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: Pauline Frommer
Occupation: Co-President Frommer Media LLC (owner of the Frommer Guidebooks and Frommers.com), author of weekly column syndicated by King Features, co-host of weekly radio show on travel on WABC in New York City
Hometown: New York
Residence: New York
How often do I fly: Several times a month
How many countries: I have no idea! I started traveling with my guidebook writing parents at the age of 4 months, so was country hopping well before I was able to keep lists.
How many continents: 5
Favorite American city: My hometown of NYC
Favorite International City: Difficult question! Right now its Barcelona, but that could change
Least Favorite Country: I’ve never met a country I haven’t enjoyed. Truly!
Favorite World Heritage Site: It’s very had to pick just one world heritage site. The most recent one I visited was Tikal in Guatemala and I can honestly say that if the Mayan prediction about the world ending in 2012 is correct, I don’t think I’d mind so much if I could see it all fall apart from the top of one of those incredible pyramids. (PS: The Mayans actually didn’t predict the end of the world in 2012, though it is suspicious that Snookie’s baby is due to arrive on the exact date that the current Mayan calendar ends).
Favorite Airline: Don’t have one. I see airplanes strictly as vehicles for getting from point A to point B and try not to obsess over them
Favorite aircraft type: Those that remain airborne
Aisle or window: Aisle
Favorite Airport Lounge: I fly economy, so don’t have access to airport lounges. Would rather use miles and money for trips, not upgrades.
Favorite US Airport: Any one I can get into and out of quickly. As I said, the flying part of the trip isn’t key for me.
Favorite International Airport: See above
Favorite Hotel: Really enjoyed my recent stay at the Parrot Nest Lodge in San Ignacio, Belize. It was very rustic, quite cheap, but with such a lovely spirit to it (not to mention wonderful hosts, an unofficial zoo on property made up of the owner’s wonderful pets and a serene location). I’m not sure it’s my favorite hotel, but I did enjoy my time there.
Favorite Cruise Line: Don’t have one
Favorite Island: I like the Isle of Manhattan, for obvious reasons. I’m also mad for Sicily (such extraordinarily kind people, astounding sites from so many centuries, and oh! the food) and Bali (for eye-candy scenery and culture, it’s hard to beat).
Favorite Fancy Restaurant: Pierre Reboul in Aix en Provence. It features cutting edge molecular gastronomy, so the meal’s a bit like a magic show. At my recent dinner there, we began with arugula ice cream pops and foie gras creme brulee and ate provencal fish soup formed into a solid bar. Beyond being extremely creative the food is truly delish. A very worthy splurge.
Favorite hole in the wall: Num Pang, NYC. Terrific bahn mi sandwiches on a menu that changes near monthly.
Favorite fruit: Mango
Favorite food: Cheese
Least Favorite Food: Blue cheese
Drink of Choice: Manhattans (clichéd, I know)
Favorite Travel Movie: Midnight in Paris or Up In The Air
Favorite Travel Show: Amazing Race
Favorite Travel Books: The Frommer guides, of course!
Right now I’m reading: Postwar by Tony Judt, an eye-opening history of Europe from the end of World War II through 2000. It will change the way you look at the modern world, I promise.
Five things you bring on a plane: Fuzzy socks, a good book, my carry-on luggage (I never check), a meal, contact lens solution
What you always seem to forget: I try to use up my foreign currency, especially coins, before I leave a country, but always find some after a trip tucked away in a strange place. I then vow to bring it the next time I return to that part of the world and inevitably forget.
From duty free store: Nothing. After moving recently I realized that I’ve accumulated too much stuff over the years and that having too much is a sort of trap (I’m tired of living with piles). So I’ve made a vow not to buy anything new until I get rid of something old.
Favorite travel I-Phone app: Xpense Trkr. I photo my receipts rather than carrying them around and am able to input my travel expenses quite quickly. Makes doing taxes much easier (since I try to write off as much of my travel as possible).
Worst travel moment: When my then 8-year-old daughter got stuck in the middle of a zipline in Costa Rica and was dangling several hundred feet off the ground, screaming her head off in panic. The guide was able to shimmy out and get her, and she ended up loving ziplining, but I’ve never felt as irresponsible as a parent before. That was a terrible moment.
Dream Destination: South Africa. I’ve never been and am dying to go.
Favorite website: My baby: Frommers.com
Best Travel Tip: Don’t be scared of getting lost in a new destination. You usually find the most wonderful things and meet the loveliest people when you do.