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: Shane Dallas (The Travel Camel)
Occupation: World explorer and teller of travel tales through blogging, photography and public speaking.
Hometown: Born in Adelaide, Australia, but for 20 years up till 2012 I resided in Brisbane (Australia’s third largest city after Sydney and Melbourne).
Residence: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Instagram: I don’t use Smartphones for my travel photography.
Bio: I love to journey along the road less traveled. From the exceptional hospitality of Iraq, through the imposing mountainous beauty of Afghanistan and to the unique culture of Ethiopia—the more different a destination the more enjoyable the experience. For me, travel is an intellectual pursuit where I can explore and learn more about this remarkable planet and the humanity that unites us all. It is for this reason I gravitate to places of cultural, historical or religious significance. I possess 10 years experience in travel blogging, 20 years as a public speaker and 30 years as a traveler.
How often do you fly? More than one international flight each month.
How many countries have you been to? 70+ (including territories)
How many continents have you been to? Five.
Favorite American city: I’ve only been to one US—Los Angeles—so it wins by default.
Favorite international city: Please don’t make me choose just one! My shortlist would include Seoul, South Korea; Madrid, Spain; Paris, France; and Sana’a, Yemen.
Least favorite country: None—but some countries take more time and effort to appreciate.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Rather than the meanest, the strictest immigration officers were encountered entering Israel and North Korea.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Taj Mahal is a clear winner. I went without food for the entire day so that I could laze in the gardens and watch the onion-shaped domes change color from pink at sunrise, through to beige, cream and white in the middle of the day, before shifting to ivory, yellow and finally a pale shade of orange at sunset.
Favorite airline: Emirates, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 777-300 for comfort both in Business and Economy (Coach) class.
Aisle or window: Window every time, and always the left side (seat A).
Favorite airport lounge: First class lounge at the Premium Terminal in Doha, Qatar. It is lovely to relax in a Jacuzzi between flights.
Favorite U.S. airport: Since the only US airport I’ve ever visited is Los Angeles International Airport, I don’t really have much of a choice.
Favorite international airport: Changi in Singapore is the only airport I make an effort to arrive as early as possible. Terminal 3 has a homely feel I’ve never experienced in any other terminal.
Favorite hotel: Difficult choice, but the Pan Pacific at Marina Bay in Singapore always feels extremely comfortable and welcoming. Their service is exceptional considering it is such a large hotel.
Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? For stays of longer than three nights, everything is unpacked. Otherwise all items stay in my backpack (rucksack).
Favorite cruise line: Never been on a cruise.
Favorite island: Tanna Island in Vanuatu—where some of the world’s gentlest people live beneath the shadow of one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Favorite beach: Since I’m from Australia we are surrounded by beautiful beaches so it is not something I give any attention during my travels.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Rarely eat at fancy places.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: I loved the street food in Penang, Malaysia. Penang has the best cuisine I’ve tasted anywhere in the world.
Favorite fruit: Banana.
Favorite food: Malaysian cuisine is exceptional—blending European, Chinese, Indian, Thai and traditional Malay cooking styles. Chocolate from anywhere also ranks highly.
Least favorite food: Anything bitter.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Water.
Favorite travel movie(s): Lord of the Rings. This is travel on a fantastic scale, and all travel ingredients are present on the journey to Mount Doom: seeing new sights, meeting new people (or in the book it was meeting elves, dwarves and humans), plans that change, unforeseen problems, comradeship, and a changed perspective on life and the world we live in.
Favorite travel show(s): I loved the Long Way Round and Long Way Down series that showed the monumental overland motorcycle journeys of Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor.
Favorite travel book(s): See the “Favorite travel movie(s)” answer above.
Right now I am reading: Nothing presently. However, a copy of Tao Te Ching always travels with me. I’m keen to read Travels in the Interior of Africa by Mungo Park.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I cannot choose three without offending dozens more, so I shall remain silent.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! www.travelblog.org—I’m their longest serving community manager, a role I’ve undertaken in a voluntary capacity since 2006.
5 things you bring on a plane: Noise cancelling headphones (Bose QuietComfort 15 is superb), MP3, solitaire board game (Onirim is best in a confined area), laptop, Nikon DSLR (some great aerial views when flying).
What do you always seem to forget? That I can stock up on items such as batteries and toiletries whilst on the road, so no need to pack much of either when commencing a journey.
What do you like least about travel? Security screening at airports (though I can understand their necessity). I remember traveling in the 80s and 90s when there was no screening and one just waltzed onto the plane.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty-free store? I rarely purchase anything from a duty free store due to price, but if pushed to acquire something, it would be chocolate.
Favorite travel app(s): Don’t use them.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Vomiting on a ferry that threatened to capsize in extremely rough seas between Guadalcanal and Malaita in the Solomon Islands. Thought I would have handled the situation better than that.
Worst travel moment: Catching suspected scrub typhus in rural Thailand. I was unlucky to catch scrub typhus, but lucky it was not a fatal dose. It took me six months to fully recover, and I had trouble getting out of bed for the first three of these months. I’m in no rush to repeat this experience.
What’s your dream destination? Antarctica, with a side-trip to the Falkland and South Georgia Islands.
Favorite travel charity: Not aware of enough to comment.
Best travel tip: Immerse yourself in a destination. Eat at places where locals eat, stay where they stay, and engage in as many conversations as possible with local people. For those who don’t feel comfortable doing this, undertake a reconnaissance on the first day and go deeper on subsequent days. Immersion will ensure much fuller and more memorable travels. Immersion provides the difference between seeing and experiencing a destination.