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From hot travel trends to helping the planet while you explore, here’s the low-down on the best ways to vacay like a pro this year
Nowadays, we want more meaningful tourism, according to research by travel trend expert Skift. Discover how to embrace it on your next trip
Check out spottedbylocals.com (or download the app for 100% offline maps, tips and navigation) and filter by the city you’re visiting. The site’s ‘spotters’ live in the areas they write about, speak the language and recommend their favourite spots.
Cost: Free to download. £3.99 per city in-app.
EAT WITH LOCALS
The EatWith app enables you to have authentic dining experiences with hosts in over 130 countries, whether it’s a cookery class in Tokyo or an Italian feast with a family in Rome.
Cost: Free to download. The cost of experiences varies.
MANNERS ON THE MOVE
Did you know it’s offensive to stand with your hands in your pockets in Mexico? Or that Thais greet each other with ‘wai’, and it’s an insult if you don’t reciprocate? Avoid those unintentional faux pas with website ediplomat.com’s ‘cultural etiquette guide’.
Cost: Free to view.
HIRE A RESIDENT GUIDE
Try travellocal.com for a bespoke itinerary full of genuine experiences, using small, independent travel companies, so you communicate directly with local experts.
Cost: Varies, but can be tailored to your budget.
SPEAK LIKE A NATIVE
Get to grips with Google Translate’s app – it’s like having an interpreter in your pocket. You can type your text in one language and receive an immediate translation in another. Or just speak into the microphone. Plus, you can access 59 languages via the app offline!
Cost: Free to download.
The Telegraph’s chief consumer and culture editor, Nick Trend, shares his top three up-and-coming getaway gems*
Skip Spain’s jam-packed beaches and head to the capital for its exceptional value and sights. It’s a great walking city, steeped in history, with tasty tapas to boot. Plus, the Prado Museum is celebrating its bicentenary this year.
THE FAR FLUNG
As the host nation of this year’s Rugby World Cup and next year’s Olympics, this is the destination for sports fans. Plus, with its beautiful gardens, fine cuisine and fascinating culture, it’s well worth the 11-hour flight.
One of the most politically stable parts of the Middle East, with a fascinating history stretching back to biblical times. Perfect for trekking – opt for a cooler spring or autumn, organised-tour trip.
In a nutshell, it means doing whatever we can to minimise our mark on the planet
Check out ethical travel companies such as Responsible Travel, Intrepid and Exodus, which offer eco and sustainable destinations for guilt-free experiences.
Try to take the train if you can For example, website rome2rio.com suggests plane-free routes when you’re venturing around Europe.
Stay in homes rather than hotels Try airbnb.co.uk, where you can recycle, cook local produce and use less water than in hotels. In fact, 88% of Airbnb hosts incorporate ‘green practices’ into their homes.
Pack eco-friendly travel essentials such as the Humble Brush, £4/400 points, a sustainably grown bamboo, biodegradable toothbrush designed by dentists. And the eco-friendly Brita Fill & Go Water Filter Bottle, £11.99/1,199 points (600ml capacity), filters water while on the move**.
On average, a family of four will spend £4,800 on a two-week holiday. Try these tips to cut back on your holiday spend
BE FLEXIBLE WITH DATES
Head to opodo.co.uk for info on the best flight deals. According to its research, September is the cheapest month to book flights from the UK. There’s also a guide to how far in advance you should book your flight, depending on the continent.
USE A BUDGET BOOSTER
If you have a spending limit, download Lucky Trip. Use the sliding scale and let the app search for a ready-made break.
DOWNLOAD A DIGI BANK ACCOUNT
Monzo, Starling Bank and Revolut don’t charge for overseas withdrawals (up to a point), with favourable exchange rates.
MOVE: 55% of people say yoga helps them get better shut-eye, so search for ‘sleep yoga’ videos on YouTube.
MUNCH: Foods rich in magnesium turn what we eat into energy. Opt for wholegrain bread, green, leafy veg, nuts, fish and meat.
REST: As your normal slumber pattern has been disturbed, try to change your schedule to the new time zone as quickly as possible – and set an alarm to avoid oversleeping in the morning.
SMELL: The scent of lavender could help you feel relaxed. Consider Tisserand Aromatherapy Lavender & Chamomile Treatment Roller Ball, £5.95/595 points (10ml), on pulse points at ‘bedtime’.
PLAN: Adjusting our body clocks is all about light exposure. Download the Timeshifter app – it’ll give you tips on pre-travel lifestyle changes to make, when you should avoid caffeine and the best times to eat meals while travelling long-haul.
Nearly 70% of 30-40-something British women are delaying ‘life goals’, such as marriage, in favour of seeing the world alone. Try the specialised companies Just You or FlashPack.
59% of people believe food and drink is more important when travelling than five years ago, hence the rise in gastro go-tos. Check out golearnto.com for cookery hols worldwide.
Over 50% of us opted to stay put last year. For British beach retreats, visit beachguide.co.uk; for family-friendly hikes, see treasuretrails.co.uk; and for UK scuba diving (yes, really), go to oysterdiving.com.
With YouGov research finding almost a quarter of us don’t use sunscreen, it’s time for new suncare holiday habits this year
Scalp: Obviously, it’s all about a sun hat, but take extra care with Soltan Head & Scalp Clear & Cool Protect Suncare Spray SPF30 Boots Exclusive £5/500 points (75ml).
Eyes: Reflected sunlight from sand, concrete and water is particularly harmful to our eyes. So sunglasses should never be under UV 400, and look for wraparound lenses or wide arms with the ‘CE’ mark and European Standard (EN 1836:2005).
Lips: Wear a lip balm with SPF, such as Blistex Ultra Lip Balm SPF50+, £2.99/299 points.
Arms/legs/torso: Use a product with a five-star UVA rating. Try Soltan Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30 Boots Exclusive £4/400 points (200ml).
Don’t forget: The soles of your feet and, according to recent research, your eyelids! Be prepared with No7 Shimmering Lip & Eye Screen SPF30 Boots Exclusive £8/800 points.
BE A UV GEEK
Download UVLens for UV forecasts around the world, so you can plan the best times to be outside, what protection you need, and even your burn risk.
Kayak: Use augmented reality to measure your cabin bag (you scan your phone’s camera around the bag to capture its size), to ensure it will fit on your specific flight.
Airportr: Book a slot to have your suitcase collected from your home, taken to the airport, checked in and put on the plane. Ideal for anyone who can’t face lugging their Kardashian-sized luggage haul on public transport!
Stasher: Can’t check into your room or apartment as soon as you arrive? Or have a whole day after check-out until your flight? This helps you connect with trusted shops and hotels that can stash your luggage so you can explore, bag-free.
GEN UP ON JABS
‘If you’re going abroad, ideally you should seek travel-health advice six to eight weeks before departure,’ says Boots pharmacist Scot Taylor. ‘But we may still be able to help if you’re travelling last-minute.’ You can use the Quick Check Tool at boots.com/travelhealth to see what risks of diseases are found in the countries you’re visiting, then book an appointment in store with the Boots Travel Vaccinations and Health Advice Service†.
NEED TO RESCHEDULE?
While away, you may want to delay your period. Check out the Period Delay Online Clinic for an online consultation with a Boots clinician. If the service is suitable for you, a prescription-only treatment can delay your period (for up to 17 days). Find out more at boots.com/perioddelay††.
CLICK AND COLLECT
To save hand-luggage liquids of more than 100ml being confiscated at the airport, order travel-health items online and arrange to collect from a Boots store, airside◊.
Getting a pre-vacay base tan from a sunbed will amp up my tolerance to the sun. Fact or fiction?
It’s fiction! A study found the risk of skin cancer from sunbeds can be more than double that of lying in the Mediterranean midday sun for the same length of time (not that we’d do this!). Worried about your skin? The Mole Scanning Service‡ at selected Boots stores can assess your concerns. Find out more at boots.com/mole-scanning-service.
Don't leave home without these…
While on the move, pop this charger in your pocket for your phone and other devices. Fresh 'N Rebel Powerbank 3000 mAh in Ruby Boots.com only £14.99/1,499 points.Currently Unavailable
Travel Juice Universal USB Charger with Multi Country Adapters++, £19.99/1,999 points, can be used in over 15o countries and charges up to four devices at once.Add
This travel-friendly BaByliss Large Cordless Gas Styler++, £24.99/2,499 points, means you can style your hair wherever you are, without trying to find a plug near a mirror.Add
Words Ali Pantony Photography Alamy, Getty Images, Plain Picture, Shutterstock, Unsplash
*Check UK Government advice before travelling at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. **It’s not advisable to drink tap water or use it to clean teeth in countries with poor sanitation, unless it has been treated. Check the latest country-specific health advice at travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. †Available in approximately 300 stores. Service suitable for adults and children over two years. Eligibility criteria apply. Subject to specially trained pharmacist and stock availability; charges apply. ††Subject to stock availability and clinician approval; charges apply. ◊Order must be placed at least five working days before you fly. Please see your airport’s website for more details on restrictions and regulations. ‡Operated by ScreenCancer UK. Available in selected stores. Subject to eligibility criteria and pharmacist availability. Charges apply. The first mole/pigmented lesion scanned will cost £35. Each additional mole/pigmented lesion in the one consultation will cost £15. ‡‡Available in selected stores.