Travel Writers Share Their Best Tips 2005
out the checkouts...
a quick peek into the REAL lives of folks in the places you visit?
Pop into a grocery store, where the shelves often paint a vivid picture
of the neighbourhood. In midtown Manhattan, one supermarket boasts
almost no baby food but a whole wall of different gourmet mustards.
(Lots of single urbanites on the block.) In Britain, the huge variety
of prepared Indian foods reveals how immigration has enriched the
country. And in Japan, products with odd English names (like a drink
called Pocari Sweat) are testament to shoppers' enduring fascination
with the West.
Paquet -- Travel journalist and author of,
to Splurge: A Social History of Shopping' (ECW
Press) Website: www.LauraByrnePaquet.com
Female-owned B & B in Montreal,
feel like they are living vs. staying here, " says Augusta Lapaix,
the former radio journalist and half of the team at Lindsey's B &
B in the trendy Plateau Mont Royal area of Montreal. Her partner,
Lindsay Meagher, a bass player with the Montreal symphony orchestra
originated the friendly atmosphered business -- making it the kind
of home away from home where guests can and do feel comfortable coming
to breakfast in their pj's. This B & B is not identified from the
outside and runs strictly by word of mouth. So many businesswomen
use the facilities that this year they have added high speed Internet,
air-conditioning and all ensuite bathrooms. Rates run $90 to $140
based on double occupancy, no deposits required. Tel: (514) 843-4869
-- author of 'Smart
Shopping Montreal.' Website: www.smartshopping.net
travel shop in England...
travelling in England, I discovered that connecting my computer to
the British phone line was impossible without an adapter. The desk
clerk at my hotel had no idea where to find one. Another employee
who was eavesdropping told me about Itchy Feet -- a local shop stocking
products intended to help you travel more easily. This woman loves
to backpack and assured me Itchy Feet would be worth a stop. She was
right -- not only was I delighted to find the proper adapter but I
was introduced to a friendly knowledgeable staff and lots of great
travel stuff. London location (162 Wardour St, London W1F 8ZX), Bath
location (4 Bartlett Street, Bath BA1 2QZ), online catalogue: www.itchyfeet.com
author of 'Questing
Marilyn, In Search of My Holy Grail.' Website:
She loves this
Paris hardware store...
great place to buy gifts for the folks back home is Leroy Merlin,
a hardware store located right in the middle of Paris (just opposite
the Pompidou Museum, at 52 rue Rambuteau). A hardware store? Ah, but,
this is a French hardware store! As you enter, you can instantly admire
the long line of gift display tables, one after the other, running
practically the length of the store (which is the size of a small
football field). Take a look. You'll discover unusual items usually
found in gift stores and at very reasonably prices.
-- author of the shopping guide, 'Best
Buys and Bargains in Paris', an intercultural
trainer/coach, Paris resident since 1991. Website: www.jeanne-feldman.com
food stop in Buenos Aires...
Buenos Aires there's a lot of neighborhood restaurants which are really
interesting for women. During daylight all these places are located
in what are considered safe areas of the city. In my own neighborhood
of Las Ca�itas, I recommend Las Cholas (Arce 306. Tel: 054 11 4899-0094),
a bustling place that gathers young people and also families -- where
you can appreciate "criollas" specialties and grilled meats at fair
prices. There are also good sandwiches, also sausage (chorip�n), regional
stews and empanadas on offer. Open noon-close (usually very late)
Rodriguez -- journalist, Buenos Aires, Argentina,
associate editor of Let's TanGo! Website: www.letstango.com.ar
Gifts for children...
carry a supply of Canada pins (available for free at your local Member
of Parliament's office) and balloons (light, fun and interactive --
it's worth it to learn how to make a poodle out of those clown balloons).
But I never give anything directly to children, I always hand the
gifts to the mother and let her decide if the kids can have them.
Otherwise, I am usurping her authority. How would you like it if some
Chinese tourist were handing out jellied squid rings to your kids
then enticing them to pose for cute 'ethnic' photos?
-- Travel Columnist, Canada's National Post. Website: www.cleopaskal.com.