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: Kim Dinan
Occupation: Freelance writer, blogger and author
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
College: Ohio University
College major: English
Website: kimdinan.com and so-many-places.com
Facebook: So Many Places and The Yellow Envelope Project
Short bio: Kim Dinan is an author and adventurer. Her writing has appeared in Parks and Recreation magazine, Northwest Travel magazine, Trailer Life magazine, Go Explore magazine, and OnTrak magazine, among others. Her popular blog, So Many Places, was named one of the best outdoor blogs by USA Today and has been featured online by such sites as Huffington Post and BuzzFeed. Her debut memoir, “The Yellow Envelope,” hit shelves 4/4/17.
How often do you fly? That really depends. Right now I fly about 10 times a year.
How many countries have you been to? 27, I think.
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: I remember going on a camping trip with my Dad when I was a young girl. A tornado blew through and we had to hide in the bathrooms—thankfully it didn’t kill me or my love of the outdoors.
Favorite American city: My heart lives in Portland, Oregon but I also love Bend, Oregon something fierce. New York City tops my list too, for its cracking energy and creative, passionate people.
Favorite international city: I try to avoid big cities when I travel—I much prefer a tiny mountain town, though I do love Paris. My favorite international mountain town is El Chalten, Argentina.
Least favorite country: I don’t have a least favorite. I’ve found that if I don’t like a place it has less to do with which country I’m in and more about my own head.
I have no desire to go to: I want to go everywhere, truly.
Friendliest people in the world: The people of Incredible India.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: The United States of America.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Santiago de Compostela.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite U.S. airport: PDX or Burlington, VT.
Favorite hotel: I got to stay at the Viceroy Bali once and it was pretty incredible.
Favorite travel credit card: Capital One Venture Rewards Card.
Favorite island: Lopez Island (San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State).
Favorite beach: Copacabana Beach for the people-watching.
Favorite National Park: There are too many to name: Zion, Glacier, Yosemite, Grand Tetons, and North Cascades are my top five.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I’m just not much of a fancy restaurant person.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Acapulco’s Gold in Portland, OR. Get the bean dip, trust me.
Favorite bar: I like every bar as long as it has local beer on tap and the music is low enough that I can carry on a conversation with the person next to me.
Favorite fruit: Oregon strawberries picked right from the vine.
Favorite food: Indian food, as spicy as possible.
Least favorite food: I’m a vegetarian so anything meaty.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): A hoppy west coast IPA.
Favorite travel movie(s): 180 Degrees South.
Favorite travel show(s): No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain.
Favorite travel book(s): “The Snow Leopard” by Peter Matthiessen.
Right now I am reading: “Grit” by Angela Duckworth.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Misadventures and She Explores. The blog I read all the time is called Roam Far and Wide.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Wikitravel.org.
5 things you bring on a plane: Water bottle, iPod, book, journal, and a scarf.
What do you always seem to forget? Now that I travel with a baby I pretty much forget everything except for diapers and baby wipes.
What do you like least about travel? Flying! I really do not love flying. I don’t like jetlag either.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? A bottle of really great tequila for the annual margarita party I will one day throw.
Favorite travel app(s): The Trail Wallet app. It helps you track expenses and automatically does currency conversions—I love it.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I once slept in an airport mosque thinking it was a designated sleeping room and woke up during the call to prayer. I felt terrible. I still feel terrible just thinking about it.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Thailand. HOW HAVE I NEVER BEEN TO THAILAND?
Worst travel moment: Hmmm. On a bus in Peru I fell in the toilet and was covered in other people’s urine (and god knows what else). Then I had to sit on the bus like that for hours. When I finally got to my guesthouse at around 4am the shower didn’t work. That was not a good day.
What’s your dream destination? Right now I am dreaming of camping in Iceland, road-tripping Ireland and beach-hopping Thailand (see above). Oh, and Bhutan. I really, really want to visit Bhutan.
Favorite travel charity: The Passport Party Project.
Best travel tip: Talk to everyone: The people at your hostel, the person serving you a smoothie. Ask questions and let people know when you need help. Stay open and let the magic happen.