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Travel Journal


Her Travel Secrets:
Advice and Tips From Travel Writing Pros
.....sent to Journeywoman from female journalists around the world.



On an ongoing basis, Journeywoman asks female journalists around the world to share their best travel tips and advice. We are constantly delighted and intrigued with the wonderful networking responses we receive. Here's the best of the best. In true Journeywoman fashion, we now share with you...

1. -- Women only -- YWCA in Athens
On my first visit to Athens I had problems with the staff at the hotel. The manager seemed to take a real liking to me and it concerned me that he had keys to my room. I was on a budget so my options were limited. The next morning I headed off to the tourist office and discovered that there was a YWCA with accommodation just for women. Not only was it suitable, I got to know a number of Greek women who were in from the provinces, and they gave me tips on the Greek ways to discourage unwanted attention.
Lucy Izon, author of Izon's Backpacker Journal , Toronto, Canada

2. -- Her Money is Always Safe!
Instead of leaving valuables in your hotel room, put them in the hotel's safe. Last time I checked, hotels were not responsible for the much advertised safe in your room, but they were for the front-office safe.
Sandy Huff, travel writer, Safety Harbor, USA
Ed. note: Before depositing your valuables, it's a good idea to verify exactly how much the hotel would be responsible for in case of theft. Amounts definitely vary.

3. -- She Shops to Music in Montreal, Canada
Are you a sucker for tradition -- and great shopping besides? Drop by Ogilvy's department store (1307 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest) promptly at noon any day of the week. That's when a kilted bagpiper marches through the venerable store, founded in 1866, playing Scottish tunes to signal the lunch hour. After the oh-so-refined music, shop till you drop in this marvelous store, which features designer clothes, a fabulous bookstore and a dynamite garden shop called Dig This.
Linda Kay, author of Romantic Days and Nights in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

4. -- Floating B&B in Stockholm Belonged to Heiress
Malardrottningen -- a tiny waterborne hotel converted from the former yacht of Barbara Hutton (Woolworth heiress and wife of Cary Grant, etcetera) -- floats in the waters of Stockholm's Lake Malaren, just a short walk from Old Town and practically in the shadow of City Hall (Stadhuset, where the Nobel Prize is awarded each year.) The intriguing B&B -- boat and breakfast, in this case -- offers unique accommodations. ''This one bobs,'' says Christina Wilkstrom, an employee of the boatel. ''Guests sleep very well; they like being rocked to sleep." Hutton received the yacht as a gift on her 18th birthday. The B&B has a distinctly nautical flavor, 59 quaint and quirky cabins, a sauna and a restaurant that ranks among Sweden's top ten. Single rates from $95 per night, splashier suites $220. Address: Riddarholmen, Stockholm 11128, Sweden. Phone: 011-46-8-24-36-00.
Arlene Bleecker, cruise columnist, New Jersey, USA

5. -- Her Cybercafe in Quito, Equador
"We all know we live in a global village. Just to prove it, a new cyber-cafe has opened in Quito, Ecuador. Conveniently located in the new city, an area frequented by visitors, the "Net Cafe" is open 7 days a week from noon to midnight. It offers high-speed Internet access and printing facilities for US$5/hour. Address: Reina Victoria corner Cordero, Tel: 554-005."
Daisy Kunstaetter, editor, South American Travel Advisor, Quito, Equator

6. -- She Spas in Ottawa, Canada's Capital - Spa Closed
Travelling solo to Ottawa? The gracious, 11-room Carmichael Inn and Spa, perched on a quiet corner in the downtown core of Canada's capital, is ideal for women travelling on business or pleasure. Here, you'll find comfort, city-centre convenience, safety and a warm, welcoming staff. The big bonus is the in-house spa. Slip into a Carmichael Inn robe, walk downstairs and within minutes you can be indulging in a full-body massage or aromatherapy herbal wrap. Single rates, $109 to $149 Can. per night, include a hearty continental breakfast. Book early. The Inn is just one year old but the good word has spread and they are very busy. Check out their web site at; or call: 613-236-4667.
Anne Dimon, travel technology columnist for the Toronto Star, Canada

7. -- She Eats For Less in USA's Capital
For really inexpensive (read subsidized) meals in Washington DC, you can eat in the government building cafeterias. One of the better ones is the Madison Building of the Library of Congress. It's bright and airy and overlooks the Capitol. There's a fast-food grill, circular salad bar and hot entrees. The bill should run about $5 per person.
Sandra Phillips, The Gazette, Montreal weekly columnist, Canada

8. -- She Doesn't Leave Home Without It.
One secret to happy traveling is to travel light. My key to traveling light is my traveling laundry bag. I use a plastic bag with a drawstring, drop a bar of laundry soap or a small bag of soap powder inside (available in just about every country), along with a flat drain plug. The plug allows me to convert any sink into a laundry sink, so I can wash undies and shirts in places that don't provide sink stoppers.I use the bag to hold my dirty laundry, and when I empty it out, all the supplies I need are together in one place. Depending on where I'll be traveling, I may take along a portable clothes line, too.
Thalia Zepatos, Author of A Journey of One's Own, Portland, USA


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