What the Glossies Won’t Tell You

When you’re selecting a luxury destination for your holiday of a lifetime, you’ll be hard pressed to find an image that doesn’t resemble perfection; immaculate resorts, beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets come as standard.  But what’s it really going to be like once you’re there?  I’ll tell you what’s it going to be like – because I’ve made it my life’s work to get under the skin of every destination and resort that I recommend.  As a result, my ‘little black book’ is bulging with insider information – a few of which I’ll share with you now: 

The Maldives

Stay Cool

Take a hand-held fan!  Sea planes can be stifling hot due to humidity until take off and no matter how nicely you ask they won’t be able to switch the air con on.

Travel in Comfort

Whilst we’re on the topic of sea planes – pack yourself some ear plugs too.  Some carriers will provide them but it’s better to be safe than suffering.  If you have children travelling with you, make sure you pack some for them too (alternatively do something that feels contrary to all good parenting advice and encourage them to put their headphones on!).

Bring Your Own Balls

If you enjoy racket sports then find space in your luggage for your own tennis balls.  Many resorts in the Indian Ocean charge over the odds for hire.


Avoid a Wardrobe Mishap

Whilst the vibe from the brochure may suggest bare foot luxury, unless you want an expensive (or difficult if you are a man with size 13 feet) shopping trip, you must take some shoes.  Gentlemen should also pack a long sleeve shirt and trousers. 

Be a Route Master

Mauritius is larger than most people imagine.  With twisty and windy roads and it can take longer to get your destination than anticipated.  Everything is 45 mins away on average.  And if you don’t like to drive, then I can thoroughly recommend taking a taxi or bus to give you a true appreciation of the sights and sounds of the island.

Buy Local

I thoroughly recommend buying from beach hawkers as it supports the local economy and avoids lengthy trips into Port Louis or Grand Baie.  Do make sure you barter as in my experience you can bring goods down by half the price without offending the seller.


Oman and the UAE

Avoid the Queues

When travelling to the UAE, you can only purchase a visa on arrival which means that long queues at immigration are commonplace.  My tip is to try to leave the flight as quickly as possible.  No dawdling!

Stay Dry During the Day

Aside from being good practise not to start on the champagne too early, it’s worth noting that no alcoholic drinks are available before 7pm during Ramadan, even in hotels.  Bear in mind that Ramadan is scheduled according to a lunar calendar so the dates will vary from year to year.


When booking a luxury holiday, attention to detail matters.  The tip-off about the local restaurant, the hint that makes the immigration queue bearable, or the wardrobe advice that saves you looking silly at supper can turn your stay from wonderful to exceptional. 

For a holiday that has all the glamour of the glossies with all the benefit of my little black book, give me a call on +44 (0) 1488 668821 or email me at susie@susiefreemantravel.com.

What you say about us:

We loved your extra touches - the card before we left, the welcome rum at the airport, the beach bag... We will be delighted to recommend you and Mauritius to lots of people.

Robin & Olivia Collett

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