SHE TRAVELS WITH A TIMER -- writes Sandra in Roxboro, Canada -- When staying at a hotel and you are worried about whether or not the front desk will really give you that wake up call (and you can't figure out the alarm clock or don't trust it either), you have a few neat options. (1) You can always use the alarm feature on your cell phone. (2) And, here's an even better way: for about $5.00 you can pick-up a digital oven timer. You can set it for the number of hours you want to sleep and ding! it will get you up at the right time in the AM.
CHECK OUT THE OPERA HOUSE IN BUCHAREST FOR BARGAINS -- writes Danielle, in Edinburgh, Scotland -- Hi, just wanted to pass on this little gold nugget to other JourneyWomen. If anyone is traveling to Bucharest, be sure to find time to check what's playing at the opera house. You have to buy the tickets at the opera house itself, but they are an incredible deal. We sat in the balcony for Swan Lake ballet. It was an excellent place to be, for only 14 RON (about 3 Pounds or 5 U.S. dollars). Just be sure to dress light (that's my second tip). We were there in January and the opera house was really quite warm. But, all in all, well worth it to see Swan Lake nonetheless. I hope someone in our Network can use this tip and enjoy it.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is what I love about our Journeywoman travel tips. Not only do you hear about great deals you also find out what to wear when enjoying that great deal. Gorgeous!
FREE LOCAL GUIDES IN PARIS -- writes Teena in Sydney, Australia -- On my last trip to Paris I found a fabulous service called Paris Greeters. Contact them in advance, state your preferences of things you'd like to see, and you'll be appointed an English-speaking local person as a guide for a few hours (or a guide speaking one of 9 other languages). They'll explore a district with you, show you art galleries, find the fabric district, have a coffee - you name it, they'll do it - all for free. http://www.parisgreeter.org/PdJ/ Evidently this is in other cities too like New York - what a great idea!
CREATE TRAVEL TOILET PAPER -- writes Eliza in Baltimore, USA -- On an ongoing basis I replace rolls of toilet paper when there are about five uses left. I flatten each nearly used-up roll and save it. When going on a trip, I pack these flattened rolls in a zip lock bag. They take little space, weigh next to nothing, cost a minimal amount, create very little waste, and are always there if I need them. In Third World countries where toilet paper is often non-existent I bless my little stash.
CASA ROVAI B&B IN FLORENCE IS UTTERLY CHARMING -- writes Claudia in Hollywood, USA -- I wanted other JourneyWomen visiting Italy to know about this bed and breakfast in Florence. An oasis of comfort, this charming place is up three flights of stairs and offers everything a Journeywoman would need. Comfortable rooms with modernized en suite bathrooms (I stayed in La Passione), good price, an attentive hostess (Arianna), excellent breakfast, solitude, and security. It's easy to find, and near the Church of Santa Croce, a 15 minute walk from the Santa Maria Novella train station. I know where I'll be staying on my next trip to Florence and hope other Journeywomen will discover Casa Rovai's charm as well. Website: http://www.casarovai.it
SUBWAY ADVICE FROM A NEW YORKER -- writes Gina in New York City, USA -- Here's how women in NYC stay safe. As your train pulls into the subway station, and is slowing down, if you notice any empty or near-empty cars in an otherwise packed train, don't get into them. It means something's amiss. Tourists will pile in only to regret it during the ride, but natives know better. In the summertime, a near-empty car means the air conditioning is not working. In the winter time, (unfortunately) it's base camp for street people; other times, maybe you'll encounter unsavory characters or an unrelenting wheel squeal. Ladies, if a subway car is empty, make the counterintuitive move and join the throngs in the next car.
A SHORT TRAVEL TIP FROM THE U.K. -- writes Jill in Cheshire, England -- I love to travel light. On a recent trip to Japan I bought a bunch of cheap knickers (panties). That meant that I could throw the worn underwear out every evening. No washing. No drying. Pure luxury. It was worth every penny I spent.
TRAVELLING BY PLANE IN VIET NAM -- writes Beth Marie in Saskatchewan, Canada -- My tip is about reservations. If you plan on taking a plane from one part of Viet Nam to another, don't make reservations until you are actually in Viet Nam. A fare from Hue to Ha Noi is around $250-300 outside of Viet Nam and if you make reservations while there it is about $60. I have never had difficulty getting the flight I wanted. One time I had a group of 13 women and we had to go on two different flights, which was perfect as some women wanted to spend the day where we were and others were ready to move on.
A Transportation Tip...
We're impressed with the site ihatetaxis.com. While travelling the world two brothers got fed up with spending more money than they should on transportation to and from airports and around foreign destinations. So they set to work creating an online resource of global ground transportation that empowers the traveler to make well informed decisions even before they leave home. The site provides pertinent information on all available transport options, costs and schedules from the airport, scams to watch for, tipping customs, health information, country profiles and much more. We like it.