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 Michelson
Occupation: Adventure Philanthropist
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Residence: World Nomad
Facebook: Go Erin Go
Bio: Erin Michelson is a social entrepreneur and the author of Adventure Philanthropist: Great Adventures Volunteering Abroad. The newly published book chronicles her two years traveling to more than 60 counties and all 7 continents, volunteering with non-profit organizations along the way. In addition to donating her time, Erin donated more than $35,000 to organizations working in the communities she visited. Many of the projects she supported were voted on by the readers of her www.GoErinGo.com site. Leaving the world of corporate finance to work in the nonprofit arena, Erin currently runs a consulting firm specializing in exponential growth and expansion strategies for nonprofit organizations. A lover of adventure sports, Erin is a daredevil in both the sporting arena and the field of philanthropy.
How often do you fly? At least once a month—usually long-haul flights.
How many countries have you been to? 84
How many continents have you been to? 6
Favorite American city: NYC
Favorite international city: Istanbul
Least favorite country: Any country where women are systematically oppressed.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Angkor Wat.
Favorite airline: Etihad.
Favorite aircraft type: Dunno.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: Airport lounge—what’s that?!
Favorite U.S. airport: Atlanta.
Favorite international airport: O.R. Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) in Johannesburg.
Favorite hotel: Mandarin Oriental.
Favorite cruise line: Seabourne.
Favorite island: Zanzibar.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Spruce, San Francisco.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Burma Superstar, tucked away on Clement Street in San Francisco.
Favorite food: Lebanese.
Least favorite food: Laotian.
Drink of choice: Sprite (air)/3-olive martini.
Favorite travel movie(s): War Photographer.
Favorite travel show(s): Locked Up Abroad.
Favorite travel book(s): Down Under.
Right now I am reading: Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost.
5 things you bring on a plane: Kindle, iPod, inflatable travel pillow, Ibprofen, hand wipes with disinfectant.
What do you always seem to forget? Where the bathroom is! I average a new country every 10 days, and each night I have a small panic attack just before I fall asleep about finding the bathroom in the dark.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): CNNGo.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Pick one! Kenyan Airways flight with one engine out, head-on collision with a truck in Ethiopia, jumping from a moving car in Malawi, run over by a motorbike in Hanoi…
What’s your dream destination? Colombia’s Lost City.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: TripAdvisor.
Best travel tip: Register with the U.S. State Department (https://step.state.gov/step/) before traveling to receive in-country travel alerts and invitations to consulate events.