Travel Community

Inspiration: how to get closer to the people and cultures you meet.


If we could all learn 11 languages fluently, well, UN translators would be out of work and maybe there would be fewer wars. But seriously, one guy – 21-year-old Alex Rawlings – really can speak English, Greek, German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Afrikaans, French, Hebrew, Catalan and Italian. And he picked these up so he could communicate with people around him and make new friends. Simple! Most of think that speaking even a few words of language is beyond us but we all have experience of how just ordering a beer in the local parlance while on holiday does wonders for your relationship with the locals. Just a few more words and you can get an insight into the lives of those people and their culture, something you can’t get from a book or a tour guide. Check out this video on the BBC and take inspiration from his straightforward motivations and methods.

100 greatest travel experiences: what are yours?

Tasty Cambodian treats

Travel is about meeting new people, discovering new places and new parts of yourself and seeing the wonders of the world, while contributing positively to the people you meet and the places you are lucky enough to experience. Travel isn’t about …

How to get upgraded for free


Dressed in bubblegum-pink Thai fisherman pants, bright t-shirts that had seen better days, wearing flip flops (or often bare-footed), and a patchwork shoulder bag meant I was somehow never upgraded while on my round-the-world trip; quelle surprise! But here are a few tips on how to get bumped up to 1st class for free.

Books: Travelers’ Tales Best Travel Writing of …


The Best Travel Writing 2011 is the eighth volume in the annual Travelers’ Tales series, launched in 2004 to celebrate the world’s best travel writing.

The points of view and perspectives are global, and themes encompass high adventure, spiritual growth, romance, hilarity and misadventure, service to humanity, and encounters with exotic cuisine.

In the Best Travel Writing 2011 you are with the writers as they:

Children are not a tourist attraction


Happy kids in CambodiaThings are not always as theys eem when you’re travelling. That dodgy-looking road-side cafe actually serves up the tastiest food. A bargain is often not and whan you work it out later you’ve been ripped off. Or that short cut ends up taking you all day. But some things have a more sinister side to them and deserve more of your attention, and visiting an orphanages in Cambodia definitely does. For more info see this blog:

Wanderlust Travel Awards


Want to know who, what, where, your fellow travallers rated as the best this year? Check out the Wanderlust travel awards where you can personally judge, through an online questionnaire, your travels of the past year. There are categories for everything, from country to tour company, and the results are announced at the Destinations Travel Show in February in London.

The best way to board a plane


A new study has found that the most commonly used method of boarding passenger planes is actually one of the least efficient.

The tests compared the popular ‘boarding from the rear’ practice or ‘block boarding’ used by the majority of airlines, with other approaches including the Wilma Method and Steffen Method.

To read more see:

VIVA Travel Guides Guatemala book released


Viva Travel Guides have just released their latest guidebook, following on from their success with guides to Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador and more. This time we’re treated to an insightful and original guide to Guatemala. And I wrote a lot of it so I know it’s going to be good!

Fancy yourself as a travel writer or photographer


Well, why not explore your creative potential at the Travellers Tales inspiring weekend workshops with leading sector professionals in London next month. I attended the fantastic workshop weekend last February and found the advice and experiences shared invaluable. All levels of experience welcome.

With the travel editor of the Financial Times. May 7 & 8.

With the editor of Outdoor Photography magazine. May 21 & 22.

Living the dream!


I have dreamt of moving to Spain – permanently – for a long time. I’ve travelled extensively across the Iberian Peninsula but it’s not as ideal as living there, or at least owning your own property …  for long summer holidays or short winter getaways whenever you want. There’s a lot of expat advice about but a good place to start is with something concrete. A browse around the property sites will give you a feel for what’s out there. I’ve used Ideal Property before as it brings together homes and villas available through hundreds of different real estate agents and the map helpfully displays how many homes are listed in each province. The only problem is now, how will I ever decide where to live with so many beatutiful properties to chose from???