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: Freelance travel journalist and pilot’s wife
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Residence: Wherever the Air Force sends us.
Short Bio: Kristy Alpert is a freelance journalist with extensive experience covering travel, food, and lifestyle topics. She has won six national awards for her writing, and has written for a variety of publications and clients. Her passion for journalistic storytelling has led her from Bruges to Beijing, with an occasional tequila worm tasting in Mexico thrown in every so often. Kristy Alpert has a passion for experiencing the peculiar and loves the thrill that comes from overcoming her fears. For more info, visit www.kristyalpert.com or contact Kristy Alpert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How often do you fly: Often enough to where I know the entire airport staff by name in my departure city … all six of them. Shout out to the GTR!
How many countries have you been to: 28
How many continents have you been to: 4
Favorite American city: Portland for the beer, Dallas for the people, Chicago for the shopping, and New York City for the lifestyle.
Favorite international city: I love the authentic and unpolluted vibe of Stresa, Italy, but I’d also have to say any small city in Germany … partly because it’s the only country overseas where I get mistaken for a local!
Least favorite country: Can’t say I’m a huge fan of North Korea right now.
Favorite airline: My dad is a pilot with Delta and I’ve been flying standby with them since I was in diapers, so I’m a bit biased!
Favorite aircraft type: Right now it’s a T-6 Texan II because that’s what my husband’s flying.
Aisle or window: When I’m flying standby I’m just happy if I get a seat at all, but when I have the choice I’m definitely an aisle girl.
Favorite U.S. airport: I spend a lot of my time in the Atlanta airport, and, even though I can’t say it’s my favorite, the people watching there is hard to beat.
Favorite international airport: The Tokyo Narita airport was pretty surreal.
Favorite hotel: The Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon, and the Mandarin Oriental in New York City
Favorite fancy restaurant: Nonna in Dallas, Delmonico’s in New York City, Malabar Restaurant in Lima, and Cocina de Autor in Playa Del Carmen.
Favorite hole in the wall: Proffitt’s Porch in Columbus, Mississippi, Café Izmir in Dallas, Texas, or Park & Ponder in Great Falls, Montana.
Favorite fruit: Pineapple
Favorite food: It’s a toss up between sandwiches and candy. Although I love a good muffaletta in New Orleans or a French dip just about anywhere, there was a point in my life where I wouldn’t travel without a box of Runts in my carryon. I’ve also been on a pretty serious Reddi-wip craze lately. Straight. From. The. Can. Baby.
Least favorite food: There’s nothing worse than a bland, passionless dessert. The way I see it, if I’m spending my calories on chocolate cake, brownies, or apple pie, they better be worth it!
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): I love anything that gives me an excuse to toast the moment, like Champagne or red wine. I refuse to take a sip until those glasses clink! Also, I always carry my own herbal tea with me. I’m a sucker for anything by the Traditional Medicinals brand to keep me healthy while I’m crossing time zones.
Favorite travel movie(s): Last Holiday because I swear Queen Latifah and I would be friends; and Eat, Pray, Love because I’m insanely jealous of her experiences.
Favorite travel show(s): No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. In fact, one of my top moments in my career was playing “Would You Rather” with Bourdain after an interview for an article I wrote on him in American Way magazine. Also, Samantha Brown is just adorable and I totally think we’d be friends.
Right now I am reading: I just finished Bossypants by Tina Fey, and now I’m working on The Razor’s Edge, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines: Travel + Leisure, American Way, and Afar
Five things you bring on a plane: Books, my laptop, herbal tea, tons of music, and a travel blanket because I’m always freezing on the plane.
What do you always seem to forget: Comfy shoes. I’m notorious for starting off in my cute boots or pumps and ending up wearing my husband’s oversized Converse throughout the day. He, on the other hand, never forgets to bring extra comfy shoes for me. He’s a good man and the best travel partner ever!
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Nothing. But I have to admit I can’t resist going in every time to try on a new perfume. Gotta smell good when I get home!
Oddest travel moment: On a flight to Japan, I was seated in the middle between my husband (window) and an 80-year-old man (aisle) for a very long flight. Normally that wouldn’t be anything to write home about except the man couldn’t get up on his own because he had two hooks for hands. Not wanting to put him out, my husband and I decided to just “hold it” all the way to Japan from the U.S., making an already long flight feel way longer. On the plus side I did get to hear some amazing Vietnam stories and he even showed me pictures of his mail-order bride he was on his way to pick up.
What’s your dream destination: Right now I want to be anywhere in Morocco.
Travel motto: Why not?!