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This Month's Hot Deals

Best Tips Submitted by Readers -- September 2014

Compiled by Evelyn Hannon

HERE ARE THIS MONTH'S TOP 12 JOURNEYWOMAN TRAVEL TIPS -- This month's tips are very special, indeed. They mark our 21st Anniversary of publishing travel advice especially for females. That means 21 years of helping other women worldwide to travel safely and well and we love doing it.

This time, as an added bonus we've gone way back into our archives and added our EDITOR'S PICKS, special 'how to' or inspirational articles that you have found helpful throughout the years. Please put aside some extra quiet time to enjoy them.

And, thank you all so much for continuing to share your ideas and advice with us at: Put the words 'TRAVEL TIPS' in the subject line. We're counting on you, ladies. Our 22nd year begins now. Let's make it the best one yet!

1. BEST VIEW OF CENTRAL PARK IN NEW YORK CITY -- writes Wendy in Williamston, USA -- I am a avid traveler and art educator. I've been to New York City in both these capacities. The WOW factor happens each time I visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art's rooftop sculpture gallery. Not only is there always an interesting exhibit but this is the absolute best view of Central Park in the city. This is what their website says: 'The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, the Museum's dramatic open-air space, offers unparalleled views of Central Park and the New York City skyline. Each spring features a new installation by a contemporary artist. Capacity varies depending on annual installations. Available May through late fall, weather permitting. Further intormation at:

EDITOR'S PICK: You heading to New York City? Here's a list of 20 cheap eats you can take advantage of. Click!

2. A TAVERNA IN SIENA, ITALY -- writes Mara in Miami, USA -- My partner and I visited Taverna San Guiseppe for dinner one evening in Siens. Oh my goodness, I thought I knew how excellent gnocchi could taste! Well, was I ever wrong. I don't even know how to accurately describe the delicious taste and texture of the green gnocchi that was served to me that evening (delicious seasonings, cheese and fresh truffles grated on top). I truly was in heaven and I will never to be able to eat gnocchi anywhere else again. The salad and grilled vegetables were all farm fresh and organic. I admit that it was a bit pricey but so well worth it. You must try it, ladies. Click!

3. REAL LEATHER VERSUS FAKE IN FLORENCE, ITALY -- writes Rebecca in Florence, Italy -- Bargains abound in Florence's bustling San Lorenzo street market. But be wary of inferior quality (and pickpockets). Handbags sold in the markets may be imported (mostly from China) and made of vinyl, not leather. The way to tell vinyl from leather is to briefly heat the bag with a match or a lighter. Vinyl will melt instantly. If you have doubts, ask the vendor to do the flame test.

EDITOR'S PICK: If you or a girlfriend is heading to Florence any time soon, I suggest reviewing this archived article. Click!

4. DON'T KEEP OPENING YOUR PURSE -- says Victoria in California, USA -- This is such a simple travel tip but sometimes we forget about actually doing it. Keep small change in a pocket easily available for small purchases such as bottled water, an espresso, toilets, and tips so you don't have to open your purse and wallet all the time. Saves you time and effort and thwarts any thieves watching to see exactly where your wallet is.

EDITOR'S PICK: Back in 2007, I created this long list of safety tips especially for female travellers around the world. Since then 1000's of women have made use of it and that makes me very, very happy. Click!

5. I'M NOT REALLY LOST -- writes Geri in Oaxaca, Mexico -- When I'm in a new place alone and I lose my way, I tell myself, "I'm not really lost, I just simply don't know where I am." As I set off to find my starting place I most often discover new places (restaurants, shops, bookstores, museums, parks), and I stop and chat with strangers when asking for directions. Never being too tightly scheduled helps me maintain this mantra-like attitude until I reach my destination. Try it; you might enjoy it.

EDITOR'S PICK: Back in 2001, this woman got lost travelling solo in Venice. Her children had already warned her about it but she still had a great time. Click!

6. WHAT TO WEAR IN GERMANY -- writes Sonia in Barcelona, Spain -- Yes, people like to dress up in Munich and Dusseldorf, parts of Berlin and Hamburg. However, there are also those areas where people are quite proud of their working class origins and rough charm (the Ruhr region, parts of Berlin, parts of Hamburg ...) and you could stick out like a sore thumb wearing chic clothing. Take a look at what the locals are wearing and do likewise. Often, function is more important than form and people dress very casually. In the countryside, they might even 'be snobby' towards people who dress smartly. I often see Germans wearing functional trekking clothes, like backpacks, fleece sweaters, rain jackets or trekking sneakers on a daily basis, even for work. Having a pair of jeans in your suitcase never hurts!

7. JW RECOMMENDS TWO EXCELLENT PLACES TO STAY IN LONDON -- writes Therese in Southern Gulf Islands, Canada -- Thanks to your website my adult daughter and I recently stayed at the Goodenough Club in London and found it to be very good accommodations. Great location, safe and interesting - not far from Russell Square/British Museum. Big room, good staff and lovely breakfast buffet. I would also like to thank the person who recommended Hart House Hotel on your website - same trip, we found this hotel to be everything that was promised. Owner operated and very helpful staff, good sized room, beautifully kept and good breakfast facilities. Ask for a room at the back for a quiet stay. Love Journeywoman!

EDITOR'S PICK: When you are in London next, try checking out these 5 markets. Click!

8.A UNIQUE B&B IN WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND -- writes Jane in Brooklyn, New York -- I would like to recommend the unique Booklovers B & B. Run by the author, Jane Tolerton, our bedroom was filled with helpful local brochures and books. The continental breakfast had delightful homemade granola with fresh apricots. Located in a very quiet neighborhood, it is an easy stroll down to the waterfront (and please don't miss the Te Papa Museum either). Best of all, if you have finished the book that you landed with, you may leave yours and take another for the next leg of your trip. The hardest part will be to decide which awesome book to take with you.

EDITOR'S PICK: If you are a book lover, you need to bookmark this article on bookstores around the world. Click!

9. BEST PRIVATE DRIVER IN KENYA -- writes Julie in Calgary, Canada -- I want to recommend Martin Maina (Nairobi Specialists -, +254 721203694). My sister and I went to Nairobi in June '14 and utilized Martin's services after a recommendation from a film documentary company here in Canada. I was a little leery doing everything over the internet, but Martin was just so helpful he quickly put my mind at ease. He even did our grocery shopping the day before we arrived as we were heading out to Tsavo Park only hours after we arrived in Nairobi. Incredibly honest - you do not have to worry in any way that you are being scammed or taken for money. His knowledge of Kenya, it's people and animals was beyond compare - he could speak knowledgeably about any topic that we asked. A very safe driver and, trust me, you'll need one in Nairobi - we never once felt anxious. He managed to maximize our time by suggesting the best itinerary for the places we wanted to see, yet still rolled with any of our changes or additions. He took us to both Tsavo Park and through Nairobi National Park and he was a terrific animal spotter and always manoeuvred us to the best vantage point for photos. A great, reasonable price for a delightful tour guide and an amazing and safe time in Nairobi. My sister has travelled to many countries and always hires private guides and she thought he was second to none. I'd recommend for anyone to use Martin.

10. GREAT GUIDE IN BERLIN -- writes Kate in Wilmington, USA -- I am a single Journey Woman in her mid 50's and I often travel on my own. In the past I have hired Journeywoman reader-recommended guides and have always had positive experiences. Now, I highly recommend Bettina Asmus as a guide in Berlin. She was informative, and provided excellent insights and knowledge about Berlin. Her contact information is, Website:

EDITOR'S QUESTION: Do you know a private guide anywhere in the world that you'd like to recommend. Please address your email to: These types of tips are invaluable for everybody in our Journeywoman Network and we'll add it to this article.

11. A RESTAURANT IN SPLIT, CROATIA -- writes Helen in Montreal, Canada -- Ladies, if you're in Split, Croatia, do yourself a favour by eating at Konoba Matejuska. It's a tiny restaurant, so reservations are recommended. The Matejuska is situated a little bit off the beaten track, but easy to find as it's just off the Riva, Split's harbour front promenade. Don't be put off by the fact that it seems to be hidden away in an alley - it's just a few steps around the bend in the road. The konoba was happy to accommodate a single female diner, and the service was courteous and attentive. Not for a second was I made to feel rushed during my lovely two-hour lunch even though there are only a few tables and many people were turned away while I was there.

EDITOR'S PICK: When you need any international food and restaurant advice, we have a full section at the Journeywoman website. Click!

12. LINENS CREATE UNIQUE TRAVEL MEMORIES -- writes Pam in Lakewood, USA -- Wash cloths are rarely supplied by hotels outside of North America. While I could bring one from home, and often do bring one that's threadbare, I really cherish those that I've bought during my travels. I always enjoy checking out expensive linen shops in foreign cities; my newly acquired wash cloths are always very affordable. Department stores have great towels, too and I also get the opportunity to bargain for them at street markets. When I look into my linen closet at home, I know exactly where and from whom I purchased each of my souvenirs. My unique travel memory!

EDITOR'S PICK: These are my personal travel souvenirs. Click here!

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 and August', CLICK HERE. 'Best Tips for June' CLICK HERE.


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