packs fishing line...
On a trip to the Middle East his year, I
found the most valuable thing that I had packed was a length of fishing line and
a strong needle. Good old airport baggage handling ripped open one of the seams
about four inches and with another seven weeks of travelling to go I was glad
I had something to mend it with. It saved me the cost of trying to buy a replacement
bag -- not easy as the quality available in Egypt is pretty bad.
A Canadian in Marseilles...
When travelling in France last summer, I took the train from Vichy to Marseilles
armed only with everybody's warnings about what a dangerous city Marseilles was.
When I got off the train, I headed directly for the tourist information office.
There I told the female attendant I needed a hotel room that was cheap, looked
directly over the Mediterranean and did not have prostitution traffic. She found
me one, the hotel Perron, overlooking the chateau d'If, on the bus route and at
less than $40.00 Canadian a night. I had a wonderful time, was near the harbour
and the Panier ( a market type of shopping area) and also took a boat trip over
to the neighboring islands and the Calanques.
M.P., Saskatoon, Canada
I always pack black leggings...
They take up just a little space
in my backpack when I roll them. They're great to wear under a skirt when the
weather gets chilly and also at night when the weather gets cooler. They also
double as pajamas. The black hides the dirt, they wash easily in the sink and
can pass as workout gear as well.
Jodie, Westport, USA
I agree with Jodie...
I've found that leggings are one of the most
versatile items of clothing to take. They take very little room in your bag and
wash and dry easily and quickly. They are comfortable to wear as pants; you can
wear them as opaque pyjama bottoms. They are also marvelous instead of long underwear
and they fit under your other pants or long skirts. I find them indispensable!
Sue, Estes Park, USA
She avoids peddlers
I'm Canadian, but I live in Italy for part of each
year. On the beaches here, you'll be constantly harassed by peddlers selling junk.
They're persistent and they're rude. They often speak several languages so you
can't pretend not to understand them, and they refuse to be ignored (unless you
do what I do). When they ask you if you're English, or American, or whatever--just
say "No, sono Canadese (I'm Canadian)." When they ask if you speak English,
say, "No, parlo Canadese (I don't speak Canadian)." This confuses them,
and they'll usually give up. It's good for a chuckle.
Iris, Treviso, Italy
your airline socks...
I have been fortunate to travel to the Far
East quite a few times. Many of the most interesting places to visit are temples,
shrines and other holy places. Most times you are required to take off your shoes
and leave them at the entrance. However, the entrance can be right on the street,
and can require you to walk quite a distance across a courtyard. I have found
that in order to avoid stepping on a very hot and/or dirty surface, the best thing
is to carry a pair of the 'give away' socks provided by the airlines on long flights.
They are quick and easy to slip on either over bare feet or your regular socks.
Judy M, Stratford, Canada
Her padlock is
When travelling in India, pack a fairly good padlock
as that is how all the hotel doors in budget to mid-range hotels are locked. The
hotel will gladly provide you with one, but you should always turn it down. Use
your own because then only you will have the key. Much safer!
Look Ma, no hands...
While conducting field research for my Master's thesis in rural Guatemala, the
single greatest piece of equipment I had with me was my Petzal headlamp. It allowed
my hands to stay free while I was struggling to find my way back to my hut after
going to the river. Not only good for remote rural adventures, this lamp is great
to use in hotels when the power is out and you have to negotiate your way through
unfamiliar hallways. They are lightweight, and powerful and have so many uses
I would never leave home without one. It will be coming with me on my next trip,
which will be to Ecuador in September.
Krista, Vineland Station, Canada
Whenever I travel, I take a part roll of VIVA paper towels.
They are amazingly strong and will work as washcloths, shoe cleaners, picnic clothes,
the list is endless. A couple of wet ones in a baggie in your pack will help on
really hot days (I rescued a friend who was fainting from the heat by applying
one on the back of her neck). I also use them when watercoloring on location.
I must admit that I haven't yet tried them when enjoying Greek dancing or as neck
scarves on dogs, but wouldn't rule out the idea.
Joy Savage, New York,
I love New York...
York is a vast, wild place and an ever-changing one. I love the way everyone is
renaming their neighborhoods. NoLIta stands for North of Little Italy but it hints
of Paris. Explore Prince Street stopping in to the luscious Bistro Margot (26
Prince) for fabulous food. Then, make your way to Elizabeth Street and just wander.
Michael Anchin's handblown glass shop (250 Elizabeth) is ripe for gift buyers.
The Blue Bag (266 Elizabeth) carries handbags from all over the world. The owner
assures me that what you get there, you can't get anywhere else. Capitol Furnishings
(259 Elizabeth) provides the muse for innovative decorating. The Rialto bleeds
a sexy vibe. End up there, sipping a balloon glass of red, red wine. Have fun!
Tina, NYC, USA
Hungry in Minneapolis?
If you are visiting Minneapolis and love ethnic food you should make your way
to "Eat Street" where my mom and I run a restaurant. In fact, this 17
block stretch of Nicollet Ave. has over 50 restaurants, delis and groceries. They
are all independently owned businesses (except for one McDonalds). There are Middle
Eastern, Greek, American, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, German, Mexican and African
offerings -- all of them cheap to moderately priced.
If you are into Chinese medicine, don't miss the handful of Chinese groceries
which also offer loads of alternative remedies and treatments. Eat Street starts
at the south end of Nicollet Mall, just a few blocks from the convention center.
There is a brightly colored circulator bus called the "Arts and Eats Express"
which goes from the convention center and downtown hotels to Eats Street, the
Minneapolis Art Institute, the Walker Arts Center, the Guthrie Theater and back
again. It's a city bus so you can get a transfer and ride any direction on one
fare for up to 2 1/2 hours.
Erica Christ, Minneapolis, USA