Travel Tips: Rose Baring & Barnaby Rogerson

From Rose Baring and Barnaby Rogerson - our own husband and wife publishing team - a little less cerebral than the Woolfs, but possibly better travelled!

Last week we were asked to talk to some travel-hungry teenagers trying to escape thinking about revision who had started to dream of life after their exams were over in July.  We tried to remember what it was like.

My most important advice after 45 years of misadventures is always to look into the eyes of those you are talking to.  Never place your trust with anyone who talks to you whilst wearing dark glasses.  Potential seducer- salesmen types can lie with their face, but not with their eyes.

Travel light.  An extra T-shirt, an extra pair of pants, an extra pair of socks is all you really need, along with some soap, a toothbrush and a piece of cloth big enough to be used as a towel, sarong, scarf or turban.

Cameras and computers get damaged by dust, water, rain and being dropped and are eminently nickable.  In my experience no one ever wants to steal a paperback book or a sketch-book. 

Always say yes to tea.  It is much the safest way to drink water, and to both give and accept hospitality. 

Dodgy streets?  Put your credit card beneath the ball of your foot in one shoe, your cash in the other.   

Dodgy tummy? Eat white rice and bananas, avoid all animal fats and oil.

How do you find out if a friend is likely to be a good travelling companion?   Much of the excitement of the unknown can be mirrored by a night walk, even an hour on the most familiar footpath.  Or by setting off from home, with no picnic or booked room for the night, just a map and some cash and a hillfort as your goal. 

Sleep out not in a tent, but under a canvas awning that allows you to watch the stars.