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The Journeywoman Accommodation Bible...

 

Evelyn Hannon

Especially if you are a woman, the accommodation you choose can make or break your holiday. Luxury hotels and resorts are a treat when you're looking for a quick, relaxing getaway from your routine. However, if you're on the road for any length of time you'll want your dollars to take you as far as possible. You'll also want to keep yourself as safe as possible. Here are Journeywoman's tips for taking care of yourself taken straight from her Accommodation Bible.

 

Small hotels, bed and breakfasts as well as homestay exchange networks make ideal accommodation choices. Generally, their size allows for caring, personal attention and they are very often run by females.
Surf the net to find the safest, woman-friendly accommodation to suit your needs. Check out websites like:
(a) Women Welcome Women which aims to foster international friendship by enabling women of different countries to visit each other. Members are of all ages and backgrounds and come from many parts of the world. Any woman may become a member, regardless of nationality, religion, home circumstances, etc. Visit http://www.womenwelcomewomen.org.uk.
(b) Join SERVAS an international network of hosts and travelers building peace by providing opportunities for personal contact between people of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
(c) University dorms in off-season are another good choice. This article will give you a head start in your research. Rates listed were current when we posted the article but it pays to recheck for any changes.
(d) Read the listing in the Journeywoman.com classifieds.
(e) Every issue of the Journeywoman newsletter (FREE to every woman who requests it) contains several accommodations recommended by our JW Network of over 67,000 women travellers in over 128 countries.
(f) Finally, log on to http://www.HERmail.net and find a female mentor in the city or country you plan to visit. She'll probably have loads of good hotel, hostel, and B&B tips for you. P.S. Always use common sense when connecting with others on the Internet. Cyberspace is imperfect; treat it accordingly, stay safe and have loads of fun!
Avoid extra stress. If you don't have advance reservations, travel early in the day. This allows time at your destination to find a place you like before it gets dark.
Whether at a hotel, hostel or B&B, always ask to see the room before you take it. Is it clean enough? Does the door lock properly? Does it feel safe?
Trust your intuition. Don't stay anywhere unless you're feeling entirely comfortable both with the accommodation and its location.
Never accept a room if the check-in clerk calls either your name or room number out loud. Others within hearing distance may try to call you or gain access to your room with this information.
Avoid the ground floor or any other location with easy outdoor access to your room (i.e. a balcony or fire escape).
Book a room close to the elevator and away from exits. Stairwells allow trouble-makers to hide and to come and go undetected.
Never open your door to anyone without taking the necessary precautions. Even if your caller claims to be part of the staff, check with the front desk to verify the need to gain entry.
Consider investing in a small, lightweight portable smoke detector as well as a deadbolt that installs easily on any inward opening door. These items are perfect if you plan to be sleeping in very simple accommodations. Ask about them at your favorite travel shops.

 

A private bathroom in my dorm...

One summer I studied French at the Sorbonne and stayed at a university dorm in Paris. Though I was in my Fifties then, dorm living suited me perfectly especially since some of my classmates lived there as well. The only thing I could never get used to was the common washrooms with other students lining up to use the facilities in the early morning. I devised a plan. I made a sign that said, 'Toilet En Panne' which was the closest I could come to 'Toilet Out of Order' in French. I found a small out of the way bathroom on the top floor that most people didn't bother climbing up to and each morning I went up there, put my 'out of order' sign on the door and prepared for class without anybody bothering me. I must admit ... I lived in fear of the maintenance man coming in to check but he never did. Shhhh ... don't tell anybody my secret.

(Evelyn Hannon, Journeywoman)

 

 

 

 

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