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: Rachel Jones
Occupation: Travel Blogger at Hippie in Heels/Thai Yoga Masseuse
Hometown: Lexington, Ohio
Residence: Goa, India
College: The Ohio State University
College major: Nursing
Pinterest: Hippie in Heels
Google+: Rachel Jones
YouTube: Rachel Jones
Short bio: Rachel Jones is an American who left a career in nursing to live on the beaches in Goa India over four years ago. Her website gives advice on the 35+ countries she’s been to and has become the go-to site on India travel. The blog, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and girly travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Thomas Cook & Grazia UK magazines & based on traffic is the #26 travel blog in the world. She’s a writer for Bravo TV and she wrote the ebook “The Insider’s Guide to Goa.” You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
How often do you fly? Monthly at least.
How many countries have you been to? 24, soon to be 25 next week.
How many continents have you been to? 4
Earliest travel memory: I remember seeing alligators on vacation in Alabama at night near the dock. Just that day I had been swimming in the same lake looking for golf balls—whoops!
Favorite American city: Charlotte, NC where I lived after I graduated college. It’s got a small town vibe in a big city—you can’t beat it.
Favorite international city: Bombay. Bombay is a SHOCK to all senses and has a nightlife that puts L.A. to shame. Indians really know how to party, but it’ll also be more expensive than a night out in London.
Least favorite country: I have sat here for 5 minutes thinking about it and hate to answer this way- but none. I have loved everywhere I’ve been.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I don’t remember any being mean but in India they are VERY particular. They ask so many questions and the people in line start yelling—it has gotten very chaotic before.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Ok, I’ve recently seen people counting these and I had never thought twice about it so I have absolutely no idea. Recently I went to Hampi, Karnataka, India which has just became one!
Favorite airline: I fly a lot in India and I like IndiGo.
Aisle or window: Window all the way! I curl up in a tiny ball, take a pill, and I’m out for 8 hours. It takes me almost 40 with layovers to get from my hometown to where I live now. I’ve become a pro at making that time fly past.
Favorite airport lounge: Delhi. For about 10 bucks you can get a recliner, buffet, and Wi-Fi in a nice air-conditioned lounge until your flight.
Favorite U.S. airport: Any “big city” airport will do. They’re all the same to me. I must be near an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel. I crave them so much while I’m abroad, so I have to scarf one…or two…down before I board.
Favorite international airport: I love Heathrow. I could shop for hours. I also like Bombay because the deals are incredible. I got a tablet (looks like an iPad) for 100 dollars a year ago and it’s fabulous.
Favorite hotel: I love the Alila Diwa in Palolem, Goa, India. It’s got these enormous rooms, multiple swimming pools, delicious French food (and a great ox tail soup), and a room dedicated to a vintage bathtub.
Favorite cruise line: Never been on a cruise, but would love to take one around Alaska!
Favorite travel credit card: I’m still working on this “travel hacking” thing, and I don’t have a credit card. I have a debit from Charles Schwab that I live for. I have gotten so many people to sign up for this card that I deserve a commission. At the end of each month the reimburse you for ALL ATM fees.
Favorite island: Koh Lanta, Thailand. Compared to the others I went to, it was a nice relaxing place but also was large enough to spend a lot of time there.
Favorite beach: Koh Tao is one of my favorites if I judge by water and marine-life. I could snorkel there all day every day and not get bored. But if I judge it by the beach vibe, it’s Anjuna in Goa, India. I love the beach shacks, blasting Psy music, and everyone is raging every single day and well into the night…until the sun rises the next day. (You must check out Shiva Valley!)
Favorite fancy restaurant: A Reverie in Candolim, Goa, India. It’s got these King chairs with spikes at the top. Someone stands nearby and pours your champagne and wine. The steak with onion jam with mash is my go-to order.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Any American diner or drive-in. My favorite type of food is a chili dog with cheese and I love going to dive restaurants and chowing down.
Favorite bar: Monkey Bar near the police station in Anjuna is a fun place to let loose, drink cashew feni and eat fresh seafood.
Favorite fruit: Pineapple and strawberries! It’s strawberry season now, so I’m in heaven.
Favorite food: Chili dogs and soft pretzels with cheese.
Least favorite food: Sushi—I can’t stand it!
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): I don’t drink alcohol when I fly (minus a few occasions) so in the air I have water or a coke. On the ground my favorite drink is pink lemonade or bourbon with ginger ale.
Favorite travel movie(s): Into the Wild and Under the Tuscan Sun.
Favorite travel show(s): I like House Hunters International on HGTV.
Favorite travel book(s): Anything Paulo Coehlo writes. After The Alchemist, I was hooked. I followed up with Eleven Minutes and ever since I have been reading all his “journey of life” books.
Right now I am reading: Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paulo Coehlo.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Alexinwanderland travel blog because she’s so relatable, I like the Lonely Planet India Magazine, and Curiosity Travels is a great read as well as she’s funny but gives a nice history background when it’s needed.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! In India it doesn’t get better than Make My Trip.
5 things you bring on a plane: iPhone, headphones, book, glasses so I can take out my contacts to sleep, a sweater.
What do you always seem to forget? Nothing! No seriously, I am so on top of packing and everything has its place. I can’t remember the last time I forgot something. Now I’ve jinxed myself haven’t I?
What do you like least about travel? Missing home. Missing my family, my dog, and a sense of knowing. At home before I left I knew what my future looked like. Now I don’t. 90% of the time I like that, but that 10% still washes over me sometimes and I have to shake it off.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Clinique Moisture Surge Face Lotion—the one in the pink jar! It’s so refreshing.
Favorite travel app(s): All apps photo-editing! I love SnapSeed for HDR and I love basic Instagram. I don’t use apps for booking or scanning flights. I’m not the best at these technology things!
Most embarrassing travel moment: Getting pickpocketed in Barcelona within the first 10 minutes of being there. Nothing makes you feel like less of a traveler. I chased them down and got back my camera but had to spend 4 hours at the police station to get it back.
Worst travel moment: Dengue fever in India. I was in the mountains and for the first bit, I thought it was altitude sickness. I became covered in bruises and was very weak. It took four weeks to get over the illness.
What’s your dream destination? A road trip through the western states in America. I did this as a kid but want to get a camper and do it again. That, or, backpacking through Chile and Argentina.
Favorite travel charity: Mother Theresa’s in Calcutta is controversial, but it does good for people who would be lying on the street dying alone.
Best travel tip: Just go! Don’t wait! It will open more doors, make you more educated and patient, and it might just change your entire path in life.
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