Rupert Parker is writer, photographer, cameraman and TV Producer. Although his special interest is food and travel, he writes about everything from wilderness adventure to gourmet spa tours. His articles appear, not only in national newspapers and magazines, but also on global websites and appeal to young and old alike. He's made ground breaking TV series for the BBC, Discovery and National Geographic, among others, and has been nominated for an Emmy. Despite having over 100 countries under his belt, he's still looking forward to the next destination. Follow his adventures at Planet Appetite.
Rupert was kind enough to answer our travel questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Rupert: I started traveling seriously over 40 years ago when I started making documentary films all over the world.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Rupert: Food, wine and hiking with some luxury thrown in
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Rupert: I travelled on the bus across South America from Rio to Lima, then back down the Amazon into Brasil.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Rupert: My kindle, perfect for passing the time during delays.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Rupert: Travel only with hand baggage, pack light and take the minimum. You can always buy anything you're missing.
TA: Where was the most unusual place you've ever stayed?
Rupert: I stayed in a monastery in Mount Athos, an ecclesiastical state off the coast of Greece.
TA: What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten overseas?
Rupert: Sweet and Sour Bat in a chinese restaurant in Madagascar.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you've ever been given?
Rupert: Go as far as you can with public transport then walk for a few hours and you'll discover places untouched by tourism.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Rupert: Poisonous snakes and spiders - they're usually more afraid of you so always get out of the way.
TA: What's a travel scam travelers should be wary of?
Rupert: Walking down the street and someone points out that there's dirt on your pack. When you take it off to examine their accomplice suddenly whisks it away from you and runs off.
TA: Which country has surprisingly good food?
Rupert: Bangladesh - it's a watery country so the fish and vegetables are excellent.
TA: What's one way people can get the most out of their cruise experience?
Rupert: Get off the boat and arrange your own excursions, either on foot, local bus or taxi. It's usually far cheaper than what the cruise company offers and you're going to experience far more local colour.
TA: What are the best places to travel solo and why?
Rupert: Japan as it's completely safe and people are anxious to help.
TA: Have you ever taken a class while visiting a foreign city? If so, can you tell us a bit about the experience? And would you recommend people take that class?
Rupert: Language classes are always useful and far cheaper than you can get at home. South America is good for Spanish and the Alliance Francaise in France has a high standard and doesn't cost much.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Rupert: Snapping away with their camera from a moving vehicle - pictures will be rubbish.
TA: What's one piece of advice you'd give to travelers your age?
Rupert: Keep on getting on the bus.