1. SMALL HOTEL IN A SEASIDE TOWN IN WALES -- writes Tracy in Fredericton, Canada -- I would like to highly recommend a lovely little hotel in Llandudno, Wales called the Can-y-bae Hotel. It is ideally situated on the Mostyn Crescent, right across from the open sea. It is a small hotel, only 16 rooms and therefore very cozy...almost like a home. Owners Dave and Michael are so warm and friendly and the meals they serve in their restaurant were fabulous. I can't recommend this place enough as well as Wales, a destination that is still relatively undiscovered. Website: can-y-baehotel.com
2. LET THERE BE LIGHT! -- writes Helen in Toronto, Canada -- I've recently added a mini LED flashlight lantern to my travel packing list. Super compact and lightweight, this little device has been invaluable during my travels and now I don't leave my country without it. They're not just perfect for outdoor adventures, but handy in low-lit areas and during power outages. I often travel to countries where rolling black-outs are the norm and they can happen at any time. When held in your hand, the device operates as a flashlight, but it can also function as a mini lantern or night light when you set it down on a flat surface. So when your hotel room goes pitch black, you can use the lantern for wider, diffused light if you need both hands to find something. The flashlight is particularly useful when trying to find something in the dark when your travel companion is sleeping and you don't want to hit the light switch. For an example of these lanterns see: www.magellans.com/mini-led-flashlight-lantern
3. SMALL HOTEL IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC -- writes Lorraine in Alexandria, USA -- A few years ago I stayed at a great little hotel three blocks from the center of Prague. It's called the Atlantic and the rates were in the range of $90 per night. There is a subway stop very close by called, Namesti Republiky on Line B. I'm going back again this year. Their website is: www.hotel-atlantic.cz/en/ and it can answer any other questions you might have.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Six highly recommended meals in Prague is an excellent article about a variety of interesting places to try. Click here
4. EXPLORE THE LANEWAYS IN MELBOURNE -- writes Kelly in Melbourne, Australia -- Melbourne is laid out in a grid system so it's very easy to navigate around. But make sure you wander around the side streets too, there are some fantastic gems to discover. My favourites are: (1) www.thecroftinstitute.com - you'll turn a few corners and pass a lot of rubbish bins but keep going! It's worth it (for the surroundings and the cocktails). (2) www.mitretavern.com.au - the oldest building in Melbourne - a pub of course! (3) And, if you want to find your own way there are a number of great free self-guided walks at this site: www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/visitors/WalksItineraries/Walks/Pages/Walks.aspx
5. I RECOMMEND ONE GUIDE AND ONE TOUR IN ITALY -- writes Jackie in Toronto, Canada -- (1) I had the most wonderful experience touring Pompeii with our guide, Lucia. She was informative, personable and very knowledgeable. We made arrangements to meet at Pompeii train station after a 1/2 hour easy train ride from Sorrento. Lucia was able to work us through and around crowds and tell us very intimate details about the daily lives of Pompeii inhabitants. I recommend her services to other JourneyWoman travelling to this part of the world. Tel: +39 3384202154. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (2) In Rome, we did a 4-1/2 hour walking-tasting evening tour with Food Tours of Rome. This was one of the highlights of our 6 days in the city. We did six food stops, all different courses with wine accompaniment, and walked from one place to the next. Our guide, Bruno was extremely knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor. I would recommend this to anyone who has a free afternoon or evening in Rome. The group was small (10 people) so we had lots of opportunity to ask questions and enjoy the tour in between the food stops. Website: www.foodtoursofrome.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: Visiting Rome and looking for stores catering to Journey Babes? You'll enjoy learning about these specialty shop. Click here.
6. TWO ACCOMMODATION RECOMMENDATIONS IN FRANCE -- writes Sherrie in Brisbane, Australia -- (1) Having just returned from the Dordogne, France I can heartily recommend Le Cordeliers, a luxury B&B in the lovely little town of Sarlat. Friendly, helpful hosts, good breakfasts and good rooms, with a little landing on the 2nd floor containing daily sweet and savoury snacks, coffee, tea and a little refrigerator in which to store your market goodies to eat later. Website: www.hotelsarlat.com (2) In Paris I stayed at the 23-room Relais Madelaine Hotel run by an elegant lady. Nice rooms, very clean, close to all good shopping. Helpful staff and the most wonderful sandwich store, KOS just left out of the front door where an English speaking couple make sandwiches, baguettes and delicious salads to order. Best wishes and happy travelling, everybody!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's 10 more very good things we know about Paris. Click here. Add to that six chocolate shops you mustn't miss in Paris. Click here
7. CHECK OUT THIS GREAT MARKET IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - writes Adrienne in Washington, USA -- The Queen Victoria, a historic landmark spread over two city blocks, is a vibrant and bustling inner-city Market where you can shop for everything from Australian fruit and vegetables, and local and imported gourmet foods, to cosmetics, clothing and souvenirs. The Market is open five days a week-Tuesday, and Thursday to Sunday. Terrific market to see all the fruits & veggies that are unfamiliar to us in the USA. Tons of different stalls with everything you can think of. www.qvm.com.au
EDITOR'S NOTE: Talking about markets, here's five really good ones not to miss in London England. Click here.
8. HOW SWEET THIS BOOK IS! -- writes Doreen in Winnipeg, Canada -- The book, 'Chocolatour, a Quest for the World's Best Chocolate' takes readers around the world in search of the best chocolate, most innovative chocolate makers, exciting chocolate events, and enticing chocolate destinations. In her research for the first volume of Chocolatour, author Pendgracs has visited and interviewed chocolatiers and chocolate makers from Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Holland, and the UK. Remember the name; this book will make a great gift for someone on your Christmas or Chanukah gift list. Click here to find out more.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out bookshops around the world that women love to browse. Click here.
9. INTERESTING B&B ACCOMMODATION IN EAST HARLEM -- writes Miriam near Haifa, Israel -- This summer our family (three adults and five children) visited New York. Since it's way too expensive to stay at a hotel in New York City for such a large family, we rented three rooms in a lovely 1890 multi-family brownstone house in East Harlem. Judith Mason. the manager was very hospitable and had breakfast waiting for us (great French toast one day and the next delicious waffles with blueberries). There's a wonderful children's room with literally hundreds of games and toys and a bunk bed. Believe it or not, she even has a swimming pool in the basement! The kids loved that pool after a hard day of walking in the city. Bonus: It's only two short blocks from the subway. Address: 108 E. 101 St. Email: email@example.com
10. OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN LUCCA, ITALY -- writes Frannie in Juno Beach, USA -- This is my tried and true trattoria that I would like to share with JourneyWomen around the world. We have been going to Lucca, Italy for fourteen years and our favorite restaurant is an overlooked little gem, the trattoria called Gli Orti on Via Elisa, inside the walls. Owners Samuele and Sylvie Cosentino are very welcoming as is the rest of the staff. The food is delicious and the pizza outstanding. Reservations are recommended for May to September: 0583 49 12 41. You will not be disappointed by the friendliness and the delicious food, reasonably priced. Website: Click here.
11. WE READ ABOUT THIS ISTANBUL GUIDE IN JOURNEYWOMAN.COM writes Patti in San Antonia, USA -- We read about Sermin in Journeywoman's section on recommended guides. Wow, we were impressed. She was warm hearted, extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. Sermin is an official guide for Istanbul and she told us what this requires - passing a fluency test in English, a knowledge test and practical exam. The best thing was that is was very crowded at the sites as Ramadan had just ended with long lines everywhere. Sermin pulled out her badge and we walked to the front of the line. Going through the Grand Bazaar there was no heckling as once she spoke Turkish all was smooth. Sermin tells you about Turkish culture and things you just don't get from a guide book. I highly recommend her; she was a pure delight. P.S. I love your Journeywoman website!
12. LOVELY B&B IN AMSTERDAM -- writes Jean in Kalamazoo, USA - If you visit Amsterdam, I recommend Prince Henry - Private Suites which is a lovely Bed & Breakfast. My daughter and I used it as our home base for a week while she settled in to her graduate school apartment. It is located in a lovely, peaceful neighborhood near the Vondelpark, a short walking distance to local shops, restaurants and tram stops. The hosts, Petra and Joop, are friendly, helpful and lovely - they have anticipated all of a traveler's needs and questions. The breakfast and evening snacks are delicious and filling (Petra also owns a catering business). Breakfast selections are numerous and your tray is delivered outside of your room at whatever time you request. (Petra even packed me a take-away breakfast the morning I left for an early plane). Delicious and filling. Water, juice, soda, wine and beer are available any time. Fresh flowers greeted us upon arrival. Each room has a coffee maker, tea kettle and a cookie jar (replenished daily). We were lucky enough to have a ground floor room that also had a lovely private garden and a beautiful huge bath room. This was our second trip to Amsterdam and our accommodations could not have been more perfect this time. Website: www.princehenry.nl Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR'S NOTE: Heading to Holland? Three JourneyWomen share their Netherland's secrets with you right here.
BONUS TIP -- CAN YOU IMAGINE KOREAN FOOD IN AFGHANISTAN? -- writes Anna in Kabul, Afghanistan -- Here in Kabul, I live on a school campus where I am a teacher. We have a fabulous Korean restaurant just around the corner. The name of it is, simply, 'Korean Restaurant,' though it serves a variety of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese dishes. It's about the least expensive place to dine around here, with a simple no-frills environment. This Asian eatery is always super-welcoming and kind, which goes a long way in this city. Address: Karte Char, Str.2, house No.120.
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN LADIES We each know something juicy about a small hotel, wonderful things to see and do that are 'free', a solo friendly restaurant, a market that other women will love, a charming little museum that offers free admission, a novel way to protect our belongs, etc, etc, etc. So send email@example.com at least one contribution in this new year. Put the words, '2012 Contribution' in the subject line. Remember you don't need to be a great writer; English doesn't have to be your 1st language. It's our job to edit and share it with the rest of our travelling sisterhood. They'll love you for it.
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 September' last month, CLICK HERE. 'Best Tips for August' CLICK HERE
Oodles of more travel tips