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: Erin Hynes
Occupation: Content Marketing
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Residence: Toronto, Ontario
College: York University
College major: B.A. English Literature, M.A. Media Studies
Facebook: Pina Travels
Pinterest: Pina Travels
Short bio: I’m a Canadian blogger, writer, podcaster, and digital marketing specialist. When I was 19-years-old I moved on a whim to Venice, Italy, where I spent many months working in a hostel. It was there that I earned the nickname Pina…because “Erin” is hard to pronounce if you speak Italian. Since then, I’ve traveled to over 35 countries.
How often do you fly? 4-5 times per year.
How many countries have you been to? 37
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: Exploring Prince Edward Island with my family, around age eight. I remember thinking that the locals had “funny accents.”
Favorite American city: New York City. You can visit a million times, and never run out of new things to see and experience.
Favorite international city: Varanasi, India. I love how overwhelming for the senses it is.
Least favorite country: Sadly, Australia. I had a wonderful time there, but it’s lowest on my list for return trips.
I have no desire to go to: I will visit any country, unless it is committing human rights abuses.
Friendliest people in the world: In my experience, Japan.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Happy to report I’ve had no unpleasant immigration experiences.
Favorite World Heritage Site: It’s a tie between the temples of Bagan, Myanmar, and the city of Petra, Jordan.
Favorite airline: I’m impartial!
Favorite aircraft type: None.
Aisle or window: Aisle, always—I feel trapped in the window seat.
Favorite island: Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia. This quiet island had the most pristine beaches, bluest waters and even bioluminescent algae.
Favorite beach: The beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica blew my mind.
Favorite National Park: Banff National Park never disappoints.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: I’ll never forget the little hole-in-the-wall bar my partner and I stumbled on in a market in Antigua, Guatemala. We wandered in for a beer, and soon we were laughing with the locals who put on the jukebox their favourite North American songs to humour us.
Favorite fruit: Tropical jackfruit.
Favorite food: I am obsessed with palak paneer.
Least favorite food: I can’t get onboard with raw fish.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): A cold beer.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Motorcycle Diaries.
Favorite travel show(s): Parts Unknown.
Favorite travel podcast(s): My own! It’s called “Alpaca My Bags” and you can listen to it on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Or, here’s a link to our RSS feed.
Right now I am reading: “You Can’t Touch My Hair” by Phoebe Robinson.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: National Geographic, The Blonde Abroad, Nomadic Matt.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! The Matador Network.
5 things you bring on a plane: Neck pillow, eye mask, extra socks, headphones, snacks, and a book.
What do you always seem to forget? I always lose or forget my headphones.
What do you like least about travel? How expensive it can be.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Ray-Bans and perfume.
Favorite travel app(s): Hopper!
Most embarrassing travel moment: Having a meltdown on an overnight bus in south India, from pure exhaustion.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: South America. I’ve been to Central, but not South (yet).
Worst travel moment: When my partner and I’s rental car broke down in the middle of the Jordanian desert.
What’s your dream destination? Any of the south Pacific islands, and Madagascar.
Best travel tip: Use packing cubes! They make a world of difference in keeping your pack organized.