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: Aimee Chan
Occupation: Founder of suitcasesandstrollers.com
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Pinterest: Suitcases & Strollers
Short bio: Aimee Chan is a magazine editor and writer who has contributed to titles such as CNN, Harper’s BAZAAR, ELLE, L’Officiel, The Weekend Australian, news.com.au as well as several in-flight magazines. Most recently she founded suitcasesandstrollers.com, an online family travel magazine. The website provides free travel stories, tips and ideas for parents travelling with kids under 12. Her work has taken her all over the globe from Bhutan to Cambodia, Hong Kong to Tokyo.
Languages spoken: English.
How often do you fly? On average at least once a month.
How many countries have you been to? Well over 30.
How many continents have you been to? Everywhere except Antarctica.
Earliest travel memory: Driving in the car somewhere in North America on a road trip listening to a French Canadian cassette of children’s songs. My sons listen to that album now.
Favorite American city: New York.
Favorite international city: Tokyo.
Least favorite country: There aren’t many places I’ve been that I haven’t liked. I guess one of the ones with the less overwhelmingly awesome experiences is Malaysia.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: The USA. Closely followed by Australia.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Machu Picchu.
Favorite airline: Singapore Airlines.
Favorite aircraft type: When you travel in economy all the time, they are pretty much all the same level of over-crowded uncomfortableness. I am told I should get excited about the A380 but to me they’re all the same.
Aisle or window: Window, although I rarely get to sit there anymore. The joys of motherhood.
Favorite airport lounge: Changi Airport, Singapore.
Favorite U.S. airport: Are there any good US airports?
Favorite international airport: Changi Airport, Singapore.
Favorite hotel: I have been in so many it’s hard to have a favourite, but recently I was at the Ritz-Carlton in Dubai and (after almost two weeks in Addis Ababa) it seemed like the most luxurious and opulent place in the world.
Favorite cruise line: I’ve only ever been on a cruise in the Galapagos Islands—which was awesome—so I guess it would be that one?
Favorite travel credit card: AMEX.
Favorite island: The Maldives.
Favorite beach: It depends what you want. Crystal clear waters with loads of fish? Then the Maldives. Massive long beaches with nothing as far as the eye can see? South Africa was pretty good for that. But personally, I’m at the stage in life where Clovelly Beach in Sydney (which is flat, basically enclosed and perfect for children) is a nice respite for me.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I used to be a food writer so I’ve done a lot of these, but my most impressive recent experience was at Pollen in Singapore.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Any pho noodle bar in Vietnam or Melbourne. Closely followed by any banh mi stall in any Vietnamese street.
Favorite bar: Cufflink Club, Singapore.
Favorite fruit: Fruit is so boring. Can one really have a favourite?
Favorite food: Where do I start? There are just so many. Right now, I’m a bit obsessed with Japanese cuisine.
Least favorite food: Cooked fruit.
Craziestthingyou’veeaten: Guinea pig.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Champagne or a good Vietnamese drip coffee depending on the time of day rather than location.
Favorite travel movie(s): I just saw “Salmon Fishing In The Yemen.” Loved it.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything with Anthony Bourdain. And I have a secret love of Richard Quest’s Business Traveller when I stumble across it. Even though I am not a corporate type myself, he always has really interesting stuff on his show.
Favorite travel book(s): “Beyond the Sky and the Earth” by Jamie Zeppa. Beautiful.
Right now I am reading: Three books at once.The autobiographies of Dick Van Dyke and Gordon Ramsay and a crime/courtroom story: “Joe Cinque’s Consolation”.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I enjoy a nice glossy like Travel and Living or Gourmet Traveller. And my favourite recent find is Five Star Kids. Sadly for my kids, that’s more of a fantasy read.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! I still regularly visit Lonely Planet. But obviously the website I spend the most time on is my own.
5 things you bring on a plane: Laptop. Book or Kindle. Jumper. (Why is it always so cold on the plane?) Tissues. Spare clothes for when kids vomit/pee on me.
What do you always seem to forget? Toothbrush and toothpaste. I have never remembered. Not once.
What do you like least about travel? Jetlag.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Investment designer handbag.
Favorite travel app(s): Currency converter.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Arriving at customs somewhere after an overnight flight and being so travel weary and jetlagged I had no idea where I was. The customs officer asked me where I was staying and what I was doing here and I literally had no idea!
Worst travel moment: Visiting an orphanage in Vietnam for children who are still suffering the effects of Agent Orange. I held an infant who had its entire nose missing—there was just a big hole in its face and you could see down his or her throat—and it absolutely scarred me. I have been haunted for years by that.
What’s your dream destination: I have a bucklet list of about five that change as I tick them off. Russia, Myanmar, Israel, Egypt, Jordan are on there right now.
Favorite travel charity: Shamida Children’s Home in Ethiopia.
Best travel tip: When travelling with kids go prepared and organised but open-minded and ready for anything. Because anything and everything can happen when kids and foreign countries are involved.
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