Andy Jarosz is a freelance writer and the owner of 501 Places, a UK based travel blog. Having spent his early professional life as an optometrist Andy developed a taste for changing careers, spending varying times in technical management, business development and management consultancy before choosing the freelance route. He also writes manages the blogs and Twitter feeds for a number of his clients. An avid traveller, Andy has having visited over 70 countries and his wish list of places to visit continues to grow. You can follow Andy on Twitter.
What do you always do when you travel – any routine procedures?
Between home and the airport I’ll check that I’ve got my passport at least three times. If I’m driving I’ll get my wife to rummage through the bags to double check. It’s pretty much the only thing I’d feel lost without.
What is your travel pet peeve?
I can’t stand compulsive seat recliners on a plane. I’m 6ft 2in with long legs and I can just about fit into an airline seat without scrunching up my knees. If someone tries to steal any of my legroom I don’t take kindly to it.
What is your favourite kind of trip (preferences, romantic, city, beach etc)?
I get most excited when travelling to a part of the world that I know little about and have no fixed itinerary. I recently had this experience on a trip to Albania. The anticipation of not knowing what to expect is wonderful.
Best destination you have ever been to and why?
Tough question! If I have to pick one, I would pick the Scottish islands. I know, it’s not an exotic or glamorous answer but the islands have a magic of their own that you won’t find anywhere else.
Where in the world offers the best value for money?
Of the places I’ve visited I’d list Argentina, Cambodia and Albania as places where you can live well for very little (and all three are well worth visiting for different reasons).
Where would you pay to stay? Is there anywhere you think offers great value and a great deal?
For great value when visiting cities I like to stay in short term rental apartments. They offer privacy, I don’t pay for all the hotel services that we never end up using and they often give a tiny glimpse of life beyond the main tourist area.
What is the best airport you have flown from and is there a tip to make this airport experience great?
That’s an easy one – Barra in Scotland. It’s a beach, and the only airport in the world where scheduled flights land on the sand. The staff are lovely – it’s like being in a friendly café, then instead of leaving in your car you step outside and board the little plane. Surely that personal approach could be replicated in some way at the bigger airports?
When you fly, is there a tip you can share to make the experience a great one?
Fly in Club Class. It’s a totally different experience. I prefer to save money on hotels and splurge on the flight. I know it doesn’t make sense but it works for me.
If there was one travel nightmare trip, where would it be to and what would it involve?
I don’t think any destination would be a nightmare – there’s something to enjoy about every place. But the journey itself – a long flight next to a boring person who drones on about themselves for hours and doesn’t let you sleep. And