A good pair of headphones, the luxury of not being a seat number, and cursed business trips – we talk travel with Theo Priestley, Software AG’s chief technology evangelist and VP for marketing & social media.
TSB: How often do you go on business trips, and where do you travel to most often?
TP: I’m constantly on the road, as Software AG’s evangelist it’s part of my role to be as visible across the globe as possible. I’ve been to our US and German offices a fair bit but I’ve been as far afield as Sydney and Cape Town recently.
TSB: Do you make use of any apps while travelling?
TP: All the time. I’m constantly using Twitter and LinkedIn apps for example, checking into places with Foursquare and Swarm, I take notes via the iPhone app when I’m on the move and I’m tracking my movements and what I eat using the Jawbone UP app too.
TSB: According to you, which airline is the best and why?
TP: To me, the best airline is the one that provides an individual experience for every traveller every time they fly, not just treat you as a seat number. Consistently I use British Airways and Virgin, and I make use of their reward programmes a lot and that provides a lot of value.
TSB: Do you have any tips on how to survive those long-haul flights overseas?
TP: Pack a Kindle, an iPad with films, and slouchy clothes. Nobody cares if you look glam on a long haul flight. Drink plenty of bottled water, and try a sleep pattern in such a way that it won’t upset your system if you’re flying into a completely different time zone, that’s what will wipe you out the most.
TSB: Are there any special hotels you can recommend?
TP: Again, it’s much like the airline experience, you can have favourite hotel chains purely because you want to take advantage of their reward offers but I like to explore and experience difference places. As a Scotsman, if anyone is ever traveling to Scotland I can highly recommend the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews for that special treat.
TSB: Passport and airplane tickets excluded, what are the items that you do not travel without?
TP: My iPhone and a pair of good headphones, a book, and a change of clothes. You never, ever want to be in the situation of losing your luggage.
TSB: Do you have a travel horror story you won’t mind sharing?
TP: I flew to Sydney once via a two day stop at the office in Dubai. My luggage when to Sydney and I was left with nothing, so I had to go to one of the biggest shopping malls to buy some basics while my bag was being located and returned. It took three hours just to walk around the mall to get my bearings. I wasn’t reunited with my luggage until I landed in Sydney and I was only staying there for a couple of days. On the return home, Heathrow air-traffic control went down so I couldn’t catch my final flight to Edinburgh. I had to take a four hour train ride in the end on top of the 24-hour flight I’d just endured. That whole trip was cursed!
TSB: Is there an interesting place/shop/museum/restaurant that you've found that you just have to visit on your travels?
TP: Café de Klos in Amsterdam. It has the best steaks I’ve ever tasted. And the banter from the bar staff is second to none. If you’re ever there, ask for Mark!