Billy Gilman had his first hit single, “One Voice,” when he was just 12 years old. The country crooner — who was included in the “Guinness Book of World Records” for being the youngest singer to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart (his first album went double platinum) — is now 31 and has released five albums. He was the runner-up on Season 11 of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2016 and has been touring steadily since — as well as raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, of which he was the national youth chairman for many years. The Rhode Island native, who lives with his boyfriend, Christopher Meyer, an information technology specialist, in Providence and in Burbank, Calif., is preparing to perform some shows in New England, including a Christmas performance — “Home for the Holidays” — at Providence’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium Dec. 15. “It’s not just going to be ‘Jingle Bells,’ ” said the Grammy nominee in a recent phone interview. “It’s going to be a great, great night with so many mind-blowing, amazing musicians. It will be a night of song and good tears, so come on out.” We caught up with Gilman, who is also performing at City Winery in Boston on Jan. 24, to talk about all things travel.
Favorite vacation destination? Oh that is way too tough. I love the Caribbean, but I loved Paris and Europe. I think my fave might be Disney. I’m a Disney-aholic. Judge all you want (laughs).
Favorite food or drink while vacationing? I tend to favor a martini. For food, it depends where I am. I love Epcot because when you venture “around the world,” the food really is delicious and true to the land you’re in.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Hands down Italy. Florence, Amalfi Coast . . . it looks unreal.
One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? My Ugg slippers – totally dumb, but total comfort.
Aisle or window? Aisle, for the most obvious reasons.
Favorite childhood travel memory? My family traveled quite a bit when I was growing up. I loved going to our family home in Maine [on] Belgrade Lakes, where they’ve shot many movies, like “On Golden Pond.” I remember the doors to the house all being open and a storm would come. …The sound of the rain is something I’ll never forget.
Guilty pleasure when traveling? First class. Oh yeah, and a martini.
Best travel tip? For someone like me who travels all the time – mostly for concerts – it’s awesome to have a mate, or friend, or family member who travels well with you. I’ve seen some meltdowns whilst traveling and it’s nice to have a great group. Makes all the difference.