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: Travel Writer/ TV Travel Host
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Residence: Citizen of the World
Short Bio: Julia Dimon is a hard-core adventuress, a travel journalist, and TV travel personality who has traveled around the world to over 80 countries across all seven continents. She’s the co-host of Word Travels, a 40-episode TV series about the real lives of travel writers, broadcast worldwide on National Geographic Adventure, Travel Channel international. She’s the co-host of the new ‘active lifestyle’ morning show called Outside Today, broadcast on Outside Television network. She’s been featured as a travel expert by CNN, ABC Nightline, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, E! News, Forbes Traveler and MSNBC. From the depths of the Great Barrier Reef to the top of Machu Picchu, Julia has hiked with silverback gorillas in Uganda, snorkeled with whale sharks in Mozambique, climbed The Great Wall of China, dog-sledded in Greenland, camel trekked in Jordan, slept with lions in the Serengeti and snacked on local delicacies such as silk worm, goat brain, six-inch scorpions, snake blood and severed human toe. Check out her blog www.traveljunkiejulia.com
How often do you fly: Depends on the year. I’ve been in the biz full-time for ten years, so there were years where I was checking off a new country every week, other years where I’d take a trip every few months. I’ve done alooooooot of flying and have been frisked by more TSA officers than I care to admit. I’m still hoping someone will invent a teleportation device, so I can avoid taking off my shoes at security.
How many countries have you been to: 80ish.
How many continents have you been to: All
Favorite American city: New York
Favorite international city: Paris
Least favorite country: Hmmm. Don’t really have one. A bad experience somewhere doesn’t mean a bad country. There’s something redeemable in every place I’ve been to.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Petra in Jordan. Unbelievable!
Favorite airline: Depends on the route.
Favorite aircraft type: I rarely pay attention to the aircraft. As long as there are seat belts and the doors close, I’m happy.
Aisle or window: Aisle. So I can regularly get up to stretch my legs and not feel guilty for making my neighbor move.
Favorite airport lounge: I don’t fly business very often (sadly) so if I’m in a lounge with free WiFi, that works for me.
Favorite U.S. airport: They all look the same to me. I just put my head down, burry myself in my iPad and catch up on Mad Men episodes.
Favorite international airport: See above.
Favorite hotel: The Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s “7-star” hotel. It’s over the top Arab opulence with Swarovski Crystal chandeliers, baby grand pianos and your very own butler.
Favorite island: Zanzibar off the coast of Dar Es Salaam Tanzania is gorgeous and culturally distinct.
Favorite fancy restaurant: The quirky Toilet Restaurant in Taiwan. That’s right! What’s more elegant than eating curry while seated on actual toilet bowl? Fancy.
Favorite hole in the wall: Again depends on which city, there are so many great eats out there but for a classic hamburger fries in a 50’s dinner atmosphere, Apple Pan in Los Angeles is a fun choice.
Favorite fruit: Lychee
Favorite food: Since I mentioned the burger at Apple pan all I can think about is Bacon Cheeseburgers hmmm.
Least favorite food: Balut, an 18-day old fertilized duck egg served as a delicacy in the Philippines. I’ve eaten a ton of gross things in my time (slugs, scorpions, worms, guinea pig) and this is certainly my least favorite.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Water. Boring but you can’t beat it.
Favorite travel movie(s): “Touristas.” A gang of 20-something backpackers head to Brazil and get roped into an elaborate black market organ scene! This b-horror slasher flick is a fun watch, especially the underwater cave chase scene. Travel torture porn at it’s finest.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything Bourdain. An Idiot Abroad, Word Travels (two travel writers, including yours truly, travel the world on assignment and under deadline.)
Favorite travel book(s): Really enjoyed Ryszard Kapuscinski The Shadow of the Sun. Read it while backpacking through Eastern Africa and loved it!
Right now I am reading: Tina Fey “Bossypants”
Five things you bring on a plane: iPad, magazines (usually takes me an entire flight to finish the Economist), laptop, snacks, water bottle.
What do you always seem to forget: My Bose noise canceling head phones are amazing but I always seem to pack them in my check-in luggage instead of my carry-on. Argh.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? An oversized Toblerone chocolate bar, as big as a human toddler.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Yelp, TripIt, Instagram, Urban Spoon
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Getting malaria while in rural Tanzania.
What’s your dream destination: Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Matador Network, Gadling, and can’t forget www.traveljunkiejulia.com
Best travel tip: Go with the flow. Research in advance, but when you’re traveling allow for the universe to take you in new directions. Don’t let fear highjack your life. Say “Yes” to new experiences and always trust your instincts. Smile at strangers and always carry toilet paper.
Photo provided by: Travel Channel (UK)