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International Travel Tip Bazaar

She Learns a Few French Words
When I moved to Quebec from the United States with little knowledge of the French language, my French-Canadian sister-in-law provided me with a phrase that has helped soften many hearts. "Je suis desole (accent over both e's). Je ne parle pas bien en Francais." This translates as "I'm sorry. I don't speak French well." When you utter it, the natives bend over backwards to help you out.
Linda Kay, author of Romantic Days and Nights in Montreal, Quebec.

She Takes A Spare Car Key!
I always like to bring a spare car key with me when I'm traveling by car. On long trips, I place the extra key (which I keep on a slim, small key ring) in a pocket of an outfit I'm wearing. If by chance I lock the keys in the car or something happens to my keys (lost or stolen), I can still get into my car and drive away. This trick has saved me and might help other journey women from being stranded.
Sharon Shipley, St. Petersburgh, USA

Diamonds are a girl's best friend...
... especially when they're free! Going to Arkansas? Don't miss the Crater of Diamonds State Park where you can prospect for diamonds and other gemstones - and keep any you find! Situated at Murfreeboro volcanic crater, this is the only place in the US where visitors can play "finders keepers." Plus, the staff will provide free identification and certification of any gemstones you discover. So far, visitors have found more than 20,000 diamonds and numerous other gems. Call the park at 501-285-3113.
Susan M. Boyce, editor Travel Impulse, Delta, Canada

Don't Be Afraid to Ask!
"Shall we make it two"? are magic words for the female traveller. For faster seating at lunch (and to make the most of networking opportunities), remember (and use) them the next time you attend a convention.
Marya Charles Alexander, Solo Dining Savvy Newsletter, CA, USA

My Husband Will Be Here Soon!
Here's a tip I heard from Allison Tilley several years back after she published a book about travelling solo. It's a basic and sensible idea but one I had never thought of, for some reason: She said that though unmarried, she always travels wearing a wedding ring, and particularly in countries where western women are viewed as fair game, she tells all and sundry that her husband is on business in some other city or country but will be joining her a few days hence.
Felicity Munn, Montreal, Canada

A NY. Nutritionist's Best Bets
My favorite New York health food store is Healthy Pleasures at 93 University Place. They carry a little bit of everything from books to food to homeopathic remedies. I especially like their vegetarian salad bar. Yum! Telephone: (212) 353-3663. And, my favorite vegetarian restaurant is Souen, a macrobiotic restaurant at 28 E.13 St. (I think for a time I was addicted to their Hummus sandwiches on multi grain bread with sprouts and greens.) Telephone: (212) 627-7150.
Jackie Storm, New York City, USA

Attention Canadian Women Travellers
Stretching the travel budget is a necessity for some, a game for others. One of my favourite money-savers is Canada Direct. The Canada Direct card, free from phone companies, lets you call home at Canadian long distance rates, side-stepping the astronomical foreign phone costs. Take note: Some hotels won't permit Canada Direct calls - in that case simply find a public phone and do your Canada Direct calling from there.
Isobel Warren, author of On the go at 50 plus, Canada

Sharing With Her New Roomate
When you share quarters with a roommate you don't know, it is a good idea to meet before the trip, even over the phone. Then you can discuss who will bring what, such as a hairdryer, etc. Also, when you share quarters with a new roommate it can be helpful to decide right away who will have which bed or which side of the sink or closet.
Marybeth Bond, author of Travelers Tales: Gutsy Mamas, CA, USA

Mother and Daughter in London
My 11 year old daughter and I stopped in London, England on a recent European trip. We didn't have a lot of time to spend in the city but we wanted to take in as much as we could at minimal expense and not get lost! Thanks to the advise from the concierge at the Forum Hotel on Cromwell Road, we discovered the London Pride Bus tours. These are narrated double decker tours of the city that allow you to get on and off at attractions at will. The tickets are approximately 12 pounds for adults and are valid for 24 hours from time of purchase. The bus drivers also sell tickets to the main attractions so you avoid the long line ups, ie. my daughter wanted to go to the London Dungeon, the line up for tickets was about an 1-1/2 hour wait, we purchased our tickets from the bus driver and walked right in! All in all, we think London Pride is a great way to see the sights.
Danielle Bunting and daughter, Coquitlam,Canada

Her Guide to European Train Travel
If you're visiting many different places, save money by buying train and/or bus passes. Find out about the different types available, what they cover and whether you need to buy them at home or in the country where you'll be. Also check to see what separate fares are to compare. A good source of information for European trips is the European Planning & Rail Guide, just $3 from Budget Europe Travel Service, 2557 Meade Court, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-1304.
Ruth Halcomb, Network for Living Abroad, Sherman Oaks, USA


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