TRAVEL MEDIA: HOLIDAY READING - With a plethora of travel media out there, how do you decide which is best suited for you? Jenny Watts talks to four diverse ’travellers’



Creative director, Faulds Advertising

I have, I’m slightly embarrassed to say, been a wild rover for many a

year and I’ve spent all my money on flights and duty free beer. All

because I got the Mawhinney clan’s wanderlust. I’d go almost anywhere in

the world and revisit most places I’ve been.

Maybe it’s because we’re Irish or because Vicky and I were seduced as

children by Elvis and Hollywood, that we keep going back to the US. We

love it, whether it’s Cape Cod, San Francisco, Las Vegas or L.A.

We watch holiday programmes and Sky’s holiday channel for entertainment,

not research, and always choose destinations on some romantic whim

rather than through a brochure.

I used to think Conde Nast was a chocolate bar, so it’s not surprising

we’ve never found a travel magazine that was as emotive or as seductive

as a film or a song. I always assumed Galveston, the country song, was

about a cowboy town, not a fishing village, until we got there. We’ve

also never found an inflight magazine that didn’t just make you want to

buy perfume, but quite frankly I love inflight mags because when I read

them I know I’m inflight.

My mum said to me when I called her from Australia that one day I’ll

fall off the edge, but she knows I’ll never ever admit that it’s no nay

never will I play the wild rover no more.


Pensioner and retired nurse

I’m a very active person who enjoys living life to the full, so when it

comes to travel media I’ve constantly got a sharp eye out for good

offers. Being a pensioner, cost is a major factor for me when booking

holidays so I am attracted to good deals, whether they are in the press,

on television or in magazines.

I find newspapers to be the best medium for special deals, as they never

seem to be short of two-for-one offers or cheap ferries to the


Being a hoarder, I collect tokens from the nationals for weekend trips

away out of pure habit, but don’t really know why I bother as most of

them go to my children anyway. I’d like to see travel offers with

concessions for OAPs in the travel media, as I think it is a market

which is as yet untapped and could be exploited.

If I’m going to treat myself to a holiday, I always watch television

programmes like Wish You Were Here ...? as I find them informative and

entertaining, offering an instant sense of their surroundings. Being

that bit older, I do tune in to the young waifs who present other travel

programmes like Rough Guide To ..., but I prefer Judith Chalmers who, as

a more ’mature’ presenter, is someone to whom I can more easily


Being a bargain hunter, I’m always drawn to the window displays of high

street travel agents like Thomas Cook or Lunn Poly. Even if I can’t

afford to be an impulse traveller, that doesn’t stop me window


I rarely get inspiration from slick, glossy titles like Conde Nast

Traveller, as I have no interest in designer swimsuits or knowing which

Italian city boasts the best nightclub of the moment. I prefer to watch

where I want to go. After all, seeing is believing.


Board account director, Leagas Delaney

Anyone who has children knows that no amount of polished advertising or

superlative editorial is going to convince an energetic eight-year-old,

who is hell-bent on skipping down Main Street with Mickey Mouse after

seeing Euro Disney’s ad on TV, that a week of doing nothing in the sun

is actually the zenith of travel chic.

After all, my eight-year-old doesn’t care about ’paradise’ unless it

happens to be the name of the latest toy doing the rounds.

A family holiday needs to have something in it for everyone. It’s a

simple equation: if the kids are happy, we’re happy and vice-versa. To

me, it’s about finding a happy medium. Two weeks at Center Parcs booked

through Thomas Cook would make the kids delirious with happiness but

leave us just plain delirious. So after browsing the internet or Sunday

supplements for ideas, I generally choose a safe environment for a

shorter break which lets the children feel adventurous while keeping

them entertained.

I never read the travel lifestyle magazines like Conde Nast Traveller as

I find them insipid, with little editorial variety. I only flick through

them if I’m stuck in the usual places like the dentist, where the only

alternative is to stare at the wall.

Holiday programmes such as Wish You Were Here ...? and magazines

concentrating on the exotic don’t interest me either. After all, a

poster of a beach on the Tube advertising some far-flung sunshine

destination is fine for escapism - the last thing you want to look at

after a hard day’s work is the disgruntled executive opposite shouting

into his mobile - but instead of motivating me to book an impulse

holiday, it just makes me think, ’I must go there sometime.’


Managing director, BMP interAction

Pistols at dawn. That’s what I’d be driven to if I had to spend my

coveted Saturday sardined in a high street travel agent. I’m not

interested in staring at a temperamental monitor that is either

interminably slow or perpetually on the blink.

In our fast-paced society, the web is a far superior alternative, and

I’ve found a wealth of informative, deal-driven sites including those

offering extra services beyond your average holidays.

Fancy a cybertrip to the edge of space courtesy of a Russian Mig? An

island holiday with a hot tub for 40? Or beating the winter blues by

knowing where in the world will be hottest tomorrow? This intuitive

information from is just the ticket, with bargains,

auctions and other quirky offers cementing its promise of exceptional

value and service.

Web users are fickle creatures, which is why it is important to give

incentives to return. Sir Bob Geldof made a royal mess of the launch of

his latest venture,, after extended PR hype encouraged so

much traffic that it jammed the site.

When I attempted to log in, I found the apology note: ’Imagine the M25

in rush hour traffic with two lanes closed.’ Rather an unfortunate

analogy, as it will only encourage people back on to the information

superhighway and off at the next junction.

You rarely get more than one chance to capture the hearts and minds of

web consumers and this apology did nothing to encourage a return. - that great bastion of tradition - communicates its

core brand values well. But because it just replicates the press offers,

I found nothing extra to benefit me. And some, like, I find

impossible to fault - it’s just they lack personality. has suitcases of the stuff but even with its travel

guides being cheaper if bought through the website, I’m more

likely to visit simply for an insider tip rather than to buy its


I used to think booking a holiday was time consuming and fraught with

difficult choices. Now it is just a virtually pleasant experience.