Judith Chalmers’ top travel tips


She has been globetrotting for more than 50 years and covered some 744,000 miles.

Judith Chalmers, travel icon and host of Wish You Were Here, has pulled together handy hints for a stress-free trip – including appointing a group leader, packing light and learning a the local language.

Her advice includes booking things early, always having a back-up of printed tickets, and taking a comfy scarf.

A poll conducted for Heathrow Express to accompany Chalmers’ tips revealed the mood-boosting effect of take time off.

Half of the 2,000 adults polled were happy when they woke up on the day of a holiday, and 23 per cent felt in the mood for adventure.

Nearly one-third (31 per cent) said booking a holiday never failed to put them in a good mood, and 25 per cent loved the last day at work before a trip.

Another 32 per cent enjoyed nothing more than feeling the sun on their face when they finally stepped off the plane and into their holiday.

Judith Chalmers said: “There are so many stories about delayed travel and hold ups, but let’s face it, we all still want to get away.

“There are some things you can do to give yourself the best chance of a smooth and stress-free journey.

“Follow these tips and you’ll give yourself the best chance of a great trip, from start to finish.”

Judith Chalmers’ top travel tips

1. Book early: Keep it calm and carefree by booking your train, transfers and trips early, so there is no rush or panic come travel day. You will have more choice, a better price and may even get some perks thrown in.

2. Print it out: Most tickets have gone digital now, but this often brings a worry that the phone battery will go down, or you cannot find where you saved the documents. Some of us do not have smart phones either, so bring a paper back up. Print your tickets and release the stress, and take a picture of your passport too, just in case.

3. Group leader: When travelling with friends and family, one person will often become the designated leader and keep hold of tickets and boarding passes. It is wise to double up and keep copies of each other’s vital details. Set up a group chat and share everyone’s boarding passes, passports, accommodation details , booking references and the itinerary, then there are no worries or arguments.

4. Be comfortable: You are going to be sitting and walking for however long it takes to get to your destination, so you do not want to do that in tight jeans. Loose, comfy clothing will keep you happy.

5. Wrap up: By this, I do not mean wear a big coat. I mean bring a pashmina wrap or comfy scarf with you for the journey, as it will stop the draughts getting to you, and can double up as a pillow. As well, of course, as being a fashion accessory.

6. Be safe: While most countries no longer have Covid procedures in place, you might want to keep hand sanitizer and a mask handy, just to be sure.

7. Stay connected: Keep your charger in your hand luggage. Mobile phones were not invented when I started travelling, but they are certainly an absolute essential now, what with the built-in camera and maps. And if your battery is running low, you do not want to dig too deep to find the charger.

8. Pack light, use wheels: We have all seen the images of cases waiting or their owners in airports, and we have all heard stories of cases going missing. If possible, travel with just hand luggage and keep it with you. You will sail through the airport at the other end too.

9. A little lingo goes a long way: Before you arrive at your destination, you should at least learn how to say hello, goodbye and thank you in the local language. Not only will you feel a good when chatting to locals or ordering at the bar, but you will be spreading a smile too.

10. Keep little minds busy: If you are travelling with children, the best way to keep them quiet is to keep them occupied. A book or tablet to read or play games, an activity pack, even their favourite snacks in little tubs.

11. To tourist or not to tourist: Yes, we are all tourists. But that does not mean we have to stick to tourist restaurants. Take a side street, go off the main strip, and sample food where the locals eat. You will generally eat better, cheaper and more authentically.

12. Travel more: The best way to travel with a smile is to travel more. There’s a big and wonderful world out there, and every destination is another reason to smile.


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