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

Dear Dame Ivana,

We’ve learned to our surprise, that our cruise ship, the MV UberAlles, is in fact German registered, and will be sailing from several Hanseatic ports before landing on our beaches, as it were.  My party fear that all the facilities will already be occupied before our embarkation.  What can we do?


Dear Billy Bligh,

Germans place their towels on sun loungers because they cannot otherwise locate them - they have no sense of spatial awareness.  It’s similar to the problem with BMW cars, since a German must place the car where they need to go - indicating would not be of any use.  However, there is no point in appeasement.  These Teutonic toe-rags understand only one thing - sun loungers secured through superior firepower.  Simply cover their towels with larger towels. Escalate to tossing their belongings into the open lifeboats, which they can also occupy … when cast adrift. 

Dear Dame Ivana,

“Is it just me, or are aeroplanes becoming smaller.  Is there anything I can do to avoid the cramped conditions one experiences on almost every carrier? This is especially uncomfortable on long-haul, overnight flights where, after several hours fitful slumber, one invariably awakes with a stiffness that’s all too apparent to passengers and cabin crew alike”

Dear Night Flyte,

Really, this a complaint I often hear from my more ‘budget conscious’ correspondents. I’m afraid the answers are all historical.  First, had you paid more attention in school, you would be better placed to afford the entirely necessary expense of business class, or first class, where stiffness in the morning is entirely desirable, and is usually accompanied by a gin.Time travel is also a solution - retire to the fifties and fly by Mr de Havilland’s Comet - the minor irritation of the windows blowing out in mid-flight at least afforded passengers infinite legroom.

Dear Dame Ivana,

How do we get the best value from train travel?

Dear Isambard,

Be not a feared, but this not as easy as it used to be.  Sadly, since the demise of the British Railways ‘Blue Pullman’ it has been necessary for we, the real passengers, to share trains with the Sainsbury’s sandwich eating Hoi Polloi, travelling in carriages devoted to Standard Class, or steerage, or whatever the myriad operators designate them these days.  If, by any chance you meant ‘cheapest tickets’ when you asked for ‘value’ - I have misunderstood your request and cannot possibly offer any advice.  As with all the worthwhile things in life, when it comes to rail travel, if you have to ask the price, you cannot afford it.

Dear Dame Ivana,

Dover to Dieppe or Southampton to Santander?  We can’t decide on a whether a lengthy voyage or a lengthy land campaign.  What are your thoughts on getting to the continent by surface means?

Dear Johnny Foreigner,

Really, with all the vast range of attractions in this green and pleasant land (i.e.: Surrey), why would you ever want to leave these shores?  Your only prospects are unpalatable foods, incomprehensible natives, and toilet arrangements that put the EU in euch. If however, you cannot be dissuaded, bear in mind this simple rule - the greater the trepidation be, the shorter the journey make.  So, if you are traumatised by the prospect of undulating waves of bile, rising rhythmically to explode forth in mid- conversation, be sure to leave ‘Celine Dion, live in Las Vegas’ off the coach DVD.  On the other hand, should troughs of steaming yellowing mush, coupled with the all-pervading aroma of anaerobic burger fat be less than appealing, try to stay up wind of the ferry cafe and the engine room.

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.