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.
Name: Duncan Rhodes
Occupation: Travel Blogger/Editor, freelance writer, occasional bike tour guide and very occasional (yawn!) SEO Consultant.
Hometown: London (well Beckenham, but you’ve never heard of it)
Short Bio: After working cr@ppy temping jobs in London for several years I moved to Krakow in Poland to write the 21st Century’s greatest novel… but when that didn’t work I got a job scribbling for a local travel website. Despite falling head over heels in love with Polska, after 3.5 years of neat vodkas and minus 30 degree winters my body insisted on a move to Barcelona, Spain. Since then I’ve been working for my own websites Barcelona Life and Urban Travel Blog, and generally enjoying life in the land of fiestas and siestas. I particularly enjoy working as the editor of Urban Travel Blog as I get to commission great writers to tell me about their home towns, or their adventures in fantastic cities around the world… I just wish I could join them more often!
How often do you fly: Varies every year! Around 10 on average.
How many countries have you been to: 25+
How many continents have you been to: Four.
Favorite American city: Boston has an awesome vibe and is very accessible to the casual traveller.
Favorite international city: Krakow for the people, cafes and nightlife, Budapest for the “kert” bars, Barcelona for the perfect beach-city lifestyle.
Least favorite country: I’ve never been to a country I wouldn’t return to…
Favorite World Heritage Site: Krakow’s Old Town.
Favorite airline: The one that gets me there cheapest and departs at a reasonable hour of the day (ie. afternoon).
Aisle or window: Window. Who would choose aisle???
Favorite international airport: The smaller the better… no queues or getting lost and ending up at the wrong gate.
Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? Most probably from the floor, just next to my suitcase where all my clothes are in a pile.
Favorite island: I haven’t been for a while, but have very fond memories of Mykonos in Greece.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I once ate in the kitchen of El Bulli with Ferran Adria… but it was just the staff meal! So I’ll say The Yeatman, in Porto.
Favorite fruit: Bananas are a traveller’s best friend. It’s a stomach-settling energy bar with its own biodegradable wrapper.
Favorite food: Fusion
Least favorite food: Junk food
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Gin’n'tonic / Craft beer
Favorite travel movie(s): L’Auberge Espagnole (highly entertaining French film about a Parisian guy who comes to study Erasmus in Barcelona).
Favorite travel show(s): Callejeros Viajeros (it’s on Spanish TV)
Favorite travel book(s): I prefer fiction, but William Dalrymple and Ryszard Kapuściński are both excellent.
Right now I am reading: That’s embarrassing… I’m reading the Game of Thrones!
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Blogs-wise I like Time Travel Turtle for great story telling, Blonde Gypsy because she goes everywhere I want to go (up and down East Europe!) and Travels of Adam and Jetting Around for their personalities.
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Spotted by Locals is great for revealing hip spots, Couchsurfing for connecting with locals. Sonia’s Travels are the best travel vids I’ve found on the web!
Five things you bring on a plane: Phone (for music), earplugs, extra layers, sweets, book.
What do you always seem to forget: I’m always missing one toiletry each time, although it varies which.
What do you like least about travel? Early mornings, sleep deprivation, security at airports.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Booze.
Most embarrassing travel moment: In 2002, I was travelling in Russia with two friends. As soon as we arrived in Moscow we went to the train station to buy overnight tickets in advance to Kazan to ensure we could get sleepers. There was no train that left around 9 or 10pm so we had to book one for 1am – but we forgot to request, therefore, that the train should leave on the following day. We ended up arriving 24 hours late for our train and feeling very stupid indeed! Luckily we had a native Muscovite with us and we were able to bribe the attendant to let us travel on the train we thought we had booked… disaster averted.
Worst travel moment: I trod on a bee on Sopot beach once… my foot swelled up, which was one thing, but I also came down with terrible diarrhoea. I had to spend 24 hours in the hotel room, whilst my friends partied at an awesome beach club called Copacabanas (which has now closed).
What’s your dream destination: Brazil (going in 2014!)
Best travel tip: Try to engage the locals wherever you go. You will have a much better time and really get under the skin of the places you visit. If you have a friend living abroad… go and visit them now! They will show you a world you’ve never seen before!