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: Ed Perkins
Occupation: Contributing Editor, SmarterTravel
Hometown: Wilmette IL
Short Bio: First job: USAF Early: Research in aviation, tourism, and travel. Mid: Founding Editor, Consumer Reports Travel Letter. Now: Syndicated columnist, blogger, consumer advocate. Widower; no kids; one standard poodle
How often do you fly: Every few months
How many countries have you been to: 41
How many continents have you been to: 6 (missed Antarctica)
Favorite American city: San Francisco
Favorite international city: Florence
Least favorite country: Mexico
Favorite World Heritage Site: Westminster Abbey
Favorite airline: JetBlue
Favorite aircraft type: B 777
New category: Interesting/unusual airplanes flown: Boeing 307 (the old Stratoliner, not the 377 Stratocruiser); Comet IV; Sud-Est Languedoc 4; Dassault Mercure; lots of DC3s and DC4s (yes, I am that old)
Aisle or window: Window
Favorite airport lounge: Whichever one I can get in
Favorite U.S. airport: MFR – I love small airports
Favorite international airport: LCY – same
Favorite hotel: Much prefer a good vacation rental
Favorite cruise line: Don’t cruise; no opinion
Favorite island: Hawaii (big island)
Favorite fancy restaurant: Don’t do fancy restaurants
Favorite hole in the wall: Gene & Gerogetti’s in ORD
Favorite fruit: Lime
Favorite food: Veal parmagiano
Least favorite food: Foie gras, avocados
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground) Cabernet or Merlot
Favorite travel movie(s): Murder on the Orient Express
Favorite travel show(s): No favorite – I get enough travel stuff that I don’t need any more on TV
Favorite travel book(s): Frommer’s
Right now I am reading: Cook’s European Timetable (well, you asked); Aviation Week
Five things you bring on a plane: Pills, Kindle, notebook computer, camera, more pills
What do you always seem to forget: Some paperwork
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Nothing – it’s all overpriced, unnecessary, or both
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): VOIP app (haven’t decided which I like best yet)
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Carefully schlepped unopened bottle of outstanding red wine (Fixin) in carry-on, gently lowered carry-on to floor while checking out of hotel, turned around to see large red pool spreading from carry-on.
What’s your dream destination: Cool weather, good food, low prices – yeah, sure
Best travel tip: The best single way to cut travel costs substantially without sacrificing or lowering standards: book hotel accommodations through an opaque site.
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