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Tom Daley on the perfect honeymoon destination – and why he always avoids swimming pools on holiday

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 13/04/2018
Tom Daley standing in front of a mountain © Provided by The Telegraph

Tom Daley, the Commonwealth, European and World diving champion, loves being immersed in the culture of Barcelona but isn’t keen on the wildlife in Thailand.

I never stop travelling

Just recently I got back from competing in the 2018 World Series in Beijing before heading directly to Fuji in Japan, and then to Australia for the Commonwealth Games. I normally get four weeks off each year, so often I’ll go to Los Angeles, or if I have a weekend off, I’ll do a European city.

I was underwhelmed by Fuji

It was so sleepy. This was the first time I’d ever competed in Japan, but I’d been to Tokyo and Kyoto before when I was filming there. I expected Fuji to be similar. It wasn’t bad, just different. 

a body of water surrounded by trees with Mount Fuji in the background © Provided by The Telegraph

I was blown away by Shanghai

It’s such a crazy, chaotic city . I had high expectations that it was going to be amazing, but they were completely exceeded. It’s one of the few places in China where I’ve loved the food.

My best advice for jet lag...

...is to sleep as much as you can on a plane, no matter what time it is. Then when you arrive at your destination, do some sort of physical activity.

Submerging myself in water...

...makes me fell better after travelling. There’s something about it that does it for me and I usually go for a swim after every trip. 

But I always avoid pools...

...when I’m travelling – it’s like a busman’s holiday for me. But I do love water parks with all the slides.

I need more stimulation...

...and to be able to explore and check out the local culture when I’m on a holiday. 

I've ditched the fly-and-flop holiday...

...when I didn’t do anything but lie on the beach and maybe go in the sea. Now I can only chill and relax for a day before going, “What’s next?”. 

Caravanning in the French countryside

...was my favourite childhood holiday. We went every summer for the entire break. My two younger brothers, my parents and I would cram into one trailer tent and my cousins and aunt and uncle in another. There were so many activities on offer or we’d go off on our bikes.

a castle with water in the background © Provided by The Telegraph

Hawaii is the perfect honeymoon destination

Lance [Dustin Lance Black, the American film director] and I discovered it last year when we had the most amazing time in Oahu . We did an open-door helicopter ride, the famed Stairway to Heaven hike and some surfing. This was the final part of our three-week honeymoon, which also took in Barcelona, New York and Los Angeles. 

a large body of water with a mountain in the background © Provided by The Telegraph

I’m partial to the Cornish coast...

...as it’s near where I grew up in Plymouth. The views across the water are stunning. I love walking along the sandy beaches and the seafront paths.

I had a trip of a lifetime...

...in New Zealand when my friend Sophie and I went to Queenstown on the South Island and hired a camper van. We hiked up to Mount Cook, saw some Lord of the Rings locations, and I did a big bungee jump.  

Barcelona has the best food...

...in the world and a rich cultural history with plenty of art and architecture, plus lots of things to do. I love the Michelin-starred Gaig. I also love Berlin. 

I've been to some real gastronomic stinkers...

...such as the first time I went to Beijing. We stayed at a local school for a training camp and the food was awful. I lived on rice and cabbage for the week. The food in Russia wasn’t any better!  

My worst travel experience...

...was an absolute nightmare. Sophie and I had done a long day travelling in Thailand and had just arrived at our scenic beach hut by the ocean. We walked into our hut and it was wall-to-wall spiders. It was like a horror film. To make it worse, the lavatory was a hole in the floor.

I'm all about convenience...

...so I’m a light traveller. I prioritise the bare essentials to save weight and then buy toiletries when I get there. 

My one travel bugbear...

...is bad flight connections. I hate waiting around and I’m often having to take the craziest early flights, which involve an eight-hour layover at a connecting airport.

I always travel with lots of healthy snacks...

...because as an athlete, I have to be careful about consistency in my diet and make sure I don’t get sick. And of course I’ll have to say Deli Kitchen wraps – they’re a lifesaver for me when I’m travelling. They pack easily and I can snack on flatbreads with some tuna on the plane or in my hotel room. 

Next on my bucket list...

...is Venice in the autumn, and St Lucia. 

a bench in front of a body of water © Provided by The Telegraph

Interview by Sarah Ewing

Related: Aerial Aloha Hawaii (Provided by Travel + Leisure)

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