Archive | Travel Chatter RSS feed for this section

Comfortable hotels – why are they so rare?

“Your home away from home” is how many hotels like to market themselves. It’s an easy slogan to use, but for many hotel owners I am fairly sure that if they had to live in the properties which earn them a living, they wouldn’t put up with many of the irritations to which they are […]

Comments Off on Comfortable hotels – why are they so rare? Continue Reading →

A tale of car rental woe with a happy ending

I loathe every aspect of renting a car abroad. Even the process of booking a car for our recent Sicily trip took far too long; every time I was about to book a car I made the mistake of checking a review site and ended up getting distracted by a stream of one-star ratings from angry […]

Comments Off on A tale of car rental woe with a happy ending Continue Reading →

Safety – should we trust our own judgement?

Every journey we take, whether we’re walking up the road to post a letter or flying to the other side of the world, poses a certain level of risk. Some of the risks are easy to identify (getting run over, being involved in a plane crash or a terrorist incident), while others are impossible to […]

Comments Off on Safety – should we trust our own judgement? Continue Reading →

75 years ago – the night when everything changed

This is one of the longest blog posts I’ve added on 501 Places, and other than a short introduction, I’ll leave the words to my parents. It’s a travel story in the loosest sense of the term, but one which I’m sure none of us would ever wish to undertake. My parents spent their early childhood […]

Comments Off on 75 years ago – the night when everything changed Continue Reading →
Stairs in Graz

The perils of trying to making sense out of nonsense

Often I read travel articles and blogs which make an attempt at informed analysis about a place from which the writer has just returned.  And it’s hardly surprising: most of us at some level attempt to make sense of what we see and experience, usually by framing it in the context of our knowledge of our […]

Comments Off on The perils of trying to making sense out of nonsense Continue Reading →

Reasons to fall out with a restaurant

A friend recently asked me for suggestions of where to go and what to do for their upcoming visit to London. As I was typing out a long list of recommended restaurants, it struck me how many restaurants I was consciously leaving off my list; places which were long-time favourites and which for some reason over the […]

Comments Off on Reasons to fall out with a restaurant Continue Reading →

Travel responsibly – stay at home

I’d like to travel responsibly. I mean, who wouldn’t? It would be nice to think that wherever I choose to go I make a positive impact on the places I visit while at the same time the process of actually getting there involves me burning up as little fossil fuel as possible. But how do […]

Comments Off on Travel responsibly – stay at home Continue Reading →

Plan the perfect holiday? No thanks

It’s a subject I’ve covered here a few times over the years and it’s one that I’m reminded of every time I see yet another company sharing with us their vision of the future of travel. These dreams have the same consistent elements: families gathered round a computer screen wearing excited expressions; travellers young and […]

10 Comments Continue Reading →

The stories behind our souvenirs

I’ve never been one for buying expensive souvenirs from our travels. We travel with backpacks and I tend to be fairly ruthless when it comes to packing; lighter packs make for a more comfortable trip. My wife has no doubt lost count of the number of times I’ve asked “Do you really need to take […]

3 Comments Continue Reading →

A guide to free toilets in London

Having visited London quite literally hundreds of times in recent years and being cursed with a well-documented weak bladder, I’ve often been caught short on my trips around the city. Central London is a haven of presentable and reasonably hygienic toilets and there’s absolutely no reason why you’d ever need to pay any money to […]

Comments Off on A guide to free toilets in London Continue Reading →