Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Occupation: Editor in Chief at Gadling
Hometown: Kalamzoo, MI
Short Bio: Grant Martin is the editor in chief of Gadling.com. Specializing in consumer travel, the airline industry and logistics, his travels have taken him far and wide around the world and he now contributes to Gadling from Chicago, Illinois.
How often do you fly? Maybe two or three times a month. It depends on the season.
How many countries have you been to? I prefer to count ICTS stamps. I think I have around twenty.
How many continents have you been to? At least nine. I lost track.
Favorite American city? Varies. New York for my friends, for the nonstop consumption and the engagement. I love the crisp air in the Pacific Northwest and the friendly people in Chicago and Ann Arbor. Largely it depends on where the cheap tickets are pointing.
Favorite international city? Another varied answer. When the weather is good in Stockholm it’s unbeatable. Hong Kong is the perfect mix of east and west. Barcelona has so many layers of culture that I could live there forever.
Favorite airline? If miles didn’t matter I’d never set foot away from any Virgin carrier. Sadly they mean a lot to me.
Favorite aircraft type? You can’t really go wrong with a 777-300ER. I have a bunch of friends that work at Boeing so I’m also legally obligated to give that response.
Aisle or window? Window.
Favorite airport lounge? Anything with a full, square meal. Domestic lounges are pretty terrible.
Favorite U.S. airport? Good old Detroit Metro. Big, nice, clean, well appointed, easy to get into and out of. Nice guy running their PR too. As far as design goes, you can’t beat Denver.
Favorite international airport? Hard to say, at some point they all blend together. I like the size and offerings of Incheon (Seoul) and Hong Kong. Madrid is well done and beautiful. I’ve heard good things about ABU and SIN but I’ve never been.
Favorite hotel? Ever since that whole Domique Strauss Kahn investigation I’ve been uncomfortable staying in hotels. If I had to pick? Doubletrees for the cookies.
Favorite cruise line? The ferry from Stockholm out to the archipelago. I’m not a big boat sort of guy. Yet.
Favorite island? New Zealand
Favorite fancy restaurant? This would probably be either The Earle or The Gandy Dancer in Ann Arbor. The latter is in a train station, it’s quaint and it reminds me of home. No celebrity chef needed!
Favorite hole in the wall? Pete’s Waterfront alehouse in New York. There’s one on Atlantic in Brooklyn and another on the upper east side. Get the chili. Eat it with the popcorn. It’ll change your life.
Favorite travel movie(s): I liked Before Sunset though my dad called it insipid. Something about being young and romantic I guess.
Favorite travel show(s): I respect the hell out of Bourdain though I think he should get back to his boozing and unscripted roots.
Favorite travel book(s): Probably Heart of Darkness, though Dark Star Safari was always one of my favorites.
Five things you bring on a plane? Computer. Headphones. Power supply. Phone. Phone Cable.
What do you always seem to forget? Contact lens solution.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: I left my passport under a mattress in Kuala Lumpur once, just prior to a flight from KUL-BKK-HKG-LAX-DFW-DTW. Amazingly, Air Asia let me rebook and I caught the flight from BKK.
What’s your dream destination? It’s more of a dream of having free time to enjoy the destination, but I’ve always wanted to spend about six months crossing through India, into Nepal and into Tibet.
Best travel tip: Please stop checking bags. It’s just going to slow you down.