Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers on useful resources, favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Savannah Grace
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Residence: Alkmaar, The Netherlands
Short Bio: Youngest member of a very adventurous family, Savannah had visited 30 U.S. states by the age of seven on various camping trips. At 14 she was pulled out of school to travel the world before returning home four years later to graduate from high school. Now 22, Savannah has traveled to nearly 100 countries and completed her first book Sihpromatum – I Grew My Boobs in China. She is currently living with her Dutch partner in The Netherlands, where she continues to write and travel.
How often do you fly: To be honest, I am terrified of flying. I am much more of a land girl; buses, trains, walking, cargo ships. Last year, 2012, I flew a dozen times, mainly long-haul flights.
How many countries have you been to: 98.
How many continents have you been to: 5 (missing Antarctica and Oceania)
Favorite international city: Impossible to know. Alkmaar, The Netherlands – Florence, Italy – Yangshuo (though it’s not a city), China – Hampi, India –
Least favorite country: Egypt. Lived like a local and worked there for five months, people were very sexist and disrespectful towards me and my family.
Favorite World Heritage Site: There are so many to choose from that’s like trying to pick a favorite country. How do you compare the Rocky Mountains in Canada with Lijiang, China. Or The Great Wall of China with Kutna Hora’s bone church in Czech Republic?! Taj Mahal in India or Samarkand in Uzbekistan?
Favorite airline: Air Transat has been my airline of choice lately because I can find really great deals from Amsterdam to Vancouver. Ryan Air is super cheap too.
Favorite aircraft type: No idea. Doesn’t matter as long as it gets me there in one piece.
Aisle or window: Mostly aisle so I don’t have to be afraid to drink lots of water and pee as often as I want without bugging my neighbor. Window seat if I’m traveling with family though, since I’m the youngest, I hardly ever get that privilege.
Favorite international airport: YVR (Vancouver) or AMS (Schiphol Amsterdam).
Favorite hotel: A bit hard to choose… but I really loved the one in Leukerbad, Switzerland with the hot spring indoor/outdoor swimming pool with the gorgeous snow-capped alps towering over. Unfortunately I forget the name but I think most of the hotels up there would be great.
Favorite cruise line: Never been on a cruise!
Favorite island: The Maldives. It was truly a tropical paradise. Only 30 people, including staff, were on the entire island with white sands and gorgeous reef fish.
Favorite fruit: Tops would be strawberry, blueberry, kiwi, lychee, grapes.. I’m pretty sure I love them all… ok, ok durian might not be on my list.
Favorite food: Sushi and curry
Least favorite food: Not fond of peanut butter dishes or fishy stuff (I know that kind of contradicts the answer above, lol)
Favorite travel book(s): I haven’t read it yet, but I’m pretty sure Shantaramwould be it.
Right now I am reading: The Outlander series for the second time.
Five things you bring on a plane: iPhone, camera, journal, book, passport.
What do you always seem to forget: Luckily just my toothbrush. Though once I forgot my camera charger, underwear, glasses, contacts, toothbrush, everything, but I’m not sure if it counts as “forgetting” when the day trip just happened to turn into a four day round-trip Alkmaar, to Luxembourg, to Austria, to Paris, and back to Alkmaar.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Notes for taking lots of NOTES.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Gosh, there have been a few I’m sure. But one would be when I fell on my butt in the middle of a Chinese train station trying to get up with my backpack on. Everyone was staring at us even BEFORE that happened. I laughed it off.
Worst travel moment: Oh, there have been plenty of those. Being too stubborn to get ripped off by another taxi driver in Guinea Bissau, West Africa while crossing the border into Guinea. We ended up walking 10km with backpacks at the hottest time of day (40 degrees Celsius +), with brush fires to the left, “Beware Landmines” to the right and no water or food. It was killer! It was only because of a tiny village on the way that we were able to take a rest and get some water from their well.
What’s your dream destination: I always dreamed of going to New York in the winter and hailing a cab from a posh hotel with a doorman (cliché!) and visiting Japan in the spring when all the blossoms are blooming… but recently my boyfriend pointed out the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. That seems pretty awesome but super expensive!
Best travel tip: Be flexible and take on the adventure with an open mind.