5 Minutes With Veronica Stoddart

For McCool Travel’s 57th travel profile, I am honored and pleased to present Veronica Stoddart. Veronica is an award-winning travel journalist, speaker, and entrepreneur. That is one of her photos above. She has visited 100 countries and lived on three continents.
Veronica Stoddart’s bio:
“Veronica Stoddart has been a travel journalist and editor virtually all of her life, most recently as Editor in Chief of the Travel Media Group at USA TODAY. She has written for a variety of publications, including National Geographic Traveler, Caribbean Travel & Life (which she co-founded), ISLANDS, United’s HEMISPHERES, Boston Globe, Americas and many others. Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, she has visited 100 countries, reporting from many of them, and has also lived in Niger, where reported for Time-Life News Service and exported handicrafts. She keeps one bag permanently packed.”

Veronica Stoddart
Veronica Stoddart

Veronica Stoddart

Washington, D.C.
Always in my luggage…
Apart from must-have electronics, I always pack plastic bags in different sizes (for wet clothing, gift bottles, etc.); an all-purpose pashmina to serve as a wrap, scarf, pillow or blanket; and snacks for emergencies.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…
Italy, Italy, Italy. It has everything: scenery, art, architecture, culture, history, enviable lifestyle and food beyond compare. Not to mention the gorgeous hand-painted pottery.
A favorite travel memory is…
Hard to choose just one from hunting alligators in the Amazon to sleeping in a cave in Greece, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, learning to cook from a master chef in Tuscany, riding an elephant in Thailand (and a camel in Niger), partying with Fidel Castro, seeing Petra by candlelight, swimming with dolphins in New Zealand and crossing the Sahara by Land Rover.
3 favorite travel brands…

  1. TripAdvisor
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Weather.com

3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…

  1. Save on airfare with loyalty points (I don’t care about upgrades)
  2. Bargain wherever I can
  3. Skip the money changers and use an ATM

3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…

  1. Eating where the locals do. Food is one of the greatest entrees into a culture.
  2. Shopping for folk art and, if possible, meeting the artisans. I invariably find a collector’s item to bring home, which turns into a beautiful memory displayed in my house.
  3. People watching, preferably from an outdoor café.

8 word (or less) travel mantra…
“Plan, but stay open to serendipity.”
My favorite non-travel website…
New York Times
most memorable souvenir…
Too many to list since I’m a passionate collector of folk art from around the world.
favorite cheap eat…
Anything from the hawker markets in Singapore, which have the best cheap food in the world, but especially chilli crab, oyster omelette and laksa. I salivate just thinking of them.
recent discovery…
Iceland, a quirky place with show-stopping scenery
I am fortunate to have met…
Anthony Bourdain, Pico Iyer, Paul Theroux, Jan Morris, Peter Matthiessen, Julia Child, Andrew McCarthy. So lucky to have interviewed many of them.

Veronica Stoddart
Veronica Speaking at World Travel and Tourism Summit


Thank you very much, Veronica. Partying with Fidel Castro? Amazing!
Follow Veronica Stoddart on Twitter, LinkedIn, and VeronicaStoddart.com

Check out McCool Travel’s previous profilesMcCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons. Previous 5 Minutes post: Barbara Weibel.

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