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: Valarie D’Elia aka “Travel With Val”
Occupation: Digital journalist & travel idea machine
Hometown: Trumbull, CT
Residence: New York City
Bio: I can be seen traveling the world laboriously leveling a tripod on many different surfaces, from glaciers to mountains, to sandy beaches, to cruise ship decks, city streets and hotel lobbies around the world.
My well-balanced video reports are broadcast on Time Warner Cable stations across the U.S. originating from the flagship NY1 News in Manhattan. I also appear occasionally on various morning news shows as a travel content provider.
Besides shooting, I also trained my brain to edit and feed my pieces from locations near and far, mostly from a spiffy hotel room desk with an FTP connection of (annoyingly) varying speeds.
How often do you fly: Every time I get on a plane
How many countries have you been to: 100 and counting with the Traveler’s Century Club tally sheet. (which lets connections count as long as you put your foot down)
How many continents have you been to: All of them until they break apart into more
Favorite American city: New York
Favorite international city: Cacophonus, crazy, circuitous Rome, or the last place I visited, which at press time was Paris.
Least favorite country: Finland. Too much like Fairfield, CT to have traveled that far.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Taj Mahal. Oh, to be loved so desperately!
Favorite airline: Trans Caribbean Airways, my very first flight that ignited my passion for travel
Favorite aircraft type: One without turbulence and “woe is me” flight attendants
Aisle or window: I like the window, my bladder likes the aisle
Favorite airport lounge: London Heathrow Virgin Atlantic T3
Favorite U.S. airport: Martha’s Vineyard. When I’m there, it means I’m closer to heaven on earth
Favorite international airport: Singapore on a connection. Now I’d like to see the city.
Favorite cruise line: Cunard (see above)
Favorite island: Anguilla
Favorite fancy restaurant: Pimm’s, Cap Juluca for its generous servings of hot & sultry waterfront ambience.
Favorite hole in the wall: Sunset Beach Bar where the planes fly low when landing in St. Maarten and/or Capt’n Tony’s Key West of my University of Miami days
Favorite fruit: The Big Apple
Favorite food: Fatty, juicy, cholesterol-ridden medium-rare ribeye and/or seared foie gras
Least favorite food: White of the egg
Favorite travel movie(s): Papillon
Favorite travel show(s): House Hunters International
Favorite travel book(s): Pat Conroy, Prince of Tides
Five things you bring on a plane: My thoughts, My curiosity, My hopes, My dreams, My wanderlust
What do you always seem to forget: My angst
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): GPS
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: My family and I getting kicked out of Brazil (yes the entire country) because we didn’t have visas for the cruise. Had to fly back to Argentina, get visas and return to Brazil. It cost the cruise line $11K in fines and expenses because they stated in writing that Americans didn’t need visas if they stuck to ship-led excursions. It was a case of vindictive “reciprocity” on the part of Brazil.
What’s your dream destination: Seychelles and Maldives in that order.
Best travel tip: Let your hair take a vacation from the blow dryer. (does not apply to the dashing Mr. Jet