Travel Writers Share Their Best Tips 2005
What to wear,
savvy Journeywoman knows that you wear scarves and sleeves in Arabic
countries and long pants when visiting St. Peter's in Rome. But it
can work the other way too. Last year in Havana, I could not walk
down the street without constant whistles from the romantic Cuban
men. I looked around and saw that I looked like the straight-laced
western tourista that I was. So I put on my tightest jeans and rolled
them up, added a shiny top, put my hair in a ponytail and applied
eye makeup to match the style of the local Cuban women. Result? I
was able to walk around without being hassled.
-- travel writer and Toronto Sun columnist, "Family Fare."
I hide my map...
of the best pieces of advice given to me regarding safety when travelling,
was from a Rio de Janeiro banker that I was interviewing. I commented
on the street crimes in his city. "Look like you belong," he advised.
This may sound trite but when I'm in a locale that has a nasty reputation
regarding safety, I ditch or hide the camera, swap my North American
shoes for local sandals and if I need to check my hidden-away map,
I do so in a washroom. I try to achieve a look that says 'I know where
I'm going', even if I don't. And, touch wood, so far, so good.
-- freelance travel writer from British Colombia, Canada. Author of
The Ultimate Guide' (Greystone Books, Vancouver;
Chronicle Books, San Francisco) and co-author of '52
Weekend Activities Around Vancouver' (Greystone
a beautiful corner of Italy that contains the most perfect hotel for
women travellers because it's run by three generations of women. It's
called Real Castello and the property is a castle, no less, situated
in the charming village of Verduno in the Langhe region of northwestern
Italy ( (Via Umberto1, 9-12060 Verduno, Langhe). Grandma and mama
are involved in the running of the hotel, but it is to the youngest
generation that the accolades must go: to Alessandra (26) the experienced
chef, to Elizabetha (22) who is the efficient administrator and to
19 year old Marcalla, a qualified sommelier, who looks after their
renowned cellar. This area of Italy is as beautiful as Tuscany (if
not more so...). Turin is the nearest city with an international airport,
while Alba is the major centre of the Langhe region. For details about
this lovely hotel visit their website: www.castellodiverduno.com
-- Editor of TravelScoop, 'The magazine for independent travellers'.
A young guide
can be so helpful...
in a country where English isn't commonly spoken, look for a student,
age 12 up to be your unofficial guide. Often these young people are
studying English in school and are delighted to have an opportunity
to practice. They are usually more forthright, will answer questions
frankly, and even offer wonderful suggestions for places to see or
things to do you might not otherwise have found. I have even been
invited home on occasion (use discretion as to whether or not to accept
such an invitation) and seen a little of life from the inside so to
-- freelance writer with work in such publications as Forever Young,
Tourist, City Parent and The Consultant.
read along the way...
you travel and while you're on your way, seek out literature as well
as guidebooks about the area you are visiting. Most decent travel
book shops have a catalogue of fictional or documentary works which
relate to different countries, cities, peoples and governments. Their
vivid detail will enrich your experience far more than just logisitical
and practical details. Travelling to Ireland? Consider Maeve Binchy's,
'Dublin 4.' China? Jung Chang's 'Wild Swans,' Spain? Ian Gibson's
'Fire in the Blood: The New Spain.' Happy reading, everybody!
-- London based freelance travel journalist
Angeline, a respected elder of Hawaii's native community on Kauai,
runs a charming island-style spa, Angeline's Mu`olaulani. After purifying
the body in the octagonal redwood and cedar steam house and receiving
a brisk total body sea salt scrub, it's time for one of three lomi
massages - hot stone treatment, a deep tissue lomi or the specialty
of the house, a double [four-hand] lomi lomi massage. US$130 for a
two-hour appointment, but - no rush! - enjoy ohana [Hawaiian time]
by relaxing on the spacious garden deck all day if you wish or request
a "gourmet-light" vegetarian meal. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone (808) 822-3235 for further information.
-- travel journalist, author of 'Travel
Unlimited: Uncommon Adventures for the Mature Traveler',
and editor of Travel with a Challenge website: www.travelwithachallenge.com