The VIP Lounge: Taniya Nayak

THE BOSTON GLOBE – When she’s not pitching Ellen Degeneres’s ED line (for which she is the brand ambassador) on the QVC network, Taniya Nayak can be found on decorating programs on HGTV and Food Network, where she is currently the featured designer on “Restaurant Impossible.” A designer to the stars (she is currently working with Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron on his home being built in the Greater Boston area), Nayak, 43, was born in Nagpur, India, raised in South Weymouth, and currently resides in Milton with her husband, restaurateur Brian O’Donnell, and their 2-month-old English Bulldog, Flynn. We caught up with the in-demand designer, who will emcee this year’s culinary fund-raiser Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry (June 7 at Cruiseport Boston), to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation spot? So many, hard to pick one. I’ll go with Croatia for the win. Great food, great tourist sites, great beaches, great people. . . . [And] Antiqua (below) — supreme tranquility. I shut off from the world and enjoyed the turquoise waters, clean food, and quiet time with my hub.


Favorite food or drink while vacationing? Mexican and margaritas.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Dying to go to Vietnam,Thailand, and Africa. I love to explore and see different places and experience different cultures. Plus, I’m a foodie and love cuisine from these countries. I want the “real deal” culinary experience.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? I have a navy jersey knit wrap that is my go-to. It’s lightweight but keeps me warm on a chilly flight and looks good enough to wear out to dinner.

Aisle or window? Window, so I can catch some much needed zzz’s.

Favorite childhood travel memory? My mom would always pack Indian food — like chutney and cheese sandwiches or aloo paratha — for long road trips. My Indian peeps know what I’m talking about! It’s pretty universal with us all (laughs).

Guilty pleasure when traveling?Some good chocolate in my bag. Makes handling delays and layovers a lot easier. Even some not-so-good chocolate helps.

Best travel tip? Always keep your chargers, a toothbrush/paste, undies, and a small make-up kit in your carry-on just in case — total life savers when you get stuck overnight from cancellations and delays.