Wendy Perrin likes to beat the system, find the best travel deals and share all of her insider secrets with her readers. I recently caught up with Conde Nast Traveler’s Consumer News Editor while she was on vacation with her husband and two young boys. The Perrin gang, along with CNT writer Brook Wilkinson and her boyfriend, were visiting San Francisco’s Exploratorium by the Palace of Fine Arts.
What is the job of a consumer news editor?
WP: I’m not sure what other people do at their job, but at CNT I’m in charge of giving consumers advice on how to beat the system. I write an advice column, The Perrin Report and my blog The Perrin Post in addition to my other writing responsibilities.
If you didn’t have this job, what would you like to do?
WP: That’s a very good question. I’ve been with CNT for 19 years and this is a great job. If I didn’t have this job, I’d probably work for a school. Education matters a lot to me.
What’s your “must have” travel gadget?
Brook Wilkinson: I’d have to say my digital camera.
Place you want to go when you are NOT on assignment?
WP: My husband’s family is from Northern California, so we come here every summer.
Brook Wilkinson: New Zealand is my favorite place in the world. Growing up in my family we didn’t tend to repeat places. I like visiting Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire to hang out.
Have you ever been Couch Surfing?
Brook Wilkinson: I have never been CouchSurfing, but I have stayed as a guest in someone’s home through a mutual contact. In 2001 I backpacked in China for a year and met Lucy from Beijing and stayed with her.
Brook, now that you live in San Francisco, where are your favorite places?
Do you prefer writing or blogging?
WP: My first commitment is writing for the magazine, but it is a time-consuming production process. I enjoy the e-mails from my readers. I have a very intelligent group of readers. When my articles are done, that’s when I make time for the blog. I usually write the blog at night. The blog is a way to interact with readers and I love the immediate feedback. It’s great because I get to meet people like you!