Travel for me is about “learning something new”

27/02/2020 By Katherine O Comments

Travel is all about learning from a destination’s culture and incorporating aspects of it into your daily routine for OTT’s PoP Awards host Lisa Snowdon.  TV and radio presenter Lisa will present the first edition of the awards which will take place on March 16 at the Cavendish Conference Centre, supported by Icelandair. 

The Awards will honour OTT’s most knowledgeable agents – our “gurus” on specialist subjects from geographical regions to holiday experiences. For a list of categories and for more information on the event, click here. We’ll also be handing out awards to partners with the most popular courses on the OTT platform at the afternoon event.

Lisa is one of the UK’s most recognisable faces and voices having presented shows including Capital London’s Breakfast Show, Channel 4’s Weekend Kitchen and Through the Keyhole. She also reached third placed on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing with her partner, Brendan Cole.

OTT caught up with her to find out about her travel preferences and how she learns about new destinations.

Can you name your favourite travel destination so far – and why?

I’ve been so lucky throughout my career to have been to some really amazing places. I’m totally in love with Asia and Japan. I adore the culture and history of places like Kyoto and Mishima, the electric buzz of Tokyo and the beauty of a little town in the mountains called  Karuizawa. The food is utterly delicious and there are some really gorgeous places to stay. I love the Capitol Hotel Tokyu and its restaurant, Suiren, everytime I’m in Tokyo. I really love the way in which Japan honors the value of nature and taking time to focus on your health and wellbeing. I also absolutely adore Kamalaya in Thailand, it’s definitely my top choice for a wellness break and to get some great massages.

As a model, you must travel to some pretty exotic locations for shoots. What are the key aspects you look for when choosing your own holiday travel destination?

I like visiting destinations that have a little bit of everything! I’m just as happy sitting on the beach reading a book as I am exploring new cities and landscapes with my boots and backpack on! It’s important for me that I come back from my trips having learned something new that I can somehow incorporate into my daily routine back home. This year I led a campaign called ‘Japanuary’ which was all about learning from the Japanese people and their practices. I’m totally in love with their culture. 

At OTT, we aim to boost travel agent’s knowledge of destinations. How do you gain information, make decisions and plan your trips?

I love hearing from my friends and family where they have been, and what their favourite places are. I enjoy following hashtags on Instagram so I can see photos posted by real people on the ground, rather than just a fancy photographer. I think Instagram is such an amazing place to find stunning locations that are often off grid. I also follow some brilliant Travel agencies and PRs to keep me updated with where the best emerging destinations are! 

Which destinations or travel experiences are left on your bucket list?

I recently visited New Zealand for a few weeks, and I completely fell in love with it. I feel like I’ve only just scratched the service of that amazing country, it has it all! I’d definitely like to travel more across the two islands. Iceland is also up there with somewhere I am dying to visit. It’s always interested me from the stunning geography to the amazing people. It’s a dream of mine to see the northern lights, and dip into the blue lagoon. I’d also love to explore a little closer to home in Scotland. People are really starting to realise what an amazing country we have on our doorstep. The area around Loch Lomond and up into the mountains really intrigues me, so that might be my next long weekend away! 

And finally...can you name three things in your suitcase that you can't travel without?

I love travelling with a face mask, they’re a great way to feel refreshed and revitalised when on the move! My favourite masks are from Tokyu Hands in Japan, an amazing, bizarre department store selling all sorts of beauty products and DIY tools you didn’t know you needed! My other two must-have items that I can’t travel without would be some kind of fabulous swimwear, which always makes me feel amazing, and definitely some sun cream! 

 

Author: Katherine (42 posts) 

Katherine Simmons is a journalist, copywriter and PR consultant specialising in travel, venues and events. She was formerly deputy editor of Meeting & Incentive Travel magazine and writes for clients including OTT, Eventbrite and Xero. Contact her on katherine@katherinesimmons.co.uk