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: Meg Jerrard (Megan Claire)
Occupation: Travel blogger! Though in Australia I’m a qualified lawyer and in America a lively cocktail waitress!
Hometown: Hobart, Tasmania
Residence: Florida, USA
College: University of Canberra
College major: Journalism/Law
Facebook: Mapping Megan
Pinterest: Meg Jerrard
Google+: Mapping Megan
YouTube: Megan Claire
Short bio: Meg is an Australian journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure! Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.
Meg and Mike travel off the beaten path in search of adventure in each country they visit. Never content with merely seeing “the sights,” they fully immerse themselves in each new culture to truly discover a destination. Together they have camped in Africa, hitchhiked through Australia and hit up every romantic destination in Europe. They haven’t been everywhere—but it’s on their list!
Languages spoken: English and a little Japanese.
How often do you fly? As often as possible—have been grounded for the last year while US Immigration processed my residency, however starting May 2014 we have 7 months of travel planned and have flights scheduled once a week.
How many countries have you been to? 35
How many continents have you been to? 4
Earliest travel memory: Traveling within Australia—my parents put me on a plane from Tasmania to Canberra to visit relatives. As a 10-year-old I was so excited to have my first bank card and get to make my own purchases, and went a little crazy spending my allocated funds. I quickly learned the value of money while traveling!
Favorite American city: Savannah, Georgia. It’s straight out of the pages of a fairytale with an unbelievable charm and character.
Favorite international city: Budapest—the city is stunning, especially at night when the Parliament Building is fully lit; the whole city is radiant!
Least favorite country: The Vatican. Hopefully God doesn’t smite me for this answer, however my Vatican experienced was ruined due to the overwhelming crowds and the sensational hype which it just didn’t live up to. I’m a Catholic, so was truly looking forward to my visit, however having been on two separate occasions now it’s just too touristy.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Traveling into the UK you get given the third degree! Worse so than the interrogation my father gives men we bring home!
Favorite airline: Qantas—Aussie pride.
Aisle or window: Aisle for longhaul flights, window for domestic. I don’t like having to bother people to get up on international flights and enjoy the freedom of being able to walk around at my own convenience.
Favorite airport lounge: British Airways—they have amazing cheesecake!
Favorite international airport: Melbourne—it’s incredibly simple and easy to navigate and immigration is quick.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred—amazing amount of travel rewards offered (like travel insurance and travel savings) and great start-up perks.
Favorite island: Australia! Within Australia, however, Hamilton Island (Great Barrier Reef) and Tasmania top the list.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Fish & chip joints anywhere along the coast of Ireland.
Favorite fruit: Strawberries.
Favorite food: Italian—who doesn’t love pizza, pasta & gelato!!
Least favorite food: Airline food—I call it “plastic food.”
Craziest thing you’ve eaten: Reindeer—on pizza in Finland! Very gamey meat. Have also eaten Kangaroo and Emu on what’s called a “Coat of Arms” pizza in Australia!
Favorite travel movie(s): Eurotrip is one of those classic comedies which I can re-watch over and over again.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything with Anthony Bourdain.
Favorite travel book(s): Sihpromatum – I Grew my Boobs in China.
Right now I am reading: Eyewitness travel guides in preparation for our next trip!
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Afar Magazine, National Geographic (of course), and Travel & Leisure.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! The Planet D, Everything Everywhere & Wanderlusters.
5 things you bring on a plane: Clean underware (you never know when/if you’ll need it), headphones, laptop, a book, and a travel pillow.
What do you always seem to forget? My watch. Everytime!
What do you like least about travel? Jetlag—7 years of travel and it still gets me!
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? I would honestly rather put the money towards our next trip!
Most embarrassing travel moment: Flying from Milan to Prague I wore 5 kg of clothes onto the plane to avoid paying excess baggage fees. And I have the kind of friends who would prefer to video the process and post it to YouTube rather than help to unpack! Needless to say, me dressing myself in everything from pajamas to towels in the middle of the Italian airport provided entertainment for the whole terminal—and I couldn’t stop laughing myself!
Worst travel moment: Catching a mild case of malaria while in Kenya. Mild in that I wasn’t hospitalized but it did take me out for a few days—and a tent in the scorching African sun with not much access to proper sanitation and clean water wasn’t the most ideal scenario to fall sick in! Honestly, who knows if it was malaria or not—but it was a pretty severe sickness!
Best travel tip: Never leave your bag unattended. This may sound like straight forward advice, but you would be surprised how often it’s overlooked. Especially on beaches when you’re in the water and possibly have thousands of dollars worth of electronics like phones, iPads, and credit cards lying unattended on the sand. And if you leave food unattended in your bag, human thieves are the least of your worries!!