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eiffel at night300pxAhh, Paris, the City of Light! Few other cities have inspired as Paris has! It is one of the most iconic places in the world, where people return over and over again to take in its fascinating art, culture, and history. Difficult as it is to try to create a definitive "Top Ten" list for Paris, the tour leaders at Today’s Woman Traveller have put together our own list of 10 great things we adore about Paris.

Christmas street que city300pxAs a single woman whose friends are her family, I have to admit to a sense of relief that all of the Christmas comings and goings are finally over. It’s great that most of my friends have now returned to their regular routine – which means that we can call each other up or get together on the spur of the moment again. I do love many aspects of the Christmas season, but those of us without children or close relatives nearby miss the special sense of connection and cheer that our friends bring us during other seasons of the year.

Well, no more Christmas Blues for me! ....

Regent seven seas logo250pxWith so much competition in the cruise industry, cruise lines are continually offering bigger ships, better ships, cruises with more perks, cruises with more inclusions – all often at lower price points. At Today’s Woman Traveller, we’re always eager to find out about the new offerings and the latest cruise news.

And one recent travel story that caught our attention was an announcement by one of our favourite cruise lines - Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Regent Seven Seas is unique in the cruise industry. As well as offering extraordinary luxury cruises to over 250 worldwide ports, they also provide more inclusions than any other line:

SkyTeam logo300pxFor those of us in North America, it may be a lesser known airline alliance than Star Alliance, but the 20 airline members of SkyTeam are a formidable bunch. They fly 16,323 flights a day to 1,052 destinations in 177 countries. They cover most every area of the world and are the largest air alliance in Greater China. SkyTeam’s airlines are some of the most respected and best ranked you’ll find.

SkyTeam's airline members include Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle Eastern Airlines, Saudia, Tarom, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.

Why is SkyTeam so interesting?

share a view300pxYou’ve worked through the travel options, you’ve signed up for your trip-of-a-lifetime with a tour group and you’ve decided to travel solo with this small group. To help save money, you’ll be sharing a room with another traveller.

By sharing twin accommodation, you’ll save costs but that’s not the only advantage. Over the years we’ve seen many women gain a new friend and even a long-time 'travel companion’. Like any shared experience, compromise is essential to the success of the roommate experience.

Here are a few top tips we’ve learned for successfully sharing a room while on tour.

together in pienza it300pxI have been travelling for a living for over 35 years and I know what it’s like to travel alone and I know what it's like to have a travel companion. Sometimes it makes a world of difference to the enjoyment of a travel experience.

Although we are fortunate to have many repeaters on our tours, all our tours have new ladies signing on for the first time. In a typical group size of 8 to 14 ladies, 3 will be repeaters and the rest will be first timers with us. As virtually all the women who travel with us for the first time come as individuals this presents a nice level playing field as to the ratio of new travellers with us and repeaters.

Our tours offer two rates: ‘Sharing twin accommodation’ and ‘Single accommodation’.

foursome western roadtrip twt introWe launched Today’s Woman Traveller by heading West and what a trip it was!!

Provincial borders crossed during our road show: 1
Cities visited on our western roadshow: 4
Kilometers travelled on our journey: 3,061
Meeting all the women who attended our presentations: Priceless !

It’s been 6 or 7 years since we’ve visited western Canada and this time we hit the road to introduce Today’s Woman Traveller.

We started in Vancouver where our intrepid tour leaders met up with Debbie Lloyd, founder/owner of Todays Woman Traveller:

debbie lloyd icelandIt truly is a road better travelled for Debbie Lloyd. The founding owner of one of Canada’s first women’s tour companies, is re-inventing herself, again! This time with the introduction of Today’s Woman Traveller.

Debbie Lloyd has a long and fulfilling career in the travel business. Her passion and first love is people and travel. So how natural it is that she was one of the first in her industry to offer tours specifically for women starting back in 2002.

Her road to success has been filled with challenges, but she’s not a quitter. She’s a true entrepreneur and understands that to continue to prosper she needs to evolve and that’s what she’s doing as she re-brands Canadian Woman Traveller to become Today’s Woman Traveller.

Debbie says, “We continue to connect with women who want to travel, but they either have a partner who doesn’t want to travel or they have trouble convincing friends to travel to the same places they want to go.” Debbie has found that by offering women a group experience, they share the trip with others who have similar travel interests, they never have to eat in restaurants alone and they are guided through places they might not feel comfortable travelling to independently.


History of Thalassotherapy

I am well familiar with the term 'Thalassotherapy' but really couldn't describe what it was so this is what I found out...

Thalassotherapy has been around for centuries.  Also known as Seaweed therapy or Algae therapy.  The amazing properties of seaweed have been used around the globe by humans for thousands of years.  For some reason although big in Europe and Asia Thalassotherapy really hasn't caught on in Ameica.

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Air Transat has rolled out their new interior for the Airbus A330 and are (rightly so) lauding its updated and upgraded features. Their words - "Say farewell to Air Sardine !"

The fully redisigned interior is roomier and boasts the latest in style and design, including most significantly more legroom. For those of you who are firm believers in Transat's Club cabin you have to know that the new aircraft has a seat number reduction in the Club cabin down to 12 seats from 31. This allows for more room in both the Club cabin and in the regular seating section.

blog250px Galileo Variety CruissOn the topic of cruising which has always been popular, I am reminded of Newton’s Law ‘For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.'

Two years ago I took advantage of an invitation to sail on Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis of the Seas’. Many of you know about the Oasis, and now her twin the Allure and are aware of the fact that she carries a staggering 6000 plus passenger load. I must say she is a gorgeous ship and is truly built to handle 6000 plus passengers. Both ships are so popular that in fact we have clients already booked for September 2013 just to make sure they can get the same staterooms they had last year which illustrates how much in demand she is with new and repeat passengers.

padovaEver thought of a 'Spa' Holiday?

For those of us who wish to get away at the end of winter and have no wish to lay on a beach or spend time in a casino a Spa Holiday can be just the thing to enjoy and to rejuvenate.  Along with our stay in a beautiful, historic spa town we will have daytrips to Venice, Verona, Padua, a castle for a wine tasting and an amazing shopping outlet.  Now this is a Break !

blog250px Pienza ITI had an interesting conversation a few days ago with a lady looking to join one of our tours.  She asked me why we didn't include more meals?  I have been asked this question many times and as usual I mentioned that we always include breakfast but do not include lunches and dinners (other than frequently a welcome dinner).  Large tour groups frequently do include meals but in fact it is more a matter of logistics for the tour company to efficiently accommodate groups of 35 to 45 participants in one place at one time. 

blog250px Salsa Dance LessonI have been having a great time reconnecting with Havana. 

Along with seeing the current work on all the restoration of HABANA VIEJA (Old Havana) I have been to see Beunavista social Club and great Jazz Clubs playing both Bolero and 'young jazz'. The musicians are amazing.

blog250px cwt cambodia well dedicationIn November 2014, I set out with 13 wonderful women on a tour through Vietnam and Cambodia. We started in Hanoi, one of Asia's most fascinating cities, then continued with a Halong Bay cruise aboard a deluxe 'junk', a traditional Vietnamese sailing vessel then onto the delightful cities of Hue and Hoi An and through to Saigon. We also included Cambodia. During this wonderful tour, we visited not one but four UNESCO World Heritage sites!

blog250px italy tuscany curled road overgrown cypress trees montichielloIt seems like a new travel trend that's catching on. Small women's tours that balance time for yourself with time to see local sights in historic towns.

In the past, there have been three types of women's specialty trips:

  • The retreat where you spend the day doing meditation and self-awareness exercises
  • The active trip where you move from one hotel to another every day or so.
  • Then cruising helped bridge the gap - unpack once and stop to tour a port a day.

But we believe a new travel trend is out there and catching on FAST. The combination retreat/organized activity trip. This trip seems to be a perfect balance – travel to an amazing location, relax and have some personal time during part of each day then go out with others to explore and soak up local culture for the rest of the day.

blog250px Mississippi SteamboatThe 436 passenger American Queen was re-christened at the Beale Street Landing in Memphis on April 27 by her godmother, Priscilla Presley. The American Queen is now travelling out of her home port of Memphis, along the great Mississippi and its tributaries to cities such as Vicksburg, Louisville, St. Louis, New Orleans and Pittsburgh.Riverboats on the Mississippi represent a storied chapter in American history and folklore, harking back to the 19th century and the writings of Mark Twain. Great American purchased the vessel from the government last year and then completely refurbished it.

blog250px cwt 1dorchester afternoon tea conde nast traveller 9apr13 pr 810x540I've just happened upon the most delicious list – The Best Afternoon Teas in London. They all look spectacular! I'm struggling to figure out how we'll choose next time in London. 

There are the traditional ones at Harrods, The Dorchester and The Savoy. If we're already shopping at Harrods, their time-honoured tea would be a sure winner.

Or, the Dorchester Hotel boasts a scone recipe that's been served for over 50 years. AND the Dorchester being one of the higher end hotels in London - wouldn't it be grand to have tea and find myself sitting next to Maggie Smith? Or perhaps Maggie will be at The Savoy, imbibing in their Royal Treatment tea. 

blog250px cwt cambodia groupWell, here it is – the depths of winter. So far, it's been a rough winter in northern America and warm climates are on your mind. You have the time. You have the money. So now, the travel dilemma ...go solo or find a friend to go with?

If you travel solo:

You can decide where you want to go with no ties to someone else.

You need only consider your own financial means.

You don't need to worry about someone else's schedule.

Once at your destination, you decide what activities you want to do.

You'd feel a sense of pride and accomplishment to do it on your own.

BUT, travelling alone is:

Lonely. it's not easy eating alone in a restaurant.

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