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Fellow travellers

Fellow travellers

I’m probably the last person anyone would turn to for any sort of management task. I’m a foot-soldier, not a general. But somehow, somewhere along the way, I’ve managed a few group tours. A few days, a few people; we’ve had fun, seen the sights, gotten from A to B, and done the job without too many people yelling at each other.

So this article by Ellen Morgan from Broadsheet caught my eye. Sometimes there will be travel that involves more than family. Getting it right is crucial; people are spending a lot of money and their valuable vacation days to follow your plan, and if there’s waste and delay, they’ll blame you.

Travel insurance on hand

Travel insurance on hand

Phillipe Cousteau – yes, grandson of the legendary ocean explorer – tells the South China Morning Post his best travel tips. Headlining the article is one that will surely raise a few eyebrows: wearing a good watch while traveling is like having a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. In a sticky situation, you can barter it to get out of trouble.

I’m kind of dubious about this. Yes, I can see how it would work, but it might also attract thieves and muggers. And what’s to stop some crooked cop or customs official from manufacturing a problem that could only be solved by a timely present?

The rest of the article is great advice. This bloke travels a lot and knows what he’s doing.

iphone shooter

iPhone shooter

I’ve been photographing my travels for over thirty years, and I’ve watched as cameras became increasingly smaller and more capable. Nowadays, even a humble phone camera is a photography system far superior to my old film SLR. Not to mention being slim enough to tuck into a shirt pocket, and having the ability to instantly share with a global audience. Truly mind-blowing stuff!

They say that the best camera is the one you have with you. Nowadays, I shoot with mirrorless cameras costing thousands, but often I’m not carrying one, or it is packed away securely, or otherwise unavailable when that fabulous photo opportunity hits. To capture the decisive moment, I reach into my pocket, pull out my iPhone, take the shot, and upload it to Instagram. In a matter of seconds.

The genius behind Map, Camera, Travel gives a detailed run-through – with photographs – of iPhone photography. There is a tonne of features that will enhance your shots right out of the box, not to mention various hardware and software add-ons.

My favourite? Wipe the lens before shooting. Otherwise, it’s a foggy day.

cruise ports good bad

Cruise ports: good and bad

Paul and Carole of Paul and Carole Love to Travel – catchy name, that! – have solicited advice from a shipload of cruisers as to their notions of the best and worst cruise ports. I’ve only been to a couple of them, but the verdict(s) tally with my own views. There’s one port stirring a bit of controversy, and amusement.

Then again, I love cruising, and if a port isn’t highly rated, I’m happy to sit with a good book and a cool drink and watch everyone else wasting their time.

But some ports are absolute crackers, and posts like this get me itching to go cruising again.

Scottish High Road

Scottish High Road

Angela and Graham of Mowgli Adventures give some practical advice on this classic Scottish road trip. I’ve actually driven most of this route a couple of times now, and I have got to say that it is one of the great road trips of the world. And I speak as someone who has done the Great Ocean Road, and a lot of Route 66 – once in a red Mustang.

The scenery is incredible. The Northwest, especially. Pick the right time of year, either spring or autumn in my opinion, and the roads are uncrowded, there are plenty of places to pull over for photographs, and the weather is clement. Well, usually. 

And the route is made up of great driving roads, mostly. Narrow, twisty, up hill and down dale, prepare to enjoy the trip. My son and I did it in a Jaguar, and it was exhilarating. We still talk about it.

Angela and Graham drove in a campervan, a far more practical vehicle, but their tips and pointers are relevant to all.