Fred Finn, the World’s Most Travelled Man, visited the UK this week to give a warm and glowing endorsement to the British company that supplies his thermal clothing.
En route to a landmark 24 million kilometres, the energetic 71-year-old was in the country to meet online retailer Universal Textiles. He chatted about his travels and shared some of his favourite travelling tips, including how to keep warm in cold countries.
The Guinness World Record Holder, who has travelled more than 15 million miles, has worn ‘Floso’ thermals, socks, hats and gloves from Universal-Textiles.com on many of his travels.
Now a resident in Ukraine, he has tested the company’s products in some of the coldest places on the planet, including his hometown where winter temperatures often reach minus 20 degrees.
Fred’s love for Ukraine
In all the countries he has visited, Fred puts Ukraine, the cold but beautiful Eastern European country, in his top three, which was one reason he decided to move there in 2005, the other being falling in love with a Ukrainian woman, who is now his wife.
Talking passionately about the country, he said: “Kiev is the most beautiful city in the world, there are many beautiful cathedrals, the history is incredibly interesting, the women are stunning and the language is much softer than Russian.
“There is unbelievable food and a great family culture and atmosphere, and it is very safe.”
Fred loves the fact that the country’s food is almost all organic. It reminds him of his grandfather’s vegetable plot back in Kent, where he grew up.
Wrapped up warm
The winter in Ukraine can be bitter. In 2012, it was reported that there were over 100 deaths from a cold snap that saw temperatures plunge to -33C. Keeping warm is a priority – which is why Fred invests in the best quality thermal underwear, thermal gloves and socks.
He has been buying Floso thermal underwear from online retailer Universal Textiles for years. “They most definitely work and keep me very warm,” he says. “When it’s way below freezing, they’re the best thing since sliced bread.”
Fred’s all-time favourite destination is Kenya. He will be travelling there again in April 2013, his 601st flight to the continent.
He said: “Kenya has everything. It is the most amazing country. There are breathtaking mountains and wonderful lakes. The animals are fantastic.
“Personally, I think it has the three main things that make a good holiday; great food, a wonderful safari and the best climate. I would recommend that everyone visits Kenya once in their lifetime.”
During his travels, he has been on over 4,000 flights, so many he doesn’t know the exact figure. The piece of clothing he recommends as number one priority for flights and travel is a pair of comfortable long socks.
It was long socks that began his relationship with Universal Textiles. “I discovered them by accident when I was searching for long socks online. I used to buy socks from America but now I only come here. I wear their socks on all of my flights.”
Fred has travelled 718 times on Concorde and visited 70 per cent of the world’s countries. He is president of the Concorde fund, whose aim is to help return the iconic passenger jet to flight.
His love affair with Concorde started on May 25 1976 on the first eastbound crossing from Washington to London, and he is still passionate about it today.
Each time he flies he breaks his own world record, and has found himself on planes alongside celebrities, including Paul McCartney and Dolly Parton.
Fred’s Top Travel tips:
1. Pack clothes in plastic bags so they don’t crease.
2. Wrap all bottles in bubble wrap so they don’t smash.
3. Arrive early for your flight so you get the best seat selection and are not rushing around.
4. Make sure you are wearing shoes that come off easily for the security gates and know where all your metal items are.
5. When going on a long journey, turn the time on your watch to the time of the destination and eat and sleep at their time.
6. Take two yards of string in case your suitcase handle breaks.
For more on Fred's thermal clothing choice, go to www.universal-textiles.com/