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.
Occupation: Adventure cameraman and host of Animal Planet’s new series Expedition Mungo
Hometown: Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
Residence: Wandsworth, London, UK
College: West Kent College, UK
College major: Fine Art
Short bio: Over the last 20+ years “Mungo” (Paul Mungeam) has excelled as an extreme cameraman—specialising in adventure TV. During his career he has travelled to over 85 countries, filming for all the world’s major broadcasters and working with some of the biggest names on TV: Bear Grylls, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Kate Winslet, Simon Cowell, and Charley Boorman (to name but a few). Following his demand in adventure TV, Mungo is now stepping in FRONT of the camera and for the first time, his own adventures will be watched on TV around the world. As well as being the author of two published books “MUNGO – The Cameraman” and “MUNGO – Living The Dream,” Mungo is also a popular motivational speaker. Mungo lives in London (the perfect platform for his global travels) and is married with a young family. Which, he says, is his greatest adventure!
How often do you fly? Too often! Currently flying to locations (& back) every two weeks.
How many countries have you been to? Around 90 (gave up counting at 85).
How many continents have you been to? 6 out of 7 (only Antarctica to go!).
Earliest travel memory: Traveling on a work trip to Australia with my father—that was when my world suddenly became much larger.
Favorite American city: San Francisco—to me, it’s unique & cool!
Favorite international city: Sydney, Australia (lived & studied there for four years).
Least favorite country: Belgium (a little on the dull side for me—good beer though!).
I have no desire to go to: Blackpool, UK.
Friendliest people in the world: New Zealanders (Kiwis).
Country with the meanest immigration officers: USA (sorry, but unfortunately true!).
Favorite World Heritage Site: Simien National Park, Ethiopia (filmed gelada baboons there and it is stunning. Currently on World Heritage danger list, which would be a tragic loss).
Favorite airline: British Airways (I have a LOT of air miles with them).
Favorite aircraft type: Huey helicopter. Airliner aeroplanes: A380s are immense.
Aisle or window: Aisle, I have long legs!
Favorite airport lounge: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow, Terminal 3—it’s a game changer!
Favorite U.S. airport: Denver, because it takes me to happy places!
Favorite international airport: Vancouver (slept on the floor there overnight once & even the cleaners were gracious).
Favorite hotel: PanPacific Hotels. Great rooms, always big with self catering area—important for tea in the mornings.
Favorite cruise line: Not a real fan of big cruises, but have seen SAGA ships in some cool places (like Norwegian fjords).
Favorite travel credit card: Barclays—never fails me.
Favorite island: Aitutaki, Cook Islands—lived there for 10 weeks during a shoot.
Favorite beach: Avalon, Australia (my local beach while I lived there).
Favorite National Park: Denali, Alaska (hiked to the “Magic Bus” from Into the Wild).
Favorite fancy restaurant: Chez Bruce (Wandsworth, London, UK—where Gordon Ramsey was discovered!).
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Any serving cold India Pale Ales!
Favorite airport restaurant: Wagamama’s (Terminal 2 at Heathrow—clean and quick food).
Favorite bar: The Roundhouse—my local pub in Wandsworth, London.
Favorite fruit: Mango (my namesake?). Has to be ripe though.
Favorite food: Lamb hara masala (Indian curry).
Least favorite food: Dog’s penis! (long story while filming in northern Laos—& it definitely doesn’t taste like chicken!).
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): English Breakfast Tea or India Pale Ale.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (filmed in Iceland and Greenland).
Favorite travel show(s): Lonely Planet (where I broke my teeth in making travel documentaries)
Favorite travel book(s): “Mad Bad & Dangerous To Know” by Ranulph Fiennes.
Right now I am reading: “Admissions” by Henry Marsh.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Time, The Economist, Stuff.
5 things you bring on a plane: Bose headphones (Quiet Comfort 35), pullover, pen, melatonin (herbal sleeping pills), water.
What do you always seem to forget? Nothing—been doing this far too long!
What do you like least about travel? Being aways from home & transit time.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? I’m the one who does the travelling and buying! (Cosmetics and red wine.)
Favorite travel app(s): “British Airways” app.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Doing a loud fart in the queue for security (thought it was going to be insignificant—I was wrong!).
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Japan—hopefully soon?
Worst travel moment: On Expedition Mungo, waiting to leave Liberia. We were waiting in a very basic building & found out that our plane had been cancelled. We waited in that building for nine hours, for the next flight—it was horrendous.
What’s your dream destination? Patagonia—definitely on my top three list of destinations to see.
Favorite travel charity: BA/Comic Relief: Flying Start.
Best travel tip: Always carry a piece of string—has multiple uses: laces, belt, washing line, fishing line, security on doors, etc.