Billionaire Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson talks about his travels, from his love of a hotel club sandwich to his hatred of ‘lukewarm cruise food from a buffet’
- Branson reveals he needs ‘adventure and exercise’ whenever he’s on holiday
- Elsewhere in our travel Q and A, he reflects on his worst holiday of all time
- READ MORE: A trip to France and back with the UK’s ‘best’ airline and the ‘worst’
This week, billionaire Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson checks in to our travel Q and A.
He describes his idea of a hellish cruise holiday, reflects on his earliest travel memory and reveals his go-to room service order.
What sort of holidayer are you?
I can’t sit still for long so forget sun-loungers. I need adventure and exercise. Give me a game of tennis to start the day, followed by a kite-surf, then a mountain bike ride, and I’m happy.
What can’t you travel without?
My assistant, Helen. She travels everywhere with me and is always one step ahead. She always brings warmth and good humour and keeps me going if I’m feeling homesick.
Richard Branson checks in to our travel Q&A, revealing that his most recent trip was to Lapland for a charity event
Ideal travel companion?
My wife Joan — although she doesn’t travel much these days. We met in 1976 and she is still my rock. She’s calm and always calls me out when she thinks I’m wrong, which keeps me grounded.
Earliest travel memory?
Chilly but fun days on the beaches of Salcombe, Devon, when I was seven. Lovely memories of rock-pooling, catching sand eels, and an aunt betting me ten shillings I could not learn to swim by the end of the two weeks. Despite the sea being cold and choppy, I did it and won.
Your last trip was where?
Lapland. We did our latest Strive Challenge to raise money for Big Change — [his children] Holly and Sam’s education charity. It was 170 km (106 miles) above the Arctic Circle with minus 30c (minus 22f) temperatures and waist-deep snow. We snow-biked, ice-dipped and ran half-marathons across frozen rivers. It was truly fantastic. [At the weekend I was in] Edinburgh for the launch party of the new Virgin Hotel. I love straight-talking Scots — it’s why I married one. Joan is from Glasgow.
Your go-to room service order?
Something simple, such as a club sandwich or a Caesar salad. The benchmark of a good hotel is how they do the favourite basics. If those are done beautifully, I’m confident everything else will run smoothly.
The unforgettable holiday romance?
Taking Joan to view Necker when I heard an island was for sale. The estate agent had offered me an all-expenses paid trip to see it. I was smitten — both with my new love and the island. The price was $6 million (£3.2 million), so I politely declined. A year later, in 1979, no one had made any offers, so I bought Necker for $180,000 (£87,000). Now we have our beautiful home there.
Richard Branson has his own home on Necker, above, which he reveals he bought for £87,000
Your idea of holiday hell?
A cruise where I have to be suited and booted for dinner, only to be served lukewarm food from a buffet. That’s why we launched Virgin Voyages — to change the old ideas of cruising.
Your worst holiday?
Skiing in Verbier, Switzerland, over New Year in 2011 when a teenager crashed into me at top speed and ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). A scary and painful moment. I had a knee op the next day when a new ACL was screwed in. It has healed.
- Download the Virgin Red app today to unlock extraordinary rewards. Visit virgin.com/virgin-red.
Source: Read Full Article
What is skiplagging? Travel hack that has seen airlines cracking down | The Sun
I'm a money saving expert – here's why you should book your package holiday at the last minute | The Sun
Inside the deserted ghost town in the UK which was abandoned 90 years ago | The Sun
I'm a chef and you've been making quiche all wrong! Here's why…
You can fly to Iceland’s hot springs for less than a day at a UK spa – here's how | The Sun
The UK beach that's been compared to the Maldives – it has sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters | The Sun
The untold story of the Flying Scotsman's tour of America in 1970
Flight attendant warns passengers to 'never wear shorts' in plane