Tips from Travel Experts Part 3

Even more tips and recommendations from travel guides, authors, and professional tourists.

LITTLE-KNOWN HINTS FROM TRAVEL EXPERTS

KATE SIMON

The Expert: Author of eight travel books and numerous articles. Acclaimed as the writer who has made of the travel book a "work of art." A slow traveler who stays a long time to touch the marrow of a city or a country, she likes to explore lesser-known places or lost corners of the well-known ones.

Her Travel Hints: To visit decently at less than big cities usually cost, find a town interesting in itself with easy bus and train communications to the big, renowned place, and stay there. For example, trains run as frequently as subways between Padua and Venice, a half-hour's ride. Padua is a less expensive city and on its own very rewarding. One also avoids, by staying in Padua, the luggage-on-and-off-the-ferry struggle of arriving in Venice and is immediately, on leaving the Padua train, free to wander, an unencumbered commuter.

Recommendations: Other than the unparalleled great cities, York and Norwich in England, Siena and Verona in Italy, Guanajuato and Morelia in Mexico.

BRADLEY SMITH

The Expert: Books written and illustrated by Bradley Smith thus far number 12. In addition, he has edited 18 others. As a writer-photographer, he has covered Japan, Mexico, China, Spain, Germany, East Africa, and, of course, the U.S. He has extensively covered all of the 31 Caribbean islands and lived on a number of them.

His Travel Hints: All good restaurateurs are snobs. If you want good food and service, dress for meals. The French headwaiters and waiters are especially insulting if your attire is unconventional. Remember, if you do not wear a tie, they may spit in your soup.

Whether in Turin, Nairobi, or Nagasaki always ask the waiter to describe what the dish is and how it is prepared; or you may end up with cold baby octopus!

Travel with an automatic-exposure, 35mm, single-lens reflex camera and a lightweight zoom (normal to telephoto) lens. This will allow you to take pictures from far enough away to keep the natives from getting restless.

Always carry aspirin, a stronger painkiller (like percodan), a pair of tweezers, sturdy nail clippers for fingers and toes, and a piece or two of chocolate or cheese. In India, Japan, and Africa, a place for lunch or tea is often hard to find.

Recommendations: Favorite cities are Tokyo, Turin, Port of Spain, and New York--where all the nations hang out.

Favorite regions include northern Italy; France (but not Paris, where the sauces are too thick and the ambiance too thin); and Tokyo, where the tempura and the sushi (raw fish) are a visual as well as taste treat.

LOWELL THOMAS

The Expert: An inveterate globe-trotter, Thomas has been celebrated for decades as an author, film producer, and radio and television commentator. He gained international renown with his book With Lawrence in Arabia. Among his most recent books are Book of the High Mountains and So Long until Tomorrow.

His Travel Hints: To make travel easier, well, one way is to slow down now and then; don't be in too much of a hustle. Keep up the jet speed--but turn off your afterburner!

Another worthwhile tip is to fly in planes that do not originate in the country from which you are setting forth. Generally they will be less crowded, and in economy you can pull up the arms and stretch out for a nap.

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