Travel Style: Terry Ward

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.

Name: Terry Ward

Occupation: Freelance writer

Hometown: McLean, VA, USA

Residence: Bali, for the moment. When I am back in the States, it’s always Florida.

Website: Terry-Ward.com

Twitter: @TerryWardWriter

Facebook: Terry Ward

Instagram: Smokenotfire

Short Bio: Terry Ward is a freelance travel writer who splits her time between Florida and Bali, Indonesia. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Endless Vacation Magazine, Budget Travel Magazine, Sport Diver magazine and many other outlets. She’s an editor for Dive the World magazine, an international scuba diving magazine that launched in Jan. 2012.

How often do you fly:  At least twice a month

How many countries have you been to:  I don’t keep count. Lots. But there are far more that I have yet to visit.

How many continents have you been to: Six, all but Antarctica.

Favorite American city:  New York City

Favorite international city:  Really, must I? Too many. Okay, fine. Toulouse, France. And I know I could fall madly for Stockholm and Copenhagen but I need to spend more time there.

Least favorite country:  This is going to sound bad, but my own. The USA. It’s my favorite one, too, if that helps. Just a love/hate relationship with the place I know best.

Favorite World Heritage Site:  West Norwegian Fjords

Favorite airline:  Any in the Star Alliance for collecting miles. If I had to choose one, I guess THAI. The flight attendants are very sweet and the food in coach is actually edible.

Favorite aircraft type:  For long haul, the ones with two seats by the window then a larger row in the middle then another two seats. Can you tell I’m not too much of a plane geek? And for short hauls, I like those 50-seater Canadian Regional Jets.

Aisle or window:  Window on long hauls for sleeping, otherwise exit row aisle.

Favorite airport lounge:  I rarely use miles to upgrade to the lounge, preferring to hoard them for future flights. And I’ve only been in domestic lounges. Of those, I guess I’d vote for Continental’s (now United’s) at Newark.

Favorite U.S. airport:  Tampa International Airport. There’s almost never a queue at security and you can easily arrive less than an hour before departure with no stress about making your flight. The TSA staff there also seem to hate their jobs less than at other US airports. They even joke with you at security sometimes—and smile! I lived in Orlando for a while, but I’d much rather drive the hour-plus to Tampa to fly from there.

Favorite international airport:  Copenhagen’s airport is absolutely beautiful. When I was there, I was thinking—holy crap, the Danes must go into lack-of-aesthetics shock when they land at JFK.

Favorite hotel:  That’s super tough. I’ve stayed at so many beautiful places. Top of mind right now is the Mandarin Oriental (more commonly called the Oriental) in Bangkok for its classy riverfront terrace and utter escapism in that frenetic city. I did a cooking class there recently, too, that was a real education.

Favorite cruise line:  Hurtigruten, a Norwegian cruise line, for the exotic destinations it goes (Greenland, Svalbard, Antarctica) and the fact that you don’t get accosted by a cruise social director or pitched diamonds at every port.

Favorite island: Bali. Truly the island of the gods. Culture woven through everything modern and ancient, beautiful surfing, diving, food and people. I could stay there forever!

Favorite fancy restaurant: I haven’t been yet, but I’d really like to try Bras in Laguiole, France. Stateside, I like Azul at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami.

Favorite hole in the wall:  My local warung in Nusa Dua, Bali, where you can eat a Balinese specialty called Ayam Betutu (barbecued chicken with peanuts and green beans) for about a dollar.

Favorite fruit:  Passionfruit, the purple-skinned ones (not yellow).

Favorite food: French cheese, all of it.

Least favorite food:  Tripe, sweetbreads, glands and the like.

Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): In the air, tomato juice, always. On the ground, anything with ginger in it and a margarita on the rocks for cocktails.

Favorite travel movie(s): Does “Stand By Me” count? It’s the first movie I recall watching as a kid that made me want to leave home and get out there in the world on my own.

Favorite travel show(s): I don’t watch much TV, but I’ll go with The Layover with Anthony Bourdain and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.

Favorite travel book(s): Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” and “Dark Star Safari” by Paul Theroux.

Right now I am reading: “Keep the River on your Right” by Tobias Schneebaum, about his loving and cannibalistic times with the Akarama indians in Peru.

Five things you bring on a plane:  Earplugs, drugs for sleeping, laptop, hoodie for pulling over my head, eyeshades.

What do you always seem to forget: Something to lean my head on, like an extra small pillow.

What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Nothing, really. Except maybe perfume if I’m out of it. And something sweet and sour from Haribo. That would be nice.

Favorite travel iPhone app(s): I’ve only just joined the iPhone movement so ask me later. So far I only use TripIt, though I think I could live without it.

Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: This year during ski holiday in France while eating raclette at a restaurant in the mountain town of La Clusaz. I knocked an entire (huge) pot of pickles—filled to the brim with juice–into the pretty leather purse of the woman sitting next to me. Mortifying.

What’s your dream destination:  Madagascar.

Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!:   WorldHum.com

Best travel tip: Taking a language course in your destination—even if it’s only for a week–immediately immerses you in a place. You’ll usually have the option to live with a local family. And being able to speak a few words of their language really opens up doors.

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