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: Martin Walker
Residence: Perigord, France
College: Balliol College, Oxford
College major: History
Facebook: Martin Walker
YouTube: Martin Walker – Mein Périgord (video)
Short bio: Now that he’s too old for war reporting, Martin Walker is an international best-selling novelist whose Bruno mysteries, set in France’s Perigord region, have sold nearly four million copies in 17 languages [Editor’s note: Martin’s latest book, “A Taste for Vengeance,” is available on Amazon). A veteran foreign correspondent for The Guardian and UPI, he is a senior fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center and of the Global Business Policy Council. He lives in France, Washington DC, London, Scotland’s Isle of Mull and at various ski resorts and likes traveling by train. One treasured memory is being taken by President George Bush (the elder) on his boat to visit the seals on the islands off Kennebunkport, Maine. He thinks he has been to the coldest inhabited spot on earth, Om Yakon in Siberia, and the hottest, the Hagar mountains on the border between Niger and Algeria in the heart of the Sahara desert.
In short: Scotland, London, Oxford, Harvard, speechwriter, rock critic, journalist (The Guardian and UPI), think-tank director, historian, novelist. 40 years married to Julia, two daughters, one a sports writer, the other a poet. Dog—always a basset hound.
How often do you fly? 2-3 times a month.
How many countries have you been to? Over a hundred.
How many continents have you been to? All except Antarctica.
Earliest travel memory: Reaching 100mph in my uncle’s Triumph TR2.
Favorite American city: Washington, DC.
Favorite international city: Paris.
Least favorite country: North Korea.
I have no desire to go to: Mars.
Friendliest people in the world: Nepal.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Belarus.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Lascaux cave, France.
Favorite airline: Lufthansa.
Favorite aircraft type: C130 Hercules.
Aisle or window: Aisle short-haul, window long-haul.
Favorite airport lounge: Frankfurt Lufthansa First Class.
Favorite U.S. airport: Sarasota.
Favorite international airport: Singapore.
Favorite hotel: Vieux Logis, Tremolat, France.
Favorite cruise line: Brittany ferries.
Favorite travel credit card: Whatever works.
Favorite island: Bali.
Favorite beach: Fiesta Key, Sarasota.
Favorite National Park: Lake District, UK.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Le Vieux Logis, Tremolat, France.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Julia’s Empanadas, Washington, DC.
Favorite airport restaurant: Five Guys, Washington Dulles International.
Favorite bar: White Horse, Parson’s Green, London.
Favorite fruit: Clementines.
Favorite food: Perigord, France.
Least favorite food: Kyrgyzstan.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Lagavulin malt scotch, no ice.
Favorite travel movie(s): Night Mail (1936); Master and Commander.
Favorite travel book(s): “Arabian Sands,” by Wilfred Thesiger.
Right now I am reading: “The Discovery of France,” by Graham Robb.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: For Two, Please; Nomadic Matt; donsmaps.com.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Booking.com
5 things you bring on a plane: Book, notebook, pen, toothbrush, chess set.
What do you always seem to forget? Shampoo.
What do you like least about travel? Poor bedside light.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Lagavulin malt scotch.
Favorite travel app(s): skyscanner.com
Most embarrassing travel moment: Flying into Miami from Jamaica with my wife’s passport out of date.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Falkland Islands.
Worst travel moment: Driving into Basra during Iraq War, some hours before British troops took it.
What’s your dream destination? Lovina Beach, Bali, as it was in the 1970s.
Favorite travel charity: Global Animal Foundation.
Best travel tip: Seersucker shirts you can wash in hotel bathroom, dries overnight, no ironing.