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Female Travel Writers Share Their Best Tips 2005

She checks out the checkouts...

Want 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.
Laura Byrne Paquet -- Travel journalist and author of, 'The Urge to Splurge: A Social History of Shopping' (ECW Press) Website:

Female-owned B & B in Montreal, Canada...

"People 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 Website:
Sandra Phillips -- author of 'Smart Shopping Montreal.' Website:

A terrific travel shop in England...

While 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:
Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem -- author of 'Questing Marilyn, In Search of My Holy Grail.' Website:

She loves this Paris hardware store...

A 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.
Jeanne Feldman -- author of the shopping guide, 'Best Buys and Bargains in Paris', an intercultural trainer/coach, Paris resident since 1991. Website:

Female-friendly food stop in Buenos Aires...

In 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) Mon-Sun.
Alejandra Rodriguez -- journalist, Buenos Aires, Argentina, associate editor of Let's TanGo! Website:

Gifts for children...

I 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?
Cleo Paskal -- Travel Columnist, Canada's National Post. Website:






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