Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers on useful resources, favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Occupation: Executive Editor, Caribbean Travel + Life magazine
Hometown: Kent, England and Kingston, Jamaica
Residence: Hollywood, Florida (But frequently spotted at MIA, MCO and various Caribbean airports)
Website: Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
YouTube: Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
Short Bio: Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon is an award-winning Caribbean travel expert and black-belt shopper who has lived in the region and worked in the industry for decades. If you want to track down the best souvenir store in Tulum, the most romantic resort in St. Lucia, the best place to sip a planteur in St. Barts, or to find out why Jamaican KFC tastes so good, she’s the one to ask.
How often do you fly: At least twice a month
Favorite American city: I’ve had a crush on Manhattan it since I lived in Gramercy for a short time back in the ‘90s. It’s my next hometown (speaking it into existence, people!)
Least favorite country: Although I love the Turks and Caicos Islands, I just don’t get the appeal of sleepy little Grand Turk. Definitely not my cup of tea.
Favorite World Heritage Site: The Pitons, St. Lucia’s twin volcanic peaks, are awesome in the fullest sense of the word. I advise anyone who’s going to the island to book a room in the southwest, where you can sleep in the shadow of the majestic mountains at intimate inns such as Ladera, Stonefield Estate and Hotel Chocolat. When you’re there it feels as if those silent sentinels are keeping constant watch over you. And hiking 2,600 feet up Gros Piton stands out as one of my most memorable travel experiences.
Favorite airline: In-flight banana chips plus flight attendants with that inimitable Jamaican swagger: It was by no means perfect but Air Jamaica (now Caribbean Airlines) will always hold a place in my heart.
Favorite aircraft type: Any type that takes off and lands without incident
Aisle or window: Aisle. EVERY time.
Favorite airport lounge: Club MoBay at Jamaica’s Sangster International is well worth the day rate, if only for the fast tack service they offer through outbound Immigration and Security. And Greycliff’s lounge in the U.S. Departures terminal in Nassau, Bahamas has a cool outdoor deck where you can enjoy that rare airport commodity: fresh air.
Favorite international airport: LHR, for the shopping
Favorite hotel: Petit St. Vincent in The Grenadines is a tiny private-island resort with chic oceanfront cottages, a sophisticated but un-stuffy vibe, and one of the best Caribbean hotel boutiques I’ve ever shopped.
Favorite food: No trip to Jamaica is complete without three things: a Tastee beef patty, an ice-cold Ting (the local grapefruit soda), and an original recipe thigh from KFC – trust me, it’s the BEST!
Favorite travel show(s): I’m working on my own travel TV show right now and am inspired by Adam Richman’s obvious love for his subject on Man v Food.
Right now I am reading: I’m dying to visit India and am determined to manifest a trip in 2013 by re-reading Thrity Umrigar’s The Space Between Us.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines: Caribbean Travel + Life, of course! I like the way Travel + Leisure injects style and fashion into their travel coverage, and I subscribe to Budget Travel.
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: What would I do without seatguru.com?
Five things you bring on a plane:
1. Mints, gum or sweeties. Because I often snooze in-flight and no one wants to talk to someone with “morning” breath. They also help me make friends on trips; offering someone candy is an easy way to break the ice.
2. When I’m hungry I morph from cordial to cranky in 10 seconds, so I always tote snacks (usually protein bars and cheese) with me.
3. I never used to, but since I heard about the foot fungus you can pick up I always travel with a pair of black chenille socks to wear through airport Security.
4. A scarf/wrap because aircraft are always cold (and on-island air-conditioning is often set to “arctic.”)
5. I’m easily bored so personal entertainment (iPad, iPhone, laptop, nook, a stack of mags) is a must.
What do you always seem to forget: I seem to have five gazillion chargers for my various devices. And you can bet that when I’m on the road I never have the one I need.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Something wildly expensive and indulgent such as a notebook from Smythson of Bond Street, small leathergoods from Hermes, or a Mulberry handbag. The chances of this ever happening, however, are slim to none.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): The one I use most is the Weather Channel. I’m an avid runner and love to explore new places on foot – as long as the temp and humidity is low.
Worst travel moment: I went to Martinique for the first time this summer and had a blast until our flight was cancelled. The airline put us up in a hotel where the headboard in my room was “decorated” with a large wad of the previous occupant’s chewed gum. Quel horreur!
What’s your dream destination: Put me in an over-water suite somewhere in the South Pacific and I’ll be just fine.
Best travel tip: Never leave home without your sense of humor. When the security line is a mile long, your flight’s delayed, and when you finally get onboard there’s a crying baby in the row behind you, you’ll need it. And for when you come back to the U.S: Global Entry (globalentry.gov)