Hey, I'm planning on spending some time in Tunisia over June and July this year and was wondering if I anyone could give me some advice on costs etc.
Firstly, how much should I budget for in terms of hostels and budget accommodation per nigiht? Also, as a 20 year old female travelling independently, is there anything/place I should be more cautious about (or any advice in general)?
Any comments will be great, thanks!
June-July? Girl, you are nuts! Sorry, but it is hot there in July.
I went to Tunisia on a package tour from Germany and I reckon it is still the cheapest way to do it. There weren't many hostels catering to lone female travellers that I was aware of, but a friend of mine usually drives around the country in a rented car while basing herself in a cheap out of the way hotel she booked from Germany as a package tour. Guess that's the way to do it.
Be aware of the rules concerning lone female travellers in muslim countries - don't drive anywhere alone with a male, even if he is a taxi driver or somebody you picked up as a common curtesy. Dress accordingly in the country side - long sleeves, long trousers or skirt going all the way down to the floor, no matter what the heat.
There are some country-specific books floating around with advice for female travellers in muslim coutries as well as cultural background info, do a search on the net for them. The Culture Shock! series is very good, if you can find the Tunisian one, buy it.
I agree about the covering up. I am 50 and a gran yet a young buffet attendant tried to kiss me on the train, I was unsure whether to be flattered or offended, in truth a bit of both, he was a dish! I did find that saying shame on you or "imshee" would make the person back off. You have to be carefull with "imshee" as it is only usually used with children. Humour can work up to a point but sometimes one has to make displeasure very obvious.
The city men were different from the country dwellers. I felt very safe in the desert oasis town of Douz. Tunis was another matter. I was almost robbed on the train by a would be bag snatching duo and intimidated by two large guys who insisted I needed thier taxi. I would definitely go again