Beau travel magazines very own"Housewife, Superstar and Travel Guru" Dame Ivana Travelalott answers all your Travel Conundrums 

Dear Dame Ivana

Is there any definition of an adrenalin filled weekend?  At my local WRI, nothing gets Mrs Devine more excited than a deep dive in the tunnel section with Mrs Alton at the Towers Amusement Park, while Mrs Goldsworthy and Mrs Turrell enjoy nothing more than Mr Moore’s curves and holes at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.


Dear Prudence

What constitutes a thrill-seeking weekend is something entirely subjective.  For example, your ladies may enjoy downing a yard of ale in every pub from The Horse and Groom to the New Crown Inn on Merthyr Tydfil High Street, whereas I revel in a champagne bath while being exfoliated and depilated by a pair of compliant handmaidens.  Each to her own, I say. 

Dear Dame Ivana

What not to wear?  In this age of hand-baggage only and punitive excesses, my partner still packs for a weekend city break as though we were embarking on a three-month trek across Xanadu in search of the lost pleasure domes of Kubla Khan. How can I persuade her otherwise?

Dear Frankie

Just say yes!  Is it not obvious to you now, that two nights in a Premierlodge in Birkenhead is simply not on your partner’s agenda?  You are, in reality, being given a less than subtle hint.  My advice to you is to book the camel train for the overland through the Gobi Desert and make your next city break into two days of provisioning in Samarkand, before setting out on the existential quest of a lifetime.  Alternatively, just ditch the bitch. 

Dear Dame Ivana

I have recently booked a field trip to the High Sierra of Nevada, instantly recognisable to anyone who has ever seen a Western or simply imagined what a Western would look like.  However, rather late in the day, I realise that the trip will entail several days in the saddle, and I can neither ride nor stand horses - and I come out in hives at the very thought of leather chaps. 



Dear Sundance Kid 

You sound like living proof of the folly of Darwinian thinking.  How could anyone so inadequate as you manage to have survived long enough to evolve?  What did you imagine High Sierra meant?  Were you expecting some cruise in a four-wheel drive version of a late eighties Ford rep-mobile? Instead, you’re condemned to the living hell of a scenario akin to Westworld.  On your first day, I recommend you seek out a gun slinging bald stranger with glinting eyes and publicly question his parentage.  The best you can hope for is a glowing eulogy as your bullet-ridden corpse is laid to rest under a pile of jackal defeating rocks.


Dear Dame Ivana

I’ve often been scornful of those mature excursion opportunities, the likes of which are organised by companies like ‘Fifty Plus’ and ‘Adult Travel Finder’. Now I am of a certain age is there any way I can volte-face without losing face?



Dear WTM of Bexley

You really have little to worry about.  The clientele will hardly have taken any notice of your ranting’s, and I’m sure the operators will welcome your booking fee with open and forgiving arms.  I am concerned however by the examples you give.  I have checked, and these companies do not specialise in travel.  I rather suspect that whatever publication you were reading had some pages stuck together and you strayed out of the travel section in error. 









The views and opinions expressed are not that necessarily that of the publisher or company. Anything funny or entertaining is.

Complaints should be sent to Ms Dame Ivana directly, but we don’t have her contact details at the moment as she is currently on the run from Interpol.



Dear Dame Ivana

Our stag party is travelling to Vilnius in Lithuania.  The large number of vowels, and the similarity of names in the Baltic States, is causing some confusion.  Also, we have been told that the hotel we have booked, though most luxurious, is frequented by unofficial night staff.  Should we be cautious?


Dear Monarch of the Glen

First, a word of advice, I’m sure you’ll find that venison are not welcome, even in former Soviet Gulagotels.  The exception being guide-deer, which any reputable establishment in Perthshire will permit, if in season.  As for unofficial night staff, I have always adhered to the rule of thumb that one should only admit to your room those whose name badges have more vowels than items of uniform clothing.