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: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey
Occupation: Freelance travel writer/author
Hometown: Hamburg, Germany
Residence: Paris, France
College: Plymouth University, UK
College major: Marine Biology
Google+: Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey
Short bio: I’m a freelance writer and author specializing in travel and expatriate issues. Originally from Germany, I am a happy serial expat, and have lived in seven countries across three continents, including the UK, Qatar, Oman, UAE, and Australia, so far. I am the author of “Living Abroad in Australia,” an expatriate guide; and the travel books “Sydney & the Great Barrier Reef,” and “Spotlight Sydney,” and my articles have been featured by publications around the world, such as CNN Travel, The Telegraph, LA Times, Four Seasons magazine, and many more.
How often do you fly? As it’s mostly long-haul—too often; but now that I’m back in Europe I also go on plenty of road trips.
How many countries have you been to? 65
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: Sailing, Denmark.
Favorite American city: NYC.
Favorite international city: Paris. Luckily it’s home at the moment, and I do pinch myself every day to make I’m really there.
Least favorite country: I don’t have one, each country has better and worse regions.
I have no desire to go to: No desire to stay at home, wherever that may be.
Friendliest people in the world: Fijians.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I once got stuck at Shanghai Airport because I did not have a visa into China. I didn’t because I was simply transiting to Japan. They were mean to me, I missed my connection, and had to wait eight hours for the next one but without leaving the airport…
Favorite World Heritage Site: The old city of Sana’a, Yemen.
Favorite airline: Emirates, preferably standing by the bar upstairs in the A380; short-haul.
Favorite aircraft type: I don’t pay much attention, but anywhere with a single window seat for when I am traveling on my own, is great.
Aisle or window: If no single seat, then aisle, as I am somewhat restless and hate to clamber over the person next to me.
Favorite airport lounge: Most in the Middle East are great. The worst I’ve been to were Tripoli, Libya, and Delhi, India.
Favorite U.S. airport: I can’t say that I know that many, no idea.
Favorite international airport: Changi is pretty good, also LHR Terminal 3.
Favorite hotel: Oh, so many. Boutique, probably the Albergo in Beirut, Lebanon; for colour: The Missoni in Kuwait; for space and beach: The Nam Hai in Hoi An, Vietnam; for utter charm: the Monna Lisa in Florence, Italy.
Favorite cruise line: I don’t do cruises.
Favorite travel credit card: Anything not American Express.
Favorite island: Zanzibar, Tanzania for its diversity.
Favorite beach: I love a dramatic ocean with plenty of waves, so probably the Atlantic coastal stretch between Arcachon and Biarritz in France. One very long beach.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Vue De Monde, Melbourne. They get you to try things you never would have otherwise, and it all tastes good.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: (ATM or somewhat dodgy restaurant?) If restaurant, there is this little juice stall in Ruwi, Oman that serves a great egg shawama.
Favorite bar: The Gilbert Scott in the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London.
Favorite fruit: Pomelo.
Favorite food: Fish, preferably simply pan-fried.
Least favorite food: Haven’t tried them, but probably fried spiders on a stick.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Champagne.
Favorite travel movie(s): Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Hatari! with John Wayne.
Favorite travel show(s): Any old Globe Trekker with Ian Wright.
Favorite travel book(s): Alan Booth’s “Roads to Sata,” and the early William Dalrymple books.
Right now I am reading: Sad but true, I am just finishing off Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time.” Took me nearly a year, on and off.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: International Traveller (AUS), Condé Nast Traveller (UK), Nat Geo Travel (US).
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! At the moment: Melbourne Today (todaymelbourne.blogspot.com), Bonjour Paris (bonjourparis.com), Do it in Paris (doitinparis.com).
5 things you bring on a plane: Books, magazines, phone charger, moisturizer, water.
What do you always seem to forget? Said phone charger.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Champagne and Godiva chocolates. (Please?!)
Favorite travel app(s): Anything that helps with local public transport, such as Sydney Transport Info; Paris Metro; but also the rather nerdy Flightradar24.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Literally just happened on my last trip. I threw up in the middle of Doha Airport. Sudden, unexpected, and too fast to even start looking for the toilets. Although utterly mortified, I felt better immediately after.
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: Hong Kong, it pains me to even type this.
Worst travel moment: I’d just about arrived at my hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, when we were stopped by guys with big guns who checked the taxi for car bombs. Not when I got in, no, but when I was about to get out. I did not feel the love.
What’s your dream destination? Anywhere in South America, and, of course, Hong Kong!
Best travel tip: Always ask for what you want, the worst thing that can happen is that the answer is “no.”
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