Top tips from the travel experts

September 14, 2012 by Lauren Rayner

They say travel teaches you valuable lessons, gives you greater self understanding and an appreciation of different cultures. They also say stuff some money in your socks, don’t eat street food and pack a fresh pair of underwear in case you’re hit by a bus. To them we say, walking with a stash of Euros in your shoes does not a pleasant journey make; some of the best food of your travels can be found at suspicious looking street markets; and who’d be in a state to change their underwear after a collision with ten tonnes of steel?

So we asked some of our expert consultants – seasoned travellers and purveyors of travelling wisdom that they are – for their top travel tips. And here’s what they have to say…

1. Embrace the bulldog

Emily Huntley, Flight Centre Brighton, says:

My hot tip is to travel with a bulldog clip. When I roped by best friend into living in India, of all places, neither of us were really prepared but this one item proved invaluable. Courtesy of the bulldog clip, we made a great makeshift washing line, repaired an unruly flip flop, ensured the contents of anything leakable wouldn’t leak, and in a particularly smelly situation… problem solved!

Nikko Bulldog

Roger assured them that he'd be coming on the trip, but he'd be having nothing to do with the clothesline

2. Flat, pack and roll

Lizzie Kempson, Flight Centre High Street Kensington, says:

Having completed two round the world trips and living out of a backpack, I have discovered I’m an expert in the art of packing! The trick is to roll your clothes – this way you can fit more in. Also, take mix and match items so that you can have more outfits without having to sit on the suitcase to close it. And, as my mother liked to remind me, they do have shops in other countries so leave room for your purchases!

"We wouldn't be having this problem if you'd just learned to roll..."

3. Package it up

Jessica Hall, Flight Centre Clapham Junction, says:

My top travel tip is: book it all at once! Packages sometimes have a bad stigma about them but having worked in the industry for years I have seen clients save hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds booking them. When we say ‘package’, we usually mean your flight and your hotel combined to get you a discounted price from both parties – and when you’re going to need both of these and perhaps a tour as well, why not book it all at the same time and save yourself some money and hassle?

If the time & money you've saved by booking a package holiday results in an overload of resortwear, refer travel tip #2

4. Road trip it

Eva Martin, Flight Centre Canterbury, says:

Road tripping around the USA is my first great passion and here are a few things to make the most of your trip. First, check all your driving distances using a site called Travel Math. Second, eat burgers! I’m a fanatic and there’s nowhere better in the world that serves better tasting burgers than the USA. My personal recommendations are KGB Burgers in Harrah’s Hotel Las Vegas and In and Out Burger drive-thrus – so tasty! Third, February is a good time to travel. We missed all the crowds and the room rates were a lot cheaper – not to mention the weather being more comfortable to drive in. Lastly, stock up at a Wal-mart when you see one – in some states you can drive long distances before you see another place to stop!

Worth driving long distances for.

5. Anything goes

Kirsten Bews, Flight Centre Earls Court, says:

My top tip is to try everything at least once! How often are you going to be in a position to try crickets, spicy ant salad or even a deep fried tarantula? You don’t want to leave an exotic destination without getting involved with the locals and seeing how they live – and that includes eating habits. I’ve tried kangaroo in Australia, reindeer in Norway, tarantula in Cambodia, snake in Vietnam and crickets in Thailand. It’s not true what they say – nothing tastes like chicken! On most occasions, I didn’t go back for seconds but I tried it.

Wait till you see dessert.

Do you have a travel tip of your own that you’d like to share? Comment below, or head on over to our Facebook page and let us know!