Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers on useful resources, favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Occupation: Publisher/CEO, Downtown Magazine NYC
Hometown: New York City
Residence: Battery Park City
Website: Downtown Magazine NYC
Short Bio: I started my first company when I was 27 and quickly realized entrepreneurship was my passion. I continued to work on and launch many successful titles including South Florida Business Journal, Alternative Medicine and NewBeauty. However, the idea for DOWNTOWN was hatched in 2002 while witnessing first hand the regrowth and rebirth of Lower Manhattan after 9/11. I explored every angle of bringing the magazine to life at that time, but it was too soon. Not enough time had passed since September 11th for the healing and the rebuilding to begin to close our wounds sufficiently.
In 2010, the area had come through the ashes with great success and had almost quadrupled its number of residents, new businesses were opening every day, and large companies and families were choosing Lower Manhattan as their new home. Once again we had something to shout about!
Downtown is such an interesting part of New York City. It’s a real community with an abundance of businesses, restaurants and unique places to visit, mixed in with a phenomenal amount of culture, and I felt it needed to be shared. Visitors who go to Century 21 and Ground Zero and then back to their hotel rooms miss so much else that’s on offer in Lower Manhattan. Likewise the 60,000 commuters from the tri-state area should know there’s more to Downtown than what they see when they run out for a quick lunch.
How often do you fly: I used to fly every second month for a get-away or long weekend. I enjoyed a lot of Europe, Jamaica, Brazil, Dominican Republic and wonderful towns and cities right here in the USA. More recently the magazine has taken all of my time, but that doesn’t stop me from planning future trips – Thailand is next on my radar.
How many countries have you been to: 26: England, Wales, France, Sweden, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Japan, Romania, and Iceland, to name a few.
How many continents have you been to: 5
Favorite American city: It has to be New York City. I’ve discovered so many hidden gems that it makes every day a little more interesting.
Favorite international city: It’s a split between Paris, Sao Paulo and Stockholm. However, although it’s not a City, I have to mention another favorite place, Aberystwyth in Wales.
Least favorite country: There’s no such thing. Every country has its own merits.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Rocas Atoll off the coast of Brazil
Favorite airline: JAL – Impeccable service and inflight experience
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 777 after flying in JAL Suite
Aisle or window: Always a window seat so I can take in the view
Favorite airport lounge: Virgin Atlantic JFK
Favorite U.S. airport: JFK as it is now and otherwise, Chicago O’Hare
Favorite international airport: London Heathrow. It is like a city and has been the hub for many of my trips.
Favorite hotel: Four Seasons, Shangri-La or a boutique hotel
Favorite cruise line: Cunard
Favorite island: St. Bart’s
Favorite fancy restaurant: Fat Duck in Berkshire, England
Favorite hole in the wall: There was a small restaurant in Jamaica that overlooked Montego Bay. It was a local hangout and gave me a taste of the true Jamaica.
Favorite fruit: Passion fruit
Favorite food: Thai French Fusion
Least favorite food: Liver and hot dogs
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Air: Tanqueray with tonic and lime. Ground: Lillet (orange) which is a comforting, delicious French aperitif.
Favorite travel movie(s): “Four Weddings and a Funeral” for watching on holiday or “The Holiday” because I love the idea of house swapping and ending up in an amazing place.
Favorite travel show(s): The films airlines show of places to visit when you arrive at your location or shows I never get the time to watch while home “30 Rock,” “Community” or Jay Leno.
Favorite travel book(s): A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle. This is not exactly a travel book but it invoked my passion to explore France.
Right now I am reading: Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants. It has had me in hysterics, and I have struggled to put it down. It is a great escape from everyday life.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines: Peter Greenberg, Travel and Leisure and Destinations
Five things you bring on a plane: My iPad(best camera), hand moisturizer (Crabtree and Evelyn or Ahava), comfy flight clothes to change into, Lindt chocolate, and a great book
What do you always seem to forget: A nail file or nail polish pouches
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Milk Chocolate
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Waterfall Entrainment – White Noise Meditation. It helps me to switch off
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: I went into the men’s toilet in France by accident and realized there were urinals behind me as I was touching up my make up!
What’s your dream destination? I hope to visit Thailand in the future, so this is currently my dream destination; can’t wait to experience authentic Thai food, the people, culture and beautiful beaches.
Favorite travel charity: Make-A-Wish Foundation. It’s not exactly a travel specific charity, but it does give children with life-limiting conditions the opportunity to travel and make their wish come true.
Best travel tip: To leave all forms of technology and links to the outside world at home or switched off. Take it all in, because it is just a moment in time!