Compiled by Evelyn Hannon
HERE ARE THIS MONTH'S TOP 12 JOURNEYWOMAN TRAVEL TIPS -- As usual, your many female-friendly bits of advice from all over the world continue to inform, inspire and amuse. This time, from wonderful travelling women across the U.S. and Canada to those in Madrid (Spain), San Miguel (Mexico) and Brussels (Belgium) what follows are this issue's top twelve travelling tips. Enjoy, everybody.
1. BEST ALMOND CROISSANTS IN OTTAWA -- writes Mary in Ottawa, Canada -- You will need travel insurance if you want to experience the most amazing almond croissants in the entire universe. They are to die for and can be found at a funky bakery-café called Art Is In Bakery. Website: www.artisinbakery.com. The bakery also has a stand at the Ottawa Farmers' Market at Lansdowne Park, (a tourist destination as well). Website: ottawafarmersmarket.ca/returning-lansdowne-park. Look for the long line-up and enjoy!
2. WHAT TO WEAR IN AMMAN, JORDAN -- writes Brianne in Houston, USA -- In Abdoun, an upscale residential area of Amman you can wear short sleeves or tank tops to restaurants as long as you bring a jacket or cardigan or even a shawl to cover up with while you are getting there or leaving. It is acceptable to take these things off once you are seated and having dinner. It is always a good idea to dress in layers wherever you are in Jordan because you will find that depending on where you are different things are appropriate and you can adjust your clothing to the setting you are in. Look around at what the women around you are wearing and then you can gauge what is appropriate or not. Not to mention, it is chilly in the evenings and often times you will want that extra cardigan or shawl.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out, GirlTalk Jordan, a mini guide for women. Click!
3. EXTRA SECURITY -- writes Marti in Downers Grove, USA -- For extra security of things like neck wallets, camera, Rx glasses, I put a carabiner through a buttonhole of my shirt, or through sunglasses loop of my vest, then attach strap of my wallet, camera, whatever to it. You can also clip a wallet or camera into your day bag the same way; if it does not come with clips, make your own by attaching a little key ring to the strap or zipper of the bag. Less likely to have it grabbed, less likely to have it accidentally fall out.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Browse this section for many more safety ideas.
4. TRAVELLING SOLO TO MOROCCO -- writes Barbara in Spain -- I wanted to go the Morocco but was dubious about traveling there alone. Well, I have just returned after a month and would like to reassure those alone travelers that it is quite ok. I am sure my few wrinkles and grey hair gave me a pass. If I had been 20 something and blond I think it would have been a different story. Age does have its advantages! My tip for those Moroccan bound travelers is this....for a week before traveling everyday stand in front of a mirror and with a serious face repeat the word "NO" as many times as possible! You will need this skill as everyone will be wanting to either sell you something or want you to eat at their restaurant. I am enjoying my travels and meeting new people from different countries. I hope single women will not be apprehensive about traveling alone as there are so many potential new friends out there in the world. New friends of all ages. Travel on, JourneyWomen!
5. CHECK RULES, REGULATIONS AND CUSTOMS -- writes Wendy in Vacaville, USA -- Whenever you are planning on attending an event, visiting a museum, walking through a church, or other activity you are not familiar with...check first to see what the rules, regulations, or customs are for that place or event. Recently we attended the Pro Bowl in Phoenix, AZ and I was not aware we could not bring in our purses, cameras, pens, or any type of closed bag. We were allowed a 12 inch clear plastic bag with a cell phone, our tickets, and not much else. Had we checked online first, we would have seen those rules and saved a walk back to the car.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We have a full section on cultural-correctness at the Journeywoman website. Click!
6. GREAT GUIDE IN CAPE TOWN AREA -- writes Bunny in Atlanta, USA -- I just returned from Cape Town and had the most incredible experience with a tour guide there. His name is Steve Bolnick and his website is: stevebolnicksafaris.com. He will customize a tour to do what you want. We did not do a safari but did a full day tour around the Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park, Cape of Good Hope areas and more. He is very knowledgeable, professional, personable and smart. I cannot recommend him highly enough.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Having the perfect tour guide at your destination could greatly enhance your experience. Here are some Journeywoman reader suggestions. Click!
7. TEA SERVED IN THIS SOPHISTICATED BAR IN TORONTO, CANADA -- writes Margaret in Hamilton, Canada -- The Royal York Hotel is a great place to spend a winter afternoon. After enjoying the interior architecture, visit in the Library Bar. Of course, you can enjoy a cocktail there however their selection of tea is wonderful, as well. It's elegantly served in china cup and pored from a silver pot. Best part, we never felt rushed to leave. Subway stop: Union Station. And if you arrive in the city by train, the Royal York Hotel is right across the street.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's a list of tea rooms for you to explore when you visit Paris. Click!
8. TRIED AND TRUE RESTAURANTS IN SAN MIGUEL, MEXICO -- Finding good restaurants is not difficult and prices vary. For example, on Monday evening, Le Monet offers a current film and a simple three-course dinner and a glass of wine for 180 paseo per person. Hank's New Orleans Café and Oyster Bar has a Thursday night special; when two people order a main meal they also can get a free bottle of wine. The cost is about $60.00 a couple. Hecho en Mexico is a favorite amongst tourist and the food is consistently good. A main plate costs between $12-15 dollars. My favorite restaurant is Cumpano that houses a wonderful bakery and charming restaurant similar to a French Bistro. Lunch could cost $20.00 per person. Address: Correo, 29, Colonia Centro.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We get many requests from readers for tips about San Miguel. If you have advice that you would like to share, please email email@example.com and put the words 'San Miguel 2015' in the subject line.
9. FILM CANNISTERS ARE BECOMING OBSOLETE -- writes Tricia in Olympia, USA -- I have read in a couple of places in Journeywoman about saving empty film canisters to use for sewing kits, etc. Film canisters are not very common anymore so why not substitute empty (label removed) plastic prescription containers. They are perfect. You can see through these to know exactly what you have in it. P.S. Thank you for creating Journeywoman and I have recommended it to many women friends.
10. BEST CHOCOLATE IN OTTAWA, CANADA -- writes Ruth in Ottawa -- Hello from Canada's capitol. This is my newsletter tip submission for 2015. I'd like other women visiting my city to know that I recommend and love the European feel of Stubbe (since 1845), a chocolate shop and bakery that also makes great spiced cocoa and truffles. I really like their lavender and their balsamic dark chocolate, but they also do gorgeous and delicious German-style tortes. You can find them downtown at 375 Dalhousie Street in the Mercury Court building. Check out their (delicious) website at: www.stubbechocolatesottawa.com
11. EARPHONES THAT AREN'T PAINFUL -- writes Laurie in Edmonton, Canada -- Today many tour operators use wireless receiver units so tour guides don't have to shout when you are out sightseeing. Often, the supplied earphones are either painful or have awful sound quality. Take along your own comfortable earphones for a much better experience as any that plug into your mobile device will fit the receivers.
12. FEMALE-FRIENDLY RESORT ON THE WEST COAST OF MEXICO -- writes Kathy in San Diego, USA -- I have stayed twice as a single woman at the Playa Viva resort which is close to the small town of Juluchuca, just about a 30 minute drive south of Zihautanejo on the west coast of Mexico. On both visits there were families, couples, and other single women at the resort. Transportation from and to the Zihautanejo airport is included for guests staying 3 or more nights. It is a small all-inclusive eco-resort which can accommodate only about 20 guests at a time. Accommodations are in beach-side casitas which are partially open air (mosquito nets for your bed) where you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves on the pristine beach. A highlight of the resort is the sea turtle preserve where four different species of turtle eggs are harvested from the beach, reburied in an area secured from poachers or predators, and then release to the ocean when they hatch. Website: www.playaviva.com
BONUS: FRITES, FRITES, FRITES! -- writes Katrien in Brussels, Belgium -- You can always do as the Belgians do: buy a "cornet" of French fries (here we call them Belgian frites) with a big splash of ketchup on top. Where and when do you eat them? In the street, while enjoying the beautiful buildings, scenery or events. There is a wide variety of sauces to choose from for the fries . But, for your information, most Belgians eat their fries with mayonnaise. Delicious!
EDITOR'S NOTE: From our archives, check out how one - five euros goes far in Brussels. Click!
WHAT MAKES A GREAT TRAVEL TIP? -- In exchange for all the travel tips you've read in our newsletters in the past twelve months, please give back to our JW Network by sharing at least one juicy piece of your own travel advice. Not sure what to write about? We suggest you read the article, 'What Makes a Great Travel Tip?' for some basic ideas. Then send your advice to: firstname.lastname@example.org and put 'My 2015 Contribution' in the subject line. That will make us very happy.
PAST LINKS -- If you didn't read 'Last Tips for 2014' CLICK HERE or Best Tips for January CLICK HERE.
For oodles of more travel tips