Ramblin' Man

What's your definition of a successful trip? Is it the exotic food? A clean, inexpensive hotel? The quick and easy flight? For Peter Greenberg, a successful trip is one in which the abuses are minimized. "From gridlock at the airport to a hotel room shower with lousy water pressure, travel can be an absolute headache." Yet we do it again and again - though we swear up and down never again - and so does he. "I started traveling at six months old when my parents took me on a very long DC-6 flight from New York to Los Angeles." He's been globetrotting ever since, and getting better at it all the time.

As travel editor for NBC's Today show, Greenberg is an expert on limiting the many negatives of travel while maximizing the positives. Spend an hour with him (bring a pen and paper), and you'll become a regular road warrior, too.

"Let's say you've got an early morning flight out of LAX. It's inevitable that you're going to spend a huge chunk of time sitting in traffic at the airport." So what do you do, leave the house before the sun comes up? Nah. "Simply have the car drop you off at "arrivals" instead of "departures," which is relatively empty in the morning, and walk an extra five minutes through the airport." Sneaky, yes, but perfectly legit.

Greenberg is also good for things like: how to score first-class tickets at close to coach prices. Or better yet, which seats in coach are as good as those in first class. He knows from experience, sure, but he's also talked to dozens and dozens of folks who can really set the record straight - pilots and flight attendants. Among his most recent find: The airlines have not been stocking the planes with enough bottled water. Therefore, "The flight attendants are being forced to refill the bottles with water from the plane's holding tank." They call it "Tapian" instead of Evian, he says. "I call it BYOB."

Just a taste of what makes a date with Greenberg a real trip.