The World According to Father Christmas

Back from his busiest night of the year, the world's most famous philanthropist gives us the scoop on his world of travel

4 mins

Mountain/desert/jungle/ocean which are you?

Can I say snow?

First travel experience?

A big round-the-world trip, just after I finished school.

Favourite journey?

The flight from Pago Pago to home. I know I can put my feet up for another year.

Top places worldwide?

North Pole; South Pole.

Special place to stay?

Antarctica. It reminds me a lot of home.

Three items you always pack?

Thermal underwear; a Tom Tom; and a case of Red Bull to get me through the night.

Passport stamp you're proudest of?

I don't actually have a passport. Border guards tend to just wave me through.

Passport stamp you'd most like to have?

All of them.

Guilty travel pleasure?

Eggnog latte from Starbucks.

Window or aisle?

Neither. There's only one seat in the sleigh, baby, and it's mine.

Who is your ideal travelling companion?

Rudolph when it's foggy. Mrs Claus when it's not.

Best meal on the road? Worst?

Jamie Oliver always leaves out a good spread when I call by on Christmas Eve.

Worst? A pie left out by a kid in Wigan last year. He thought the mince in mince pies was meant to be meat.

Most surprising place? Most disappointing?

I don't really stay long enough anywhere to be surprised or disappointed.

Where do you NOT want to go?

Anywhere too hot. I haven't really got the wardrobe for it. And besides, I burn easily.

Who/what inspired you to travel? Any travel heroes?

My dad  – he didn't so much inspire me to travel as tell me too. Family business and all that.

What do you listen to on the road? Any song take you back to a particular time or place?

Now That's What I Call Xmas. Mary won't let me play it at home.

I've also got a soft spot for I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus. Reminds me of travelling before I got married.

What do you read?

Lists... At least twice.

Is there a person you met while travelling who reaffirmed your faith in humanity?

I don't actually meet people when I go travelling. That's kind of the point. But I am touched by all the little snacks and drinks left out for me. Especially if it's single malt.

Lose it? That parking officer in Westminster who gave the sleigh a ticket last year tried my patience. I was parked in a loading zone, for goodness sake!

What's the most impressive/useful phrase you know in a foreign language?

Ho ho ho. It's pretty much universal.

What is your worst habit as a traveller?

I always eat and drink waaay too much when I'm on the road.

Snowbound in a tent in Antarctica, how would you entertain your companions?

Listing all the times they've been naughty or nice.

When and where in your travels have you been happiest?

When I cross the International Date Line. I know it's time to go home to a warm bath.

What smell most says 'travel' to you?

Reindeer poo.

Given a choice, which era would you travel in?

The Middle Ages. There were less kids.


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