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: Cory Lee
Occupation: Travel Blogger
Hometown: LaFayette, GA
College: University of West Georgia, class of 2014
College major: Marketing
Facebook: Curb Free with Cory Lee
Short bio: I was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, got my first wheelchair at the age of four, and have rolled around the world ever since.
How often do you fly? I usually fly domestically 5-6 times per year and internationally 3-4 times per year.
How many countries have you been to? So far, I’ve been to 17 countries. I am aiming to hit 20 by the end of 2016.
How many continents have you been to? 3, but within the next few months I’ll visit two new continents (Asia and Africa).
Earliest travel memory: I remember visiting Walt Disney World when I was four-years-old. Since then, I’ve been to Disney more than a dozen times and I even did my college internship there. I’m obsessed with Disney to say the least.
Favorite American city: It’s a toss-up between Washington, DC and Las Vegas.
Favorite international city: Sydney, Australia because it’s by far the most accessible city that I’ve ever been to.
Least favorite country: France because wheelchair accessibility is terrible. I could only find one accessible taxi in all of Paris and it was $650 per day to use it!
I have no desire to go to: Paris again. I would literally go anywhere else in the world.
Friendliest people in the world: Probably in Reykjavik, Iceland. Even when a restaurant or store wasn’t accessible, they would come out and lift my chair up into the place. They were always willing to lend a helping hand.
Favorite World Heritage Site: The Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia was remarkable. I visited Tallinn and didn’t really know what to expect, but it quickly blew my mind. So much beauty and history.
Favorite airline: I’m loyal to Delta.
Aisle or window: Aisle because it’s easier for me to transfer in and out of an aisle seat.
Favorite U.S. airport: Atlanta because it’s my home airport. I know it like the back of my hand.
Favorite international airport: Amsterdam because of the staff. When my wheelchair got damaged during a flight to Amsterdam recently, the staff genuinely cared and were so kind. I’ve never experienced customer service that great.
Favorite hotel: I usually love Hilton properties and I try to stay at them as much as possible, but my favorite hotel ever is The Inn on Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. From the lobby to the on-site restaurant, everything was perfect.
Favorite cruise line: I’d probably have to say Royal Caribbean.
Favorite island: Iceland! It’s not warm like most islands, but the natural beauty and the people more than make up for it.
Favorite beach: The beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. Aside from tons of awesome attractions, they have powered beach wheelchairs that make it easy for me to roll on the sand.
Favorite National Park: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is in Tennessee and North Carolina. It’s only a few hours’ drive from where I live so I try to visit as much as possible.
Favorite fancy restaurant: OLO in Helsinki, Finland. It was a 17+ course meal and I’m still dreaming about it.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: The King’s Head in London, England. Best fish and chips ever!
Favorite fruit: Bananas.
Favorite food: Tacos! I could eat them for every meal and usually do.
Least favorite food: Mushrooms. I don’t even like to see them.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): When flying, I always drink cranberry apple juice for some reason. It’s just a habit. When on the ground, I’m always up for coffee.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio is definitely my favorite, but I also loved Wild with Reese Witherspoon.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything with Samantha Brown. She’s my travel idol.
Favorite travel book(s): “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.
Right now I am reading: “GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: National Geographic Traveler, Condé Nast Traveler and Johnny Jet!
5 things you bring on a plane: My iPhone, EarPlanes, ChexMix, my MacBook Air, and a carry-on bag. I only fly with carry-on bags ever since two of my checked bags were lost/stolen a while back.
What do you like least about travel? Flying as a wheelchair-user isn’t easy by any means and is probably my least favorite part of traveling. I worry if my wheelchair will make it to the destination undamaged. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to just roll onto the plane in my wheelchair and stay in it for the flight.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Any kind of authentic candy or food from that destination.
Favorite travel app(s): SkyScanner, TripAdvisor, Trover, and FlightRadar24.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Southeast Asia yet. But that will change next year hopefully.
Worst travel moment: On my first trip to Europe, my wheelchair battery charger blew up when we plugged it in (with the correct adapter and converter). Sparks were flying and our entire hotel’s power actually went out for about 10 minutes. Luckily, the hotel never found out that it was me that caused the outage. The next day I found a wheelchair repair shop and had to buy a new charger. It set me back about $250, but worked the rest of the trip.
What’s your dream destination? A South African safari has been my dream for a long time and I’m finally going later this year! Other dream destinations include Thailand, Ecuador, Ireland, and Antarctica.
Favorite travel charity: The Greater Go! They provide travel scholarships to disabled individuals who otherwise may not be able to travel.
Best travel tip: Book the ticket and figure everything else out after that. Once I book a flight, it means that I’m going one way or another. If you sit around and wait “until the time is right,” you may never end up going.
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