Tips from Travel Experts Part 1

A collection of tips and recommendations from travel guides, authors, and professional tourists.



The Expert: The first counterculture travel author, Ed defined and popularized the concept of the vagabond, that is, the antitourist, the aware and liberated life-seeker who travels as cheaply and simply as possible because "the less you spend, the more you can learn about the places you visit and the people who live there." Ed's best-known books are Vagabonding in Europe & North Africa and Vagabonding in America.

His Travel Hints: The single most important travel tip of Ed's is to begin your travels recognizing that the people you'll meet (the infamous "natives") will provide you with your most genuine travel adventures. One good way to contact "natives" is to collect addresses beforehand from any and all sources-friends, and from the "grapevine" of other travelers and strangers met en route. Adventurous traveling truly has more to do with people than with places, and human beings anywhere can be wonderful (and amazingly hospitable), even with the most tenuous of introductions.

Recommendations: Travelers tend to enjoy the places in which they spend the most time; that is, the ones they learn the most about and meet the most people in. Ed recommends spending time instead of money so that you can accumulate your own personal treasury of favorite countries, cities, and souls.


The Expert: He is one of the most widely read and best-known authors of travel guidebooks. He publishes numerous travel guides regularly, the most popular of which is his annual Fielding's Travel Guide to Europe. His home base is Majorca, where his villa and hospitality are world-renowned.

His Travel Hints: On extended flying trips, he always takes along "a large raffia basket that looks something like a shopping bag," according to John McPhee in A Roomful of Hovings and Other Profiles. "He carries the basket because he noticed long ago that airlines almost never challenge a basket as excess weight. He does not mention this is his book, because he fears what would happen if 500,000 Americans were suddenly to turn up at airports carrying large straw baskets." What does Fielding carry in his own basket? A transistor radio, a portable three-speed record player, five records, a bottle of gin, a bottle of bitters, a bottle of vermouth, and a thermos filled with ice. Weight: 11 lb.

Recommendations: His own favorite hotels are the Gresham Hotel in Dublin, the Gritti Palace in Venice, the Bristol Hotel in Paris, and the Palace Hotel in Madrid.


The Expert: Pioneer travel lecturer, who presented his lectures with illustrations and published 19 books. The first person to take a movie camera into Japan and Russia, he coined the word travelogue. He earned $5 million before dying at age 88 in 1958. A collection of his best photographs, The Man Who Photographed the World: Burton Holmes, Travelogues 1892-1938, edited by Genoa Caldwell, was published in 1977.

His Travel Hints: His main advice to travelers is never to arrive in a new foreign city on a Sunday. Too much will be closed down, with little going on. Always arrange arrival in a new city on a normal weekday.

Recommendations: He thought the best cities worth visiting and revisiting were Kyoto, Venice, and Rome. He thought the best place to get away from it all was Bali.

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