateral,
but the prices are perfect. If you are on a budget and want to try
your luck, try heading for the Alpo outlet. This is at 4/1 Via Bandello,
just by Piazza Baracca (metro Conciliazione). Open Monday to Friday,
-- Freelance journalist, Florence, Milan, Website: www.initaly.com/ads/roberta.htm
She packs delicate
on our journeys to exotic parts of the world, we see wonderfully small,
delicate handicrafts that appear too fragile to transport home. I
have found a way never to leave these objects behind. This is my tried
and true solution --simply cut the tops off used water bottles with
scissors borrowed from your hotel's front desk. Now place your delicate
treasures inside -- add a few socks to cushion if necessary. Presto!
Your tiny treasures will arrive home intact.
-- Atlanta, USA, creator of the website: www.TravelAloneAndLoveIt.com
and the editor of '114
Resources for Solo Travel.'
tours in Mexico...
the beaten path but worthy of a week's detour, Alamos in Mexico's
northwestern state of Sonora is a gem of an 18th century silver mining
town, exquisitely restoring Spain's colonial past. To catch a candid
glimpse of life beyond the residents' bougainvillea-draped gates,
take a tour with Los Amigos de Educaci�n. This group of local women
raise money for student scholarships by offering mini walking tours
that rotate through their own one-of-a-kind homes and gardens, sharing
stories about the restoration, design and antique furnishings of these
properties. The one-hour by-donation tours raise impressive amounts
of money that presently support 300 needy Alamos children with scholarships
at the junior and senior high school level. For further information
visit their website at: www.AlamosMexico.com
-- travel journalist, author of 'Travel
Unlimited: Uncommon Adventures for the Mature Traveler',
and editor of Travel with a Challenge website: www.travelwithachallenge.com