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: Ann Abel
Occupation: Travel writer and professional hedonist
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Residence: Brooklyn, New York
Short Bio: Ann Abel is a freelance luxury travel writer with an adventurous streak: she’s been tattooed in Bora Bora, flown small airplanes over three continents, and been bitten by a massage therapist. The former travel editor of Luxury SpaFinder and ForbesLife, she writes regularly for Forbes.com and has written for Departures, Afar, Robb Report, Islands, Brides, and other magazines and websites. When not traveling, she is learning to fly trapeze.
How often do you fly: A few times a month
How many countries have you been to: 62
How many continents have you been to: All six of the ones I care to visit
Favorite American city: New York
Favorite international city: Buenos Aires, Istanbul, and Marrakech
Least favorite country: French Polynesia is overrated.
Favorite airline: Singapore, Emirates, Etihad
Favorite aircraft type: Airbus A380 or a 12-seater Caravan that’s older than I am
Aisle or window: Aisle
Favorite U.S. airport: San Francisco—for the food
Favorite international airport: Changi in Singapore
Favorite hotel: Just one? Really? COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali, Pousada Picinguaba in Brazil, La Maison Arabe in Marrakech, Trasierra in Spain, Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado, and Algodon Mansion in Buenos Aires. This list might be different next week.
Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? The closet if I have clothes that will wrinkle. The dresser just seems like asking to lose things.
Favorite cruise line: I’ve never done a traditional big cruise ship, but I adored the True North in Australia, the M/V Aqua on the Peruvian Amazon, and the Silolona in Indonesia
Favorite island: Musha Cay (David Copperfield’s private island in the Bahamas) and Lupita Island in Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Noma in Copenhagen
Favorite hole in the wall: Cal Pep in Barcelona
Favorite fruit: mango, but only in the places it actually grows
Favorite food: ceviche
Least favorite food: any sort of meat
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Champagne or green tea, depending on the time of day and my drinking companions
Favorite travel movie(s): The Painted Veil, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Everything Is Illuminated, Up in the Air, The Darjeeling Limited
Favorite travel book(s): The Lady and the Monk by Pico Iyer, The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux, and Who Needs a Road by Harold Stephens and Albert Podell
Right now I am reading: Slightly out-of-date issues of the New Yorker—they pile up in my apartment and then I’ll blitz through five of them on a long trip.
Five things you bring on a plane: big water bottle, scarf or pashmina, healthy snacks, iPad for reading books, big pile of New Yorkers
What do you always seem to forget: pajamas
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? A Cartier Tank watch (not holding my breath)
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Room. It’s so stupidly simple—all it does is remind of your hotel room number, but it’s surprising how often I can use a reminder.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Bathing in a ryokan in Hakone, Japan. I still don’t know what I did wrong, but attendants were speaking to me very sternly.
What’s your dream destination: Cairo to Cape Town, overland
Best travel tip: Relax and say yes.