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10 Minutes with India Hicks

10 Minutes with India Hicks

By Sarah Harrelson for Chase Sapphire Preferred®

India Hicks is always on the go. During any given month she boards a plane to New York, Miami or London from the secluded island in the Bahamas she calls home. This London-born style setter keeps busy with numerous projects, including a line for Crabtree & Evelyn, a jewelry line she launched last year, not to mention her continuous television commentary on all things royal. We caught up with Hicks while she was enjoying a brief stopover in Miami—just long enough for her to share some of her well-earned travel tips.

What is always in your travel bag?
The expensive vitamins I forget to take; red-eye reliever drops, because I am always on a redeye, with red eyes; makeup I don't really understand how to use; my four year old's hair clips and my 13 year old's fluorescent-green, Beats headphones that make me look ridiculous. And lurking at the bottom of the bag, you would find a muddle of mixed currencies.

What are your favorite American cities and why?
New York, L.A. and Miami for their energy and all those sensational white teeth. In England, we don't do white teeth. I also recently revisited Seattle and loved all the crunchy granola goodness there and the slightly slower pace.

Which hotels are on the top of your list right now?
Blakes in London, a grown-up retreat and perfect hideout. Particularly tempting is the acclaimed restaurant and bar, which serves a pomegranate-and-lime cocktail called Cardinal Habit.

What lessons have you learned from all of your travels?
At 18 I backpacked around the world. It was a wonderful alternate education. It opened my eyes to and made me more patient and understanding of other ways of life and other religions.

What is your favorite restaurant right now?
The Wolsely in London—old-fashioned charm with a dazzling crowd of clients. The cheese soufflé served in a micro cast-iron pan is quite memorable.

Tell us about some of your most adventurous travels.
I went to Munich to do bungee jumping before it was legal in England. I have tandem skydived in New Zealand. I have climbed into the Grand Canyon and slept in a cave filled with bats (I had waist-length hair and did not sleep a wink imagining the bats would start to nest in my locks). I have ridden camels in Egypt and bareback ponies in Cuba, but adventure can always be found closer to home in Harbour Island.

Since you are a mother, where is the best place to go with young kids?
I am bringing up five children. They range from 15 to four and are all pretty much terrors. The snow is a good place for them. Lots of skiing to tire them out.

Where do you think you can get the most value for your money?
The Hilton Hotel in St. Petersburg (Florida, not Russia). Their clean, comfortable rooms cost less than my teenager's baseball boots.

What is the most exotic locale you have ever been to?
The deep countryside of Burma, where they had never seen blonde hair before.

Where have you gone recently that you would like to return to?
If a few years ago counts as recent, then it would be the safari in Africa. There is nothing like a chilly African dawn on a deserted plain, watching hundreds of thousands of zebras feeding.

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