Paul Durrant is a volunteer at the New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland.

What was your greatest holiday?

They are all great at the time, but one that instantly comes to mind was in 1977 when I spent three months in Long Beach at the Douglas DC10 manufacturing facility in LAX with my family. I was there as Air New Zealand's technical representative but as all my co-workers called it a "holiday" who am I to argue.

If we bumped into you on holiday what would you be doing? Depends - if we were at a seaside location I would be at the beach swimming, diving or sailing if possible. If in a city environment then museums, places of historical interest and trying the local cuisine would be on the list. Last trip to Vietnam and Cambodia we did a tour in Saigon on the back of motorcycles for the afternoon, stopping at five different ethnic eating places sampling a variety of foods. All were tasty, other than the eggs with a half-formed chicken inside. Gave this dish a big miss.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling? Hire someone who doesn't know what they are doing. From our hotel to Madrid Airport for flight back to London. Our driver got lost going to the airport, and finally dropped us at arrivals instead of departures. We had to run the wrong way up an escalator and only just made our check in before the flight closed.


Aisle seat or window seat? Always an aisle seat if possible. Hate crawling over others to stretch legs or go to the toilet. Anyway, what can you see out of the window at 36,000 feet?

I can't travel without... Plenty of time to make connections at the end of sectors. LAX would be the worst I have experienced. Their Customs people are the slowest I have ever encountered. If possible, I try to avoid any American transit stopovers when travelling.

What's the best travel tip you've ever been given? For longhaul go Business Class. You will arrive at your destination fresh and ready to take on the day, but a waste of money on a shorthaul sector.

What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling? Cappadocia in Turkey. Local cuisine served in sealed clay pots. These were broken open at the table and the contents then served with local herbs and spices. Really yummy.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip? Untold Star Wars stuff and a BMX "Huffy" bike with alloy wheels for my young son. At that time neither this type of bike or the Star Wars bits and pieces were available in New Zealand. He was an instant hit with his mates.

What's the next trip you've got planned? We are off to cycle around Lake Constance. We then head for a small ship cruise for eight days along the coast of Croatia from Split to Dubrovnik with another couple. My wife chose this as we are in a different port every evening and she can get off the ship for dinner somewhere ashore.