Three months to go ! And while there are just two of us on this round the world trip, there’s an army of people who’ve helped us get this far. They’ve booked our trains, boats, planes and junks. They’ve measured our feet for boots, insured our lives and luggage, jabbed our arms, and told us ever-so-nicely…where to go.
But with 37,000 miles to travel in just 57 days, we knew we needed all the advice we could get. So we asked, on Twitter and on Facebook, for top travel tips from friends, family, complete strangers ………..and a few stars, too!
Here are the best of a brilliant bunch. Thankyou!
- Be prepared! Founder member of 80s band Visage; now DJ Rusty Egan has clocked up a few air miles over the years, and reminded us that some airlines legally oversell flights. “Get your boarding card as soon as possible,” he told us.”And double check everything!” Researching your destination thoroughly is key for Julia Riviere; recommending the straight-talking, unedited reviews you can find on Twitter and Instagram. Former frequent business traveller Cally Beck cites careful checks for safe locations if you’re alone; or opting for single traveller specialists. And Lisa Silvester Tresise has to have the first night’s accommodation and transfers safely secured before she leaves home.
- Packing? Roll with it! Peter Kidd reckons laying shirts on top of each other , then rolling the lot into a sausage, reduces creases. Seasoned cross-Atlantic flyer Jenefer Kell agrees, and reminds us of the old “hanger in the shower” trick to remove creases if there’s no iron. @APluckyHeroine recommends a change of underwear (or a whole outfit if there’s space!) in hand luggage, and sharing packing across two cases in case one goes missing. Ex England rugby prop David Flatman doesn’t mince his words.”Pack light,” he told us on Twitter. “And remove half of it!”
- Getting there Pilot’s wife and journalist Jo Garvin has travelled extensively. “Have lots to read on the iPad in case the flight entertainment is broken or rubbish, or both,” she recommends. “Don’t get too pally with whoever’s next to you, especially on long-haul,” she cautions.”And do your arrival paperwork before you land, to save time.” BBC Newsreader Martine Croxall suggests melatonin for preventing/coping with jet lag (check with your GP or pharmacist first). Star of stage, screen and Happy Valley Con O’ Neill swears by “water and a good book” while travelling.
- You’ve arrived! Health professional and travel fan Frances Fuller recommends you “get talking to the locals and do your own thing some of the time, rather than rely on tour guides.” Jenefer Kell always budgets for a pre-booked, “stressless” taxi link on landing. And Julia Riviere suggests learning a few basic courtesies in the local language for when you arrive. “A thank you goes a long way”. Oh…and thanks to ex England hooker and rugby pundit Brian Moore for these wise words once you touch the Tarmac : “Turn your data roaming off!!”.
- Staying safe and well Health pro Frances advises: “Don’t drink the water, and be careful with street food. Take antiseptic hand gel and wet wipes…and a small medical kit with paracetamol, diarrhoea tablets, Dioralyte, throat lozenges and plasters.” Former Africa aid worker Phil even suggests being prepared for robbers (eek…!).”Have a purse or wallet handy with a small amount of money…and an expired credit card to (“reluctantly”) hand over,” he suggests. Historian and TV presenter of the recent (brilliant; now available on iPlayer) Silk Road series Dr Sam Willis keeps it simple. “Always use sunscreen!”
- Thanks… for the memory While Dr Willis also urged us on Twitter not to forget those back home…..our favourite travel tip of all came from veteran newsreader and former foreign correspondent, ITV`s Mark Austin. His message was, he admitted, “..a tip I failed to follow. Keep a diary. Reading and remembering years later is almost as rewarding as the experience itself.”