Paul McKenna talks about his travels and leaving a bag in his will to Simon Cowell

Hypnotist Paul McKenna reveals how he’s left his favourite travel bag in his will to Simon Cowell and recalls the time he forgot his underpants on a work trip to New York

Paul McKenna checks into our travel Q&A

This week hypnotist and author Paul McKenna checks into our travel Q&A.

He talks about his favourite hotel, his essential travel item, helping people on flights – and more.

Earliest travel memory? 

I was four. We were flying to Majorca or Menorca and I recall the engines’ roar. It was an extraordinary experience as the plane raced down the runway and the sun glinted off the wings. I got goosebumps. 

Have you helped people on flights? 

A few years ago I was reading about a technique where you tap the body to take away fear or trauma. The person travelling with me said: ‘Ooh I’m dying for chocolate’. So I said how much on a scale of one to ten and she said ten. She tried the tapping and then had no desire at all. 

Why are some people afraid of flying? 

People run these horror movies in their heads, so are terrified by the time they fly. They have imagined all sorts of disasters, none of which is likely to occur. I think about sitting back and relaxing. 

Travel essential? 

A brown leather doctor’s bag from Ghurka. They used to have a shop on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Many people have coveted this bag, including my friend Simon Cowell, so I’ve left it to him in my will. 

Favourite hotel? 

La Réserve de Beaulieu in the South of France. It’s small, beautiful and old-school. In every room there is a picture of a famous former guest — Walt Disney, Paul McCartney. 

Ever forgotten something? 

Paul once went to New York for a seminar and realised he'd packed no underpants

Paul once went to New York for a seminar and realised he’d packed no underpants

I went to New York for a seminar and had packed no underpants. Usually, at any decent hotel, you can get a razor or toothbrush but underpants were a challenge. 

How have your holidays changed? 

Once I would take work with me. There’s a Japanese word karoshi, which means working yourself to death. Some people get addicted to it and I certainly was — the stress, that whole busyholism. Now I work hard at relaxing when I go somewhere. I bring some books. I meditate. 

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife Kate. If she’s with me, the world’s a better place. 

Favourite restaurant? 

The White Rabbit in Moscow. It has traditional Russian food — fish, meat and the caviar is rather good. Moscow is very well-lit at night and from there you see a mix of old buildings and Cold War-era skyscrapers.  

Dream destination? 

Majorca is Paul's dream destination. He says he likes the way it is 'understated and quiet'

Majorca is Paul’s dream destination. He says he likes the way it is ‘understated and quiet’

Majorca, which is understated and quiet. 

Favourite part of the UK? 

London. It’s so diverse, with its extraordinary art and culture and amazing restaurants. 

Is travel even more important now? 

Even though we’ve been in lockdown, you can’t lock down the human imagination. It’s important to have things to look forward to. 

  •   Paul McKenna’s Positivity Podcast is available now.