Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Occupation: Freelance journalist
Hometown: I grew up in Concord, California
Residence: I live in an unincorporated surf town near Half Moon Bay, California
Short Bio: Jill Robinson divides her time between writing about travel, running a kayak business and trying to wring awe-inspiring adventure out of every day. Her articles have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Journey, World Hum, Frommer’s, Lonely Planet, AOL Travel, Communities at Washington Times, Travel Guide to California (2011, 2012), B magazine, Practical Travel Gear, Tonic, Uptake and TravelMuse. She’s also a travel expert and contributor for Jetsetter and Fortnighter. Jill was recently named as one of Athleta’s sponsored athletes of 2012. Even when traveling, she can always be found online at Danger Jill Robinson.
How often do you fly: It varies, but averages around five flights per month
How many countries have you been to: I hate counting countries and passport stamps. Let’s say more than 30.
How many continents have you been to: Four
Favorite American city: Tie between San Francisco and New Orleans
Favorite international city: Havana
Least favorite country: I haven’t found a least favorite yet
Favorite World Heritage Site: Manu National Park in Peru knocked my socks off. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
Favorite airline: I absolutely love Air New Zealand, but I fly most of the time on United (and get upgraded a fair amount of the time)
Favorite aircraft type: I don’t care, as long as I’m comfortable during the flight and it lands without mishap
Aisle or window: Aisle. I may get hit by the drink cart once in a while, but at least I don’t have to climb over people when I’m tired of sitting
Favorite airport lounge: Frankfurt’s Lufthansa first class terminal
Favorite U.S. airport: San Francisco (SFO) because it’s my home turf and I know where everything is
Favorite international airport: Amsterdam’s Schiphol (AMS)
Favorite hotel: I hated leaving the Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Lake Nicaragua
Favorite cruise line: I may be the only person I know who has never taken a cruise
Favorite island: I have a big place in my heart for my second home, Guanaja (Honduras), where I have property. I couldn’t think up a fiction story better than the things that happen there.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Restaurant August in New Orleans
Favorite hole in the wall: I always love breakfasts at La Peniche in New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood
Favorite fruit: Pineapple, cherries
Favorite food: Bread and cheese are my favorite food groups
Least favorite food: Not a fan of liver, brains, tripe, etc.
Favorite travel movie(s): Lawrence of Arabia, Roman Holiday, Out of Africa, The Endless Summer
Favorite travel show(s): I enjoy the snark on No Reservations
Favorite travel book(s): Travels With Charley, The Snow Leopard, Video Night in Kathmandu, and pretty much everything Tim Cahill writes
Five things you bring on a plane: Laptop, iPhone, noise-cancelling headphones, something to read, camera
What do you always seem to forget: Socks, to keep my feet warm on the airplane
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): GateGuru, TripIt, Skype
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Having a gun pointed at me by a coked-up guy who said he wanted to shoot the puppy I was holding. I yelled at him and he finally walked away. Not a brilliant move on my part, but at least it worked. I hope my mom isn’t reading this.
What’s your dream destination: Right now, it’s India
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Gadling, World Hum
Best travel tip: To paraphrase Mary Oliver, “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”