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: Erin Ryder, commonly known as Ryder
Occupation: TV host, Producer, World-Traveler, and Adventurer
Hometown: Hopewell Jct., NY
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
College: Undergrad: SUNY Cortland. Grad School: The Newhouse School @ Syracuse University
College major: Television, Radio and Film
Facebook: Erin Ryder
Pinterest: Erin Ryder
Short bio: Ryder is a seasoned co-host of SYFY’s television series “Destination Truth” as well as National Geographic’s “Chasing UFOs.” She has also won awards and accolades for her productorial work behind the camera.
A self described, no-nonsense adventurer; she gets her kicks traversing some of the deadliest environments on earth, while her humor and penchant for getting into trouble keeps fellow travelers on their toes. There are few hard-hitting, tough as nails women as fearless as Ryder whose resume includes: rafting the world’s largest waterfall, jumping out of a helicopter info shark-infested waters, rappelling the Great Wall of China, and scaling glaciers in Antarctica.
How often do you fly? Once or twice a month.
How many countries have you been to? 49 down, tons more to go!
How many continents have you been to? Blessed enough to have visited them all!
Earliest travel memory: Driving to Cape Cod with my family for our summer vacation. The smell of ocean air will always remind me of those memorable trips.
Favorite American city: New York.
Favorite international city: Reykjavik.
Least favorite country: I always try to see a country as half-full.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: The Gambia; they first refused us entry because they thought we were spies. Eventually they let us thru but kept our luggage and gear for the entire trip. I managed to survive washing my one outfit each night and shooting our show at night using boat batteries to operate lights.
Favorite world heritage site: Petra, to me, nothing beats the architectural feats of these rock-cut temples and tombs.
Favorite airline: Singapore.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 777 or 747.
Aisle or window: Depends on the flight. Sometimes I like the freedom of the aisle other times I want to curl up and sleep the time away.
Favorite airport lounge: Is it wrong to love the United Club at Tokyo’s Narita airport solely for their cool beer dispensing machine?
Favorite U.S. Airport: Charlotte; tappas, vino and airport rockers.
Favorite international airport: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport; the Disney World of Airports.
Favorite hotel: Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Baden-Baden, Germany. When the city is one big adult theme park spa heaven, this hotel is the icing on the cake.
Favorite cruise line: None yet, 90% of the time the sea and I disagree.
Favorite travel credit card: Capital One Venture Rewards. What’s in your passport wallet?
Favorite island: Fiji.
Favorite beach: Whitehaven beach, Whitsundays, QLD.
Favorite fancy restaurant: The invitation-only, Yanakase Sushi in Los Angeles. 20 courses and it’s BYOS (bring your own sake).
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: The dive-y-ist of dive bars, Lucy’s in the East Village, NYC, NY.
Favorite bar: Faraday bar at the Vernadsky Station in Antarctica. “The southernmost public bar in the world.” Ladies…and men, if you hand over your undergarments you get free drinks for life!
Favorite fruit: To me coconuts are the perfect food. In one little coconut, you can find an energy drink, a balanced meal, and a skin and hair moisturizer.
Favorite food: I’m a sucker for a burrito; the perfect pack-up-and-roll travel food.
Least favorite food: Balut. Sure some people think an over-developed egg is an aphrodisiac; I on the other hand prefer my eggs over easy…minus the bones and feathers!
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): In the airI love a Tito’s vodka & soda, extra lime. On the ground I’m always game to try what the locals are sipping on.
Favorite travel movie(s): Airplane!
Favorite travel show(s): I would of course drink with Bourdain around the world and back but I am also really envious of the producers of Departures who really take the art of travel cinematography to new heights.
Favorite travel book(s): “The Southern Gates of Arabia” by Freya Stark.
Right now I am reading: The science fiction series “Wool” by Hugh Howey.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I grew up ogling the photos in my grandfather’s “National Geographic Traveler” magazines. I’m a huge tech and gear geek so I love the gear recommendations in “Backpacker” and my new favorite wanderers to follow are Beersandbeans.com.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! I frequent Kayak, Johnny Jet, TravelZoo, Booking.com, Global Traveler, Independent Traveler, and more, on a regular basis. Wait, did I mention JohnnyJet.com?
5 things you bring on a plane: Bose headphones, eye mask, lip balm, scarf, & pillow.
What do you always seem to forget? A power cord for one device or another.
What do you like least about travel? Packing a suitcase. I wish I could say after all these years of traveling I’m a minimalist but I am famous for overpacking. No matter how well I plan I always panic and stuff in some last-minute extras that have my bag teetering on the heavy side.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Local made spirits or tobacco.
Favorite travel app(s): LoungeBuddy, the must-have app for finding the best lounge when you’re stuck at the airport. TripAdvisor is a fantastic resource for travelers of all stages, SeatGuru, WhatsApp messenger, and for Global Foodies like me, The Global Eater Food Dictionary app.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I popped a sleeping pill as I was in line, boarding a flight, only to have the flight crew delay us 15 minutes. I began dozing off as I was standing up and then the world went black. Next thing I know I woke up with my backpack still on, seat belted in and drooling on the window. I don’t recall boarding at all. My neighbor looked none to pleased with my sleepy, drool-filled mishap.
Worst travel moment: I get very seasick so the thought of sailing the Drake Passage to Antarctica was horrifying but I stuck on some patches, layered on the sea bands and went for it. Our first night at sea was filled with excitement and nerves as we all bunked down for the night. That morning I awoke and peered out the window, confused to see land, which we weren’t supposed to be seeing for four days, only to learn that our engine failed and we sailed back to shore. We were stuck on land for five days until they could get the right parts. I had finally gotten over my sea fears only to have to face them all over again…
What’s your dream destination? I would like to eventually track down Carmen Sandiego and buy her a beer. My sources tell me she may be hiding out on the Ambergris Caye Island in Belize.
Favorite travel charity: The Rainforest Foundation.
Best travel tip: Don’t wait. There will never be the perfect time, or the right amount of money to save up to take a trip and have an adventure. The greatest way to catch the travel bug is to just get out and do it and besides some of the best places to start are in your own backyard.