Ski Sun And Travel: Aruba Tourism Authority

Forrest Cramer – Aruba Tourism Authority

Forrest Cramer, spokesperson for Aruba Tourism Authority, joins the morning show to talk about traveling to Aruba.

Aruba offers Connecticut residents many opportunities for vacation that will provide memories that last a life time.

Find out more about Aruba at the Ski Sun Travel Expo on November 9th at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.

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Skimp Vs. Splurge: Are These Common Travel Upgrades Worth Your Cash?

By Laura Vogel

This post originally appeared on LearnVest.

Whether you’re a road warrior who spends more days out of town than at home, or you take pleasure-only getaways, you’ve likely debated whether certain travel perks would make your jaunts more enjoyable.

After all, a little extra legroom on that long international flight or a private cabana rental at the beach resort sure would be nice.

Then again … those types of luxuries aren’t free. (Plus, if you’re like most Americans, you’ve likely already shelled out a cool $2,000 or so this summer on family trips, leaving a modest year-end travel budget.)

So you decide to bypass those coveted upgrades, assuming they wouldn’t enhance your trip enough to justify the cost. But you’re still left wondering: Would it?

“Little upgrades, when chosen judiciously, can really boost your travel experience,” says Kara Bebell, a consultant at Tzell Travel Group and co-owner of the Travel Siblings, a luxury vacation booking site that she runs with her brother.

The key, of course, is actually knowing how to choose.

Not sure which add-ons fall into the “worth it!” column? In light of the upcoming holiday travel season, we asked Bebell and George Hobica, founder of the flight-deal website, to give us the skinny on which extras give you the biggest bang for your buck—and which you’re better off skipping.

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60000 to travel with Obama

Members of the news media who want to travel with President Barack Obama on his upcoming trip to Asia will have to pay $60,000 a head, The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi reports. The true cost will be closer to $70,000, as the travel expense does not cover hotels, meals and shared “ground costs.”

The reason for the record-high cost: “The cost of press charters is determined by a competitive bid among air carriers based on the number of people who sign up for the trip,” Farhi reports. “Since the cost of the charter is shared among all those who travel on it, the price of a ticket decreases as the number of travelers increases. But the reverse is also true.”

Per Farhi, only 51 passengers have signed up so far, which is about half the usual number. Some correspondents told Farhi the low turnout “might reflect declining interest in Obama.” Others blamed “potentially limited access to officials and official events, particularly in China and Burma.”

Read Farhi’s full report here.

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Poll: 79 Percent of Likely Voters Say Ebola Travel Ban a ‘Good Idea’

The vast majority of likely voters say they are in favor of a temporary travel ban from the West African countries currently suffering from Ebola outbreaks, according to a new poll released this week. 

The poll, from Paragon Insights–a public opinion research firm affiliated with the National Republican Senatorial Committee–found that 79 percent of likely voters say they think a of a temporary travel ban from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are either a “strongly good (51 percent) or “somewhat good” (28 percent) idea. 

The survey was conducted from from October 19-20 among 963 likely 2014 voters across the county and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points. 

Republicans and some Democratic lawmakers have been calling on the Obama administration to impose temporary travel bans on those West African countries dealing with the deadly Ebola virus. 

To date the Obama administration has refused to impose a travel ban and the issue has made its way into the critical midterm elections mere days away. 

The poll also found that just 44 percent of likely voters said they approved of Obama’s handing of the Ebola crisis. Further, 58 percent of voters say they believe more should be done to take on Ebola in the U.S and 50 percent say Obama should not have chosen  a “political operative” to run his Ebola response. 

Other findings include majority support for increased screenings at U.S. ports of entry (87 percent), temporary travel ban on health workers exposed to Ebola (80 percent), and stricter travel screenings (68 percent).

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GigSky Travel SIM Review

The GigSky travel SIM promises to save you money while travelling by offering lower data rates than what you’d get from Verizon, Sprint, or ATT ATT roaming. Replace the SIM in your unlocked phone with the one from GigSky, then buy data as you go in each country.

It works all over the world, is easy to use, and has decent rates.

Is it better than buying a local local SIM? Let’s have a look.

Before we get going, if you’re curious about travelling with tech, or travel SIMs in general, check out 5 Myths About Travelling With TechTravel Smarter With TechAre Travel SIM Cards Worth It?Pay In Local Or Home Currency?Are Noise Cancelling Headphones Worth It?, and 10 Tips for Travelling with a Smartphone.


To voice, or not to voice

GigSky is a data-only service. You don’t get a local number, and there are no free voice minutes. I don’t really see this as a drawback. I travel a lot, and I can’t remember having to call locally. With Viber, WhatsApp, and Skype, I could talk to friends and family at home just using the data connection.

Setup is pretty easy. Before you leave, download the app, make a profile, add a credit card, and you’re good to go. When you arrive in the country you’re visiting, just swap out your SIM for the one from GigSky. You need to add a line in your phone’s menu telling it to talk to GigSky’s servers. You only have to do this once, it’s simple, and Gig’s instructions are easy to follow.

The app, available for Apple Apple iOS and Google Google Android is easy to use, and auto-detects your current country.


Rate Comparison

Rates overall tend to be better than KnowRoaming, but worse than buying a local SIM (but of course significantly better than roaming rates from home providers). Here are some prices I found while travelling this year (listed in the KnowRoaming and Are Travel SIMs Worth It? articles) compared to the current GigSky pricing:

Vodafone UK: $18.40 for 250 MB, $5 for 500 MB more (so about $0.09 per MB – a $26.42 1GB SIM got increased to unlimited data after purchase).
3 UK: $25.75 for unlimited data for 1 month (plus it works in other countries, see below)
GigSky: $10/75MB, 3 days ($0.13/MB) up to $50/1GB, 30 Days ($0.05/MB)

Bouygues Telcom France: $6.77 for the SIM, plus $33.87 for a 500 MB data pack (about $0.07 per MB)
GigSky: $10/50MB, 3 days ($0.20/MB) up to $50/500MB, 30 Days ($0.10/MB)

YesOptus Australia: $28.12 for the SIM, which includes 500 data (less than $0.06 per MB)
GigSky: $10/65MB, 3 days ($0.15/MB) up to $50/500MB, 30 Days ($0.10/MB)

Drei Austria: $13.55 for 1 GB data, good for 1 week. (just over $0.01)
GigSky: $10/100MB, 3 days ($0.10/MB) up to $50/2.5GB, 30 Days ($0.02/MB)

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Business Travel is Set to Increase 3-4% in 2015 Throughout North America

Business travel in the U.S. is really taking off. 

According to The Global Business Travel Association, U.S. business travelers spent an average $72.8 billion in the second quarter of this year, a 7.1 percent increase over that same period in 2013.

And a forecast from BCD Travel’s consulting unit Advito sees that uptick extending into 2015 with business travel in the U.S. and Canada set to go up 3 to 4 percent next year. The forecast looks at a number of different economic trends to predict activity in airlines, hotels, and car rental companies around the world.

As the global economy continues to improve, corporate travel is expected to follow a similar trajectory.

“It ties to the overall economic activity,” Advito vice president Bob Brindley said. “Companies in general are doing well from a profit perspective. They’re looking for growth and expansion opportunities, and that includes travel as a component of it.”

The good news is that global airfare is unlikely to go up to much. New competition in Asia, in particular, in the form of regional low-cost carriers will put pressure on airlines to bring down fares. The bad news is, consolidation and high demand in North America is setting the stage for increasing airfare, which means U.S. domestic flights will continue to get pricier. 

Hotel costs are also expected to rise about 6 to 8 percent. The report advises that companies negotiate and work down prices both for flights and hotels. At the same time, they suggest being loyal to a couple brands, since repeat clients will have more sway when trying to lower prices.

Similarly, car rental suppliers seem to be readying price increases despite years of flat pricing. Advito expects 2 to 4 percent increase in those rates.

Businesses can learn from these forecasts and plan their 2015 travel accordingly.

“Most of our clients use it to assist them in budgeting,” Brindley said. “They already know from their own business perspective of what type of activity increases or decreases they’ll have from a travel perspective, and they look to us for what kind of price variances are they going to have. If they do feel that prices are going to be up slightly they may approve of some volume increases, where if prices were to grow dramatically it might cause them to cut down.”

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How — and how not — to travel for running races

More than 50,000 runners are expected to travel to New York City this Sunday for the marathon.

If you’re one of them, or if you’ve ever traveled to compete in an athletic event, you know that there are a lot of ways things can go wrong. You’re staying in an unfamiliar place, eating unfamiliar food and sleeping in an unfamiliar bed.

See also: 7 Travel Tips for Road Warriors

Many runners have two approaches to competing in a foreign land: They either try to replicate their conditions at home as closely as possible, or they say screw it and run the race for fun, using traveling as an excuse for poor performance. But there is a middle ground.

Here are a few tips to help you balance having fun and doing your best when you travel for a race.

Get there early, stay late

Marathoner Chris Anselmo frequently travels for races, and says he always tries to arrive two nights early.

“I get in there earlier if I have to get acclimated to altitude,” he said.

He also spends a few days in the destination after the race so he can really enjoy himself without the race hanging over his head.

“After all, that is most of the reason why you are doing a destination run and not just doing one in your home town,” he said. “Plus, it’s tough getting on a plane and sitting for hours just after a marathon.”

Try renting an apartment or house instead of a hotel room

When Michael Daly, a marathoner and founder of apparel company Boom Running, went to London for the 2011 marathon, he booked a small apartment in Lecester Square where he could prepare his own pre-race dinner and breakfast. That meant he could better control what he ate, and saved money. When Daly ran the Chicago marathon, he even packed his usual brand of pasta and red sauce to cook.

“Though in hindsight I think this was slightly overboard,” he said.

Find a place to stay near the starting line

Runner Stephanie Donohue traveled to Chicago for the Warrior Dash, but stayed with friends who didn’t live near the race.

“We got lost in a corn field on the way there, because that is all there is outside of Chicago,” she said. “We arrived late and started the race as the front pack was finishing their first lap, which was kind of fun.”

Runners in the New York City marathon in 2009.

Image: Flickr, Rebecca Wilson

When Daly traveled to London, his apartment was “right in the heart of things,” but he had to take the train to the race start. He researched the train schedule and found his station in advance, but still ran into trouble.

“Turned out the location was maybe too central,” he says. “The apartment was on a very busy street, at a busy intersection, at a bus stop, in one of the nightlife districts. I basically didn’t sleep for five nights before the race.”

Plan for a variety of weather

Donohue also traveled to London for the Where’s Wally race in late March. She lives in Boston, so she thought the weather couldn’t be colder than what she usually experiences. She was wrong.

There was a brutal cold snap on the day of the race, and while she wore her warmest clothes, including a down vest, her feet had “turned into cloven hooves” by the race’s start.

“I didn’t even bother taking off my down vest for running and I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say I did not warm up, even while running, nor did I regain feeling in my feet until the end, when I ran straight through the finish line and into a tea shop across the street,” she said.

She now recommends runners bring clothes for a variety of weather, even if you think you know what the conditions will be.

The forecast for this Sunday predicts temperatures in the 40s.

Bring your running gear as a carry-on

Runner Abigail Lesneski always brings her own pillow when she travels for races. And Marathoner Lauren McNiff says she puts her shoes, race outfit, and whatever she needs during the race in a carry on bag when she’s flying.

Map it out

Find the race start in advance, and make sure you know how to get from where you’re staying to the starting line, recommends Anselmo. He also suggests finding a store nearby for last minute supplies like water and snacks.

View New York City Marathon – New York, NY in a larger map
McNiff researches ahead of time to find restaurants that serve her favorite pre-race meal and makes reservations so she won’t be stuck eating too late.

Ice or have a beer after you finish (or both)

Anselmo says when he finishes a race, it’s “buy the jacket, beer, beer, beer in that order.”

Daly says he takes an ice bath after longer races, which helps his legs recover so he can enjoy the rest of his trip.

Make it memorable

Daly says if he’s running a big city marathon, he buys the local newspaper the next day.

“It’s usually a very cool keepsake,” he said. “The Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune print the names and times of all finishers, usually in a special section dedicated to the race itself. When else will you make the newspaper in such a big city?”

Despite the extra planning and uncertainty, all of these runners recommend traveling for races. Sure, conditions might not be perfect, and there might be mishaps like noisy sleeping locations or missed turns on the way to the race.

But races usually showcase the highlights of the city, giving runners an up-close look they might not otherwise get.

Claire Trageser is a multimedia journalist who contributes to NPR, Marie Claire, and Runner’s World. She has been a runner since graduating college and trains for marathons in her free time.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

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At universities, Ebola threat sparks range of travel warnings, limits

Amid widespread public concern about the threat of Ebola, a number of major universities have placed tight restrictions on travel to West Africa in recent weeks, aiming to protect their campuses and personnel, though at the possible risk of reducing the flow of volunteers to help fight the epidemic.

Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY) system are among schools with the strictest policies, issuing a general ban on staff and student travel to the three countries hit hardest by the Ebola epidemic.

Some other schools, including Columbia and Harvard, strongly discourage travel and require staff members seeking to do so to obtain permission. Still others only advise potential travelers to be aware of the risks and, in many cases, require them to register their trip with the school before they go.

“Cornell students, faculty, and staff may not travel for study abroad, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances, recruiting or athletic competitions in the West African nations under CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] travel warnings,” the Cornell administration said in an Oct 16 message to students (bolding retained).

It added, however, that students could apply for an exemption from the ban. It said a similar message had been sent to the faculty and staff.

In the SUNY system, which includes 64 campuses around the state, Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher wrote in an Oct 17 memo, “We are continuing to prohibit campus-sponsored or approved travel to countries with CDC Level 3 travel warnings,” meaning Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. The statement does not mention appeals or exemptions.

In their policy statements, universities are citing the CDC’s Level 3 travel warning, which advises against nonessential travel to the three countries. The CDC’s advice for colleges, universities, and students suggests that education-related travel to the countries be postponed, both to protect would-be travelers’ health and to enable the affected countries to respond effectively to the epidemic.

Difficult decisions

“Every university is struggling with this,” said Craig Roberts, PA-C, MS, a University of Wisconsin-Madison epidemiologist and chair of the American College Health Association’s Emerging Public Health Threats and Emergency Response Coalition.

“Our people working in our student travel office, legal, the provost are thinking about this a lot,” he said. “To what degree should we restrict travel by faculty? It looks like what some schools are doing is requiring the chancellor to sign off.”

Roberts said Wisconsin is not banning travel to West Africa but is requiring any employees or students to notify the school if they intend to go there. He said he was not aware of any faculty or staff members who planned to make such a trip, though one graduate student who had intended to go to West Africa this fall decided on his own not to do so.

In talking with officials at other universities’ student health centers, Roberts said, “I’ve not come across a school that has not put in some kind of restriction, but mostly for students. There are not a lot of people going to those countries to start with.” But the problem could become a bigger concern for student health if Ebola reaches certain other African countries, such as Nigeria and Ghana, that draw more US students.

He said he was not aware of anyone who wanted to go help with the Ebola response in West Africa but was prevented by university restrictions.

Three general approaches

Stacey Tsantir, JD, a University of Minnesota official who polled about 20 other schools last week on their travel policies in light of the CDC’s Level 3 warning regarding the Ebola epidemic, said she found that most institutions took one of three general approaches:

  • Advising against travel
  • Limiting travel but allowing petitions for individual exemptions, or exempting certain groups
  • Banning all travel regardless of the population or purpose

“Most universities are taking the first two approaches above, with only a few universities banning all travel regardless of population or purpose,” wrote Tsantir, who is director of international health, safety, and compliance in the university’s Global Programs and Strategy Alliance.

She also said most schools are informing their entire population about Ebola-related warnings from the CDC, World Health Organization, and state health departments. Some are also sending targeted messages to international students and scholars from Ebola-stricken countries. As of last week only a few schools, she said, were instituting their own screening for returned travelers.

Service versus safety

Columbia University’s policy statement on travel to the Ebola-affected countries acknowledges the need to balance safety concerns with the university’s mission to help solve global problems.

“Mindful both of the University’s service mission and of its responsibility to protect our community from the Ebola threat, the University has determined to restrict student, faculty, and staff travel to three West African countries for any purpose other than to contribute to efforts to contain and eliminate the Ebola outbreak,” the statement says.

It says that students, faculty, and staff “must avoid” travel to the affected countries, but adds that employees who want to help fight the epidemic can submit a request to the appropriate dean. If approved by the dean, the request must also win the provost’s approval.

Evacuation seen as big worry

The Columbia policy includes a very tough proviso: any request for permission to travel “must include confirmation of an evacuation plan in case of need.” It notes that Columbia’s own travel evacuation provider, International SOS, “has advised the University that evacuation of patients with Ebola-like symptoms may not be achievable.”

(An official with Samaritan’s Purse, the mission organization that employed Kent Brantly, MD, one of the first two Americans to be evacuated from West Africa because of Ebola, said recently that it cost $200,000 to fly him back to the United States in a specially equipped air ambulance.)

In addition, the Columbia policy bars visitors to the campus if they have been in one of the three Ebola-stricken countries in the preceding 21 days.

Harvard University’s policy advises strongly against travel to West Africa and, like Columbia’s stance, warns about the difficulty of arranging evacuation if one gets sick.

“Our partners operating in the region report that medical evacuation is virtually impossible,” said an Oct 16 letter from Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber, MD, PhD, and Paul Barreira, MD, director of Harvard Health Services. “Individuals who show any signs of fever, whether they have been exposed to the disease or not, face significant challenges leaving these countries and risk being quarantined together with Ebola patients.

“In addition, security in this region of West Africa has deteriorated, and health risks do not appear to be diminishing. For all of these reasons, we strongly discourage travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.”

The policy indicates that Harvard-sponsored travel to the Ebola-affected region can be permitted in “exceptional circumstances” and when deemed “absolutely necessary,” but only with the provost’s approval. The letter did not suggest what the circumstances might be.

Also discouraging travel to West Africa, but not banning it, is Johns Hopkins University (JHU), according to an Oct 20 report in the university’s Hub newsletter. It says Hopkins personnel who plan to make such a trip should notify their dean and department chair or unit leader.

On their return, travelers will be assessed by university health officials and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to judge their level of exposure and decide if they can return to school or work immediately or should stay at home in quarantine, the story said.

It cited an e-mail message from Gabor D. Kelen, MD, director of the JHU Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, and Trish Perl, MD, MSc, senior epidemiologist and a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the JHU schools of Medicine and Public Health.

“The potential for someone in our community to acquire Ebola and to place others in danger weighed heavily in the university’s decision to provide this guidance,” they wrote.

Variations on a theme

Tsantir’s informal survey of universities’ travel policies revealed some small variations on the three general approaches she found (advising against travel, limiting travel but allowing petitions for exemption, and banning travel).

For example, an official at Indiana University said the school was suspending all faculty and staff travel to the affected countries and also was halting visits by scholars from those countries. Also, the university’s Ebola information Web page says travelers returning from personal trips to the countries are barred from university property during the 21-day Ebola incubation period.

New York University said it was barring student, faculty, and staff travel to the three countries for university purposes but that exceptions could be made in some cases, such as for faculty members wishing to help fight the epidemic.

On the less restrictive side, Ohio State University was not limiting faculty and staff travel to the affected countries and was not requiring employees to register their trips in advance, according to Tsantir’s research. The university was using its travel reimbursement request system to monitor trips to the region.

Northwestern University “strongly advises” all employees and students to postpone nonessential trips to the Ebola-hit countries, but it does not ban such travel, according to a university statement. A Northwestern official told Tsantir that the school would have no way to monitor or enforce a travel ban.

At the University of Minnesota, meanwhile, a recent message from the administration to faculty and staff did not warn against travel to Ebola-hit countries, but it reminded people of the requirement to register their travel with the university and urged them to check travel warnings and alerts.

The message, signed by Brooks Jackson, MD, dean of the Medical School, said, “The situation in West Africa makes it particularly important for travelers to register when visiting Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.”

See also:

Oct 16 Cornell travel restriction message to students (similar message sent to staff)

Oct 17 SUNY statement

Oct 13 Columbia University policy statement

Oct 16 Harvard University statement

Oct 22 CDC advice for colleges, universities, and students on Ebola in West Africa

Related Oct 17 statement on CDC travel advice

Oct 20 Johns Hopkins Hub news story about policy

Oct 10 Northwestern University statement on Ebola, including travel warning

Oct 23 Stanford University guidelines

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NK detainee gets job back, warned to avoid risky travel

A SW Ohio city agreed to rehire an American arrested and detained in North Korea while criticizing his decision to travel there.

Jeffrey Fowle also faces firing if he undergoes risky travel in the future, according to the agreement with the city of Moraine in suburban Dayton signed earlier this week that returns him to his street department job.

Fowle disregarded cautions by the U.S. Secretary of State, his family and acquaintances in traveling to North Korea, Tuesday’s agreement said. He should have known detention was a likely result of traveling there, the agreement said.

“Fowle’s decision to travel to North Korea (and the resulting unauthorized absence) seriously called into question Fowle’s judgment, leadership skills, and priorities, and have raised serious questions about his ability to carry out his job,” according to the agreement signed by Fowle and city manager David Hicks.

Fowle, a 56-year-old married father of three, returned home last week after negotiations involving retired diplomat and former Ohio Congressman Tony Hall. He’d been detained nearly six months for allegedly leaving a Bible in a nightclub. A message seeking comment was left with his attorney.

Fowle had worked for the city for 26 years, and Moraine kept him on the payroll even after his available leave was exhausted, Mayor Elaine Allison said Oct. 22, the day Fowle returned home. The city also worked to keep his family’s medical coverage going, and was prepared to provide about $70,000 in severance pay, which was never distributed.

Fowle thanked the city for helping “secure my family’s future during this difficult time” in a handwritten letter to Hicks Tuesday.

“I look forward to serving the citizens of Moraine again in the Street Department,” Fowle said.

Though a small number of U.S. citizens visit North Korea each year as tourists, the State Department strongly advises against it.

Fowle arrived in North Korea on April 29. He is suspected of leaving a Bible in a nightclub in the northern port city of Chongjin.

Two other Americans are still in North Korea. Matthew Miller, from Bakersfield, Calif., is serving a six-year jail term on charges of espionage, after he allegedly ripped his tourist visa at Pyongyang’s airport in April and demanded asylum.

Kenneth Bae, of Lynwood, Washington, a Korean-American missionary with health problems, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for alleged anti-government activities. He was arrested in November 2012 while leading a tour group in a special North Korean economic zone.

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The Taxi Drivers You Want to Avoid

Mark Leigh: ‘The best experiences are the ones that are a surprise—whether it’s a seat or room upgrade.’

Mark Leigh is president of Asia-Pacific operations at electronics company Jabra. The Singapore-based Briton spoke to the Journal about speeding taxi drivers, turning tech gadgets into a mobile office, and never leaving home without a portable travel steamer.

How often are you up in the air?

My job requires me to travel very frequently, so I’d say that I’m up in the air for at least two weeks each month. My trips are usually in the Asia-Pacific region, but I also fly up regularly to our company’s headquarters in Denmark.

Favorite hotel?

This is a tough one. Right now, the Hyatt chain is my favorite. Their service is top-notch. We use them frequently for our events.

Favorite airline?

Singapore Airlines,

C6L.SG -0.41%

Singapore Airlines Ltd.

Singapore: SGX



Oct. 30, 2014 5:04 pm

Volume (Delayed 20m)

P/E Ratio

Market Cap
$11.54 Billion

Dividend Yield

Rev. per Employee

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C6L.SG in

Your Value
Your Change

Short position

without a doubt. I’m a lifetime Solitaire PPS member, a privilege from all my frequent flying—they really know how to take care of you. Singapore Airlines is also very reliable, and always flies on time, which is something I don’t take for granted.

Best airline seats?

Most people prefer bulkhead seats, but I don’t enjoy looking at a wall for hours, so any second-row aisle seats are ideal for me.

Singapore’s Changi airport
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Favorite airport?

Singapore’s Changi. It’s just easy to navigate and is always efficient. Amsterdam’s Schiphol is also one of my favorites.

Preferred luggage?

I use a Delsey; it’s lightweight and made with carbon fiber.

Packing strategies?

After over 20 years of traveling, [I find] packing for a trip is pretty much about going through the motions. You think about your calendar and the various functions that you need to attend, and pack accordingly. I recently bought a travel steamer from ION Orchard—it’s a really nifty tool that saves you from showing up at your morning meeting in a crumpled suit. I’ve come to realize that not all hotels provide an overnight pressing service, so this really helps.

Which travel apps do you use?

FlightTrack is a must, as is Lync for voice and video conferencing.

What’s your best travel advice?

Make sure that you can bring your office with you—ensure that you are equipped with the right tools. I bring a set of Bluetooth-enabled speakers and a wireless hands-free set that becomes my mobile conference room. People tend to overlook the simplest things, and I’ve found these devices make the biggest difference when traveling for work.

How do you stay fit while traveling?

I don’t have much time to head to the gym while traveling, but I do try to watch my diet and eat lightly when I can.

Best travel experience?

The best experiences are the ones that are a surprise—whether it’s a seat or room upgrade. I was recently at the Mulia Resort in Bali for a company conference. The Mulia did not disappoint. It was a great trip for everyone.

Worst travel experience?

It would have to be being stuck in a traffic jam during the Mumbai floods in 2005. I was in a traffic jam for seven hours in a taxi to the airport, with a driver who had been driving for a 22-hour stretch. The water [level] had risen up to the passenger seat in the taxi, and we were running on a [nearly] empty fuel tank. I eventually managed to get back to my hotel, where I had to wait for four days before I could leave the country. It was certainly not an experience I’d like to repeat.

What’s left on the bucket list?

I’ve always wanted to stay in an ice hotel—perhaps in Iceland or Norway.

Favorite city?

Paris, London and Florence are beautiful cities that I never get tired of. But for a buzz, Asian cities are the best—whether it’s Hong Kong, Bangkok or Singapore.

Favorite restaurant/bar?

The Moon Bar at the top of the Banyan Tree in Bangkok has a great view. I also love London’s Radio Rooftop Bar. You can also never go wrong with Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong for a good night out. In Singapore, I enjoy going to the Prime Society on Dempsey Hill—nothing beats a great steak and the lovely ambience.

Which city has the best taxis?

If you get a London cab driver, you can always be sure that he will take you on the best route available. One thing that I hate—in any country—is that one taxi driver who believes you’re a talent spotter for Formula One. That’s really the last thing I want after a long flight, and I always have to tell the driver to slow down.

—Edited from an interview by Mark Lean

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