Doug Parker is the host and producer of two travel-themed shows — Cruise Radio and the Weekend Travel Show. Both shows are radio-style podcasts that offer unique travel industry insights and interactive listener Q&As. And that’s how I met Parker. He asked me to be a guest on his show years ago and then kept inviting me back. Like all of the travel experts featured in this series, Parker is constantly on the go, zipping between cruises, tapings in his Jacksonville, Fla., studio, and promoting the show. He’s made a name for himself one of the pioneers in travel podcasting and a respected resource for vacation consumers and travel agents.
What makes him the world’s smartest traveler? Parker manages to combine solid travel advice with technology, and not just in the mixing booth. He regularly features apps, programs and sites that can help you have a better trip. And that’s his advice for smart travelers: find a good app to take on your next vacation. “Download a travel, destination and airport guide,” he says. His favorite is Fodor’s Rome City Guides. “When I first went to Rome a few years ago I had a bulky guide book but felt like I had an X on my back with pickpockets, especially around Trevi Fountain. After that experience, I went digital,” says Parker. If you’re already on your trip, it’s not too late. “Most guides these days can be downloaded on to your device and a data connection isn’t required for the basic functions,” he says. “While physical guidebooks are still helpful, going digital you have the ability to bookmark locations to use offline and look less like a tourist.”
The World’s Smartest Traveler is a weekly series about the visionaries who inspire us to travel smarter. Its curator, Christopher Elliott, is the author of the upcoming book, How to Be The World’s Smartest Traveler (National Geographic Books).