Scott Carmichael may have one of the world’s most coveted jobs. As the executive editor for Gadling, a travel blog, he tours the globe writing about his experiences. (By the way, if you dig travel, Gadling should be part of your daily newsfeed. The site covers all things travel — helpful tips, gadget deals, recent news and entertaining anecdotes — and it makes for fun, spirited and quirky reading. ) To date, Scott has lived in five countries, logged three million miles, and spent over 1000 nights in hotel rooms. And there is no end in sight to his wanderings.
We had a chance to chat with Scott about some travel-related details he’s never before shared. Read what this travel guru reveals and feel free to ask him any questions of your own.
- You have what many people would consider to be a dream job. How did you get into travel and blogging?
I rolled into this job completely by accident. I’ve always been involved in technology through my own business, which had me traveling almost all the time. Once I settled down, I started blogging about the combination of travel and technology. In my first year of blogging, I got an email from the editor in chief of Gadling asking whether I’d be interested in writing for them. The rest is history. As fun as it was to blog on my own site, writing on a site that reaches millions of people is immensely rewarding.
- If you could live anywhere outside the U.S., where would you live and why?
Without a doubt I’d pick London or Paris. Ideally, I’d have an apartment in both cities, and thanks to the Eurostar, I’d simply divide my time between the two of them.
- Name three places you’ve never been that are on your to-go list.
I’ve not made it to New Zealand yet, but that should change next year. After that I’d love to spend some time in South Korea and Indonesia.
- If you had to limit your gadget bag to only three items, what would they be?
My Google Nexus One, my Canon G12 digital camera and a supply of batteries to keep them going. I spend a lot of time reviewing all kinds of gadgets, but these are the two I keep going back to. Of course, as soon as the next best gadget comes along, these two could easily be replaced. I’m not very loyal to gadgets, and at the rate new stuff is release, who can blame me?
- What’s the biggest travel mistake you’ve made?
During my first two years of very active travel, I completely ignored all loyalty programs. During those years, I probably lost half a million miles. Since then, I’ve become militant about tracking all my miles and points.
- What’s the most touristy thing you’ve done with no regrets?
Growing up in the U.K., we spent a lot of holidays in Blackpool, a beach “resort” on the English coast. Because of all my fond memories of Blackpool, I still kept visiting once every couple of years, even when my travels could have taken me to Asia or North America.
- What’s the most under-appreciated destination in the world?
Believe it or not, I’m going to pick my hometown of Chicago. When Europeans plan a trip to the U.S. they’ll almost always head to New York, Orlando or Las Vegas, but you never really hear of Europeans wanting to visit Chicago. This is a real shame, because the city has so much to offer.
- What’s your favorite site for booking travel deals?
I’m a huge fan of Kayak and Hipmunk – but lately I’ve been on the road so much that I’ll use OnTheFly by ITA software on my Android phone to price tickets, and book them directly through the airline.
- What’s the most luxurious hotel you’ve stayed at that was worth every dollar?
After closing a particularly nice deal, I splurged on a suite at the Peninsula in Hong Kong. I spent an insulting amount of money on the two nights, but I never regretted it. I’m a huge fan of hotels, but thankfully I’ve earned enough points that suite upgrades usually come from my frequent guest account and not my wallet. Still, I’m usually happier in a basic room with a great bed than a massive suite with a lousy bed. A good nights sleep is my most important hotel amenity.