5 Minutes With Steven Grams

Steve Grams and I conjured up the concept of in-flight tailgating. Whenever I mention my idea of free-flowing mojito fountains in hotel lobbies, Steve Grams seems to be there to support it. No surprise that Steve Grams blogs about adult beverages but he is also an independent hotel promoter and travel writer. He recently contributed to the book, Dads Behaving Badly.
Steve recently shared these travel thoughts with me.

steven grams
Steven Grams

Steven Grams

Hometown
Omaha, NE via Madison, WI
Always in my luggage…
My MP3 player- it may be old and not have a half bitten apple out of it, but music enhances my travel and gets me fired up.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…

  • Summit County, CO- I hope to make this mountain paradise home someday (soon)
  • The Berner Oberland of Switzerland- I have traveled multiple times to this majestic Alpine region and make it a stop as often as possible
  • Wisconsin- The place where I grew up offers everything from fantastic craft beer, to hiking, biking, skating, and boating. It is under appreciated as a travel and foodie destination and we head back as much as possible.

A favorite travel memory is…
My first trip abroad. The sounds, sights, and smells of Prague were like any other I had ever experienced. I also put on extra memory stamp on this trip by asking my then girlfriend (now my wife of 10 years) to marry me in this magical place. I will never forget a moment of those 2 weeks.
3 favorite travel brands…

  • Osprey Backpacks– I have traveled exclusively with the same pack for 8 years and not had 1 thing rip tear or break on it. I’ve tossed it on planes, trains, and in hostel rooms and never had a problem. Not only that it’s as comfortable as it gets.
  • Rick Steves Guidebooks and products- From money belts to train bookings and schedules to the country guides Rick Steves website is wealth of travel information. Even if you don’t need anything from his store the brand and website have just a wealth of helpful information that have enhanced every one of our trips.
  • Swiss National Railways– an odd choice but I don’t have a favorite airline but I love the SBB. From on time everytime to clean comfortable trains to anywhere in Europe I wish I could ride the Swiss rails every day.

3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…

  • When possible we always try and bundle as many things as possible (air, hotel, rental car if necessary)
  • When traveling abroad we use credit card that has no fee for converting to USD
  • Always book air fare on Tuesday early AM when the airlines update their prices

3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…

  • relaxing. I am not at work and don’t need to see everything so I just relax and go with the flow. Much less stress
  • search for local brews. we tour breweries and brewpubs. meeting brewers and tasting their creations is as enjoyable as it gets
  • search out local music. outdoor music is one of our favorite things to find..so much fun to hear music you’ve never heard before in a new place

8 word (or less) travel mantra…
Humbly soaking up everything while I still can

favorite non-travel website (besides your own) …
thelocal.ch and all the affiliate local countries. News for specific European countries in English for a nerd who wants to see whats happening in his favorite places.

most memorable souvenir …
An amazing bottle of Peach Brandy in St Goar Germany…it was outstanding and I’ve wanted another bottle for the last 7 years.
favorite cheap eat …
Maoz Vegetarian– the greatest salad bar for your falafel sandwich on earth. Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, and now in the US as well.
recent discovery …
I didn’t discover it..but I had never been to Shoreditch East London until recently for a night out…I approve!
I am fortunate to have met:
My wife. Her unconditional love and opening of my eyes to international travel has changed me forever.
I would like to meet:
Rudy Maxa and Burt Wolf. 2 savvy travelers that I would love to pick the brains of.

Steven Grams
Steven Grams

Thank you, Steve. May you have countless more memorable travel adventures!
Follow Steven Grams on FacebookTwitter, and his blog (with Katherine Belarmino), Passports and Cocktails.
Check out McCool Travel’s previous profiles.
McCool 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: Megan Claire.


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