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: Will Clinger
Occupation: Producer/Host of Wild Travels on PBS
Hometown: Warren, PA
Residence: Chicago, IL
College: St. Lawrence University
College major: English Lit
Facebook: Will Clinger
YouTube: Will Clinger
Short bio: Will Clinger has worked as an actor, producer, writer, and TV show host, and appeared on various stages and screens for over 20 years. He is probably best known as the host and segment producer of Wild Chicago, a television program that looked at the offbeat side of the city and aired on WTTW/Channel 11. His work on the show earned him fourteen Midwest Emmy awards. Will is currently producing and hosting the Emmy-winning travel series Wild Travels on PBS, now shooting its third season. He has produced and hosted several documentaries for Channel 11: Vanishing Act: Memories of Vaudeville, Lost and Found: Chicago’s Offshore Treasures, The Bleacher Bums: Rabid Fans of Wrigley Field, and The Legend of Del Close, the first two of which also received Midwest Emmys.
Will has acted in the feature films Witless Protection, Stranger Than Fiction, Something Better Somewhere Else, Camp Manna, B-Roll, After Effect, No Sleep ‘Til Madison, Stash, and Serious Business, as well as the short films Stealing Kisses, Hit and Run, Rain, Rain, and Train Town (which won a Silver Award at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival and a 2008 Best of the Midwest award for Best Short Film). Will’s work in Train Town was nominated for a 2008 BMA Award for Best Actor. He wrote, produced, co-directed, and starred in the short film The Calvin Lewis Bobby Mayfair Show[s].
Will has also appeared in a number of network and cable television shows, including Chicago P.D., Sirens, Play by Play, ER, Early Edition, America’s Most Wanted, and The Untouchables. He recently wrote, directed and starred in the TV pilot William Flugle’s Travel Adventures with William Flugle.
How often do you fly? Frequently.
How many countries have you been to? Around 25.
How many continents have you been to? 4
Earliest travel memory: In the back seat of the family station wagon, on a road trip to Miami Beach.
Favorite American city: Chicago.
Favorite international city: Venice out of season.
Least favorite country: I like Japan, but I’m not sure it likes me back.
I have no desire to go to: Russia.
Friendliest people in the world: Peru or Portugal.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Isn’t Prague a World Heritage site? Prague.
Favorite airline: Southwest—we travel with so much camera equipment to check that Southwest is a no-brainer. By the way, I’ve said this so frequently that they should be underwriting our show.
Favorite aircraft type: Glider.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: Never actually sat in an airport lounge.
Favorite U.S. airport: Denver?
Favorite international airport: Lisbon.
Favorite cruise line: Only cruised once, on Carnival, so…Carnival.
Favorite travel credit card: Capital One.
Favorite island: Kauai.
Favorite beach: Saugatuck, MI.
Favorite National Park: Bryce Canyon.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Not really fancy, but I want to give them a plug: Mia Francesca (Chicago).
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: I think they might resent being called a hole-in-the-wall.
Favorite airport restaurant: Usually plan trips so that I DON’T have to eat at airports.
Favorite bar: Guthrie’s (Chicago).
Favorite fruit: Raspberry.
Favorite food: Brisket.
Least favorite food: Cucumber.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Glass of sauvignon blanc.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Trip.
Favorite travel show(s): I would be remiss if I didn’t say Wild Travels on PBS.
Favorite travel podcast(s): How about favorite podcasts to listen to while traveling? Fresh Air and WTF.
Favorite travel book(s): Anything by Paul Theroux.
Right now I am reading: “Turn Right at Machu Picchu.”
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Roadside America.
5 things you bring on a plane: A good book, my cellphone, Tylenol PM (for overnight flights), hand sanitizer, vitamins.
What do you always seem to forget? Sunscreen.
What do you like least about travel? Short connections cause me stress.
Most embarrassing travel moment: See “Worst Travel Moment.”
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Africa.
Worst travel moment: Digestive distress in Barcelona.
What’s your dream destination? New Zealand.
Best travel tip: Try to avoid traveling to Europe in the summer, and learn a little of your destination country’s language before you go—enough to exchange pleasantries. In America, take the back roads and seek out the little-known and the seldom-seen.