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: Jennifer Aspinwall
Occupation: Travel Blogger and Vlogger
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Residence: Los Angeles, California
College major: Political Science
Facebook: World On A Whim
Pinterest: World On A Whim
YouTube: World On A Whim
Short bio: Hi! I’m Jen or Jennifer—either one is fine with me—and I started my international travels in 2009 during my time studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. After college, I moved to Madrid, Spain for a year to teach English. My blog highlights the perfectionist’s guide to spontaneous travels at World On A Whim. Whether I am traveling solo or with friends, you can find me on a canal in Amsterdam or Venice, a rooftop in Lisbon or Florence, or on a picnic blanket in Paris or Madrid, eating a baguette with brie.
How often do you fly? It varies depending on school, but probably around once a month.
How many countries have you been to? 28
How many continents have you been to? Only two, gotta step up my game!
Favorite American city: New York for Broadway, Las Vegas for the fun and Celine Dion.
Favorite international city: Barcelona.
I have no desire to go to: North Korea.
Friendliest people in the world: The Irish! You move your hand a quarter of an inch to look at your map and you have a crowd of five strangers surrounding you ready to help.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Old City of Jerusalem and its walls.
Favorite airline: Lufthansa because they always have food coming your way.
Aisle or window: Window, always. That’s the only seat I can catch some zzzz’s.
Favorite airport lounge: I never get to the airport early enough to lounge and that is even with free passes from my United credit card for the past three years. But, I have never missed a flight!
Favorite international airport: Amsterdam—they have the best decor.
Favorite hotel: Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii. I grew up staying at this hotel every year playing hide and go seek with the same group of kids. I have forged great relationships with the staff and the restaurant has the best dessert of life—kokaleka.
Favorite cruise line: I’ve been on two…Princess Cruises with the fam and Carnival Cruises with the friends.
Favorite travel credit card: I have a United Mileage Plus credit card. I’m not sure if this is the best, but it’s the one I have and it does the job.
Favorite island: Santorini, Greece.
Favorite beach: The beaches in Ibiza, Spain. At first, I was petrified because the water is so clear you see the fish swimming around you, but I quickly realized just how lucky I was to have that experience.
Favorite National Park: Glacier Bay National Park.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Brown’s Beach House.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Can Paixano aka La Champagneria aka my favorite place in the whole world.
Favorite airport restaurant: Do people have good food at airports? I always end up with the most overpriced, soggy sandwich.
Favorite bar: Espit Chupitos because it has 500 different shots to choose from.
Favorite fruit: Pineapple and watermelon, I can’t decide!
Favorite food: Cheese. Specifically mac and cheese and brie cheese.
Least favorite food: All fish…because it tastes fishy.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): French 75 with gin.
Favorite travel movie(s): Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Roman Holiday.
Favorite travel show(s): The Amazing Race—I have auditioned twice now—House Hunters International and I love watching YouTube travel vloggers like The Vagabrothers and Casey Neistat (he isn’t really a travel vlogger but YouTube and Casey Neistat always have to be in the same sentence).
Favorite travel book(s): I love reading guide books. Particularly, the Let’s Go guide books which are written by a group of Harvard Graduates but they are cleverly written.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Timeout.
5 things you bring on a plane: 1) Laptop/camera/tech stuff 2) contact lenses because I am blind without 3) a massive jacket to sleep on 4) food because no one wants to see me hangry and 5) headphones.
What do you always seem to forget? Everything. I am the most forgetful and irresponsible person on the planet.
Favorite travel app(s): TripAdvisor, Hostelworld, Airbnb, Waze, Google Maps.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I was locked in a hostel bathroom for 45 minutes and I could not get out to save my life. The bathroom had one of those keys you would see in a dungeon in Pirates of the Caribbean or Game of Thrones.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Harry Potter World.
Worst travel moment: There are so many that I have a section on my blog devoted to this. But, getting attempted pickpocketed in Naples, Italy; being stranded in the middle of the ocean in Hvar, Croatia, because the ladder broke to get back up on the boat; and getting chased by a wild bull in the wilderness of Leon, Spain, while in charge of 30 campers are probably my three worst.
What’s your dream destination? Ooh so many! I couldn’t choose just one. Argentina, Cape Town, South Africa, Iceland/Finland/Norway to see the Northern Lights are a few on the list.
Favorite travel charity: I like charities that create jobs in the tourism industry for locals by teaching them a craft and the locals utilizing that craft to teach tourists coming to visit and learn about the culture of a place.
Best travel tip: Be flexible! It’s good to plan things out ahead of time, but once you’re there, don’t let your schedule overwhelm you to the point where you aren’t present in the moment and enjoying all the aspects of the adventure, good and bad. This is something I CONSTANTLY have to tell myself each and every day while on the road.