Travel tips to those who go on a trip to Europe:
- When making local journeys in some European cities, you do not have to pay a separate fare - the charge is by time. An ordinary ticket allows you to make as many changes as you need, usually within one hour (Berlin is a generous two hours). This applies even if you have to change between bus, tram, and metro.
- If you have a long stopover at Madrid airport, you can visit the city easily and cheaply. Leave the terminal via the green 'nothing to declare' doors and make the 10-minute walk to the metro. The ride to the old city centre takes 30 minutes and costs €1.30 each way. You can leave your bags at the left-luggage lockers by the entrance to the metro where there is also a helpful tourist information office.
- Wear a football shirt of the country you are on holiday in. It's a great ice breaker in bars and shops when the locals know you are on 'their side', especially if you are travelling alone. They need'nt cost a fortune, either. A replica shirt of the Thai national side costs the equivalent of £2.
- When travelling in Rome or Naples, using a travel map, keep hold of your small change. The cost of a single journey travel pass within these cities is 0.77 euro and machines only give change in multiples of €0.05, not allowing you to overpay. So insert a 2 cent coin first, followed by a €1 coin (giving change of 0.25 euro).
Travel tips to those who go on a South African holiday:
- Work out what you want from a South African holiday, the experiences that would suit you best, and then check the SA Tourism website for all the options available to you. Look for the events and festivals section, to avoid arriving the week after the show's closed.·Planning is everything, because once you've decided on your route you can relax and become adventurous. If you've been overseas before, you 'll know how to be safe. The rules of world travel are universal.
- More than 40% of South Africans live below the poverty line. Don't tempt them - or fate - by being careless with your possessions and your personal safety.·If you're planning an excursion into a township or rural village, it's always a good idea to go on a guided tour. That way, you'll be safe and provided with reliable information.·South Africans are generally a friendly lot, but pay them the respect of asking permission before taking their photographs.Don't walk into a country bar and say disparaging things about the Springbok rugby team - especially now that Martin Johnson's boys are so strong.·Buy more luggage for your return flight. South African arts and crafts will seduce you.
Travel tips to those who want to be friendly:
- Throw away the guidebook, make friends with the concierge and carry bundles of low denomination local currency for tips. Always smile, never shout, never point your finger, however distressed or frustrated you might be. Bear in mind it is best to have high friends in low places.
Travel tips to those who those who want to be healthy:
- Traveller's diarrhoea blights many a trip abroad, but some protection from this condition may be afforded by stocking up the gut with healthy bacteria (probiotics) that help to keep unwanted visitors at bay. The supplement Travel Guard (0121 433 3727) is an ingenious supplement specifically designed for the prevention and treatment of traveller's diarrhoea. It is a capsule within a capsule.
The outer capsule contains natural plant oils from coconut, oregano, cinnamon, clove, ginger and rosemary, which have been shown to kill a variety of organisms including salmonella, E.coli and campylobacter. The inner capsule contains probiotics, which should help to protect the gut against infection. But it will also help to restore healthy functioning in this part of the body should something be contracted.
When your coach stops or breaks down in Thailand, never buy a packet of fish-flavoured corn snacks from one of the mini-supermarkets, no matter how tempting they look or how hungry you think you might be. They are guaranteed to leave a rotten taste in your mouth that will last for the rest of the journey and beyond, no matter how much bottled water or cheap beer you drink.
Don't eat watermelons in exotic countries, they are one of the biggest causes of food poisoning as they are often grown in contaminated water.Essential item: a small bottle of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce in your hand luggage to brighten up bland airline meals.