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: Helen Anne Travis
Occupation: Journalist, blogger and marketing consultant
Hometown: Brooksville, Fl
Residence: Tampa, Fl
Short Bio: Helen Anne Travis covered breaking news for five years at the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times before transitioning into internet marketing and helping brands like Sony and Panasonic hone their content marketing strategies. Now she combines her publishing and marketing experience with her love of travel. Helen Anne helps companies reach travelers with engaging site and marketing content. She also works as a freelance travel writer, blogger and videographer. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Times, Orlando Sentinel and Austin American-Statesman, among other sites and publications.
How often do you fly: This year was a personal record. I traveled internationally five times and went on several domestic trips. I hope to set a new personal best next year. And the year after that!
How many countries have you been to: 17
How many continents have you been to: 4
Favorite American city: New York City, followed closely by San Francisco and Anchorage.
Favorite international city: Istanbul and Mexico City blew me away.
Least favorite country: I don’t think I’ll return to Uruguay.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I’ve only been hassled coming into the US.
Favorite World Heritage Site: The cliff-side villages of Cinque Terre, Italy.
Favorite airline: Turkish Airlines gives passengers in economy class free socks! Swoon.
Favorite aircraft type: The bigger the better.
Aisle or window: Window. No question.
Favorite U.S. airport: I have to give props to Tampa International. It’s clean, modern and well-staffed. I can’t wait for it to get more non-stop international flights.
Favorite international airport: When I landed at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport there was a family picnicking on the trails around the runway. They waved at my plane. That was the best welcome I’ve ever received.
Favorite hotel: I usually rent apartments when I travel. I appreciate the extra space and more authentic experience.
Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? I live out of my suitcase and have the wrinkled clothes to prove it.
Favorite island: Santorini, Greece
Favorite beach: Leblon, Rio de Janeiro.
Favorite fancy restaurant: The best sushi I’ve ever tasted was from Hachiko in Rio de Janeiro. A national riot erupted outside the restaurant while we were eating, but the food was delicious.
Favorite hole in the wall: King Corona Cigars in my hometown of Tampa.
Favorite fruit: What a fun question! Hmmm, probably bananas.
Favorite food: Sushi and anything in a broth.
Least favorite food: I can’t say I’m a big fan of chapulines, a fried grasshopper served in Mexico.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): I love IPAs, bloody marys and gin and tonics.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Motorcycle Diaries.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything with Rick Steves or Samantha Brown. They’re my heroes.
Favorite travel book(s): A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson.
Right now I am reading: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs:
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: I always hit up UncorneredMarket.com, GlobalYodel.com and Wikitravel.org for travel inspiration.
Five things you bring on a plane: Books, chap stick, Xanax, inflatable pillows and an eyeshade.
What do you like least about travel? Being tired.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? The local potent potable is always appreciated.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I’ll never tell!
Worst travel moment: I mentioned earlier that I accidentally got caught up in a protest in Rio. We were eating dinner across the street from the assembly hall where 100,000 people planned to riot against the government that night. We were stuck in the building for several hours while the walls shook with explosions, people screamed outside, and a car burned in front of the building. It was the scariest night of my life. But since we survived, it was also one of the most awesome nights of my life.
What’s your dream destination: I feel a really strong pull to the Balkans.
Best travel tip: Ditch your expectations. The fewer preconceptions you have about a destination, the more likely you are to enjoy it.