1. WE FOUND HOTEL METRO IN NEW YORK THRU JOURNEYWOMAN -- writes Valerie in Whitley Bay, USA -- This hotel is beautifully done up in Art Deco style. My daughter and I stayed there for nine days and it was fabulous. The location is brilliant; it's on a short block on 35th St between 5th and 6th Avenues. From the gorgeous open roof terrace, the Empire State Building is right next to you with all its magical changes of lighting, and Macy's Department Store is just at the end of the block. You are near everything central and in easy reach of everywhere else. There is a gym, there is breakfast included (and it's on for hours, so no rush), with myriad muffins, bags of bagels, cereals, fruit and toast, and they offer free tea and coffee round the clock. There is a cocktail bar and restaurant at the hotel, too. As first time visitors, it was magical for us to be right in the thick of the iconic sights of New York. The beds were very comfortable and yes, the rooms were small, but that's always the case in city centre hotels anywhere. Tel: 212 947 2500. Website: www.hotelmetronyc.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you or anybody you know is heading to New York City, you should not miss '26 Reasons for Women Not to Miss New York City.' Click!
2. BE PREPARED AT THE AIRPORT IN CANADA -- writes Victoria in Toronto, Canada -- I wonder if other JourneyWomen have thought about doing this. When I am at the airport in Canada, I pick up several of those blue forms that have to be filled out for entry into the USA. Then I can fill them out at home before a trip and not find myself trying to juggle pen, form, carry-on etc. on some crowded counter top. P.S. Write your flight number and your passport number on a piece of paper and keep it handy in your pocket. This way if any custom form require this travel information you don't have to go fishing in your bag to find your passport, etc.
3. WE DISCOVERED A LOVELY HOTEL IN COPENHAGEN, DENMARK -- writes Ruth in Indianapolis, USA -- We discovered Hotel Christian IV, a 42 room hotel just a quarter block from the Rosenberg Palace Gardens in the old town, historic area. The reviews said the rooms were small so we booked a superior room and found it to be quite sufficient for our need of two adults. It was very clean and our daily room rate included a very nice breakfast buffet which included cereal, cold cuts, cheese, fruit, yogurt, soft boiled eggs and a variety of breads and juice. Website: www.hotelchristianiv.dk. It was centrally located so that we could walk north to the 'Little Mermaid' statue, the Amalienborg Palace, Nyhavn canal and southward via the 'Stroget' (the grand pedestrian boulevard) to the City Hall, the Historical Town Hall, Tivioli Gardens,etc. We found the old town area to be delightfully user friendly. We also discovered a wonderful Italian restaurant called, 'Fiat' at Kongens Nytorv 18 which is 1 1/2 blocks west of the Nyhavn canal at Kongens Nytorv Square. I was delighted to discover their unique and tasty lemoncello daiquiri as well as a delicious meal. Website: www.f-i-a-t.dk
EDITOR'S NOTE: Anybody setting out for Scandinavia? Here's 50 tips for you to enjoy including a page for Denmark. CLICK!
4. WATER DOESN'T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE BOTTLED -- writes Barbara in Walnut Creek, USA -- Here's a way to cut travel costs, ladies. We all like bottled water but it can be pricey in Europe (especially in tourist areas). Just a reminder that you can ask for 'une carafe' in French-speaking countries or 'una carafa' in Italy in cafes/restaurants and they will bring you a cold pitcher of free tap water. It is excellent and fits the budget. However, here's a BIG reminder: Don't assume tap water is safe. Instead do your research before you travel to learn if it is safe to drink the water at your particular destination.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Heading off to hot summer climates? Don't leave without checking 'Beat the Heat Fact Sheet' and a list of juicy ice cream/gelato spots our readers have told us about. Click!
5. A GREAT GUIDE IN HONG KONG -- writes Deb in Australia -- We've been to Hong Kong a couple of times in the past year or so and we found a great guide, Jamie, to show us the special places in the city. He took us to lovely spots that tourists don't usually find on their own plus the other well known attractions. We walked around a nunnery (yes, it might not sound that interesting to you), but believe me, it was a large, special wonderland that had beauty and form, waterfalls, beautiful bon-sai- styled gardens, temples, bridges and gold-leaf figures. Perfect, stunning and a refreshing place of peace and tranquillity in a noisy, bustling city. Jamie mostly walks or uses trains/trams, and goes at a pace that can be tailored to your needs. He's English, in his 40's I think, and married to a Hong Kong woman. Do yourself a favour and look at his website: j3tourshongkong.com. P.S. He loves his camera and has some great shots on his site (check it out - even if you're not planning a trip to Hong Kong).
6. KNOW YOUR MONEY -- writes Barbara in Petaluma, USA -- When you come from the US and arrive in London you need English Pounds for the taxi, I mistakenly presumed they would take Euros, but not so. Luckily I was booked at a B&B and the proprietor advanced me the cab fare. It sure was embarrassing and as jet lagged as I was I had to go and find a bank and exchange money for the proper currency.
7. WHAT TO WEAR IN KENYA -- writes in Nairobi, Kenya -- I've been living in Kenya for a year and have a 'what to wear' tip for other JourneyWomen. The kinds of clothes you pack will depend on where in the country you're going to travel. Nairobi is a very cosmopolitan, fashionable city. If you choose the coast remember that it has deep Islamic influences. A photo safari will be hot and dusty. Many people will visit all these three areas and should pack a variety accordingly. For the coast, it's considered proper for women to have at least knee-length (or ankle-length) skirts or pants, unless you are actually on the beach. For safari, bring the type of clothes you'd go camping in: light-weight, rugged, the type you don't mind getting dirty. And, don't forget a dress or nice top for evenings out in Nairobi. A light-weight, decorative scarf is a great versatile way to cover your shoulders in modest communities, to keep warm at night, and to dress up an otherwise-plain outfit. Have fun, everybody!
8. WHAT TO WEAR IN SANTIAGO, CHILE -- writes Janet in Santiago, Chile -- I'm an American working in this city and want to pass along some 'what to wear' tips. (1) All seasons: Comfortable shoes. so you can deal with cobblestones. Your purse should be small enough to fit on your lap for security while you are eating at a restaurant as purse snatching is extremely frequent, particularly in the areas frequented by expats and tourists. (2) During the summer: Cover up with maxi skirts, linen pants, etc. and (don't forget sun block). Modesty is not a big concern here, but the ozone layer is very thin, so even a few minutes of sun exposure midday can leave you with a harsh sunburn. (3) During the winter: Lots of layers (including long underwear) since many restaurants and homes have limited or no heating. (4) Business wear: You may notice that professional women here in Chile often wear clothing that would be too casual or too revealing in the same professions in the U.S. I maintain my U.S. office dress code, but I wear suits as separate pieces and sometimes use sweaters instead of jackets. Try wearing your more colorful blouses and sweaters with your neutral suits, and accessorize with a scarf, interesting belt, or statement necklace, all of which are hugely popular here.
9. CATCHING THE CORRECT BUS IN INDIA -- writes Glynis in Manchester, England -- I recently returned to England from India, I am a single 50+ lady and I had a wonderful time travelling and meeting people along the way. I used local bus services and my tip to getting the right bus in a very chaotic and busy bus station is as follows. Find someone in your accommodation, travel provider or local person you meet to write on a piece of paper in the local language the name of the destination town or city (I needed Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi). Then when you arrive at the bus station, instead of trying to correctly pronounce an unusual name just show the card written locally, and people will quickly show you the correct bus. After struggling with my early journeys I used this easy tip and it really made a difference.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Considering India? It's an incredible country but be sure to catch up on your research and female-centered safety tips before you leave. Click!
10. A GREAT B&B IN CINQUE TERRE, ITALY -- writes in Anne in Nova Scotia, Canada -- While I was visiting my adult daughter in England this spring, we went to Cinque Terre in Italy for a hiking vacation. We stayed at L'Antica Terrazza in Monterosso al Mare for four nights. It is a delightful little B and B in the heart of the old town. The rooms are clean and nicely decorated. Ours overlooked a lovely little square. The young couple who run the B and B are friendly and helpful. The breakfasts are generous and delicious. It's a great base from which to explore this beautiful region of Italy. Website: www.anticaterrazza.com
11. THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE IN BILBOA, SPAIN -- writes Jessie in Spokane, USA -- A local man I met in Bilboa said the New York Caf had the best hot chocolate in town. I think he might be right because it was incredible stuff. Spanish hot chocolate is nothing like ours in North America. It is very, very rich, and so thick it is barely liquid. New York Caf also served beautiful pastries and meringues, but the hot chocolate took priority. Cost: 2.50 euro. Address: Buenos Aires Street, just off Gran Via. Directions: Buenos Aires is next to the statue of the founder on Gran Via; close to Old town
EDITOR'S NOTE: Anybody heading to Barcelona? There's lots of tips to make your journey juicier. Click!
12. KUDOS TO THIS SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI CAMP -- writes Linda in San Diego, USA -- If you make it to South Africa, don't miss a stay at Tanda Tula. Tanda Tula Safari Camp is situated in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, forming part of the Greater Kruger National Park. It's an amazing place. Wonderful accommodations, fantastic venue, staff so friendly and helpful, ranger guides knowledgeable and FUN (that's important), highest accolades regarding food. We saw BIG FIVE in one day! Hope you get the opportunity; I'd return in a nano-second. Website: www.tandatula.com
LAST BUT NOT LEAST! -- For new tour ideas, travel products, discounts, free single supplements, etc. CLICK HERE.
PAST LINKS -- If you didn't read 'Best Tips for July' last month, CLICK HERE. 'Best Tips for June' CLICK HERE
DO YOU HAVE A TIP TO SHARE ABOUT MADRID, VALENCIA, SEVILLE OR BARCELONA IN SPAIN? -- Click here and share your knowledge along with your first name and the city you live in. We'll compile all of your tips for everybody to enjoy. And, we'll pick one contributor at random and that winner will receive a copy of the book, '100 Places Every Woman Should Go.' We look forward to hearing 'good stuff' about Spain!
Back to travel tips