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: Indra Petersons
Occupation: CNN Meteorologist
Hometown: La Canada, California
Residence: New York, NY
College: University of Arizona
College major: B.S. Atmospheric Physics, Minors: Math, Physics & Business
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Short bio: Indra Petersons is a weather anchor and meteorologist on CNN’s New Day based in New York City. You’ll also find her throughout CNN’s programs reporting on how science impacts the earth. She is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, a distinguished designation by the American Meteorological Society.
In a major weather event, you’ll find Indra reporting in the elements for CNN domestic as well as CNN Worldwide. She broadcasts during extreme weather conditions ranging from the dangerous cold to extreme heat. Petersons also covers severe weather on the front-lines, including tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding.
In her free time, you can find her chasing storms in tornado alley and traveling around the world. Indra has already gone diving with great white sharks in Africa and sandboarding on the dunes of Peru. She has explored the deep Amazon, celebrated Holi in the streets of Delhi, India, and rode camelback in the deserts of Jordan—to name a few.
How often do you fly? That’s a toss up. Depends on what the world throws my way weather wise. But if it’s calm, I’ll probably hop a plane just to travel.
How many countries have you been to? 45 so far and many more places within those.
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: Probably skiing in Lake Tahoe. My parents tell me I could ski before I could walk.
Favorite American city: Every state is like a whole new country in the US so if I have to pick, I’ll go with a favorite place instead and say Lake Powell, based on pure beauty. It’s out of this world if you’re there when no one else is. Try after a big holiday weekend.
Favorite international city: City would have to be Tokyo. There are so many people and yet the city is spotless. Favorite place would still be Huacachina, Peru or Koh Tao, Thailand. These questions are too hard!
Least favorite country: Russia. Politics aside, the dollar needs to be stronger there. It’s a fortune for an American tourist.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Hmm, Amsterdam. I swear they wanted me to say something wrong. So many questions, so random.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Petra, Jordan. The Ranakpur Jain Temple in India should be one. There’s nothing like it. The whole rural experience in getting there is memorable enough but then you see 1001 gorgeous uniquely carved marble columns. Stunning.
Aisle or window: Aisle, I get up way too much.
Favorite airport lounge: Whoever will take me.
Favorite U.S. airport: Burbank, CA. Such a simple airport for a big city. Plus, it means I’m home.
Favorite international airport: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is just beautiful.
Favorite hotel: Traders in Kuala Lumpur. I love sitting in the pool/jacuzzi on the roof and staring directly into the Petronas Towers. People make fun of me for how much I like that building.
Favorite cruise line: I’ve only been on Princess so far so that makes them a clear winner. I’m more of a plan my own itinerary type of tourist.
Favorite travel credit card: That’s easy. USAA.
Favorite island: Koh Tao, Thailand.
Favorite beach: On the opposite more local side of Ibiza, Spain, beachgoers hang out in a line of caves along the beach. Complete privacy. Or try Arambol Beach in India. First thing I saw was a guy only with a banana peel as his “suit.” It’s a place where you share the beach with true vagabonds and cows.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Anything with a view. Having okonomiyaki made to order on the top floor of a skyscraper in Ginza, Tokyo stands out. Try it, the food that is. Just don’t read what it is first.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Bugaloo’s local hangout in Turks and Caicos. Order conch and they will dive out and grab you some. You can even eat at a table that floats in their crystal clear waters.
Favorite fruit: Star fruit.
Favorite food: Latvian piragi. Take bacon, ham and onions and sometimes SPAM and put it in a dumpling. Coat with egg. Fight over every batch that comes fresh out of the oven.
Least favorite food: I’m going to get a lot of slack for this but Latvian galerts. I call it pig jello. Pig ears, hooves, snout, and bones in gelatin served with vinegar and mustard. It’s a delicacy served at every family holiday or church gathering and my friends and family actually fight over it. I’m one less person they have to worry about.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): My goal is usually to get on the same time zone as my destination the second the plane takes off. So it’s either coffee to stay up or wine to say goodnight. Not traveling: vodka with Perrier and muddled lemons. It’s my “healthy” drink.
Favorite travel book(s): I’d never give that one away. It’s one with a list of amazing places that haven’t been exposed yet.
Right now I am reading: “The Chemistry of Essential Oils” by David Stewart. I love learning.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I wish it was that easy. I’m in constant search of something that’s still a travel secret. This requires searching everything and anything I can get my hands on for every trip I plan.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! TripAdvisor and Bootsnall.
5 things you bring on a plane: A blanket, neck pillow, ear plugs, stevia, chapstick.
What do you always seem to forget? Another 5 blankets. Must planes be so cold?
What do you like least about travel? That no matter how much you plan, something WILL always go wrong.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Haribo.
Favorite travel app(s): TripIt. Searches your e-mail for your travel confirmations and organizes it all for you. Sends you flight alerts, gate changes, everything in one place without the work.
Worst travel moment: High fiving my husband after a successful 12-hour marathon tour of the city during a layover in Hong Kong without any hitches, only to realize we passed through customs without our bags. The place we checked them for the day had two locations with the same name in the airport. If you know Hong Kong airport you know the city subway takes you directly to different sections of the airport. We were told we’d have to leave our bags forever or fly somewhere else and back to get them. You can’t check out of a country twice in one day. This took about 8 hours of negotiating and new tickets home. Nightmare.
What’s your dream destination? Zanzibar is super high on my list.
Best travel tip: Know that something will go wrong and that it is part of the journey. Sometimes it ends up being the best part. Otherwise, find some great locals to hang out with. It’s the best and only way to really experience any destination.