K.J. Matthews
K.J. Matthews

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: K.J. Matthews

Occupation: TV Writer & Producer, Journalist

Hometown: Los Angeles

Residence: Los Angeles

College: UCLA & NYU

College major: Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from New York University

Website: The Traveler Confidential, an eco-luxury digital travel site

Twitter: @TravelerCon

Facebook: Traveler Confidential

Instagram: travelerconfidential

YouTube: Traveler Confidential

Short bio: I’m an Emmy-winning journalist by day and a travel junkie by night. For nearly two decades, I’ve spent my career as a TV writer, reporter and producer for CBS, ABC and FOX-TV affiliates as well as CNN, Extra TV Show, and most recently as a contributor to BBC and Germany’s DW English TV Network. My interviews with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, Beyonce, Chris Hemsworth, and even Oprah have appeared on international media outlets. I’m also a Los Angeles native who graduated from UCLA and New York University.

But, after spending years in newsrooms and traveling to more than 40 countries and territories, I wanted more so I decided to combine my trade and my passion by creating the eco-luxury digital travel site Traveler Confidential. Besides being a passion of mine and a resource for female travelers, it also serves as an inspiration and motivation for all the kickass solo female travelers blazing new trails.

How often do you fly? A new destination every several months or at least six times a year.

How many countries have you been to? 40

How many continents have you been to? 4

Earliest travel memory: I remember my paternal grandfather driving my brother and I from California to Louisiana. It was really the first time I had seen so much of the U.S. outside of California.

Favorite American city: Oahu.

Favorite international city: Sorrento, Italy.

Least favorite country: I’ve been lucky that I’ve had pleasurable travel experience thus far. So I don’t have a least favorite country.

I have no desire to go to: Greenland.

Friendliest people in the world: Italy.

Country with the meanest immigration officers: Germany or maybe it was just me :)

Favorite World Heritage Site: Malta.

Favorite airline: Air Italia.

Aisle or window: Window.

Favorite airport lounge: Lufthansa Business Class Lounge in Frankfurt, Germany.

Favorite U.S. airport: Raleigh, North Carolina.

Favorite international airport: Stockholm International Airport.

Favorite hotel: Le Guanahani Resort & Spa on the island of St. Barths.

Favorite cruise line: Celebrity Cruises.

Favorite travel credit card: Advantage Aviator Mastercard.

Favorite island: St. Lucia.

Favorite beach: Shoal Bay Beach on Anguilla.

Favorite National Park: Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach, California.

Favorite fancy restaurant: L’Avenue Restaurant in Paris.

Favorite hole-in-the-wall: La Playita Mexican Restaurant in Hermosa Beach.

Favorite fruit: Strawberries.

Favorite food: Mexican food.

Least favorite food: Sushi.

Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Anything non-alcoholic.

Favorite travel movie(s): I know that this is probably the standard response you get a lot, but it’s Eat, Pray, Love. Sounds typical I know but it truly is my favorite travel movie.

Favorite travel show(s): The late Anthony Bourdain’s first travel show, No Reservations.

Favorite travel podcast(s): “Get Outta Here” from the Associated Press.

Favorite travel book(s): “Eat, Pray, Love.”

Right now I am reading: Angela Lee Duckworth’s “GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.”

Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Conde Nast Traveler, Departures, AFAR.

Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Culture Trip.

5 things you bring on a plane: Headphones, socks, hand sanitizer, smartphone, laptop.

What do you always seem to forget? Jewelry.

What do you like least about travel? Packing, packing and oh yeah packing.

What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Perfume.

Favorite travel app(s): Hopper.

Most embarrassing travel moment: Having to deal with identity theft while on vacation on Capri Island, Italy.

I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Argentina.

Worst travel moment: Flying from Malta to the U.K. and then to L.A. after I came down with the flu.

What’s your dream destination? Budva, Montenegro.

Favorite travel charity: Passport Party Project 2.0.

Best travel tip: When traveling out of the country, I like to get enough foreign currency for a taxi before I leave home. That way if there are any problems with using a credit card or locating an ATM to withdraw foreign currency you won’t be stressed or temporarily stuck. It’s always nice to have one less thing to worry about once you arrive at your destination.


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