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Top Travel Tips for a Successful Holiday - 2006

HolidayReviewstop is all about sharing information to help you get the most out of your holidays.

As well as holiday reviews, you can also share Tips and Advice on the site.

To get the ball rolling, we are very pleased to present the following "Top Tips for a Successful Holiday" which have been contributed by some of the most experienced Travel Writers and Editors in the Travel Industry.

We'd like to thank Everybody who contributed their tips.

If you have any holiday tips you would like including on HolidayReviewStop for other users, please use the contact form.

Peter Carlyle-Gordge

Peter grew up in Yorkshire and attended Manchester University. He is a freelance writer and broadcaster and has written for scores of newspapers and magazines in North America and Britain. He is a former Manitoba correspondent for Time magazine and Macleans magazine and has also written for the Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette and many others. In the 1980's he was honorary press secretary to the Lt.Governor of Manitoba and in 2003 was awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for services to the community. He has also worked as a producer with CBC radio and has broadcast on the local, national and international networks of CBC. Peter now lives in Winnipeg and was formerly a Travel Editor at the Winnipeg Free Press.
Peter recommends:

Peter's Top Tips:
  • It is easy and annoying to forget important items when packing. You end up having to buy a razor, toothbrush, headache pills, clothing items or whatever. That eats into your budget. Getting forgetful is worse if you pack in a hurry or are getting older and forgetful. Rather than worrying every time you travel, keep a list of essential packing items on your computer if you have one. Or keep a written list that you can use each time you travel. Then you just go through it and check off items. Saves a lot of time and anxiety. Insurance policy, travel documents, driving licence, camera and other items should be on the list. And don't forget any medications because they may be hard to get when miles from home, especially if on prescription. Also if you are going for a week always take MORE medications with you than needed. Planes can be cancelled or delayed or something else may detain you longer. Better to be safe than sorry, so take an extra supply.

  • Be very careful when packing hand luggage if you're flying. Place anything sharp such as scissors, nail files etc in your checked suitcase. That can include cameras, well protected in a towel or bubble wrap. X-ray equipment generally does NOT affect your camera equipment despite rumours to the contrary. Having iffy items in hand baggage can seriously slow you down at a security check-in. If you have metal body piercings they can cause a problem too, so remove them. In the U.S.A. security will also demand any cigarette lighters you have in your pocket or hand baggage and they are confiscated unless you agree to pay about $20 U.S. to get them shipped back to you. I just had two cigarette lighters taken this way and I've heard that 30,000 lighters a day are confiscated by airport security agents - so pack them in your case or carry matches. Many U.S. airports will also ask you to remove your shoes as you go through scanners, so be warned.

  • Jane Dunford

    Jane Dunford is a freelance travel writer for a range of titles from The Guardian to Luxury Travel magazine and has written a guidebook to Egypt for Dorling Kindersley.

    Jane's Top Tips:
  • If you don’t mind where you go and can wait until the last minute, has great weekly Top 20 cheap deals on flights, holidays and hotels – with prices that are hard to beat, even on the other discount sites.

  • If you want to see the wonders of Ancient Egypt along the Nile, avoid cruise ships and hire a felucca (Egyptian sailing boat) instead, sleeping on the deck overnight. Get to the sites you want to see soon after dawn – you’ll avoid the bus-loads of tourists and may even have the place to yourself.

  • To avoid the ‘scene’ in Goa, head south. At Benaulim you can hire Rajasthani-style tents right on an idyllic stretch of beach, complete with carved wooden beds, for a few pounds. The luxury Taj Exotica hotel is close by if you want to treat yourself to some five-star dining.

  • Doug Dyment

    Doug Dyment (whom Time Magazine called "the go-light guru") has travelled the world for more than 40 years, and dispenses his consequent opinions at
    Doug recommends:

    Doug's Top Tips
  • Travel lightly! The goal is to immerse yourself in -- and experience -- your new surroundings, not drag your old surroundings around with you. You can travel the world indefinitely with a single, carryon-sized bag. And you will be much happier while doing so.

  • Remember that foreign parts of the world are not theme parks designed for your entertainment. You are a guest in others' "homes". Act accordingly, and you will be welcomed as family, rather than viewed as a source of income.

  • Sandra Lawrence

    Sandra Lawrence is freelance travel writer featuring regularly in publications from the Broadsheets - The Sunday Telegraph, Guardian and Independent etc, to magazines such as Real and Marie Claire. She is Luxury Hotel Editor for Casino Life Magazine.
    Sandra recommends:

    Sandra's Top Tips
  • A rubber wedge - very useful for securing rooms from the inside, Even in the less remote parts of the world where a hotel room can be locked, a cheap, lightweight wedge will defy any pass key, yet remain easy to remove for quick release in an emergency.

  • And - for girls - the amazing Whizaway ( No - I'm not paid to endorse them - I just think this is the best invention ever - a simple, hygienic and discreet device which allows women to pee standing up. From long country walks in Britain where I can nip behind a bush just like guys to less-than-hygienic holes-in-the-ground in Africa and disgusting rock festival loos, I NEVER leave home without this. There are several on the market but this is the best one in my humble opinion.

  • Amanda Morison

    Amanda Morison is the travel editor of RED magazine. As a child she moved from the wilds of Dartmoor to Swaziland, and has been on the go ever since, writing for publications as diverse as Brides, The Guardian and Closer. Amanda has also worked 'undercover' while contributing to the Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotel guide.

    Amanda's Top Tips
  • Don't be afraid to ask for a better room. If you discover you're above the booming bar, have a view of a noisy car park or can smell what's cooking in the kitchen day and night, ask to be moved. Hotels rarely run at full occupancy, so most of the time there will be somewhere better for you to spend your hard-earned holiday.

  • Always pack something warm to wear. Just because your holiday is in the Caribbean doesn't mean you'll be immune to fierce air conditioning, unseasonable weather or even a hurricane. And you usually need something to wrap up in on a plane to stop you getting a cold before you've even arrived.

  • Betty Winsett

    Betty Winsett is a former professional photographer with extensive experience of travelling the World including Antarctica, Thailand and Peru. Her site offers a collection of informative travel photography ideas, excellent personal travel information, packing list, travel hints, safety tips, photo gallery, and links to many informative travel sites.
    Betty recommends: Betty’s Travel Kiosk

    Betty's Top Tips
  • When leaving a foreign hotel, always take matches or stationery with hotel name and address on it. When you don't speak the language, just show the cab driver either one and there won't be any mistake as to where you are staying.

  • Avoiding Jet Lag
    After crossing several time zones, many travellers suffer from "jet lag." Although there is no way to completely avoid jet lag, there are a number of ways to help your body adjust to a new time zone.
    1. Try to go to bed a little earlier a few days before you leave and get as much sleep as you can during your flight.
    2. Many side-effects of jet lag are the result of dehydration, so avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages and drink plenty of water during your flight.
    3. Eat lightly on your flight and forego rich or exotic foods on the first few days of your trip so that you can use your energy to adjust to your new surroundings rather than to digest your food.
    4. Exercising on a long flight will help alleviate such common discomforts as backaches, swollen legs and feet and general fatigue. Stretch at regular intervals and walk up and down the aisles of the plane from time to time.
    5. Finally, take it easy on the day you arrive so that you can take advantage of your trip at a leisurely pace and establish a routine in sync with the local time. I take a short nap when I arrive at my destination, then make myself stay active the rest of the day.

  • Travelling with Lap Tops
    While passing through airport security checkpoints, keep your eyes on your equipment as much as possible. Stolen notebooks are another side effect of the post-9/11 airport security checks. A typical ploy is for one thief to jump ahead of you as you're about to pass through the metal detector and intentionally set off the alarm. In the confusion, an accomplice nabs your notebook.
    Put coloured paper, duct tape, or a sticker on your notebook. These days, travellers must remove notebooks from their bags and feed them into the X-ray machines at airport security checks. There have been reports around the country that this has caused some travellers to pick up the wrong notebook--which is why tagging your computer for easy identification makes sense.

  • We hope that the generosity demonstrated by these experienced Travel Professionals in contributing their tips to create this guide will inspire you to add your holiday review and in so doing to help make bad holidays a thing of the past.

    Additional Tips:
    Sea Sickness Cure.
    This natural remedy is courtesy of a very helpful driver from Scilly Cabs on the Isles of Scilly (the ferry service to and from the Scilly Isles is notorious for causing sea sickness):
    To avoid suffering from sea sickness, a traditional method is to eat ginger biscuits. One should be taken 5 minutes before boarding, 2 should be eaten while travelling and a final biscuit should be eaten 5 minutes after landing.

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