Marty Carr, 48, is CEO of the Carr Golf Group in Dublin. After university in San Francisco and five years working on Wall Street he returned to his native Ireland in 1990 to set up a company offering bespoke golf holidays to Ireland and Scotland. He is married with two girls aged 10 and 12 and lives in Booterstown, Dublin. The company’s website, Online Golf Travel (www.onlinegolftravel.com) allows golfers plan, price and book all elements of their trip.
Cheapflights: What do you do when you travel – any routine procedures?
Marty Carr: I always travel as light as possible – I never check bags. And I try always to fly at off-peak times.
CF: What is your travel pet peeve?
MC: I have security lines and the middle seat.
CF: What is your favourite kind of trip?
MC: I enjoy long -haul flights in Business Class, with lots of time to myself without email.
CF: Best destination you have ever been to and why?
MC: I travel to the US a lot and to some of the best golf resorts in the world and New York City is hard to beat. But I recently visited India and loved it. The people, the chaos, how it all works is fascinating.
CF: Where in the world offers the best value for money?
MC: America. I think that the value to be had in the US for golf and other trips is second to none. There is so much value and quality and if you shop around it is the best value destination, particularly if you go off season.
CF: Where would you pay to stay? Is there anywhere you think offers great value and a great deal?
MC: Portugal off season (between October and April) offers stunning value. Ireland offers incredible value again off season (again, October to April) with five-star hotels at three-star prices. Killarney in County Kerry offers an incredible Irish experience and the sightseeing, golf and other options are endless.
CF: What is the best airport you have flown from and is there a tip to make this airport experience great?
MC: The new Terminal at Dublin Airport (T2) is fantastic, particularly for transatlantic flights. You can now clear American immigration and customs at Dublin and so when you arrive in the US you arrive as a domestic passenger. It is one of the only airports in the world to offer this. It’s fantastic.
CF: When you fly is there a tip you can share to make the experience a great one?
MC: Travel Light. Take a Bose noise-reduction headset with your iPod – and don’t talk to the person sitting beside you!
CF: As a travel specialist what is the most important piece of travel advice you can give?
MC: Do the research, plan ahead and book early. Last-minute bookings and changes to itineraries can be very costly. There is so much value out there and so many great places to visit so do the research. If you are a discerning traveller use a specialist. Your holiday time is precious and therefore it needs to be on the money.
CF: At one point in your life, you will have to sit in the middle seat when you fly. If you have two people next to you, who do you most want to share a long haul with and whom would you least? And why?
MC: I would love to share a flight with Arnold Palmer. I played golf with him last summer and could not get enough of him. The person I would least like to sit beside would be someone who talks nonstop and is boring (hence the Bose headset).
CF: If there was one travel nightmare trip, where would it be to and what would it involve?
MC: Long-haul flights that go wrong and the delay goes on and on. What I do now is bail out immediately and come back the next day. Usually when it goes wrong, it goes terribly wrong.