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I'm retired now,after spending a lot of time travelling on business (mainly Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, the Arab World, and occasonally to North America or elsewhere), as well as fitting in vacations whenever I could.
If it's long haul, I'm no longer prepared to travel in Economy. In a hotel, I look for a bed that's my size (I'm 6' 3"), clean sheets, warmth, a shower that works, and a good continental buffet breakfast.
Now that I have time to research places before I visit, I try to find the best restaurants near my hotel, preferably those within walking distance!
Favourite countries - Italy, Italy, and Italy - but I also rate highly France, Spain, Chile and Mexico. For a winter beach holiday, I have yet to find anywhere that compares with Barbados.