Louisa Gehring is the owner of Gehring Travel, an affiliate of Brownell Travel. A lifelong traveler, Louisa has been planning amazing journeys for her clients for years, from Vancouver to Wimbledon, Costa Rica to Barcelona, and Palm Spring to Mustique. We chatted with Louisa about her travel extravagance (business class and People Magazine), the next up-and-coming destination (think Caribbean!), and more.
1. What 5 things do you always have in your carry-on?
- Bose headphones
- iPad (loaded with episodes of my latest TV show – this summer it was Scandal)
- A pen (it FLOORS me how how ruthless things get on planes when the flight attendants hand out the customs forms and claim there are no extra pens on the plane!)
- Orbit gum
- A huge bottle of water (those puny plastic cups do nothing but make me realize how thirsty I actually am)
2. What was the best meal you’ve ever had while traveling?
The best meal I’ve ever had was outside of Beaune, France, in the Burgundy wine country. It wasn’t at a Michelin-starred restaurant, or even an actual restaurant – it was at a vineyard during a private wine tour with my husband. Our guide was like the rat from Ratatouille (his words, not mine). With each sip of wine he swelled with pride about how great it was or grimaced with its “immaturity.” He taught us how to properly taste the wine so that we could see how, with a bite of food, a symphony truly played in our mouths! The menu was local cheeses and breads, beef bourguignon, and a salad. Such a simple country meal came to life with the company of a French guide.
3. If you could leave today and go anywhere, where would you go?
I would take my daughters and husband to London. The girls are just old enough to really want to travel and are aware of what’s out there beyond beach vacations, but they aren’t quite old enough for some of the more intensive trips, like Africa or Australia.
4. What is your go-to getaway?
For a short getaway, I’m a big fan of the luxury Southern resorts – Palmetto Bluff, Sea Island, Blackberry Farm, The Greenbrier, and The Homestead. Really, anywhere where I can get cornbread and bacon. It’s worth identifying the luxury locations within a 5 hour drive of your home and pulling them out on those long weekends where you just want to shake things up!
5. What is your travel extravagance?
Shhh don’t tell my husband: Business Class tickets overseas. Once you go Business Class, you can’t go back! On a more reasonable note, I also splurge on the $3.99 People Magazines in the airport.
6. What’s the up-and-coming destination right now?
In the next five years, I predict St. Vincent and the Grenadines is going to really explode in the same way St. Lucia has recently. It is building a new huge airport that will be able to house flights from hubs such as JFK, CLT, and ATL, which will allow people to see this perfect part of the Caribbean, where the people are so warm and the water is so crystal clear.
7. What’s your travel motto?
“Remember what makes YOU happy, ANYWHERE in the world.”
I’ve seen too many trips go wrong because people are either making themselves miserable trying to make their travel companions happy, or are dragging a group to things that only they want to see. Traveling is fun, but it is tough. Remember what makes YOU happy, ANYWHERE in the World. For me, it’s getting time to go for a run by myself and having contact with my family. It’s having an iPad loaded with great songs, and it’s being able to be lost in a book. I find that I am more flexible and easygoing, and my mind is cleared to enjoy my new surroundings to the fullest