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Take me on a Harry Potter Tour. I’m a fan!

5 Tips For Solo Women Travellers?

Sure. We have Hetal Doshi, a solo travel expert herself, sharing her tips with you. Hetal runs The Wander Girls, a Mumbai-based company that organises women-only travels and events. Over to her:

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1) Ensure that family & friends back home have a complete copy of your itinerary with the Hotel addresses and contact numbers, your cell number, and know where you’ll be on any given day and can stay in touch with you. This will give them assurance and will also boost your own confidence if you’re a newbie solo traveller.

2) For backup, keep copies of your passport, tickets, and other documents in all pieces of your luggage and carry the originals with you in your handbag which you keep with you at all times.

3) Walk around in flat sensible shoes and keep the heels for an evening out, if you must. You don’t want to be running around the whole day in platforms, heels or wedges. Bellies, slippers or shoes are all good options to keep your feet comfortable.

4) Travel as light as you possibly can. This will allow you to smoothly manage your luggage at airports even if trollies are missing and carry your luggage into local transport if that’s your chosen mode of transport. Also, in places such as Europe where the Hotels often don’t have porters you can easily lug your backpack/bag up and down the stairs.

5) A cap, sunglasses, sunscreen, a small folding umbrella, a bottle of water, something to eat, are essentials that you should have on you whenever you’re out exploring any place. The I.D. and money goes without saying of course! 

Something fun for Harry Potter fans visiting Edinburgh?

Of course! 

Let’s take you to The Elephant House Cafe in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland’s pulsating capital city!

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It looks like an unlikely spot for the blockbuster it secretly housed. But yes, J.K. Rowling sat here, scribbling furiously over cups of coffee and we are sure, Scottish scones.

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(Image: pottermore-news.com)

Do visit the loo here: the walls are filled with ‘letters’ scribbled to the author from women across the world!

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Image: niamhinlondon.tumblr.com

Besides inspiration, the Cafe also serves full breakfast, lunch and dinner. On the menu are pizzas, salads, pasta, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties (Scotland’s national dish), and something called Lucas of Musselburgh Ice Cream which we did not taste but are sure is a delicious secret in itself!

http://www.elephanthouse.biz/

21 George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EN
Tel. 0131-220-5355
Fax. 0131-220-4272
contact@elephanthouse.biz

I would like to be a professional travel writer. What’s your advice?

Jeroo & Gustasp Irani are the rockstars of Indian travel writing. Warm, gentle and amazing in their dedication to their profession, the couple boast a resume that reads like a travel writer’s dream. We met them in Spain, and requested them to share nuggets from their wealth of wisdom. Read and be inspired!

Image: www.writingbar.com
Image: http://www.writingbar.com
  • Be professional and that includes how you write, your dealings with editors and while on assignment.
  • Use words to communicate; not to impress or confuse.
  • Use images and enthusiasm rather than adjectives. For instance, instead of saying ‘a beautiful church,’ talk about how its reflection crinkled in rippling waters. Instead of saying you saw a tiger kill, describe it: the tearing of raw flesh – the stirring of primitive savage instincts you did not know lurked within you.
  • When recording history, especially up front in an article, remember you are writing a travel piece, not a history book. Of course, if there is an interesting anecdote then go ahead and use it.
  • Avoid lazy writing, such as listing things one can see and do. Talk about the experience.
  • When on assignment, get involved… dig into local food, culture, adventure activities. It adds punch to the story.
  • Know the publication you are writing for and write to their specifications.
  • Keep to your deadlines. Let editors know you are reliable
  • If you are invited on a press FAM (Familiarisation Trip), respect others on the trip and your host. Avoid being late and remember: this is not a holiday but an assignment.
  • Travel writing and photographs go hand in hand: you can’t have one without the other. So if you don’t have a camera, make sure you know where to get stock pictures to illustrate your article.
  • If you do carry a camera, respect the people you are taking photographs of
  • A fancy camera does not give you the right of way: the point-and-shoots have equal rights to taking pictures.

Read more at www.gustaspandjeroo.com

 

 

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