McCool Travel Tips: 5 Minutes With Marianne Schwab

For the 16th McCool Tavel interview, I am honored to present Marianne Schwab. For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer Marianne Schwab has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs and also as a road warrior of business travel. In addition to traveling around the world, she has flown all over the country to produce and direct video shoots and live television productions. She has produced on location from the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale to Caesar’s Palace on the Las Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu.
For a longer bio and more information about Marianne, please visit her website.

McCool Travel interview with Marianne Schwab
Marianne Schwab in Venice

Always in my luggage…

Digital Camera, Netbook, Oscillococcinum, Vitamin C (30 1000mg tablets), Clorox Wipes, and lots of ziplock plastic bags.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…
New York City, San Francisco, and San Diego.
A favorite travel memory is…
My family took our first really big vacation (like where you get on a plane) when I was seven. I’ll never forget my first time on a plane (back in the “golden age of travel”). We flew American Airlines, we got dressed up, and coach felt like first class, at least for a kid. My parents took us to Disneyland (along with other Southern California attractions) and it was magical. I fell in love with California and that vacation is why I wanted to move to L.A. as an adult. I’m now living my childhood dream and it started with a vacation.
3 favorite travel brands…
Southwest Airlines, Hilton Brand Hotels, Alamo.
3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…
First, I travel in the off-season. You get the best travel deals and there are no crowds and that means shorter lines at theme parks, museums and historical sites as well. For example, some people wait up to five or six hours in line to see the crowned jewels and I’ve never waited more than five or six minutes.
Second, I am a member of American Express Rewards. I leverage every dollar I spend since I’m going to spend money on certain things anyway. Because of this, I’ve taken amazing vacations and/or upgraded my trip with the Amex Rewards program including flying first class to China for $99.
Third, I have a DreamTrips Membership through World Ventures (this is a discount travel club that has saved me thousands of dollars on 5-star trips at 2-star prices) I get lots of great travel deals through them including a 10-day Western Caribbean Balcony Stateroom Cruise for $535 per person including port fees & taxes.
3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…
Dining on fine local cuisine, wine tasting and discovering the local wines of places I visit, and taking a 30-minute power walk every morning in the neighborhood where I’m staying—from Venice, Italy to Scottsdale, Arizona—I have such wonderful memories of my morning walks in every city I visit.
8 word (or less) travel mantra…
It is what it is.” Great for dealing with everything from travel delays to bad weather.
My favorite non-travel website…
Maybe this is cliché, but it’s a toss up between Facebook and Twitter. I love connecting with friends, family and colleagues and these websites are so much fun and make it so easy to stay in touch.
Most memorable souvenir…
The best souvenirs are always the photos I take on my trips, but I also collect art from around the world and love paintings by local artists I’ve picked up in China and Santa Fe. Each time I look at them, I’m transported back to a wonderful travel memory.
Favorite cheap eat…
Chocolate crepes made with Nutella in France or Italy and New York Pizza at any pizza joint in NYC.

McCool Travel interview with Marianne Schwab
Marianne Schwab—JumboTron Times Square

Recent discovery…
The American Express Platinum Card. So many great upgrades and benefits including access to airline clubs (without buying a first class or business class ticket), luggage fee reimbursement up to $200, emergency medical evacuation, and lots of other great perks. Totally worth the fee if you’re a frequent traveler.
I am fortunate to have met …
I’ve met and interviewed tons of celebrities in my career, but I’ve always been a big Billy Joel fan and I met him at a sushi bar on Columbus Avenue many years ago when I was living in New York City. He was extremely nice and polite and I think he’s one of the most talented singer/songwriter/musicians ever.
I would like to meet …
Anyone in the British Royal Family not less than the fifth in line to the throne (but Prince William would be my first pick.)
Thank you, Marianne, for sharing your thoughts with McCool Travel and may you have countless more memorable travel adventures!
Join Marianne on Twitter (@TravelProducer) and Facebook.
Previous 5 Minutes With post: Samantha Brown.


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