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: Mark Orwoll
Occupation: International Editor, Travel + Leisure.
Hometown: Native Californian—born in La Mirada (“The Courtesy Capital of the World”), raised hell and didn’t get caught in Marin County, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Residence: Pleasantville, New York. Yes, the one in the movie. Not really. But we are in living color.
Website: Travel & Leisure. Apparently, I hold the Orwellian web name of Author 33.
Twitter: @orwoll Please disregard my Klout score. Seriously, please don’t look at it.
Pinterest: That’s like digital scrapbooking, right? No?
Short Bio: MARK ORWOLL has been on the editorial staff of Travel + Leisure since 1987. He is the award-winning writer of the magazine’s Smart Traveler column and blogs for travelandleisure.com. He appears often on national television as a travel expert. Orwoll was co-producer of NBC News Productions’ documentary The Next Destination, which received a Telly and an Aegis award. He is the executive editor of two dozen international editions of T+L, Departures, and Food & Wine for his parent company, American Express Publishing. He is the author of e-Travel (Macmillan/SAMS, 1999), one of the first guides to planning travel on the Internet. He is an adjunct professor at New York University, a husband, and the father of three. He is also a halfway decent mandolin picker.
How often do you fly: 10 times a year on average.
How many countries have you been to: 48, according to these guys: Traveler’s Century Club
How many continents have you been to: 4
Favorite American city: New York
Favorite international city: Berlin. No, wait, Shanghai. I mean Istanbul. Can I change that to Marrakech?
Favorite World Heritage Site: I’ve been to nearly 80 sites, and they all havetheir special appeal. But one whose memory stays with me for its antiquity,beauty, and remote desert setting is Volubilis, the remains of a Roman city in present-day Morocco, on what was originally the fringes of the Roman Empire.
Favorite airline: Singapore Airlines, especially in business class crossing the Pacific.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 767. It has fewer middle seats than any other long-haul wide-body aircraft I can think of.
Aisle or window: Aisle. I actually enjoy having people use my seatback to balance themselves as they pass by and occasionally getting clipped in the elbow by a serving cart.
Favorite airport lounge: I usually fly coach, so my answer is, “Any one that will have me.”
Favorite U.S. airport: Long Beach, California. Small, no frills, short lines, well located. The architecture makes you feel like you’ve just landed in a scene from an Ida Lupino movie, circa 1947.
Favorite international airport: Munich. Easy to negotiate, excellent trainconnections to the central city, great shopping, permanent Oktoberfest tentwith free beer. Just kidding–the shopping’s only average.
Favorite hotel: The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai. Stay in the old wing with a room overlooking the Gate of India.
Favorite cruise line: Regent Seven Seas for pure luxury and service. Disney for family fun.
Favorite island: Phuket, Thailand.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Jean Georges, New York. Favorite dish: YellowfinTuna Ribbons with avocado, spicy radish, and ginger marinade.
Favorite hole in the wall: Leopold’s, in Mumbai’s Colaba neighborhood. It’s an Indian version of Rick’s Café fromCasablanca. The 141-year-old dive is full of spies, smugglers, remittance men, and reprobates form a dozen different countries—or at least looks like it should be.
Favorite fruit: I don’t play favorites when it comes to fruit. Why would I?
Favorite food: Chicken quesadilla with extra sour cream and guacamole.
Least favorite food: A Norwegian cod dish called Lutefisk. Had it only once. Just horrible. The best recipe: Soak the cod in lye (no kidding!), then nail it to a board. When it’s dry, remove the fish from the board, throw it back in the ocean, and eat the board.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): In the air, white wine (never red, in case of spills). On the ground, Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold Belgian-Style Ale.
Favorite travel movie(s): It’s a toss-up between Time Bandits and Bill andTed’s Excellent Adventure.
Favorite travel show(s): Rick Steves’ Europe. I love Rick’s no-frills, low-budget, get-to-know-the-people approach to travel.
Favorite travel book(s): Arabian Sands, by Wilfred Thesiger.
Right now I am reading: Kafka WasAll the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir, by Anatole Broyard.
Five things you bring on a plane: Fully charged iPod, pen/notepad, sleep mask, book, Ambien.
What do you always seem to forget: Nothing. I’m an inveterate list-maker and dyed-in-the-wool worrywart.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: My worst travel moment occurred while I was camping in Spain as a poor college student. A thief in the night sliced the bottom of my tent with a razor and stole my backpack while I slept. In the morning I managed to find a few remnants of my belongings—some underwear, a pair of Levi’s, my notebook—but for the next three months I basically lived in what I was wearing that night. No wonder I had such a hard time getting rides while hitchhiking.
What’s your dream destination: Anyplace where the sun is hot, the drinks are cold, and flip-flops are as formal as it gets.
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: I mainly use the web as a practical research tool, so I find myself returning to such sites http://seatguru.com, Google maps, howfarisit.net,projectvisa.com, travel.state.gov, cdc.gov/travel, and the like.
Best travel tip: Four words: Gold Bond Medicated Powder.