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: Kelly Stilwell
Occupation: Writer, blogger, photographer, influencer
Hometown: Washington, DC
Residence: Bradenton, FL
College major: Business
Website: Food, Fun & Faraway Places
Facebook: Kelly Stilwell
Google+: Kelly Stilwell
YouTube: Kelly Stilwell
Short bio: Kelly Stilwell is the content creator and social media influencer at Food, Fun and Faraway Places. She lives in Florida with her husband, two teenage daughters, a very grumpy cat, and an escape artist bird. Stockbroker turned freelance writer/blogger, Kelly writes about travel, food and entertainment.
How often do you fly? Five times per month on average (and the first three times, I skydived!).
How many countries have you been to? 16
How many continents have you been to? 3
Earliest travel memory: Sadly, at 18 I flew to Las Vegas. Not much travel when I was younger.
Favorite American city: Sonoma, CA.
Favorite international city: Portofino, Italy.
Least favorite country: Don’t have one!
I have no desire to go to: North Korea.
Friendliest people in the world: Canadians! It’s true!
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Haven’t experienced anyone mean yet.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Borobudur and Grand Canyon (Really can’t choose! Can I have one in US and one outside?).
Favorite airline: Qatar, but Delta is my favorite every day airline.
Favorite aircraft type: Airbus.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: Hamad Int’l.
Favorite U.S. airport: Sarasota.
Favorite international airport: Tokyo Narita.
Favorite hotel: Fairmont Vancouver.
Favorite cruise line: Viking.
Favorite travel credit card: Delta Skymiles.
Favorite island: St. John.
Favorite beach: Anna Maria Island, FL.
Favorite National Park: Grand Canyon.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Filomena, Washington, DC.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Skinny’s, Bradenton Beach, FL.
Favorite airport restaurant: Vino Volo.
Favorite bar: Skinny Legs, St. John.
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Seafood.
Least favorite food: Okra.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Prosecco or pinot noir.
Favorite travel movie(s): French Kiss.
Favorite travel show(s): Parts Unknown.
Favorite travel book(s): Guides like Frommer’s for non-fiction, anything by Peter Mayle for fiction.
Right now I am reading: “The Yellow Envelope” by Kim Dinan.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Cheeseweb.eu, JohnnyJet.com, McCoolTravel.com.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Same as above, and I also love PointsandTravel.com and Bucketlistjourney.net.
5 things you bring on a plane: A neck scarf that’s a pillow, my Mac & ear buds, salt & pepper cashews, full water bottle, tissues.
What do you always seem to forget? I usually don’t. I’m a list-maker!
What do you like least about travel? Getting off the plane, especially when people in the back rush the front.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Not a thing!
Favorite travel app(s): Any airline app.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Being so tired that I didn’t notice the gate had been changed. Standing in line to board only to get to the door and be told my flight was at a different gate. On a different concourse. Rookie mistake.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Napa Valley
Worst travel moment: Climbing over 300 steps up to Pianemo Hill in Raja Ampat Indonesia only to realize more professional photographers had brought dresses and scarves in their backpacks. I had on a T-shirt and shorts, and will probably never get that chance again.
What’s your dream destination? Bali, Indonesia.
Favorite travel charity: I prefer to give on my own. Right now there’s a playground at a school in Jamaica that I’m determined to help get some kind of soft ground so they can put the swings back up. Kids need swings!
Best travel tip: Research where you’re going and use a packing list!