Talk time: 3pm, Saturday, March 9, 2013.
Talk title:
Seeing the best of Europe
Speaker’s name: Tony Banfield
Company: Topdeck Travel

Why do you love to travel?
Because I get to experience all the best the world has to offer. En route to some of the most amazing landmarks, the journey might lead me to a destination that in itself is a real gem. It’s not just the destination, it’s the journey as well that makes for a real adventure.

Who would be your ideal travel partner and why?
It would have to Michael Palin – someone with a sense of humour and who’s laid-back. I’m pretty relaxed when I travel and ensure I’ve lots of time so I don’t get stressed with timetables . It would also have to be someone passionate. I could visit a destination ten times but try never to take it for granted, see every visit through new eyes.

What was your favourite destination last year and why?
South Molle Island. The waters of the Pacific are an incredible colour and the sight of so many islands with luscious green vegetation and as we sailed our yacht across the crystal clear water was breath-taking. As if that wasn’t enough, we saw whales breaching out of the water, a truly memorable experience.

Name two up-and-coming destinations for 2013.
The Asian market – especially Vietnam and Cambodia. The regions, whilst not overly crowded, offer a sense of being the first to discover. And there’s nothing like the feeling of entering an area where you can engage hospitable locals, try traditional cuisine and enjoy unspoilt views. In Europe, as ever Croatia is for me the place to be – it’s relaxed, welcoming, has historic cities with incredible natural views from cliffs over azure waters and nightlife to rival the very best. Stunning.

If you could return to any country you’ve been to, where would it be and why?
I’s got to be the USA., I really want to experience all it has to offer from the perspective of natural, not man-made, wander. Carlsbad Cavern is high on my list and I love the idea of staying in the National Park.

What’s the one thing you can’t travel without and why?
One thing I can’t travel with out is my iPod – “music soothes the savage beast”. For when there are delays, don’t get angry, put on a good tune and relax – you might just end up seeing something you may have missed if you’d  left on time.

Give us an overview of what you’ll be discussing at the TNT Travel Show:
I’ll be talking about my highlights in Europe including festivals. I have been a trip leader for Topdeck for a while and have been lucky enough to see the main spots of Europe a few times, so I have some great tips for not only first time travellers but also those who have done a bit of Europe before.

Who will find your talk relevant?
Anyone who is thinking of travelling around Europe and doesn’t know where to start, but also for those who have been to Europe before and want to go back and see another side!