I am the jauntsetter of the week! That means I got share some of my favorite travel tales so read them below or on jauntsetter.com, one of my favorite travel sites!
Designer of Samantha Pleet
Dream getaway: A year-long trip around the world.
Last trip you really loved: My visit to Buenos Aires and Uruguay last August - I went with my whole family. We all try to go away together once a year and it always turns out to be an amazing vacation.
Advice for the solo traveler: You could fall in love. For example, my parents met on a plane. My grandfather's advice to my dad was, "Make sure you sit next to the most beautiful girl on the plane." There were no assigned seats back then, but even today, you can always ask someone to move. You could also use this tip on the train, too.
Favorite in-city escape: Last weekend, I visited the Rockaways in Queens, where I went to the beach. I had the best taco ever at Rockaway Taco. That alone was worth the trip. There's also a farm stand and a cute surf shop with swimsuits and friendship bracelets. I also recommend going to Red Hook for a walk through the Liberty Sunset Garden Center, followed by a snack at Red Hook Lobster Pound or Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies. You can also go grocery shopping at Fairway, so it's like taking a vacation and doing errands in one trip.
Best group vacation: Paris, where I was showing my collection during fashion week last year. I went with two friends, Kat and Jacqueline. The three of us shared a tiny room at the Hotel Amour in Pigalle and stayed up every night eating treats from the nearby Rose Bakery* and making up songs. It was an epic traveling slumber party!
Ideal solo getaway: London. I spent a 6 months there a few years ago and was alone most of the time. There was so much to see and do, and it was easy to travel all around Europe from there.
Clothing you can't live without on a trip: A comfortable but chic pair of shoes, and a bathing suit - you never know...
Worst travel experience: Last February, I got stuck in Florida during the blizzard; my flight was canceled and we had bad prospects for getting back. I decided to fly to Baltimore and then took a train to New York. I just barely made it before the end of our dear friends' engagement party and I showed up with all my luggage, and wearing beach clothes!
Travel pet peeves: Unexpected closing hours of museums, stores, and institutions, especially in Europe.
Travel quirks: I pat the plane! My father was on a plane that was hijaked to Cuba in the '60s, and after that he invented a special plane pat for good luck. Since I grew up with this quirk, I do it too. It's very specific: when boarding is called, you must transfer your bags to your left hand, start down the corridor with your left foot, and upon entering the plane you must close your left eye and, with your right eye, look all the way down the plane as far as you can see while you pat the plane door, and you must say "Good Plane." I always get a friendly but concerned look from the stewardesses.
Most interesting thing you've eaten while traveling: We had dinner at our inn in Aeroskobing - a small Danish island - where a frau served us an Egg Cake; it was basically a baked egg dish piled two feet high with fried pig skin.
Unusual souvenier: A real viking drinking horn from Sweden.
Favorite short jaunt: If you travel about an hour and 45 minutes southwest of New York, you will find yourself around Lambertville, NJ/New Hope, PA. It's a really neat area with cute, quirky shops and activities, such as river tubing, or biking along the Delaware River, and vintage or antique shopping. On Sundays, we go to the Golden Nugget antique market in Lambertville, NJ and have lunch at a cute cafe called Lovin' Oven in Frenchtown, NJ, where the food is from local farms. I usually go here on my way to or from Philadelphia, where I grew up. If you go to Philadelphia, you must check out Village Whiskey for drinks and snacks.
Recommended road read: I like short stories for traveling - I recommend the fairy tales of Herman Hesse, ok...and the Dan Brown book you buy at the airport.
Favorite longer vacation: Several years ago, I went to Scandinavia for a month, including Stockholm (our home base); Copenhagen; Bergen, Norway; and the magical islands of Aeroskobing and Gothland. My favorite part was when we were on the boat over to Gothland and everyone started changing into Medieval clothing. We had no idea what was going on! When we got to the island, it was as though we had gone back in time. When we got to the island it turned out it was a "Medieval Week"... we met some fun characters.
Ever done a vacation swap? When I was 14, my family swapped houses with another family who lived in the Alps in France. It was great - they had a party for us when we arrived in the town and I made lots of cool French friends who taught me how to smoke a cigarette, and I translated the lyrics of Nirvana for them - what a swap.
Best hotel: The coolest hotel is The Hotel Fox in Copenhagen, the most indulgent hotel is the Four Seasons Uruguay.
Any tip for improving our flying experiences? Always bring bread and cheese for the journey!
*Editors' Note: We love Rose Bakery, too! Don't miss out on their scones. Hotel Amour is also good for a pre or post-dinner drink.