The VIP Lounge with Billy Costa

Bill Brett for The Boston Globe/file

Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson at the Castle at Park Plaza in 2015.

By Juliet Pennington Globe correspondent 

Billy Costa is a busy man: He is cohost of both “Dining Playbook” on NESN, and “Matty in the Morning” on KISS 108-FM, and hosts the weekly KISS Top-30 Countdown and WGBH’s “High School Quiz Show.” So when he has time to relax, Costa likes nothing more than spending time on his boat. “It’s as peaceful as it gets,” he said. “And I think I enjoy not knowing where I am going the next day.” Costa, 64, who has three adult sons, was born in Cambridge, raised his sons in Lynnfield, and now calls Pickering Wharf in Salem — where he moors his power boat — home. We caught up with the popular Boston TV and radio personality to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? Anywhere by boat. Boating is my biggest passion.


Favorite food or drink while vacationing? A good white wine. I also like almost all types of fish. I guess if I had to choose one it would be sea bass.

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Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? The Greek Islands or Portugal. I’m Portuguese, so one of my long-standing dreams is to take my three boys to Portugal.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? Swim goggles. I like to scuba dive and swim.

Aisle or window? Always window seat. If I feel like dozing, I just roll up my jacket to make a pillow and rest my head against the wall.

Favorite childhood travel memory? We never traveled. We were very poor. To us, traveling would be going to the beach in South Boston.


Guilty pleasure when traveling? Cosmos.

Best travel tip? Always get to airport two hours early. My kids hate it, but to me, there’s nothing worse than that feeling when you’re running through the terminal, not sure if you’re going to make your flight. I like to arrive early, relax, read the newspaper and have a cup of coffee.