Editor’s Note: Periodically the Travelocity Roaming Gnome will interview a few of his favorite travel friends about all things travel. Please welcome them to The Window Seat.
Melanie Waldman is the editor of Travels With Two, which features stories of her many trips with her husband to inspire working couples to use their vacation time to travel. In addition to checking out her blog for photos, tips, itineraries and reviews, you can follow Melanie’s adventures on Twitter.
ROAMING GNOME: Despite my dashing good lucks, I’m still flying solo. What do you look for when traveling with your mate? I look for great adventures, smashing people and umbrella drinks.
MELANIE WALDMAN: I’m truly sorry to hear about your lack of traveling companions, but of course, a good umbrella drink can help to ease that pain. What I enjoy when traveling with my husband is a long and winding drive, a wandering stroll that’s sure to get us lost, a lingering lunch in the sunshine and an evening whiled away over wine and cheese. We never turn down snorkeling, a good museum or an afternoon nap, and there’s always a healthy dose of laughing.
RG: You’ve had the pleasure of staying at some of the loveliest hotels around the world. So let me ask, who has the best room service? Personally, room service is my weakness.
MW: Oh, I hear you on that. I’m going to have to go with the Four Seasons George V in Paris, where the dishes, glassware and cutlery are every bit as elegant as those you’ll find in their Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Cinq. But I actually prefer the all-inclusive mini bar at the Southern Ocean Lodge on Australia’s Kangaroo Island, where you can go ahead and help yourself to a treasure trove of goodies made Down Under.
RG: I think it’s simply smashing how many places you have been! Tell me, my cupcake, where is your favorite?
MW: Just one favorite? Impossible. But I think I can narrow it down to three places: the rolling hills of the wine country in Paso Robles, California; the Cook Islands in the remote heart of the South Pacific; and northwestern Tanzania, where we went on safari on the plains of the Serengeti, following the Great Migration, then down into the amazing Ngorongoro Crater.
RG: What three things do you never leave home without? Here’s mine: a good beard conditioner, a travel pillow, and the latest issues of all my favorite celebrity gossip magazines.
MW: Well, you certainly sound well-groomed, well-rested and well-informed — I’m truly shocked that you’re still unattached. Myself, I never leave home without my noise-canceling ear buds, my iPhone, and a little roll-on of perfume to dab on my wrists…which helps a plane journey smell a whole lot better.
RG: As you know, I’m a bit of world traveler. I try to offer travel tips to my fellow roamin’ gnomies. What about you, if you could offer travelers one piece of advice when booking a trip what would it be?
MW: If your trip will involve a flight, set up a couple of fare alerts for your trip and give yourself a few weeks to compare prices; saving on your flight can help to ease stress about the expenses to come. If you’re driving, consider getting a AAA TripTik so that no matter where you go, it doesn’t matter if your GPS can follow — you’ll have your journey clearly marked, on real actual paper.
RG: If you ever want to add a third to your duo, I’m available luv. Where are you going next?
MW: Thanks, doll — I’ll keep that in mind. I’m actually traveling as we speak, taking a brief break from driving around the American West for a few weeks. Then in the Spring, I’m off to Europe to visit France’s Champagne, Burgundy and Provence regions,Italy’s Ligurian Coast and Rome, and then Croatia and Slovenia. It’s shaping up to be a beautiful year for travel!