My Life In Travel: Alan Hansen

'I enjoy shopping in New York. We go as a family every December'


First holiday memory?

My family used to go to Ayr, in Scotland. We first went in 1958 when I was three and continued to holiday there for about 10 years. I loved it. There was a big house with a putting green at the front, and the first thing I did when I arrived was get on to it. My mum's still got pictures of me holding a putter that's about four times the size of me.

Best holiday?

Last year, my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and treated ourselves to a trip to Sandy Lane, in Barbados, with our two kids. We had a fabulous time.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I like London but I don't know if I could live there. Anywhere in the north of Scotland is exceptional. I like places for their beauty.

What have you learnt from your travels?

How important it is to be organised and to make sure that nothing is left to chance. You should check out the hotel you're going to be staying at and the arrangements for getting to the airport. The start of a holiday is vital.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife. We travel a lot together.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

My wife enjoys culture and I like the beach.

Greatest travel luxury?

I always forget to take a phone charger, which I suppose is more of a necessity than a luxury.

Holiday reading?

The last book I read was Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. I like thrillers because I need something that'll keep me engaged and that I won't want to put down.

Where has seduced you?

Bermuda. I went for my honeymoon and then again for my 40th birthday. When I first went there was hardly any traffic and we cycled a lot. These days, though, there's an unbelievable amount of traffic.

Better to travel or arrive?

It depends what you're doing. If you're going on holiday, it's great, but it's a different story if you're going somewhere you don't want to be. I fly a couple of times a week, mostly for work.

Worst travel experience?

I've been pretty fortunate. My worst experiences are always delays. I was stuck in a Romanian airport for eight hours when I was playing for Scotland in 1975. That wasn't great.

Worst holiday?

We made a mistake of going to an all-inclusive hotel in Antigua. If you go on that sort of holiday, it has to be a really good hotel. The beaches were great but the accommodation was fairly awful.

Worst hotel?

The hotel in Antigua.

Best hotel?

Sandy Lane, in Barbados. It's a fabulous hotel with an amazing beach and fantastic food.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

I don't swim, and I'm not great on horses, but I love the drive along the Pacific Coast in California; the scenery is great.

Best meal abroad?

At a restaurant called Vilamoura, in Camps Bay, South Africa; we went for Sunday lunch and it was fantastic. We had sensational seafood, which just kept coming, and a few bottles of wine, and the sun was shining.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Check out the hotel.

Dream trip?

To Pebble Beach, in California, which is a golf resort on the coast.

Favourite city?

New York. I just love it. We go as a family every December and although I hate shopping, for some reason I enjoy doing it there.

Where next?

To Pebble Beach!

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