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: Wendy Gillette
Occupation: TV news reporter and producer
Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ
Residence: New York City
College: Rutgers College BA, Boston University MS
College major: Journalism
Facebook: Wendy Gillette
YouTube: Wendy Gillette
Short bio: Wendy has been a TV news reporter for more than 20 years. She currently works at CBS Newspath, providing national and international stories to CBS stations across the U.S. Some of her recent stories on the road include the 50th anniversary of the ground invasion in Vietnam, climate change in the Seychelles, tourism in South Africa, melting glaciers in Alaska, makeover of the Queen Mary 2, and Bonnie Tyler singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on a cruise ship sailing into the total eclipse. Her news coverage has included five years watching the ball drop in Times Square, the last three Presidential elections, financial news from the NYSE, and hundreds of breaking news stories. She has also fill-in anchored on CBS Morning News, the network’s overnight national news program. Wendy has also been a local news reporter and anchor in Montana, Maine, Arizona, and Ohio.
How often do you fly? Usually 2-4 times a month, but some months, it’s more like 5-10 flights.
How many countries have you been to? 45
How many continents have you been to? All except Antarctica.
Earliest travel memory: Disney World! And skiing vacations in the Northeast.
Favorite American city: New York, my hometown for more than a dozen years.
Favorite international city: Tokyo, Cape Town, Rome.
Least favorite country: India.
I have no desire to go to: North Korea.
Friendliest people in the world: Thailand.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Some are tough in the U.S. In Jordan, one immigration guy was taking bribes which made the line even longer and more annoying.
Favorite World Heritage Site: A few of the best I’ve seen include Petra in Jordan, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and the Historic Centers of Siena and Florence in Italy.
Favorite airline: I am trying to find a favorite. It used to be Continental.
Aisle or window: Always, always window so I can sleep against it.
Favorite U.S. airport: I like the wine bars in San Francisco and the slots in Vegas. I’m in Newark most often and the offerings have improved, thankfully.
Favorite international airport: Honolulu for its palm trees and open air structure.
Favorite hotel: I am a gal who loves luxury hotels. They are one of the many reasons why I love to travel. The Aman Tokyo was incredible. The Delaire Graff in South Africa, Waldorf Astoria in Rome, Kata Rocks in Thailand, St. Regis in Aspen, Kempinski in Venice, and Nam Hai in Vietnam were all extremely memorable.
Favorite cruise line: Princess. I recently went on a fabulous land and sea tour of Alaska and loved it.
Favorite travel credit card: I will never give up my Chase Sapphire card.
Favorite island: Aruba, Bermuda.
Favorite beach: Many in Riviera Maya, Mexico and Thailand.
Favorite National Park: Glacier Bay, Alaska.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Cosme.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Huts along the beach in Thailand.
Favorite bar: I love upscale cocktail lounges in luxury hotels. All of them.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Red wine/well-balanced cocktails crafted by a mixologist.
Favorite travel show(s): The old days of Anthony Bourdain.
Favorite travel book(s): I am more into travel magazines and love reading a couple on journeys to brainstorm about the next one.
Right now I am reading: “Fire and Fury.”
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! TripAdvisor is my first visit when considering a hotel to get a sense of how people perceive it.
5 things you bring on a plane: Charger, Bose headphones to tune out annoyances, a pillow, coat or sweater to act as a blanket, a sense of excitement for what’s ahead.
What do you always seem to forget? Charger.
What do you like least about travel? Delays.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? A bottle of Dom.
Favorite travel app(s): Airbnb, Hotel Tonight.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Leaving my passport in the seat pocket on an international flight. I did get it back a couple days later.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Prague, Ireland.
Worst travel moment: Running out of money and dealing with homesickness in Barcelona when I was 23 years old. Thankfully, my boyfriend at the time wired me some to get me out of a hotel that had dead cockroaches in the light fixture.
What’s your dream destination? Fiji or Bora Bora.
Best travel tip: Don’t be afraid to travel alone. Some of my best adventures happened on trips by myself because I was forced to reach out more to others. Always check the hotel’s plugs for your chargers, something I consistently forget to do.
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