Introducing The Travel Chat Series
I am very excited to announce the first in a series of video chats with experienced worldwide travelers who share their travel tips and experiences….
One of the most common question I am asked… “But is it safe for women travelers?” I’m obviously not qualified to answer on behalf of women. The good news though is a number of experienced women travelers have generously agreed to share their advice and tips.
Our first Travel Chat is with Ellen Lazare. I met Ellen when I was travelling in Spain on my senior gap year. The great thing about travel is the advice shared with people you meet along the way. In fact when I first met, Ellen, a Canadian, she gave me a comprehensive list of recommendations from her experiences towards planning my travels in Central America. She has now kindly offered to share the highlights of her travel experiences and tips from a recent chat I had with her by video link….
Ellen’s Travel Tips – Highlights From A Chat With Ellen Lazare.
Ellen’s Key Points…
How Ellen Got Started Independent Travelling
• One of Ellen’s first major travel experience was with a group of five ladies… which she suggested inspired the idea of solo travel. “A lot of fun, but …travelling with a group of five women – now that’s an experience!”
• Two years living in Turkey.
• After her son left home, her first solo trip which was to Costa Rica
On Safety and Danger
• Theft is a common problem in many places such as Barcelona
• Don’t flash expensive jewelry, camera. Don’t look high end and fashionable.
• Take advice from local people and where you are staying as where and not to go, how to get around, such as taxis.
• Get knowledgeable about destinations. Check government warnings but “take with a grain of salt”
• Be aware. Don’t have an attitude of being a victim. Walk along the streets as if you’ve lived there all your life. Be discreet.
• Don’t scream I’m a tourist, such as flashing a camera and a map. If you need to unfold your map, go into a store. And preferable to use your phone’s camera.
• Danger can happen anywhere, including home. Need to keep this in perspective so as not to miss out on the fun and adventure of travel.
• Hostels, including staying in women’s dorm provide a feeling of security and are a great way to meet and socialise with people. Fantastic opportunities to form lasting friendships for many years.
• Hotels are too isolating.
• Women solo travelling provides a great way to connect with others compared to as a couple. Woman probably have the advantage over men to more easily socialise.
Money and Theft
• Always travels with more than one credit card – but never keep them together.
• Avoid standing in crowds such as in buses. Pick pocketers will unzip pockets or fanny packs to steal wallets money. Better to sit down on buses.
Most Memorable Destinations
1. White clothed Indigenous tribe called the Arhuaco. You can visit them in Nabusimake, Colombia.
2. Embera tribe in the rain forest of Panama – like a national geographic movie stepping back 300 years in time.
3. Solentiname Islands, Lake Nicaragua
• Osprey 40 Litre backpack, including a fold-able day pack allows for carry on luggage. Use coat pockets to reduce carry on bag weight!
Alltrails – over 75000 trails with trail info, maps, detailed reviews, and photos curated by millions of hikers, campers, and nature lovers
Wikiloc – Trails of the World.
• If traveling in peak season, book ahead unless you have deep pockets, even Airbnb. Benefit is everything is organised before leaving.
• Prefer to travel off season as it offers more travel spontaneity as there is greater choice of accommodation at lower costs.
What has been your experience. What’s your top advice and tips?
The Youthful Art of Midlife Travel. (A new titled version of My Senior Gap Year) A story described by readers as entertaining and inspiring. Find out more at youthfulmidlifetravel.com. The book and kindle version is available from Amazon: Click here: Amazon.com (Australia: Amazon.com.au)
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