Holidays can teach us about a destination, about other people and about ourselves.

I love everything about travel. The biggest thrill for me is when I see a cruise ship. One thing I've learnt — and my No. 1 tip for someone about to board a cruise — is patience. It's going to get very busy, so unless you go earlier or later in the day you need to be prepared for that. And take a couple of sea sickness tablets, whether you think you're going to be sick or not. A lot of it is in your head. If you do get sick, crackers and green apples are great to help alleviate the symptoms.

To make the most of your time on the land, do a bit of research on the best things to see. A lot of people don't like going on the port excursions but you can make your own way around. If you want to spend more time in one place, just get a taxi or guide for the day. It's always great getting a guide because they know what they're doing, especially if it's somewhere remote.

I love to learn about different cultures and it's very interesting what can offend people that is everyday to us. Make sure you do a bit of research so you don't offend different cultures in different parts of the world.

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Travel has also changed my perspective on the environment — especially India. I could not get over the pollution in India and also the rubbish everywhere — it was an assault to the eyes.

• Jane McDonald is a former cruise ship performer-turned-singer/actor/presenter. She hosts Cruising with Jane McDonald, screening on Vibe, Wednesdays from March 13, 7.30pm, in which she visits New Zealand, Australia and South America.