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: Aly Walansky
Occupation: Beauty, lifestyles, travel writer/blogger
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Residence: Brooklyn, NY
College: Brooklyn College
College major: Journalism
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Short bio: Aly Walansky is a freelance lifestyles writer based in New York City, who contributes regularly to iVillage, SheKnows.com, xoJane, Huffington Post, and The Fashion Spot as well as many other print and web outlets.
Languages spoken: English.
How often do you fly? It varies—some months, at least once a week. At times, I’ll have a gap of a few months between trips.
How many countries have you been to? 15 or so—really hoping to up that number!
How many continents have you been to? 4
Earliest travel memory: My earliest memory of travel was when I was a little girl, my parents would take me to Amish country very often—it had everything my parents wanted out of an ideal trip. Lots of family-style food for my dad, and lots of outlet shopping for my mom!
Favorite American city: Austin.
Favorite international city: Edinburgh.
Least favorite country: This may sound cliche, but I’ve not yet been to a destination there wasn’t SOMETHING to love about it.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Beyond a doubt, Brazil.
Favorite World Heritage Site: I’ve not been lucky enough to go to that many, but I saw the Baha’I holy sites in Haifa a few months ago and was blown away.
Favorite airline: I think Virgin, for sure—but I fly Delta the most often and love that they almost always have Wi-Fi!
Aisle or window: Aisle—I have a small bladder!
Favorite U.S. airport: Nashville—GREAT airport, music, good food, great personality.
Favorite international airport: Hong Kong is positively futuristic.
Favorite hotel: Love the whole Viceroy family!
Favorite travel credit card: I have the Gold Delta SkyMiles AmEx—I am considering upgrading to platinum though!
Favorite fancy restaurant: I dream often about Strip House in Vegas. Is that random?
Favorite bar: Best bar I’ve ever been to was a divvy karaoke bar set in a double-wide tractor trailer in Nashville. The drinks were horrible, but it had more flavor than any bar ever. It’s called Santa’s Pub, and the owner looks just like santa!
Favorite food: sushi! But also love Mexican, or a great steakhouse. I just love food.
Least favorite food: I hate cheesecake with a passion. (Go ahead, judge.)
Craziest thing you’ve eaten: I once had snapper soup, assuming they meant “red snapper” as in fish—found out later what it really was (turtle!)—I was so sick! Mostly because it was delicious.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): On the ground, either a dirty martini or white wine. In the air, almost always sparkling water and a twist of lime unless I’m having a BADDDD travel day. (Then it’s vodka and soda!)
Favorite travel movie(s): Up in the Air.
Right now I am reading: “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn”—I’m super obsessed with everything to do with the Tudor era!
5 things you bring on a plane: Computer, headphones, and a good (trashy!) book.
What do you always seem to forget? Toothbrush. Seriously. I buy a new one almost every trip.
What do you like least about travel? Delays. I hate when a three-hour trip takes twice as long for no reason.
Favorite travel app(s): I use TripIt and Waze religiously.
Most embarrassing travel moment: When I was in São Paolo, it was a part of a press trip and the final night, our hosts took us to a fancy steakhouse where the chef did a private demo. At the end, they gave us gift bags, and I was so tired, so I just threw it in my carry-on bag and forgot about it. As we were going through airport security the next day, the TSA operator pulled me over and started to question me in a combination of broken English and Portuguese. “What is this??” She holds up a CHEF’S CARVING SET. I decide that my best bet is to avoid using the WORD knife, so I instead say “Oh, it’s for meat…when cooking…?” Finally, I was so shellshocked, I told her she should just throw it away. I still miss those knives.
Worst travel moment: I guess the above would suffice. But I once fainted in Riveria Maya while at a cocktail party on a pier – were my friend not to catch me, I’d have fallen into shark-infested waters. (And I can’t swim!)
What’s your dream destination? Italy. I want to go more than anything, and have never been. Have never been to London either!
Best travel tip: Always pack snacks when in the airport. You’ll save tons of money and also eat a lot healthier.