This week in Dana Greenlee's column~ Women pack up travel adventure online

Whether planning a business trip to New York or a Hawaiian vacation to coincide with Tacoma’s first cold snap, it’s almost a given that travel planning, research and bookings begin and end on the Internet.
Between travel planning leaders Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline, to name a few, the global market for onl-ine travel services could reach $30 billion by the end of 2001.
However, hidden gems can be found when you explore the cyber road less traveled.
I slipped on my virtual traveling high-heels and surfed the Web to find help in putting together an out-of-town reprieve for women.
And I found it at Journeywoman, The Online Travel Magazine for Women Who Love To Travel and Adventure Divas.
Here are their Web sites:
There are some important considerations for women to reflect on when planning to travel, such as safety and female-friendly destinations or accommodations.
Sure, there is always the lure of venturing out to the unexpected with a wing and a prayer.
In my college days, I spent a year in England. During the summer, I threw the bare essentials in an ugly military-style knapsack, bought a Eurail Pass and rode the rails for a month — solo — from France to Greece to Denmark.
Yes, I was more naive than savvy, but really you’re never alone for long when traveling solo.
I ran with several herds of fellow Americans at different ports of call; coming together, then parting, then regrouping hundreds of miles away by accident. Heady times.
These days — at my more conservative age — I would prefer to abide by the hints and tips gleaned from these two travel sites. First…
Journeywoman is a great-looking site and easy to navigate with a well-organized layout.
For this, they are winners of the Apex Award of Excellence for 1995, 1996 and 1998.
(Apex gives online awards to deserving Web sites to recognize exceptional quality.)
Journeywoman’s mandate is simply to inspire females everywhere to travel safely and well.
They believe that there is strength in num-bers.
Along with an informative site, they offer free membership to their quarterly Journeywoman Online, the e-mail newsletter written especially for women who love to travel.
The newsletter will deliver additional information not necessarily found in the Web site, such as reviews of moderate female-friendly hotels, go-alone restaurants around the world, and safety tips.
You can also post personal travel ads free on the Journeywoman Cyberboard.
What kind of travel tips did I take to heart?
1. Traveling solo and staying at bed and breakfasts?
Pack your simplest casserole recipe and offer to cook dinner for your host and some of her friends.
They’ll appreciate the meal, you’ll get the opportunity to shop at the local grocers/markets and, best of all, you’ll have totally new company for dinner!
2. Cute Dutch men in the heart of Amsterdam.
Journeywoman will tell you exactly where to sit at a café near the stock exchange building.
On the glassed-in terrace you can watch the Dutch business suits passing by on one of the liveliest streets of Amsterdam.
As every good Web site should be, Journeywoman is very interactive.
For instance, e-mail your two cents to “Go Alone Travel Tips.”
Journeywoman also encourages submissions from those traveling women who have tales and adventures.
Go to “Love Stories” to read what some women around the world have written, i.e. “She Reports On Italian Men.” Hmmm….
3. How about safety? Are there scams women should be alerted to?
Before setting out on your journey, scan and save copies of your important travel documents on computer.
Then, should all your important papers be lost or stolen, you can contact a friend at home and have the documents e-mailed or faxed to you anywhere in the world.
I sure could have used that when I had my passport stolen in Paris, couldn’t get back to school in Britain and had to wait three days for the American Embassy to open and process a new passport.
On the other hand, did they even have scanners back in 1980?
One scam alert on Journeywoman is referred to as “Beware of Women Carrying Babies in Italy.”
While traveling in certain areas of Italy such as Pisa or Rome, beware of women who are lingering by souvenir stands holding babies.
Their babies are not real babies; they’re dolls, which the women will throw to you.
You, of course, will want to stop the (fake) baby from falling and as you reach out to catch it, the dishonest female can snatch your purse.
4. Journeywoman will spark your imagination of destinations.
Visit EcoAdventures and explore canoeing in Canada or biking in Ireland. Read their advice on Five Best London Tube Stops or Dressing Smart in Iran.
Another female-oriented adventure travel destination on the Web is the Seattle girl-driven media empire Adventure Divas.
Holly Morris has created a gathering spot for women producers, directors, media technicians, writers, camerawomen and other adventurous females for a new brand of pilgrimage.
Adventure Divas is also a PBS television documentary series that unites adventure travel and modern-day heroines to create fresh new media.
So now get ready…set….launch into travel adventure at your computer or abroad, wet or sunny…it doesn’t matter as long as you attempt something new and scary every day.
Dana Greenlee writes about technology every Friday in the Index. WebTalkGuys, which features tech-nology news and interviews, can be heard Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon on KLAY 1180 AM in the Tacoma/Seattle area. Past shows and interviews are also Webcast via the Internet at: