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This Month's Hot Deals

Best Tips Submitted by Readers -- September 2013

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 Luxenbourg City (Luxembourg), Melbourne (Australia), Auckland (New Zealand), Canberra (Australia), Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Madrid, (Spain) what follows are this issue's top twelve plus one bonus travelling tips. Enjoy, everybody.

BUT FIRST A REMINDER -- Whether you live in North America or farther afield in Paris, Lima, Beijing or Edinburgh, it's your tips that keep us going and going and going. We rely on you, our readers, to keep us informed about great places you've stayed at, restaurants you've enjoyed meals at, museums you've visited, stores and markets you've shopped at, bookstores you've browsed, guides you've hired, etc, etc. etc. If each reader sends us just one tip per year (which will take 5 minutes of your time), think about how much all of us will benefit as we travel the world. Please address your emails to: and put the words, 'My 2013 contribution' in the subject line. Thank you, thank you, thank you, ladies!

1. BE PREPARED WITH A RUBBER DOORSTOP -- writes Naomi in Canberra, Australia -- Not all hotels in India have security chains on the doors. Carry a large rubber door wedge in your luggage; you can get them at hardware stores for a few dollars. When you retire for the night place it under the inside of the door and give it a bit of a kick to make sure it's tight. It gives you added security. Practice this procedure at home and even if you feel confident before you leave and think you won't need a wedge, carry it anyway. You never know. Be prepared.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Want more helpful travel tips from our archives to keep you safe? Click here

2. EXCELLENT TOUR GUIDE IN RIO -- writes Aleda in Winnipeg, Canada -- If you're going to Rio de Janeiro and want a fabulous tour guide, look no further than Marcio Boechat. We were fortunate to have him as a guide on the last day of Carneval in February. He picked us up early in the morning to try to avoid huge crowds at the Christ the Redeemer Statue and we succeeded. He took us shopping and helped negotiate best prices, took us to local restaurants that were unique and delicious, and was able to help us see as much as possible in our one day with him. Marcio's English is great, he's very knowledgeable, and lots of fun. You can contact him at:

EDITOR'S NOTE: Not sure how to locate a guide for the country you are visiting? Consult this list made up of suggestions provided by other JourneyWomen.

3. IF YOU FLY, YOU MIGHT NEED THIS WEBSITE -- writes Nancy in Fairbanks, Alaska -- After reading all the great tips in your newsletter about hotels, here's mine. When you know you're going to be stuck at an airport in the middle of the night, or you realize that your plane isn't going to take off as scheduled, go to to find the quietest, safest, most comfortable places to spend the night. Good luck and sweet dreams, ladies!

4. DINING SOLO IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- writes Meena in Melbourne, Australia -- My travel tip for September is a work related travel tip. I've found that when eating out alone in a city when travelling for work, the bars of nice restaurants often have great bar menus, or the same menu as in the formal restaurant part, but the atmosphere is a little more relaxed and more friendly to dining alone. My recent experience was at Spice Temple in Sydney (Address: 10 Bligh St) where the bar staff made me feel very comfortable and looked after, and I got to eat great food but they did it for entrée size and price! P.S. I've been getting your Journeywoman Newsletters since 1999 and love my regular emails! Your work is fantastic!


5. ON A TALL SHIP FROM PIER 17 IN NEW YORK CITY -- writes Raewyn in Auckland, New Zealand -- I have been to New York City many times and done so many things in that incredible city, but last night I spent a most enjoyable two hours sailing on a tall ship from Pier 17 on the East River to the wonderful sound of the 'Harbour Cats' jazz band. It was a treat I would thoroughly recommend to visitors to the Big Apple. Sailing around the beautifully illuminated Statue of Liberty in the dark in a tall ship with sails aloft on a balmy July evening was amazing. But looking back on the twinkling silhouette of the city from the water while listening to the sophisticated sounds of the very accomplished musicians was a special experience indeed. One that will remain indelibly etched in my mind for a long time to come.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's a great New York City article. Top 20 Cheap Eats in NYC

6. HOTEL IN BOLESLAWIEC, POLAND -- writes Cassie in Hagerstown, USA -- My friend and I recently spent three nights in the Blue Beetroot Hotel in Boleslawiec, Poland (near the Polish-German border). We were warmly greeted as soon as we got there. We were given a nice packet about the Polish Pottery, which is what this area is known for. It included addresses, phone numbers and coupons to some of the places. We were also told about their money in Poland, which is the zloty, which is 4.2 to one Euro. We were told where to go to exchange money (Tesco, which is a grocery type store, with a gas station). Rooms in the hotel were clean and nice. Ditto for the bathroom. There is a nice restaurant at the hotel, which serves all meals, at very reasonable prices. There is also outdoor seating in front of the hotel. Blue Beetroot Hotel is within a short driving distance of the pottery places. It is also about 3 hours from Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps, which we also visited. This area of Poland seems very poor but if you are coming to see the pottery, this hotel will make you feel very comfortable.

7. USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN LARGE CITIES -- writes Carol in Washington, USA -- Upon arrival in a large city, use public transportation. It's normally cheaper, faster and less frustrating than driving yourself. For example, my city is Washington, DC. You can use their website to find your way around. Either type in a street address or Metro stop you wish to visit and it will give you the most direct route and time it takes to travel there. It might make sense to pay a little more to stay near a metro stop so you don't have to rent a car or spend a lot of time commuting to your area of interest.

EDITOR'S NOTE: International Subway Safety - 20 Tips for Women Travellers is a great article for all JourneyWomen to review.

8. STREET CULTURE IN MADRID -- writes Brandy in Madrid, Spain -- While our city is known for our wonderful museums (Prado, Reina Sofia, Thyssien) a lot of our street culture often goes unnoticed. The walls of the city hold many keys to understanding the pulse of our country and capital. A new project called the Madrid Street Art Tour (a Spanish site) is a guided journey through the city streets where you can experience first hand the voice of the people. The tour agents explain the graffiti (and translate it) as well as what movements are behind the expressions. Though I have been living in Madrid for over three years, I learn something new every time I take a tour, and at 5 euro for a half day, you really can't go wrong.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't miss our latest article, Tips About Barcelona and Madrid By Women For Women It's so very helpful!

9. LOVELY HOTEL ON TURKEY'S BLACK SEA COAST -- writes Laura in Luxembourg -- While tourists swarm to the Mediterranean, Turkey's northern coast along the Black Sea offers quiet fishing villages to relax and explore. One of these is Kiyikoy, just 3-4 hours by local bus from Istanbul. My mum, a friend and I spent 3 days at the Hotel Endorfina, perfectly located at the top of the hill overlooking the beach, river and rolling green hills. The hotel owner, Mehmet, is welcoming and friendly and will gladly give you a lift to further beaches should you wish to venture along the coast. We stayed on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis: the food was wonderful - all locally produced, fresh and tasty. There was lots of fruit, vegetables and salads, as well as daily fish brought from the shores where we'd been lazing in the sun and swimming. And don't forget pots of that Turkish coffee! The rooms are simple, with huge windows to the brilliant views. There is a good-sized pool and terrace to enjoy Mehmet's cocktails and watch the sun go down. The village is small (albeit with a big history), perched on a cliff with beautiful views and a marina full of bobbing fishing boats; and, without other travellers about, you will gain an insight into Turkish village life along the Black Sea. After the bustling and brilliant temples and markets of Istanbul, it is a traveller's treat not to be missed. See:

10. WELL LOCATED HOTEL IN BARCELONA -- writes Cheryl in Boston, USA -- I love Barcelona! Been there 4 or 5 times and keep going back. Stayed at Catalonia la Pedrera last time out and love the location and breakfast. Room was clean and comfortable - make sure you ask for No Smoking. Great neighborhood. Walking distance from Sagrada and Metro, lovely restaurants in the area such as La Pepita. I also ate at Fargo Gran Via, a few metro stops away at Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 630. However I believe there is one near the Hotel. If you want to go to La Sagrada Familia make sure you buy you tickets online so you do not have to wait in line.

11. TRAVELLING TO WINNIPEG, CANADA? -- writes Julie in Claremont, USA -- (and even if you are not travelling to Winnipeg) I suggest you read, 'The Republic of Love' written by the late and wonderful Canadian writer, Carol Shields. It is an interesting love story and the city of Winnipeg plays a rather important character in the book. It was also made into a film of the same name directed by Deepa Mehta in 2004. See:

12. COOKING TOGETHER IN CHIANG MAI, THAILAND -- writes Jennifer travelling in Thailand -- I wanted to share this tip with other Journeywoman readers heading this way. I came across this excellent cooking school worth recommending. Even if you don't like cooking, I would recommend that everyone go, just so they can have a lazy day lying in a hammock on a Thai farm, with a full belly. The owner is delightful, he proudly boasts that he has the best toilets in Thailand (which he does!) and gives you a lovely recipe book (in English) to take home. The farm is near Chiang Mai, the school is called, Sammy Organic Cooking School.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Heading to Thailand? Check out our JourneyWoman Mini Thailand Cyberguide. Click here.

BONUS TIP ABOUT SPAIN'S PARADORAS -- writes Anne in San Francisco, USA -- I strongly suggest to other JourneyWomen that when you can, to stay in Spain's Paradoras. They are less expensive than the 4-5 star hotels. And they are beautiful. These are former estates of Cardinals, royalty, etc that the state has made into hotels. The rooms are spacious, (did I say beautiful?), the food is wonderful and the grounds are fabulous. Some are located in areas where you might need to rent a car, but several are in towns which afford walking -- like Cordoba and Toledo. The Pomodora d' San Francisco (Toledo) is next to the Alhambra. I was traveling alone and was treated wonderfully. I recommend the Paradoras to my friends all the time. They are the best kept secret in Spain. Website:

Winner!100 Places Every Woman Should Go

WINNER OF THE SPAIN TRAVEL TIP CONTEST -- Last month we invited all of you to email your tips about Spain and the interesting and practical information you provided made up three full internet pages. Thank you! As promised, we picked one winner at random and she is Journeywoman, Katherine Waser from Tuscon, Arizona. Katherine, please send your mailing address to and we will send the book, '100 Places Every Woman Should Go' out to you ASAP. Congratulations.

THIS MONTH WE'RE LOOKING FOR JUICY TRAVEL TIPS FOR MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA -- Please send your advice about hotels, B&Bs, moderate restaurants, shops, libraries, fun things to do and anything else you can think off. Email: and we'll do the compiling for everybody.

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 August' last month, CLICK HERE. 'Best Tips for July' CLICK HERE




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