Life is in the detail

For a different (and crowd free) take on a classic view – cross the Yamuna River at dusk to see the Taj Mahal glowing pink and reflected in the river.

Tom - Original Traveller

Image of Tom Barber

Tom Barber

Original Travel Expert

I have extensive travel experience throughout Middle East, Africa, Caribbean, The Far East and Europe.

My travels

Travel Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • Sudan. More pyramids than northerly neighbour Egypt and a miniscule fraction of the visitor numbers.
  • California for sheer diversity of special things to see and do.
  • Sao Tome & Principe, because it just sounds magical and unspoilt.

Best Moments

  • Diving Neptune's Arm off the coast of Mozambique and generally considered the best dive in the world. It didn't disappoint and we were surrounded by white tip reef sharks and groupers the size of Minis.

Toughest Travel Moment

  • Travelling on my own for a bit in Nepal. Everyone says you should try it once, but for me it was completely over-rated - no offence to Nepal, which was fabulous!

Weirdest Travel Moment

  • Chicken hearts in Brazil. Bleeurch.

Explore my blog posts

Bordeaux, France

Wine Tasting in Bordeaux

We love a city that's recovered its mojo, and Bordeaux has most certainly done so. The grand 18th-century boulevards and buildings - paid for by the proceeds of the wine industry - spent decades down at heel until a recent sense of urban renewal lured young entrepreneurs back. Now, with the…

San Francisco

Best Experiences in San Francisco

At first glance Frisco is a city without a clear narrative, swinging from late 19th Century Gold Rush greed to flowers in your hair hippie free love and now home to techpreneurs from Twitter to Instagram. What's the common theme? An over-riding sense of what might be possible when groups of…

mexico city ancient ruins

The Best of Mexico City

¡Bienvenido a Mexico City! Formerly known as DF (distrito federal) for the past two centuries, Mexico's capital changed its official name last year and is now known as Ciudad de Mexico (CDMX). Once centre of the Aztec Empire, latter day CDMX (catchier than one-time Tenochtitlan) sits gritty…

young girl looking for wildlife

Travelling with Tweens

The world is their oyster... just don't try making them eat one. Follow these few simple ground rules and these could just be the happiest holidays you ever have...

taking a selfie in Rome

Europe for Youths

Elsewhere in our blog we've talked about Travelling with Teenagers, given Teen to Teen Advice as well as Parental Advice on family holidays all around the far flung corners of our glorious globe. Now that every hidden nook and secret cranny is now in play with teens in tow, let's not forget…

My First... Cultural Adventure: Rome

Rome might just be our favourite city in Europe so it's doubly delicious that it also works so well for families. We have access to superb guides who are experts in their fields - be that archaeology or history of art - but also in another key art; that of teaching children without them…

Verbier

The Best of Verbier

The focal point of the huge Four Valleys ski area in Switzerland, Verbier might just be the perfect all-round Alpine ski resort. Sure, St Anton wins - just - in the après-ski stakes, Zermatt might be (even) prettier and Chamonix has the ultimate gnarly off-piste action, but Verbier delivers…

teens hanging out

Travelling with Teenagers: Teen There, Done That

Time to take a deep breath, bite your tongue and get ready for battle. Or - just as likely- get ready to enjoy some really quality time with your pubescent progent and discuss things in a mature manner. Ha, who are we trying to kid? Joking aside, these years can deliver some genuinely…

Proboscis Monkeys on tree

Your Child's First Expedition: Borneo

Once your children have reached the slightly scary 'tweenage' years of 9-12 years old, you can start veering toward the ever more adventurous holidays, for instance, their first expedition. We think that Malaysian Borneo provides adventure-a-plenty for little explorers; this is the land of…

When Can I... Taking Your Children on 'First' Holidays

At Original Travel, we completely understand (first-hand) that each and every family is unique and therefore has entirely unique holiday preferences. However, after years of experience (15 years to be exact) planning family holidays, we like to think that we've learnt a thing or two and are…

mother cycling on the beach with her toddler

A Guide to Travelling with Toddlers

Welcome to the exciting new world of family travel. You may have to make a few (temporary) compromises to your former travel life but we're here to help with the transition. Here are our top tips for surviving (and enjoying!) family vacations whilst travelling with tots. Are you sitting…

fez doorway

What's Hot For 2018: Trending Travel Destinations

Here at Original Travel, we are always looking ahead with wanderlust and planning for our next worldwide adventure. We're pleased to say that we've sat down and looked deep into our crystal ball (the office globe) and are excited to share with you our hottest destinations to visit in 2018 -…

toddler at the airport

A Survival Manual To Flying With Infants

Welcome to our dedicated Survival Manual for flying with your little ones. No one wants to be the parent of a screaming infant on a flight, so if you want to avoid looks that could kill, here are a few tips from all of us Original Travel parents to minimise the chances of an incident at…

A family of lions

My First Safari: Wild in South Africa

Regardless of how many Jellycat giraffe teddies the children own, or how Elmer the Elephan encyclopedic they are, nothing even comes close to seeing African wildlife in its natural habitat for the first time. We think that your wild things will enjoy a safari experience in family-friendly…

Evening scenery in Stockholm

Scandimania: Which Scandi-Country Is For You?

Scandinavia is a hugely popular holiday destination right now, and with good reason. We ourselves absolutely love the Nordic region (admittedly, a loose term in this blog including Iceland) and have developed self-diagnosed Scandimania: a love of all things Nordic. In this blog post we are…

IGO Norway

Our Exciting New Partnership with IGO Adventures

Unless you've been living in a cave these past couple of years you'll be aware of the rise of the MAMIL, or Middle Aged Man in Lycra, and his lady wife, MAWIL. The desire to get fit is, of course, entirely admirable, but sartorially speaking no-one has yet managed to style out the lycra…

Deck chairs in the Caribbean

Caribbean Honeymoons: Finding the Perfect Island

So you're getting married. Congratulations (obvs) but let's get straight to the important bit - planning the honeymoon. We may be slightly (read: completely) biased but planning your honeymoon has got to be one of the most exciting bits of wedmin and there are few better places to kick off…

10 Ways to Make Travelling by Airplane a Little More Bearable

It might seem a little counter-intuitive for a travel company to talk about the difficulties of travelling, but you've been to an airport recently, right? No-one in their right mind could claim that the airport experience is a particularly pleasant one, what with convoluted security checks…

Parlez-vous Anglais?

Consider the English-speaking world. Don't panic - this isn't going to be some misty-eyed paean to the age of Empire, when Britannia ruled the waves, and the sun never set, etc; but if you think about the places that speak English as their first language, they make for a pretty spectacular…

Aman Hotels: All You Need to Know

Once an Original Traveller, Aman's Director of Sales for the UK and Scandinavia, Olga Pavlova knows all about what our clients look for in a luxury hotel. I sat down with Olga to get the inside track on all things Aman...

Statue of Winston Churchill

Churchill’s Travels

Don't worry, we're not going to wax lyrical about the travels of the annoying nodding dog off the telly; rather those of Sir Winston Churchill, the man often acknowledged as the Greatest Briton ever. This Saturday (24 January, 2015) is the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston's death and as a…

Our Top Ten Honeymoon Hotels

Everybody loves a list, and anyone planning a honeymoon needs this particular one in their life. After much deliberation the team at Original Travel have come up with their Top 10 Honeymoon Hotels from around the world. Editing the list down to a mere ten proved mighty difficult, and more…

Spetses: A Very Well Kept Greek Secret

After our escapades in mainland Peloponnese my wife and I headed by boat to Spetses, an island Original Travel have trumpeted as the new Capri. I wanted to see for myself, nervous that we might be making a big call, but I think the claim is pretty legitimate. The many Spetsiot residents we…

The Peloponnese: Luxury, Adventure, Culture and History

I've long had unfinished business with Greece. The last and only time I'd been before my recent trip was a university holiday to the island of Ios that made the first In-Betweeners movie look like a brass-rubbing coach tour of Norfolk churches (hedonistic as they no doubt are). We got not a…

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