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: Director of Public Relations
Hometown: Valleyview, AB/Whistler, BC (Canada)
Residence: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Short Bio: After hosting the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, I was looking for a new professional challenge that would allow me to pursue my passion for travel as well as allow me to live and work in a dynamic destination. The United Arab Emirates provided just that. After opening a luxury hotel at the heart of Dubai’s financial centre, I’ve recently relocated to Abu Dhabi where I am opening another majestic property. This December marks a decade that I’ve been doing hotel PR!
How often do you fly: Typically, 2-3 times/month. During pre-opening, every other month.
How many countries have you been to: 28+
How many continents have you been to: All except Antarctica
Favorite American city: New York City
Favorite international city: London
Least favorite country: My mom always told me that if I can’t say anything nice, not to say anything at all.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta – I might be biased but seeing dinosaur fossils excavated in your backyard is pretty cool when you’re a kid. Runners up would have to be Machu Picchu in Peru and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Favorite airline: WestJet! They’re not luxury but the staff are AMAZING and they actually make flying fun.
Aisle or window: Definitely window – I like to have my own little cocoon when I’m flying.
Favorite airport lounge: I’m not a lounger, I’m a walker – I have this crazy need to get as much exercise as possible before getting on the plane.
Favorite international airport: It’s my home airport but nothing beats Vancouver – it’s like being in an art gallery or museum.
Favorite hotel: Ooh, that’s like choosing which child you love most. I would have to say The Chateau Lake Louise. It was my “first born” and truly has the most stunning location in the world. Mara Safari Club in Kenya is also amazing – I’ve been there twice.
Favorite island: Zanzibar
Favorite hole in the wall: Bu Qtair, a fish shack near the beach in Dubai. You queue up to place your order and the only thing on the menu is the catch of the day. Then you wait outside until a little plastic table becomes available and you eat under the stars. It’s delicious and amazing!
Favorite fruit: Saskatoons
Favorite food: Chocolate! If that doesn’t count, then anything paleo.
Least favorite food: Fast food – it should be illegal.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Water
Favorite travel show(s): Departures (but I think it’s off the air now)
Favorite travel book(s): Anything by Lonely Planet
Right now I am reading: Inside the Kingdom
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines: Travel + Leisure, Destinations of the World News magazine, BBC Travel
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Well besides JohnnyJet.com, I religiously followed globetrottingmama.com every day for the last year as my friend and travel-writer Heather Greenwood Davis and her young family travelled around the world.
Five things you bring on a plane: Socks, pashmina, trail mix, moisturizer and several books
What do you always seem to forget: Phone charger
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Anything chocolate
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): I just got an iPhone so I’m open to suggestions.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: There are too many!
What’s your dream destination: My parents have been circumnavigating the globe on their boat for the last 5 years so I’d love to tag along with them at some point.
Favorite travel charity: Global Crossroads
Best travel tip: Be extra polite to rude people.