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: Ashlyn George
Occupation: Travel Writer, Speaker and Digital Content Creator
Hometown: Leslie, Saskatchewan, Canada (population 10)
Residence: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
College: University of Saskatchewan
College major: Bachelor of Education, BA in English
Pinterest: The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World
YouTube: The Lost Girl’s Guide
Short bio: From scaling mountains over 6,000 metres and encountering avalanches and erupting volcanoes along the way to flying in a military jet with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds (for fun), Ashlyn’s taste for extreme adventures has carried her around the world to 60 countries and all seven continents with a suitcase full of stories to share. She is a go-to expert on outdoor adventure activities in Saskatchewan, Canada and is an award-winning writer, speaker and travel blogger at The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World.
How often do you fly? I used to travel for six months of the year, but currently I fly out on half a dozen trips each year now, ranging from a couple days to a month or two at a time.
How many countries have you been to? ~60 countries.
How many continents have you been to? All seven.
Earliest travel memory: Road trips with my family to the Rocky Mountains in western Canada.
Favorite American city: I’ve barely scratched the surface with travel in the US, so for now I’ll pick Flagstaff, Arizona.
Favorite international city: I’m not so much a city girl but I really enjoyed Budapest, Hungary, and Cape Town, South Africa.
Least favorite country: Although I have fond memories of my month in Vietnam, I struggled with some of the cultural differences and being hassled on the street all the time by motorbike taxis.
I have no desire to go to: I would go anywhere in the world.
Friendliest people in the world: I find most people are friendly if you’re willing to take the time to genuinely speak with them.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I’ve never had any major issues crossing borders but did have some frustrations with a Nicaraguan immigration officer.
Favorite World Heritage Site: I base my travels around World Heritage Sites so it’s very hard to choose. Top three today? Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina; Rapa Nui National Park, Chile; Angkor, Cambodia.
Favorite airline: Emirates. I always fly economy so I appreciate the steak and eggs as a menu option for breakfast with real utensils.
Favorite aircraft type: Helicopter.
Aisle or window: Always the window! For views and a convenient place to rest my head to sleep on the flight.
Favorite airport lounge: Cape Town, South Africa—competitively priced and a great place to shower when heading straight to the airport after cage diving with sharks on New Year’s Eve.
Favorite U.S. airport: Las Vegas because they have VLTs in the airport (even though I’m not a gambler I think it’s unique).
Favorite international airport: Changi Airport, Singapore.
Favorite hotel: Hilton Hotels offer warm chocolate chip cookies upon check-in.
Favorite cruise line: AmaWaterways. I’ve cruised the Danube with them during the summer, but would like to return for a Christmas cruise.
Favorite travel credit card: I stick with the RBC Infinite Avion—their insurance puts my mind at ease.
Favorite island: Ile Iranja, Madagascar.
Favorite beach: Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, Australia.
Favorite National Park: Prince Albert National Park—it’s my local getaway when back home in Saskatchewan.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I don’t often do fancy restaurants when traveling (or at home). But I do eat a Big Mac in every country I go to that has a McDonald’s and track the price of it!
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Countries that offer street food are my fav for simple but delicious meals (Bolivia, Thailand and Vietnam are some of of the best!).
Favorite airport restaurant: When leaving and re-entering Canada, I always grab a donut and coffee from Tim Horton’s.
Favorite fruit: Rambutan or guanabana (soursop).
Favorite food: Sticky rice and pho.
Least favorite food: Anything spicy!
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Coca-Cola on airplanes. On the ground, I love trying local dark beers Beer Lao Dark is one of my favourites.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Favorite travel show(s): BBC Planet Earth series.
Favorite travel book(s): “The Alchemist.”
Right now I am reading: “Marching Powder” by Rusty Young, “The Adrenaline Junkie’s Bucket List” by Christopher Van Tilburg and I just finished “Shadow Divers” by Robert Kurson.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Travelzoo for travel deals, Outside magazine, and The Blonde Abroad.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Matador Network.
5 things you bring on a plane: Laptop and phone, snacks, sweater, headphones, and a scarf.
What do you always seem to forget? I leave things everywhere—I’m notorious for it. I even left my passport and documents case on my flight into Easter Island. Thankfully it was returned to me shortly afterwards.
What do you like least about travel? How intimidating big cities feel when you first arrive.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? A giant chocolate bar.
Favorite travel app(s): Google Translate offline has been so helpful navigating countries and cities where I can’t speak the language.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I seem to struggle with a city’s transportation system—it’s different everywhere and you have to learn the nuances or how it works otherwise you feel like an idiot riding the train in the wrong direction or waiting on the wrong platform.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: I’ve never travelled further east in Canada than Brandon, Manitoba. Although I’ve travelled through Toronto many times, I’ve never actually visited! This year I’m spending a month in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland so quite excited.
Worst travel moment: I spent a summer in Europe (part work and part pleasure). During that time, I had my work camera break 48 hours before getting on a boat as their official videographer, then lost my luggage for eight days and had a very strange medical issue with worms in my eye (it took months to fully resolve it all).
What’s your dream destination? I would love to spend a year overlanding across Asia. It’s been a while since I’ve been to the continent and feel that would be one hell of an adventure!
Best travel tip: Try not to stress out when things don’t go your way—either it all works out in the end or you’ll have an amazing story to tell afterwards.