5 HOT TRAVEL TIPS FROM JULIAN AND CAMILLA
Published: August 2009
Julian Hanton and Camilla Anderson need no introduction as presenters of one of Travel Channel’s most popular series, JULIAN & CAMILLA’S WORLD ODYSSEY. We tracked them down on their travels and got them to share their 5 top travel tips for other would-be adventurers...
1. It sounds obvious but take care of your passport!
I’ve lost mine three times, left it behind twice and once left it in a taxi so I really can’t talk, but speaking from experience there is nothing worse than waiting in line in your embassy for your new passport while you ponder your travelling companions relaxing in the airport lounge.
2. Pretending to sleep helps deal with awkward situations...
While getting to know the local people is one of the main reasons people travel and is often one of the best things you can do, there are times, especially when hung-over or suffering from a bout of traveller’s diarrhoea, that you just can’t be bothered. The best way to ward off those unwelcome advances and probing questions is to pretend to sleep. Often the culprit will attempt to prod you awake but try just grunting and if the prodding persists, a sleepy hand movement should swat them away.
3. Pack toilet paper
Always pack this vital supply. You never know when you could be stranded in a 3rd rate restaurant and suddenly get the urge. Once in the cubical, you may discover that the over eater who left that horrid smell also used the last bit of paper.
4. Travel without a plan
The best experiences are often those which are unexpected. Leave your preconceptions in the hotel and be prepared to go for a wander with no book, no map, and no idea. You might be surprised by what you may find.
5. Don’t flaunt your travel experiences back home
To be quite honest, no one really cares if you spotted 30 stripped hyenas while on safari in Botswana, base jumped off Macedonia’s highest point or met the most amazingly friendly Jamaican flower seller. However, if you spent 30 hours on a bus ride from hell, were so sick you threw up on your girlfriend on the plane, or we conned out of all you had, they then your friends might listen. I think it’s something to do with jealously...
1. Always carry $50 hidden somewhere on your person
You never know when you will need this, and I have only ever had to use it a few times in years of travel, but you could say it has saved my life. It’s the one safety net I won’t travel without.
There is no better way to find the most interesting things in a place or meet the best people than walking. Taxi’s and buses are great when you are tired, but walking means you are at the perfect pace to start really understanding a place and discovering its secrets. My favourite thing to do in any city is to walk with a vague plan to see the sights and get caught up in journey more than the destination.
3. Look at and smile at dodgy characters
I’ve been to some pretty dodgy places, like bus and train stations in parts of South America which are full of weird characters hanging about with their eye on the tourists. I’ve spoken to many travellers who have had their bags snatched or been pick pocketed in these situations, but luckily I haven’t. I think it’s because I look around for the dodgiest ones wherever I am and keep staring at them till they make eye contact with me and then I smile, hoping to get a smile back. Once they know you are aware of them and their dodgy business and you’ve made some kind of friendly connection, they tend to move on and look for an unsuspecting victim i.e. not you!
4. Don’t ever go into restaurants where someone is soliciting business with a menu outside
Instead make the effort to find a truly local hangout. I’ve made this mistake too many times. If they are in the main tourist strip and have someone outside soliciting your business with a multi language menu card, you will pay over the odds for bad food and wine. Head away from the tourist traps and wander the back streets to find a restaurant full of locals where you will have fun deciphering a menu and eating good food.