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: Vicki Mattingly

Occupation: Cultural Travel Blogger and Web Producer

Hometown: Richmond, Indiana

Residence: Washington, DC

College: Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)

College major: Major in World Religions (Comparative Religion), and Minors in Political Science, Spanish, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (Arabic)

Website: VoyagerVicki.com

Twitter: @VoyagerVicki

Facebook: Voyager Vicki

Pinterest: Voyager Vicki

Instagram: voyagervicki

Google+: Vicki Mattingly

YouTube: Vicki Mattingly

Short bio: Vicki is the founder of Voyager Vicki, a travel blog on cultural heritage awareness through travel. From her professional background in publishing and personal development/life coaching, to her extensive travels throughout the world and living abroad in three countries, she knows the transformative potential of travel and tries to convey this in her work. She’s fascinated by identity, motivated by connection, focused on cultural understanding, and loves being a resource for others on their journeys.

How often do you fly? Currently 3–5 times a year, more in the past.

How many countries have you been to? 77 so far.

How many continents have you been to? 6—I hope to make it to Antarctica someday too.

Earliest travel memory: Annual road trips from Indiana to Florida for Thanksgiving week with my parents.

Favorite American city: NYC, my life-long love.

Favorite international city: Too hard to pick just one: Barcelona, Paris, Budapest, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, and Hong Kong.

Least favorite country: Bahrain, since I was forbidden entry there three years ago (I never found out why).

I have no desire to go to: I’m interested in going most anywhere, and there’s really no place I’ve been that I wouldn’t visit again.

Friendliest people in the world: People are friendly most everywhere when you get to know them.

Country with the meanest immigration officers: Not really “mean,” just annoying—Bahrain (for the above reason).

Favorite World Heritage Site: Again, impossible to choose just one: the Alhambra (especially at night), Petra (I wish I would have seen it at night), Tikal (best early morning), and the Taj Mahal (even more beautiful and amazing in person).

Favorite airline: Emirates, Qatar Airways, or Singapore Airlines.

Aisle or window: Window, far in front or far behind the wing for the best views.

Favorite airport lounge: I haven’t been to that many, but I loved the Qatar Airways lounge in Doha. It felt like being in another world and not in an airport.

Favorite U.S. airport: Denver, Pittsburgh, or Charlotte.

Favorite international airport: Dubai or Doha (for that fabulous lounge mentioned above).

Favorite hotel: Parador Hostal San Marcos in León, Spain—beautiful hotel converted from a 12th century monastery into a 16th-century convent, military headquarters, then later hotel.

Favorite cruise line: I don’t cruise.

Favorite travel credit card: Bank of America Travel Rewards.

Favorite island: Easter Island! I loved the surreal beauty and mystery.

Favorite beach: I’m not a big beach person, but I love the turquoise water around Caribbean beaches.

Favorite fancy restaurant: Anything with unique ambiance, several vegetarian choices, and great drinks.

Favorite bar: Subrosa in Barcelona (Barcelona has some of the best bars anywhere).

Favorite fruit: Papaya.

Favorite food: Cheese fondue.

Least favorite food: Raisins and any similarly dried, shriveled fruit.

Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): White wine, fruity martinis, lime Diet Coke, and lots of water.

Favorite travel movie(s): Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy—I could really relate to the characters in the first film (age, experiences) and enjoyed following them through their lives.

Favorite travel show(s): Any show that focuses on the history and culture of a place rather than logistics of travel or sensationalist experiences.

Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Wanderlust, Wild Junket, Kiss From the World.

Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, and Airbnb for trip planning.

5 things you bring on a plane: Everything (I don’t check baggage anymore). At my seat I usually have my Kindle or a book, iPhone, money, pen, and paper.

What do you always seem to forget? Nothing—I’m an organized list-maker.

What do you like least about travel? Not being able to share it with family and friends.

Favorite travel app(s): TripIt, Google Maps.

Most embarrassing travel moment: When I was riding a donkey for the first time in Egypt, I kept falling off. My tour group had to stop a couple times while I remounted.

I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: The Acropolis—when I was in Athens.

Worst travel moment: Having my small backpack stolen from a hotel—with my travel journal that I had been writing in for weeks.

What’s your dream destination? Antarctica—I’d love to experience the serene, pure landscape, and see the cute penguins in person.

Favorite travel charity: Not specifically travel, but I support several animal welfare and international relief/development charities.

Best travel tip: Take more money and fewer clothes than you think you’ll need. Be open to new experiences.


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