1. GREAT TOUR GUIDE IN ISTANBUL TURKEY -- writes Laura in San Diego -- I traveled in Turkey October, 2015 and have a guide to tell you about. In Istanbul, I recommend Sermin Utku. I found her name in Journeywoman.com, and wish to say she was wonderful. I had one free day and after email exchanges, she worked out a perfect day of touring. She was prompt, her English is perfect, and she was a friendly, interesting companion for the day. Her email address is email@example.com. Gold star!
2. PARIS BOOK STORE FEATURES ENGLISH TITLES -- writes Shirley in Minneapolis, USA -- The Abbey Bookshop owned by Brian Spense is located in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Just a short walk from Notre Dame, it's a great place to pop into. The shop's main attraction is an eclectic collection of over 35,000 English titles ranging from scholarly to popular literature. The shop is within the eighteenth-century Hotel Dubuisson, one of the most handsome buildings in the Latin Quarter. I gave them the books I brought with me and had already read and bought a few more for the rest of my trip. They gave me a small discount for my donation. I found the books were reasonably priced (for Paris). Try it! Address: 29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris, France.
3. HOW TO TAKE GOOD TRAVEL PORTRAITS -- writes Asher in Tel Aviv, Israel -- Don't spend a lot of time adjusting your camera while your subject is waiting for you. They will only pose naturally for so long. While photographing you should direct the majority of your attention to what is happening in front of you and the person you are documenting, keeping them involved and following their lead is usually the best path to making great portraits. You won't believe how powerful simple actions such as smiling towards the character you are photographing can be. Or just telling them that the portraits look great will also have a positive effect on your final images. Have fun!
4. GREAT FRIES IN SORRENTO, ITALY -- writes Carla in Cary, USA -- Tired of pizza and pasta? If you want a quick, non-Italian food sandwich to change things up when in Sorrento, visit N'Hambu at Piazza Angelina Lauro, 38. Piazza Angelina Lauro is across Corso Italia from the train station. Basically, it is a takeout place with about six tables out front. You are given a checklist (in English or Italian) on which you mark you selection for meat (beef burger, chicken, sausage, or vegetarian), then your toppings (lettuce, tomato, onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, prosciutto, bacon, potato, mushrooms, etc.), then your cheese (provolone, gorgonzola, etc.) and then your sauce (ketchup, mayo, barbeque, tobasco, yogurt, etc.) The sandwiches are served on toasted ciabatta bread. The French fries are addictively good. Service is friendly and helpful. They are open for lunch from 12 to 3:30 pm and dinner from 6 or 7pm to 2 am.
5. DO YOU REALLY NEED AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS LICENSE? -- writes Wendy in San Diego, USA -- Do your research, ladies. When renting a car in a foreign country, check to see if that country as well as the rental car agency requires an International Drivers License. Some countries don't require one so you might think that you don't need one at all. However, please check a bit more. You could find that the rental car agency does need one and you would be stranded without the transportation you were counting on. Yikes!
6. A WOMENS TRAVEL TIP BOOK WRITTEN MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO -- writes Laura In Buenos Aires, Argentina -- Hints to Lady Travellers is an 1889 handbook written by author Lillias Campbell Davidson that offered advice and inspiration to female travellers of the Victorian era. You might say it was a Victorian precursor to Journeywoman:) I thought other women traveller might enjoy one of the tips included in this now out of print book.
'Care should be taken in selecting a deck chair not to get one which is too light, otherwise your enjoyable after-dinner nap on deck may be abruptly terminated by a sudden lurch of the vessel, and you may find yourself overturned, chair and all, and sent flying to the other side of the ship in a manner more sudden than graceful.'And remember, never travel without a 'small flask of brandy', 'strong smelling salts' and an 'eau de toilet'
7. A TINY MUSEUM FOR DOG LOVERS -- writes Laura in San Francisco, USA -- Passau is a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. It's known for its historic buildings, its university, a stop on many Danube river cruises and the last German train station before entering Austria. However, today a brand new (and already world-famous) asset has been added. The Dackelmuseum or Dachshund Museum launched by two German florists who obviously love the breed. Their museum is stuffed with 4,500 of little wiener dogs, from glass figurines to dachshund-adorned steins. P.S. Dogs are allowed free entry. Website: www.dackelmuseum.de
8. EAT AT THE SAME CAFE REGULARLY -- writes Anne in Victoria, Canada -- In Dharamsala, India (where the Dalai Lama lives) I ate at the same local cafe every day and got to know the staff. This gave me access to local knowledge. I was able to find a doctor when I had health problems and was treated (for almost nothing including antibiotics) in a tiny office where the locals also lined up to see the Western trained doctor. Through the cafe I found out how to get my artifacts from home blessed by His Holiness. I found out how to find a reputable man who ran an unadvertised taxi service. I managed, through one of the staff, to connect with someone going to the Tibetan children's village where refugee children were educated. Because I was a regular I met many others who also came daily, including monks who were anxious to practice English and from whom I learned about Tibetan religious practices. And I had the best breakfasts I have had anywhere for less than a cup of coffee at home. There's no harm in trying.
9. EASY LAUNDRY ON THE GO -- writes Jo in Melbourne, Australia -- I like to travel light and consequently wash my clothes frequently to avoid taking multiples (and because I seem to get grubbier than most!). On a recent trip which included a cruise I used a newly purchased Scrubba wash bag and it was fantastic. Easy to use and it washed everything beautifully – underwear, dresses, t shirts, jeans, etc. Note: You must divide laundry into smaller amounts to wash effectively - the bag will hold what a bathroom sink will hold. Combined with a couple of inflatable clothes hangers and an elastic, triple strand clothes line I always had clean clothes and never had to search for a laundromat or use hotel or ship laundry services.
10. GLUTEN FREE ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT -- writes Sharon in Victoria, Canada -- I am a gluten free traveller who finds that searching for edibles can certainly be daunting at times. I've just returned from a walking trip to the Isle of Wight (England) and would like to recommend The Old Thatch Teashop in a seaside town called Shanklin. The shop's menu is two-thirds gluten free and the choice offered is extensive. The Old Thatch Teashop has the perfect charm of English tea shops, an outdoor eating area in a small back garden and even a wee fairy garden corner. P.S. My friend and I enjoyed a fabulous self-guided trip of the area using the great local bus services (including some walking) and we stayed at a lovely, small, affordable hotel called The Gracellie in Shanklin.
11. A SPA IN UBUD, BALI -- writes Amit in Bali -- Ever so slightly off the beaten track in the center of Ubud (Bali), Narasoma Body Spa offers a sanctuary of quiet and calm. A short walk down a lane (Gang Beji) off Monkey Forest Road leads you to the reception desk, where you can book a massage or another of their plentiful treatments. While waiting for your appointment, treat yourself to a dip in the pool, or luxuriate on a reclining rattan chair while you're surrounded by lush palm trees and a gurgling stream below. The 1-hour Salt Foot Bath and Foot Massage is heavenly, while a natural body scrub - Sweet Almond, Coconut or, the Balinese specialty called Boreh is divine. After your treatment, a cup of fragrant ginger tea will leave you feeling rejuvenated - enough to resume your shopping or head out to a walk among the rice paddies. Enjoy, everybody.
12. TRY A TORTA IN SAN MIGUEL, MEXICO -- writes Melita in Boston, USA -- I grew up in San Miguel and I go back often. Torta Munda at Calle Umaran 29 in San Miguel de Allende is a jewel for visitors. It's a small place with seven tables run by a warm and charming couple, Maria and Luis Chavez. Pick up a torta (sandwich with a variety of fillings made on the grill in front of you) to eat there or to take with you on your walk around town. Fresh drinks like tamarind are made daily. There's less chance of you getting sick from their food or drinks - lettuce and veggies are sanitized and only bottled water is used. Here's an opportunity to enjoy Mexican food without worries! Fingers crossed:)
BONUS TIP: ICE COLD IN DENMARK -- writes Donna in Amsterdam, Holland -- Have you ever eaten the best ice cream in Copenhagen? On a warm Belgian waffle? With whipped cream? And maybe some chocolate sauce? If so, you've been to Vaffelbageren in Nyhavn. If not... why not? Come on. You can find them at: Nyhavn 49, Copenhagen 1051
NOTE 1: If you missed reading the Top Tips of 2017 in a recent post, click here and enjoy.
NOTE 2: So what if you are not able to travel at the moment, check out our Journeywoman Travel Directory and dream a little or a lot:)
Note 3: Win $US25 -- We're looking for moderate hotels, solo-friendly restaurants, a great guide, cost-cutting tricks, fun gifts to pick up for friends back home, etc. Please send your best tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, be sure to include your first name, the city you are writing from and any necessary links. Best tip will earn someone $US25 spending money for their next journey.