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: Elaine J. Masters
Occupation: Travel writer/podcaster/community builder
Hometown: San Rafael
Residence: San Diego
College: Cornish College of the Arts/SF State
College major: Theater/Interdisciplinary Arts
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Short bio: A lifelong nomad, Elaine has lived along the U.S. west coast from SE Alaska down to San Diego which is currently home. She’s built a travel tribe through monthly gatherings featuring travel authors, films, destination experts and expert travelers at the Travel Well meetups and as co-host of Travel Massive SD. She’s producing the San Diego Travel Festival, premiering in Fall 2014—an immersive, experiential two-day event.
A dedicated diver with over 150 notches on her tank, she’s visited wrecks, swum with sharks, spied Bobbit worms and her favorite underwater encounters are with Manta rays. Elaine’s one constant has been writing, which includes numerous publications and her blog, TripWellness.com. As author of the Indie Excellence award-winning, Drivetime Yoga® and Flytime Yoga®, books and audio, she helps travelers get where they’re going feeling great. She turned her years of work in public radio into weekly conversational, travel podcast, The Gathering Road, which is in the top ten on the Womens Radio Network and available on Stitcher and iTunes.
Languages spoken: English.
How often do you fly?: Averages to about 8 times a year.
How many countries have you been to? Over 30.
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: Kicking the back of my Dad’s seat on a cross-country trip from California to Minnesota. I was two.
Favorite American city: Los Angeles.
Favorite international city: Mexico City.
Least favorite country: None.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Paris.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Machu Picchu, Peru, where I ‘married’ a mountain.
Favorite airline: Singapore Air.
Favorite aircraft type: Airborne.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: Changi Ambassador Lounge.
Favorite U.S. airport: Chicago.
Favorite international airport: Changi.
Favorite hotel: Napili Kai Beach Resort on Maui
Favorite cruise line: State of Alaska Ferry system.
Favorite travel credit card: United.
Favorite Island: Sri Lanka.
Favorite beach: Rocky Neck, Gloucester, Massachusetts—I collect beach glass there.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Cicada Club, Los Angeles Bank District.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: The Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach.
Favorite bar: The Top of the Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.
Favorite fruit: Black fig.
Favorite food: Uni.
Least favorite food: Steak.
Craziest thing you’ve eaten: Lizard.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): A complex Petite Syrah.
Favorite travel movie(s): Encounters at the End of the World, The English Patient.
Favorite travel show(s): Anthony Bourdain—any incarnation.
Favorite travel book(s): The Best American Travel Writing series edited by Jamaica Kincaid.
Right now I am reading: “Notes from a Blue Bike,” by Tsh Oxenreider.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Afar, National Geographic Traveler, NY Times Sunday Travel Section.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! AONC with Chris Guillebeau, Peter Greenberg, The Vacation Gals.
5 things you bring on a plane: 1) A baggie full of toasted walnuts or almonds and dates, 2) a refillable stainless steel water bottle, 3) silicone earplugs, 4) eye shade, 5) inflatable neck pillow.
What do you always seem to forget? My favorite immunity booster, Wellness Formula Tincture.
What do you like least about travel? Jetlag.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty-free store? Sake.
Favorite travel app(s): Trip Advisor or Yelp.
Most embarrassing travel moment: At a Tokyo dinner when I mentioned that Tiger Woods played tennis…
Worst travel moment: Being caught in a current that kept me from getting back to, or seen by, the dive boat outside of La Paz in the Sea of Cortez. Hammerheads were near and civilization was not.
What’s your dream destination? Revisiting Sri Lanka to dive and then traveling up through India to Nepal.
Favorite travel charity: Because I’m an avid scuba diver and have witnessed the devastating effects of plastic in the oceans (diving in North Sulawesi,Indonesia’s Lembeh Straits), I support the Ocean Conservancy.
Best travel tip: Move! Exercise before long, sedentary travel days. Get up and stretch during long flights or pull over to walk on long drives. Help manage travel stress, sleep better and adjust to new time zones quickly by walking and exercising regularly.