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Woman Writers Worldwide Share Travel Secrets

Huge splurge in Milan, Italy...

Billed in the company brochure as an "urban retreat, an escape for mind and body", the spa at the Hotel Bulgari in the centre of Milan is located on the lower ground floor, and includes a pool. Enhanced by special lighting effects, the gold and emerald green glass mosaic designs on walls and floors create a shimmering splendour of luxury and indulgence. You may just want to check in for life. However, deep down, you know that you have to go back to the madding crowd. So the best thing is to have a treatment that prepares you for that. Try the 85-minute Advanced Age Defier at 145 Euro, or hot stone therapy, or even the Balinese body massage. The facials will cost 55 Euro, while the manicure and pedicure are 35 and 45 Euro, respectively. Otherwise, opt for a half-day session. This starts with a 25-minute ceremonial foot massage as you sip herbal tea, and includes a choice of detoxifying, hydrating, muscle-relaxing, energizing, or nourishing massage. If 200 Euro sounds a lot, think of it as credit-card insurance. Considering how more you could be spending in the same amount of time in the nearby shopping streets, £150 is a snip! Actually, you might prefer the whole day. The package includes lunch and comes in at 280 Euro. The Bulgari hotel is at Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7b,(02 8058051/

Roberta Kedzierski has lived in Milan for over 10 years and is originally from Britain. She writes for a number of US and UK publications on a variety of subjects. Roberta's work includes, the "Thinking Allowed" column in the monthly HelloMilano magazine (, as well as having her own page on


Bargain for your hotel room...

If you're trying to stick with a budget, attempt to bargain with the hotel manager on the price for your room. To determine the going rate, check out, the website where travelers spill the beans on what they paid at and which hotel they got. If the hotel you're looking at is listed there, simply offer the Priceline rate, minus 5% (about the commission the hotel would have paid that agency). You'll be amazed at how well this can work.

Pauline Frommer is an American travel journalist. She appears weekly on CNN's Pipeline and co-hosts The Travel Show, which can be heard every Sunday on 100 radio stations nationwide. Her new series of budget-conscious guidebooks, the Pauline Frommer Guides, are available wherever books are sold. Pauline Frommer's New York City was named "Best Guidebook of the Year" by the North American Travel Journalists Association.


Stay awake for the first hour of an international flight...

Don't take any sleep aid until at least 30 minutes after the flight has taken off. Trouble with an airplane typically occurs within the first hour after take-off and/or the last hour before landing, and as a passenger you need to be able to respond to any type of emergency.

Kathleen Ameche lives in Chicago. She is the featured travel expert on CBS 2 Chicago as well as the author of The Woman Road Warrior, An Expert's Guide to Domestic and International Business Travel.


Safe, warm bus travel in Peru...

A safe, cheap, and practical way to move from town to town in Peru is the bus. There are three main companies usually favoured by tourists, and by far the safest, are Cruz del Sur, Ormeño and Oltursa. However there is one thing you should know before boarding whatever bus in Peru: the air conditioning will be on and high for the whole duration of the travel, regardless the season and the altitude the bus reaches. I have seen people freezing when travelling by night. The bus usually provides a blanket, but in winter and on altitudes, it might not be enough. Always bring socks, a shawl or a warm sweater with you.

Claudia Landini reports from Lima, Peru. She is the co-founder of, an expat website for women.


She likes free museums...

The next time you're waiting for a flight at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, check out the free Rijksmuseum, a branch of Holland's largest museum. It houses ten works by Dutch Masters, from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, and rotating exhibits of ceramics, silverwork and other crafts. A shop sells reproductions of jewellery, glassware and paintings from the permanent collections. The museum is open daily. Admission is free.

Barb Kroll and her husband, Ron, are Canadians who publish the trip-planning website:


Don't double tip...

When you are dining abroad, remember that a service charge is usually figured into the cost of the meal or tacked onto the bill. There's no need to add more, although in many countries it's customary to "round up" the bill or leave some loose change. This practice is becoming more common in the United States too, especially for large groups, so keep your eyes open or you'll be paying twice. Room service at hotels is another place where you'll often find a built-in service charge.

Joan Rattner Heilman is the author of the bestselling guidebook for older travelers, Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50, 2007-2008 (McGraw-Hill) Now in its 17th edition.


A woman-friendly hotel in Buenos Aires...

I stayed at the Hotel Frossard in Buenos Aires and would like other travelling women to know about it, too. You'll arrive at a belle époque house-turned-hotel, where Che Guevara’s aunt once lived (there's a buzzer system to enter). You'll ascend to reception in a gold-filigreed elevator cage. Expect that your room will probably mimic the size and cleanliness of a nun’s cell. At $US30 per night with breakfast and an ever-so-helpful staff, the Hotel Frossard, like so much of Buenos Aires, remains friendly and affordable. Hotel Frossard is located in the heart of the city, pleasant and well-run. Website:

Nancy Wigston is a Canadian travel writer, photographer and reviewer.


One to five stars, your hotel choice in Amsterdam...

In April 2007, I discovered an intriguing Amsterdam accommodation, the Lloyd Hotel,, awash with cultural, historical and architectural surprises. This centenarian, six-storey former emmigrant center and youth prison overlooking a major city canal, still boasts an industrial elegance following its renovation and reopening as a popular cultural arts hotel in 2004. It features rooms of one- to five-stars, so I spent a night in each extreme. Ratings and prices of 80 to 300 Euros, including an ample health-conscious breakfast buffet, are based on a room’s individual measurements. All services and luxury amenities come with every room, with only the one-star having a bathroom down the hall, possibly shared with one or two other guests on the same floor. No two rooms are alike in design, furnishings or size. The Lloyd attracts many art and culture guests who often perform and exhibit in its dramatic public spaces.

Alison Gardner is a Canadian travel journalist and editor of Travel with a Challenge.


Bonus #8! Classical Destinations...

It's called, Classical Destinations, An armchair guide to classical music. We haven't seen another book like this one and we love the concept. Inspired by the television series of the same name, Classical Destinations combines three strong elements -- brilliant photographs of destinations that inspired some of the greatest names in classical music, biographical tales and fun facts about those composers plus helpful tourist information about all locations. What a splendid idea. Research cities like Venice, home of Vivaldi, Lucca, Puccini's birthplace, as well as Helsinki to investigate Jan Sibelius's roots. Think you'd like to visit? No problem. The best website and tourism sources will be right there at your finger tips. This coffee table book is the real thing -- lovely to look at and delightful to read. Amadeus Press. ISBN 1-57467-158-8.


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