There are frequent travelers, and then there are road warriors - those who work in travel, love to travel, and embrace it as a way of life. Case in point, Carmen Roberts, an award-winning travel reporter who can be seen regularly on BBC's Fast Track, delivering the latest insider travel news, tips and updates from around the globe.
I was fortunate to catch Carmen in between her globe-trotting schedule for a chat about her own personal travel game-plan and perspective on the art of the jaunt.
My favorite thing to do when I land in a new place is to have a look at a map and plan a running route. It's the best way to start your day as well as familiarize
yourself with a new destination.
You travel often. What are five must-haves that you carry with you at all times, that you cannot possibly travel without?
First, cameras, both video and stills. Contact lens solution and glasses, which are a must for long haul flights. Insect repellent (mozzies love me!) LBD little black dress, because you never know when you might need one! And, a pair of running shoes.
What is your favorite place to travel and why?
This is a tough one. I can't say I have a favorite place. Although I do love Italy - the food (and wine!) is always amazing and there's so much culture and history. But I also love traveling to somewhere I've never been before, the thrill of exploring a new destination can't be beat.
You've recently moved to Singapore, what drew you there, and what do you love most about the city?
I moved to Singapore for love. My fiancé lives here and we had to make a choice, whether to live in the UK or Singapore. And right now, Singapore is a better option. The mood here is so much more upbeat, the economy is doing well and it's a great place to base yourself if you're a travel journalist. Plus, I have lots of family here, and I'm much closer to my mum, who lives in Australia.What’s your ideal vacation?
I do love to do something active on holiday like scuba diving or mountain biking. But there's also a lot to be said for lazing by the pool or on a beach with a good book. So my ideal holiday would be a combination of both.
Do you feel travel has lost some of its glamor with the heightened security controls or is it a non-issue for you?
Perhaps. But if added security checks and the rise of low cost airlines means safer skies and more people can travel, then who are we to argue?
What's the best hotel on the planet, in your opinion - and why?
Number one on my list right now would have to be Trisara. It's a villa-only resort in Phuket - every room has its own private plunge pool over-looking the ocean. And it's also where I'm getting married at the end of the year, so I'm a little biased.
What's the best airline on the planet, in your opinion and why?
In terms of service, it's got to be Singapore Airlines hands down. Although I think their frequent flyer program isn't very flexible or generous. Virgin Atlantic has one of the best frequent flyer programs around.
What's the most important aspect of a hotel stay to you and why? Service?
It's definitely got to be service. I cannot stand bad service, it can make or break a holiday and your overall impression of a destination.
What's your biggest guilty pleasure when traveling or on the road?
I do quite like to treat myself to a full body massage and/or a pedicure while I'm away. After all, I feel I've earned it after a shoot.
What's the best travel tip you like to generally give to friends and family?
Don't be afraid to ask - whether it be for directions, travel recommendations, a better room, an airport pick-up or even an upgrade. What's the worst that can happen? If you don't ask, you don't get.
Follow Carmen and her travels on Twitter at @carmenlroberts