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: Christa Thompson
Occupation: Creator/Writer/Publisher at The Fairytale Traveler; Travel Columnist at Fae Magazine and the Hotel Guide (ask me if I know where the fairies roam)
Hometown: Gulf Coast of Florida by way of upstate New York and Charleston, SC
Residence: Sarasota, FL is where my mail piles up
College major: Hospitality and Travel Tourism
Facebook: The Fairytale Traveler
Pinterest: The Fairytale Traveler
Google+: Christa Thompson
Short bio: Christa Thompson started writing as a means to do what she’s passionate about, travel. She began traveling with her family in the States as a child, and in Europe in 2003 when she attended the University of Cambridge in England for an Arts and Humanities study abroad program.
“I’m no Miss Smarty Pants, but I learned a thing or two about Darwin, the Romantics and Ancient Egypt.” And thus, her wanderlust began.
“The Fairytale Traveler comes from a very personal part of me. I have always dreamed of fairy tales and castles and the idea of abandoning those dreams in my adult life seemed so unfair. I really wanted to create something that was special to me and would allow for my number one fan to be engaged, my 5 year old son.”
The Fairytale Traveler is a collaboration of Christa’s passion for travel and love affair with fairytales, folk legend, history and myth. It is an ever-growing destination adventure travel resource for the most enchanting destinations, events, attractions, and historic sites.
How often do you fly? 2-4 times/month
How many countries have you been to? 20 something
How many continents have you been to? 4
Favorite American city: OOOOh I would have to say for beauty, Park City, Utah; for elements, Charleston, SC; for legend and folklore it’s a cross between Sleepy Hollow, NY and New Orleans.
Favorite international city: York for its medieval elements and Viking history; Edinburgh for its dark witch and haunted history (it is also one of the solo-traveler-friendliest cities in the English-speaking world); and Galway, Ireland for its proximity to some of Ireland’s most enchanting and legendary places. Sorry it had to be 3…
Least favorite country: No such thing for me, I find adventure everywhere.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I’ve been lucky enough to never encounter one. Although, Atlanta and New York have some of meanest TSA officers.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Newgrange in Co Meath, Ireland for its legend of being one of the homes of the supernatural warriors, the Tuatha De Danann. Its history dates back thousands of years. It’s also thought of as the burial grounds to the high kings of Tara. It’s older than the pyramids!
Favorite airline: Aer Lingus—Irish hospitality all the way, good food, great on the ground service as well.
Favorite aircraft type: The kind that gets me where I’m going. I’ve never been choosy, always busy working on the plane anyways.
Aisle or window: Window till the day I die.
Favorite airport lounge: I haven’t been into many, so I think it’s safe to say um, all of them! I did really like the Virgin Atlantic Club at Heathrow. I dig fireplaces.
Favorite U.S. airport: Tampa International. I will take this to my grave. It is the cleanest and most convenient airport in the U.S.
Favorite international airport: Dublin, Ireland. It’s easy to navigate and I really like its streamlined design.
Favorite hotel: Pressure!!! To keep in line with my niche of fairytale travel, I would have to say the Castle Hotel in Tarrytown, NY. It’s at the top of the line in luxury and dining experience.
Favorite cruise line: Viking. On the Rhine River. Castles!!!
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire.
Favorite island: Gotland, Sweden. It’s teeming with legends and mythology!
Favorite beach: For toes-in-the-sand sake, Pass-a-Grille, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Tao, Las Vegas.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: I can’t live without the Donut Friar in Gatlinburg, TN.
Favorite fruit: Pineapples.
Favorite food: I am a sucker for grilled cheese and tomato soup, black-eyed pea fritters and anything made in Mexico.
Least favorite food: Pickled herring and insects.
Drink of choice (n the air and on the ground): Air—Jameson; ground—Margaritas.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Never Ending Story, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Indiana Jones, E.T., The Last Unicorn, Star Wars, Clash of the Titans, Legend…don’t act surprised.
Favorite travel show(s): Mysteries at the Museum.
Favorite travel book(s): “Essential Visual History of World Mythology,” by National Geographic.
Right now I am reading: “The Road to Middle Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology,” by Tom Shippey, “Scotland’s Wicked Witches,” by Charles Sinclair, “Corn from a Jar: Moonshining in the Great Smoky Mountains,” by Daniel S. Pierce.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: National Geographic’s Digital Nomad, The Irish Fireside, Travel + Leisure’s Carry On, and The Fairytale Traveler (of course).
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Trivago, SkyScanner, Cheap Flights, Go With Oh.
5 things you bring on a plane: Headphones, book, material on where I am going (included is my language cheat sheet), my work (a 3 subject notebook of my written brain), my Chromebook, headache medicine, laughing cow blue cheese, wheat thins, grapes, lip gloss, my phone and camera (and all the stuff that plugs those into each other).
What do you always seem to forget? I don’t forget, I’m pretty used to this. Maaaaaaaybe an extra SD card, maybe.
What do you like least about travel? Stinky diapers on long flights and being lost in translation.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Electronics, perfume or good whiskey.
Favorite travel app(s): SkyScanner.
Most embarrassing travel moment: When I had to use the bathroom at Père Lachaise in Paris. Two x’s one hole in the ground…yeah.
Worst travel moment: After a long flight to Oralando from London, our plane was locked down for an hour on the runway. After we were taxied to another gate, and then moved like cattle into this corridor with 3 other international flights. There were no windows and only one set of double doors, there weren’t even restrooms. We were there, in this hallway for 4 long hours. No one would give us answers. On the ground, they were telling our families that our flight was delayed, even though we were there. We knew this because some of us had phone service.
We were finally guided to the exterior of the airport through the double doors where, we were met by helicopters, EMS, firetrucks and police officers. Then, they just sent us through customs and never explained anything. This was just 2 years after 9-11. It was the most frightening and horrible experience I have ever had in my travels. I still have no idea what happened that day.
What’s your dream destination? The far east.
Favorite travel charity: packforapurpose.org
Best travel tip: For the traveler: Leave a lot of cushion to wander. For the theme park family: Go right before or right after a school break. For the weekender: Research the local culture and relax like a local this will really make you feel like your weekend lasted forever while, getting the edge on living there.