Journey Woman

International Travel Tip Bazaar

Cooking school in Thailand
I'd like to tell everyone about the not-to-be missed Thai cooking school I attended in Chiang Mai. It actually takes place in the teacher's beautiful home and restful garden. Courses are reasonably priced and run from 1-3 days. The chef is amusing, pupils participate in the actual food preparation, the results are delicious and you get to eat a ton of food. P.S. Their office is located in the walled part of Chiang Mai on the same street as the main gate, down a few doors from J &J bakery. This is as close to an address as I can get. Bon appetite!
Jill K, Massapequa, USA

Passport policy in Greece
Don't be alarmed when smaller hotels and hostels in Greece ask for your passport during the duration of your stay. This is a very common practice as I learned over and over again when I was travelling.
Shasta, Winnipeg, Canada

Ed. note: Here's a short bit we'd like to add to Shasta's tip. Always carry a photocopy of the front page of your passport as well as a list of your country's consulates and embassies in the countries you are visiting. Then, if your passport is lost or stolen, it will be far easier to replace your documents.

Plus-shopping in London, England
For the best plus-size shopping in London look for designer Anna Scholz's creations (Selfridges / Harrods). Herself a plus-size, Anna knows just how sexy bigger woman can be and her clothes reflect that.  Perfectly cut to flatter the good bits and skillfully disguise the not so good, you can dress up or down with her versatile line. These clothes are not cheap but they will last you season after season. For cheaper high street plus-size fashion, try Evans or the B is B Range (Big is Beautiful) at Hennes - both on Oxford Street and in other major shopping areas.
Leslie, London, England

Gift-giving in India
When a relative of mine travelled throughout India she carried a small self-inked stamp which are widely available in newsagents and other shops and contain stamps of stars, smiley faces or animals. When she was approached by begging children she gave them all a stamp on their hands.  Using this method, she was able to give something to all the children, it was cheap and easy for her to carry around and the children were excited and happy about receiving the stamp. I think this is a great way for JourneyWomen to give a small gift to the children in India.
Claire, Canberra, Australia

She shines a little light
I always take a small flashlight and extra batteries when travelling. It has saved me during a stay in an apartment when the fuse blew and I had to go down four flights in the dark to reset it. It also comes in handy when visiting museums and other dark places (caves etc.) when you can shine a little light on things. And, a flashlight is particularly good when your travelmate wants to sleep and you want to stay up and read about the sights you're going to seethe next day.
Agnes C, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

She recommends a B&B in Victoria
The Craigmyle Guest House, is a real B&B in the true English tradition. It has many cosy rooms and serves a full English breakfast of fruit, cereal, eggs, toast and coffee. The owner/host is a renowned chef who has been running this B&B for the past 25 years! During the winter months, October to Mid-March, a single room (each has its own bathroom equipped with shower ) can be had for just $25.00 a night and that includes the full breakfast. Mid-season rates zoom up to $45/night and full season is $65. This B&B is very accommodating, close to bus routes, and downtown in a safe, walkable neighbourhood. Perched on a hill, it has fabulous views from every room, including the castle in its backyard. The main hall has lots of comfortable couches, great mags, and a fireplace. The decor is true English clutter with lots of interesting nooks and crannies.
The address is: Craigmyle Guest House, 1037 Craigdarroch Road, Victoria, BC,
Canada, V6S 2A5 Tel: 250 595-5411, email:
Leslie, Vancouver Island, Canada

When women trek
If you're a woman setting off to do some mountain trekking, please be aware that the high altitude can play havoc with your reproductive system. Your period might arrive earlier and it could be lighter than usual. So, consider this and be prepared.
Adeline, Sydney, Australia

She loves frequent flyer points
A large consideration and structure of all my trips centers around frequent flyer miles or points. Yesterday while surfing I happened upon a site called: and found the best ever info on gaining frequent flyer miles on the web. It is worth taking a look at, especially the "free miles" section.
Tonya, Washington, USA
Ed. Note:  Does anybody have any other sites related to this subject that they'd like to pass along? Please click here and tell all.

Her coffee shopping tip
I am an importer of green beans from Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, etc. I'd like other Journey Women to know that in these countries, the best beans are sold to importers. European buyers get first pick, Canadian buyers get second choice and the Americans get third. The reasoning for this is simply that Europeans demand good coffee and are willing to pay the price. So, whatever coffee is left in the coffee -growing countries, (especially Costa Rica) is the lowest
grade and will only produce a dark and bitter brew that is often difficult to drink. My point? Don't bring back coffee beans as gifts from coffee growing countries, but if you're in Europe, buy it there as it is the best in the world.
Maria Coletta McLean, Toronto, Canada

She's a practical packer...
I save all the slipperettes that some airlines give you on long hauls and pack my footwear in them. They make excellent protective coverings for the grubby soles in your luggage. And, if you always keep these slipperettes in one particular compartment of your suitcase, you're always prepared when packing time comes around.
Rennie, White Rock, Canada

P.S.  A friend and I love to take our bikes along and cycle our holidays. We had quite the time doing trains in France without bike bags. The airline plastic bags did work, but they are slippery and hard to grab and lug. Does anyone have information on a lightweight nylon bike bag that they might recommend? Please respond:

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