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: Amber Mamian
Occupation: Freelance Travel Writer, Small Business Owner, wife and mom to five kids through birth and adoption
Hometown: Born & Raised SoCal girl
College: California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks CA
College major: Marketing & Communication
Facebook: Global Munchkins
Pinterest: Global Munchkins
Google+: Global Munchkins
YouTube: Global Munchkins
Short bio: Amber is a journalism school dropout, successful small business entrepreneur and mother to five kids through birth and adoption who now writes about traveling the world. Amber caught the travel bug after flying to Ethiopia in 2010 to bring her son home. Since then she has been dragging her husband and five kids all around the world. They have been to over 10 countries across four continents (including places like Dubai, Ethiopia, Bali, Costa Rica etc…) so far and have no plans to stop anytime soon. Amber started her blog in hopes of inspiring other families to make travel a priority. She offers tips and tricks on everything from budgeting and planning to how to deal with tantrums and picky eaters on the road. She wants parents to know that travel doesn’t have to end when you have kids.
How often do you fly? At least several times per month.
How many countries have you been to? 12
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: Camping in Yosemite with my parents and younger brother. It was our annual trip and I looked forward to it every year.
Favorite American city: That’s a tough one: either Santa Barbara or Laguna Beach, CA.
Favorite international city: Dang…another hard one: Rome, Italy or Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Least favorite country: France, I think I built it up in my head and so when I was finally there I found it disappointing. Too much smoking, the streets are filthy and the people could smile a bit more.
I have no desire to go to: Antarctica.
Friendliest people in the world: Bali…on the side not yet westernized near Candi Dasa.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Dubai.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Piazza del Duomo, Pisa. I didn’t even want to visit the leaning tower because it’s so cliché however upon arriving I immediately fell in love. It’s absolutely gorgeous in person and it’s so quirky at the same time. We climbed to the top and enjoyed the views of the quaint little town and beautiful church. I had never realized the entire town of Pisa was built on this unstable soil. The whole town literally leans it’s the funniest thing.
Favorite airline: Virgin America & Atlantic… love their service and they have always been very accommodating with our crew of munchkins.
Aisle or window: Aisle all the way… I need to get up and stretch without bothering someone.
Favorite airport lounge: Hands down the Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge, Changi Airport, Singapore. The airport itself is something to behold with its butterfly garden, movie theater and rooftop swimming pool.
Favorite U.S. airport: John Wayne.
Favorite international airport: Singapore.
Favorite hotel: The Grand Wailea.
Favorite cruise line: Norwegian.
Favorite travel credit card: Starwood Preferred Guest Amex. It’s got some great perks and no FTFs on international purchases.
Favorite island: Capri, it’s gorgeous, charming and they have great food. Plus it’s so small you can get around the whole island easily in an afternoon.
Favorite beach: Wailea in Maui…It’s where we stayed after we got married.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Mama’s Fishouse in Maui, Hawaii.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Messob, an Ethiopian restaurant in Los Angeles.
Favorite bar: The Office in Cabo, but it’s dangerous. They serve wicked stiff margaritas.
Favorite fruit: Watermelon.
Favorite food: Avocado toast. Seriously I could eat it six times a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack). Thank goodness I live in CA.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Vodka cranberry in the air and pineapple mojito on the ground.
Favorite travel movie(s): Eat, Pray, Love. I’m a huge Julia Roberts fan so it already had that going for it. Then it had such great images of India…I still want to go there because of it.
Right now I am reading: “There is No Me without You,” a story about an amazing women who dedicated her life to saving orphans in Ethiopia. The story is close to my heart and I’m actually re-reading it for the first time since I adopted my son from Ethiopia over five years ago.
5 things you bring on a plane: socks, pillow, lip balm, bottle of water, snacks.
What do you always seem to forget? Sunscreen.
What do you like least about travel? Driving…it’s my least favorite mode of transportation and we typically fly out of LAX and the drive in or out of Los Angeles is never fun.
Favorite travel app(s): TripIt, Rome2Rio, PopularPays, Yelp, TripAdvisor.
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: Most of the states in the US, many of them are on my bucket list but I’m easily enticed by exotic locations.
Favorite travel charity: Make-a-Wish. My niece worked with them for awhile and I was always so amazed at the events they are able to make possible for these special children. You can donate your air miles to help make dreams come true. How awesome is that!
Best travel tip: Embrace every location you find yourself in. Kindness and a smile speak more than words. The locals can offer you some of the most amazing tips!
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.