Five Miles Up with Phillip Phillips

In a show of thanks apropos for this time of year, Phillip Phillips is re-releasing his debut album, “The World from the Side of the Moon,” with three additional live tracks on November 19. The past year has given the 11th-season winner of “American Idol” a lot to be thankful for. Not only did “The World from the Side of the Moon” go platinum, but Phillips has been globetrotting with John Mayer on the Born and Raised Tour. A stop in Palmer, Alaska provided the Georgia native an opportunity to shoot the “Where We Came From” song video. “We were freezing our tails off,” he told FMU of the experience. “Between takes, we’d stop and take in the beauty and quiet of the landscape.” Does Phillips get to stop and smell the roses often? Nope. Apparently, even his zip-line tours occur during concerts.

What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
I always bring regular t-shirts, nothing fancy, just good ole worn out t-shirts.

Carry-on or check-in?
I’d rather carry on, but usually have to check in.

Window or aisle?
Aisle. I like spreading out, letting loose and not worrying about too much, like having to ask when I need to get up.

What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
It depends on the time of year. During the summer, I like being on an island or a beach, just relaxing with no phone calls or emails coming in. When I was growing up, my family always traveled to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge (both in Tennessee) in the winter, so I always like going up to the mountains and staying in a cabin with family and friends that time of year.

Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
About a month ago, I was in Brazil touring with John Mayer. It wasn’t really a vacation, but we treated it like one. It was so beautiful there, and the atmosphere was awesome.

Where’s your favorite destination for performing?
Rio. It was just amazing.

What’s the worst annoyance you’ve experienced while traveling?
We were in the Philippines and had to play one show during my birthday week. I was good all the way up to my birthday and then got sick.

What's the silliest souvenir you’ve ever brought back from a trip?

T-shirts from the places I travel. I wear them for years, even when they get holes in them and people tell me I need to stop wearing them.

Ever try a food you wished you hadn't?
I was raised up “don’t knock it until you try it,” so I’ll try anything. There have been a lot of times where I wish I hadn’t. Like in France or the Philippines. There’s a lot of amazing food there, but it’s so different from what I’m used to in U.S. In the Philippines, there was this creamy yogurt-looking dessert that looked good, but when you bit into it, it was chewy and didn’t have the greatest texture.

Favorite hotel you've ever stayed in.

The Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis. I had a huge room. I don’t really ever want a big room — as long as I’ve got a bed and a bathroom, I’m good. This room was massive, and the bed was so huge you could play tennis on it.

Favorite restaurant you’ve discovered while traveling.
I’m a big foodie. I like eating at local places when I’m traveling; local food is usually fresher tasting. When I was doing my album, we had a burger shootout in New York around Times Square. We got burgers from Five Guys, 5 Napkin and the Shake Shack. I loved Shake Shack’s burgers the best; they’re kind of creamy.

Biggest regret you've ever had while on vacation.
When I went to Brazil, I wanted to go zip-lining in the jungle or over a waterfall, but didn’t have time. I did get to zip-line over the crowd at the Rocking Rio concert, though.

The one thing you're willing to splurge on when traveling above all else.
Food.

Three artists on your travel playlist.
When I need inspiration, I listen to the Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix and AC/DC.

What songs off your debut album would be good for others’ playlists?

“Man On The Moon” and “Get Up Get Down.”

Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?

In my hometown of Leesburg, Georgia, I’d take them to Flint River and Kinchifoonee Creek to go boating, tubing, jumping off ropes and swimming.

You only get one more trip in your lifetime. Where will it be?
Ireland. After seeing photos and films, I’ve always wanted to go. It looks so beautiful and relaxing, and I love listening to the accents of people from there.