High Flying-Helen Hokin on Stress-Free Travel

High Flying, Helen Hokin, presenter and producer of the Food Tripper series for the Travel Channel, gives her Top Ten Tips for stress-free travel.
*What’s the best travel trip you have ever been given? ‘Travel is the best education you can have.’ “My father’s advice to me the first time I travelled along, age 14. He was right.” *What’s the best travel tip you’d give to others? “Keep an open mind, use your street smarts and engage with local people!” *What’s the best way to get upgraded? “Agents often have to upgrade a customer or two for weight and balance reasons. You’ll increase your chances of getting picked if you’re well-dressed, travelling along and sitting close by the check-in gate. Tell your travel companions you need a little alone time prior to boarding and go get yourself noticed!” *What clothes should a woman always pack? “Shoes can be heavy and take up space, so my Cocorose London foldable ballet pumps are light, lovely and brilliant to wear when flying and on location. I always pack a minimal outfit change in my carry-on bag, too.” *What clothes should a man always pack? “Smart shoes! We were filming in Miami last year and one of the crew had to be excused from precious shoot time to buy suitable shoes to wear to a VIP event. It might not seem important to Londoners, but in the States and France, dress codes still apply. And, in my experience, men don’t pack the right shoes.” *What’s your favourite piece of carry-on luggage? “I love the classics, and always use my Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ bag to carry an outfit change, a little make-up to apply just before landing ,and my IPad, since I’m usually writing last minute scripts on route. On location, it doubles as my accessories and styling bag.” *What should we pack in our ‘hypochondriac kit’? “I rarely take medicines away with me – they take up space and it’s easy to buy them if you need them. But for some reason, antisceptic wipes always seem tomake it into my handbag. A quick wipe of cutlery and glassware, if deemed necessary, goes a long way to preventing upset tummies. If you have prescription medicines carry them on-board in case your luggage goes walkabouts. They must be in their original labelled bottles to pass through security.” *What’s the secret of avoiding jet lag? “Answers on a postcard, please! I’ve tried everything!” *What’s the biggest no-no when travelling? “I’ve never understood people who pack emergency food supplies in case they don’t like the local fare. Be adventurous, try local delicacies, food is such an important part of the experience. And, if you really can’t face offal, then load up on the hotel breakfast buffet bread and cheese. But leave the pot noodles at home, please!”  *What’s the biggest no-no when packing? “Failing to plan your wardrobe before you leave. I usually spend a couple of hours outfit planning the day before I pack, taking into consideration the destination, weather and activities I’ll be doing. I lay out each outfit, complete with accessories. Travelling light takes the stress out of travel, and avoids having to pay excess baggage for stuff you’re never going to use.” *Helen Hokin, Founder & Editor of Foodtripper.com and Foodtripper TV – the online magazine and TV production company – for people who travel to eat www.foodtripper.com.

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