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, 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

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…

11 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…

Colourful sarongs on beach, Mozambique, Africa

Africa: a Continent in Crisis?

Let's be honest, it's been something of an annus horribilis for Africa. Kenya, Mali and Algeria (and others) face ongoing security concerns and the Ebola virus has dominated headlines, while the Oscar Pistorius trial became another negative media circus, all making 2014 a year Africa would…

airplane seats

The Original Travel Guide to ‘Airtiquette’

News has reached us of a mid-air punch up aboard a United Airlines flight that resulted in the flight being diverted and both passengers being unceremoniously removed from the aircraft. The reason for the air rage? That particularly thorny issue of airtiquette - the seat recline.

Boy doing trick photo

Competition Time: Trickography is Back

Back by popular demand! We had so many amazing Trickography entrants last year that we thought it would be just plain wrong not to repeat it. 2014's Trickographer of the Year will walk away with one amazing Sharky and George-ified family holiday, courtesy of Original Travel, as well as some…

A pretzal stand, New York USA

The Foodie Tour of America

As a nation of immigrants, the US of A is home to some truly diverse dishes. Here we take a look at some American Classics from the American Grill menu by our friends at Deliverance.

In Defence of Ryanair (Sort of)

It's been a decade since I set foot on a Ryanair plane... the question is, would I live to regret using them again?

Elephants in Zambia

Safari Holidays Through Expert Eyes: Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

The first in a series of blogs where we get the inside track on African safari holidays from the guides and experts on the ground. Through a Q&A with Original Travel, Grant Cumings from Chiawa Camp in Zambia shares his experience and knowledge...

U Bein Bridge in Manadalay in Burma at sunrise

Best Places to Watch the Sunrise

Seize the day! The early bird catches the worm!.. you get the picture, and if you can drag yourself from peaceful slumber, here's our top 5 places around the world to watch the sunrise.

Sharky & George-ified Original Travel Family Holidays

Some matches are made in heaven and that's certainly the way we feel about the relationship between Original Travel and children's party people Sharky & George. Both companies opened for business in 2003 and have since gone from strength to strength. Then in 2010 Rosie from Original…

barcode with the world

The World on Sale

So what's up? It's more a question of what's down, and particularly against the Pound, thanks to a resurgent British economy. The rest will inevitably catch up (we're good sports like that) so the exchange rate bonanza won't last, but in the meantime there are bargains to be had. The World's…

24 hours in: Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is one of the most vibrant and appealing cities in South America, combining chic European influences with a true Latin atmosphere. You'd want to spend a whole lot longer than 24 hours, but if you were really going for it...

countryside landscape

Cool Destination Combos

Like a maxi dress and wedges, or jeans and a jacket, some combos just work. Behold, our favourite tailor made, two-pronged trip ideas. After all, the best things do come in pairs...

Nihiwatu Beach sunset

Fourteen destinations for 2014

14 for '14? Sounds like a set of Mitchell Johnson's bowling figures from the recent Ashes debacle (one for the chaps there) but on this occasion referring to our predictions for the 14 destinations that are going to be big news in 2014.

Meet the rest of the team

We’re seasoned travellers who combine our personal insights and exceptional knowledge to create memorable trips and experiences.

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