Tom O'Hara

Marketing Manager

Tom O'Hara
My travel 'to-do list' of places to visit only ever seems to get longer, and I particularly love exploring those more unusual, off-the-beaten-track destinations.
My favourite destination
View over the old town of Kotor, Montenegro

In recent years I've spent quite a bit of time exploring Eastern Europe, and I love the fact that you can find places virtually untouched by tourism so close to home.

The Eastern Mediterranean is full of fascinating ports with a fraction of the tourists you find elsewhere in Europe, and the Dalmatian coast is particularly beautiful. Of course, Dubrovnik and Kotor are fairly well known these days, but you can still find some real unexplored gems in the region, including the former hermit state of Albania, which has to be one of the most interesting countries I've ever visited.

My top cruising tip

My preparation for a trip usually begins long before it's time to pack my suitcase - I love to read up on the destinations I'm visiting in the months leading up to my holiday.

I find that guide books, novels and scholarly accounts of the history or culture of a country are all invaluable as a way of getting into that holiday mood, and it's also good to understand a little bit about the customs and traditions of a country before you get there.

I also recommend taking the effort to learn a few words of the local language before you arrive. I generally find that you only need to master three words of the lingo - 'hello', 'thank you' and 'goodbye' - to ingratiate yourself with your hosts, who will often be genuinely touched that you've made the effort.