24. Simon Calder; Mr Travel Expert Himself on…EVERYWHERE - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 24
June 26 , 2018

24. Simon Calder; Mr Travel Expert Himself on…EVERYWHERE

Travel guru, guide-book author, journalist and the man to the whom world turns for anything travel related; Simon Calder is the Man Who Pays His Way, has hitchhiked all over the world and is also the man who over 12 years ago gave podcast host, Lisa, her first official travel writing commission. So we owe him everything. As an impoverished travel podcast we can’t offer him money but we CAN bring him onto The Big Travel Podcast and share his wonderful wisdom on this travel packed episode. 


We pack in so much travel, including:

Being Mr Travel

Some listeners’ questions – sally throwing her knickers at him

ABTA superstar

What he dreads to be asked

His favourite place to visit

The beauty of Scotland

Climbing Ben Nevis  

The Island of Harris

The Island of Lewis


Not being fancy

Not going to 5 Star hotels

Hitching a lift with the manager of Mark Warner

Taking his family to Mark Warner

Feeling awkward with posh places

The future of the package holiday

Package holiday changes on July 1st 2018

Thomson’s, Thomas Cook and TUI

Travelling with young families

The Belgian Riviera

Poland and the Baltic Riviera


Combining holiday and work

The 2010 Icelandic ash cloud

Getting home on a boat

John Cleese

Immingham and the far side of Grimbsy

Lille, Eurostar, Dover to Brighton

British Airways


Overcoming unexpected travel changes

Not knowing how many countries he has been to

Should he count?

Not wanting to compare notes

Hiking the Teide in Tenerife

Playa Las Americas

Santa Cruz, Gran Canaria, El Hierro, Gomera

The Meridian

How travel changes with kids

How travel has changed

The Instagram travel experience

Love of the postcard

Poste Restante

Lima, Peru

The remoteness of South Georgia

The Falklands

Ernest Shackleton living on seals

Feeling out of his comfort zone when travelling

Going to the Lake District with The Woodcraft Folk age 6

Climbing mountains when you’re scared of heights

Not falling off Mount Kenya

Being the highest person in the world in Aconcagua Mountain in Argentina

The Himalayas

Argentina’s economic turmoil

Lisa’s trip to Argentina

How visiting as a tourist is a virtuous thing versus over tourism

Transferring wealth from richer countries to poorer countries

Barcelona, Santorini, Thailand. Kho Phi Phi


Santiago in Chile, The Galapagos,

Teaming up with Bear Grylls for the Discovery Channel

The best way to see the Northern Lights – Bergen, Norway, coastal express.

How travel is a lot cheaper these days

The democratisation of travel

Instagram, what’s app

His travel highlights in a quick fire round: Crawley and the Cuban Missile Crisis,

Frisking people at Gatwick Airport, Getting mugged in Costa Rica (on Christmas Day! Which is also his birthday), hanging onto the back of a dustcart in turkey, hitching into someone’s garage, getting a lift in a digger in Greece, getting a lift in the boot of a car in Germany

His first job, cleaning planes for British Airways at Gatwick

Island hopping in Greece, mishaps when hitchhiking. Neuschwanstein Castle in

Bavaria in Germany by the Austrian border

Tony Hall the founder of Lonely Planet

Hadrian’s Wall, Aviemore, being mistaken as Nicholas Crane from Coast and also Louis Theroux

The Man Who Pays his Way for the Independent

Frank Barrett and becoming travel editor of the Independent

Not taking free trips because he wasn’t given any!

Trusting the travel industry

Mumsnet and the instagram influencer argument

The ethics of taking freebies

The way social media and travel blogging has democratised travel writing

How competition is a very good thing

The importance of transparency

How safe and fantastic it is now to be a traveller

His last very important point that will keep us all travelling

Taking a rubbish boat trip to Greenland