She has been a globetrotter for more than 50 years and has traveled around 744,000 miles.
Judith Chalmers, travel icon and presenter of I wish you were herehas put together practical tips for a hassle-free trip – including arranging a group leader, packing lightly and learning the local language.
Her advice includes booking things ahead of time, always having a backup of printed tickets, and bringing a comfy scarf with you.
A poll conducted for Heathrow Express Chalmers’ tips showed the mood-boosting effects of time off.
Half of the 2,000 adults surveyed woke up happy on the holiday, and 23 percent felt like adventure.
Almost a third (31 percent) said booking a vacation always puts them in a good mood, and 25 percent loved the last day of work before a trip.
Another 32 percent enjoyed nothing more than feeling the sun on their face when they finally got off the plane and headed on vacation.
Judith Chalmers said: “There are so many stories of delayed travel and muggings but let’s face it, we all still want to leave.
“There are a few things you can do to have the best chance of having a smooth and stress-free trip.
“Following these tips will give you the best chance of a great trip from start to finish.”
The best travel tips from Judith Chalmers
1. Book early: Keep it calm and worry-free by booking your train, transfers and travel ahead of time so there’s no rush or panic on the day of travel. You’ll have more choices, a better price, and you might even get some perks.
2. Print it out: Most tickets are now digitized, but this often brings with it the worry of draining your phone’s battery or not being able to find where you saved the documents. Some of us don’t have smartphones either, so bring a newspaper. Print out your tickets and get rid of the stress, and take a photo of your passport too, just in case.
3. Group leader: When traveling with friends and family, one person often becomes the designated leader and keeps the tickets and boarding passes. It is advisable to duplicate and keep copies of each other’s important details. Set up a group chat and share all the boarding passes, passports, accommodation details, booking references and the itinerary, then there will be no worries or arguments.
4. Get comfortable: You will sit and walk until you reach your destination, so you don’t want to do this in tight jeans. Loose, comfortable clothing will make you happy.
5. Graduation: I don’t mean wearing a big coat. I mean bring a pashmina wrap or a comfy shawl for the trip as it will keep the drafts from getting to you and it can also double as a pillow. Also as a fashion accessory, of course.
6. Be sure: While most countries no longer have Covid procedures, you might want to have hand sanitizer and a mask handy just to be safe.
7. Stay connected: Keep your charger in your hand luggage. Cell phones weren’t invented when I first started traveling, but they’re certainly a must-have now, given the built-in camera and maps. And when your battery is low, you don’t want to dig too deep to find the charger.
8. Pack Lightly, Use Wheels: We’ve all seen the pictures of waiting cases or their owners at airports, and we’ve all heard stories of cases that have gone missing. If possible, only travel with hand luggage and keep it with you. You will also drive through the airport at the other end.
9. A little jargon goes a long way: Before you arrive at your destination, you should at least learn how to say hello, bye, and thank you in the local language. Not only will you feel comfortable chatting with locals or ordering at the bar, you’ll spread smiles too.
10. Keep Little Minds Busy: When traveling with children, the best way to keep them calm is to keep them occupied. A book or tablet to read or play with, an activity pack, even their favorite snacks in small tubs.
11. Touristy or non-touristy: Yes, we are all tourists. That doesn’t mean we have to stick to tourist restaurants though. Take a side street off the main road and try food where the locals eat. You will usually eat better, cheaper and more authentic.
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 goal is another reason to smile.