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‘Life is more fun with a dog’ and other travel truths from Elizabeth Warren

We caught up with the Massachusetts senator to talk about all things travel.

Senator Elizabeth Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, in New Mexico.

While California is her go-to travel destination — since that is where her three grandchildren live – Senator Elizabeth Warren joked during a recent phone call from Washington, D.C., that the extent of her travel these days is “on and off the floor of the Senate.” Warren, 73, a former law school professor who has represented Massachusetts as a US senator since 2013, said she is looking forward to visiting family in Los Angeles over the holidays. The Oklahoma native and mother of two said her wish for everyone this season is “to be with the people they love. That’s the best way to celebrate any holiday.” We caught up with the lawmaker, who lives in Cambridge with her husband, Bruce Mann, and their dog, Bailey, to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? California. Bruce and I take every chance we get to visit our three grandchildren on the West Coast. If we just have a weekend, we love getting out to the Berkshires. Our Berkshires weekends always include a stop at Jacob’s Pillow.


Favorite food or drink while vacationing? Boba tea. I had it with my granddaughter for the first time and now I love it when I’m on the road.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Joshua Tree [National Park in Southern California]. It’s magnificent and I’m concerned that with climate change it is under terrible threat. I want to see it and keep fighting for it.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? My ear buds. I love listening to audiobooks when I get out and walk. I just finished “The Great Alone” (a historical fiction novel by Kristin Hannah) about Alaska. It’s just fabulous and made me want to go there. And just before that, “Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives” [by Michael Heller and James Salzman], which is about property law but is surprisingly entertaining.


Aisle or window? Aisle. I always work on the plane — easier to pull out your laptop when you have space on one side.

Favorite childhood travel memory? One of my favorite memories was a family reunion down in Austin, Texas, at my Aunt Alice and Uncle Claude’s house. It was especially sweet to spend time with their three girls because I didn’t have a sister. We went swimming in the ice-cold water of Barton Springs, stayed up late, and put on talent shows in the backyard.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? Hand lotion and lip gloss. Partway through a long flight, it’s like a mini spa day, but in the middle seat of row 28.

Best travel tip? Always bring snacks. I learned this from long days on the road. My go-to is belVita cookies. They have two advantages: They work for car sickness and they really stave off hunger. Have a couple of belVitas and you’re good to go for another couple of hours. Also, bring the dog when you can. Life is more fun with a dog.