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: Kristin Winet
Occupation: Travel writer & writing teacher
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Residence: Winter Park, Florida (as of three weeks ago!)
College: University of Georgia
College major: Comparative Literature & Spanish
Facebook: Kristin Winet
Pinterest: Bon Touriste
Short bio: I’m a Southern girl who began following my dream of traveling after studying abroad in Spain and Malta in college. Since then, I’ve scaled mud volcanoes in Colombia, ordered soup from floating markets in Bangkok, touched the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and walked a marathon in Budapest. I’ve won a couple of awards for my travel journalism, most recently for my story on Soviet arcade games in Russia and my profile on an elephant caregiver in Chiang Mai. These days, I’m writing teacher at Rollins College by day, travel writer by nights and weekends, surviving the chaos with my nightly respite into a glass of wine and a good book.
How often do you fly? On average? At least once a month!
How many countries have you been to? Hmm…32?
How many continents have you been to? 5—North America, Central America, South America, Europe, and Asia☺
Earliest travel memory: My earliest travel memory takes place in the backseat of my parents’ station wagon, driving up the coast to visit my grandparents in Pennsylvania and New York. The trip most involved hours upon hour playing Barbies with my little sister.
Favorite American city: A tie between New Orleans, Boston, and San Francisco?
Favorite international city: Valletta, Malta.
Least favorite country: So far, I’ve found something positive everywhere I’ve been. If I had to pick one I loved less than others, I’d probably say.
I have no desire to go to: Anywhere that is suffering from war or anywhere that systematically disrespects women.
Friendliest people in the world: Hm. This is a hard one—it all depends on the people you actually meet! I’ve met wonderful people all over the world.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I wouldn’t say mean, exactly, but the immigration officer in Bucharest, Romania wasn’t exactly a sweetheart.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Malta’s megalithic temples, with a tie between Hagar Qim and Ggantija!
Favorite airline: Thai Airways.
Favorite aircraft type: Whatever gets me to my destination☺
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: I really loved the massage chairs in Incheon International in South Korea.
Favorite U.S. airport: Tucson, Arizona.
Favorite international airport: Geneva, Switzerland.
Favorite hotel: The Berjaya Langkawi in MalaysiaMata.
Favorite cruise line: Viking River Cruises.
Favorite travel credit card: My Capital One Rewards card—there are no foreign transaction fees!
Favorite island: Gozo.
Favorite beach: Baru Island, Colombia.
Favorite National Park: Yosemite.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I recently went to this amazing Italian restaurant, Prato, in the super cute downtown of Winter Park, Florida. It has an incredible wine list!
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: I have so many holes-in-the-wall that I love. Some of my recent favorites were in the Jewish Quarter in Budapest—the ruin bars there are spectacular!
Favorite bar: See above☺
Favorite fruit: Maracuya, the Colombian passion fruit.
Favorite food: Put spice on it, I’ll probably love it.
Least favorite food: Ok, well, this is easy. Anything with tomatoes, beans, pickles, mustard, or peas in it.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): I love a good margarita.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Motorcycle Diaries—it’s the first movie I picked out to watch with my now-husband when we started dating!
Favorite travel show(s): Though it’s not technically a “travel show,” I adore Chef’s Table.
Favorite travel book(s): Paolo Cuelho’s “The Alchemist” made a big impact on my early twenty-something self. More recently? Gloria Steinem’s “My Life on the Road”—it’s pretty lovely so far.
Right now I am reading: See above ☺
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I’m a big fan—and advocate of—the Wanderful blog and the organization’s commitment to women and diversity in travel writing. I also love Compass Cultura, Roads and Kingdoms, and Atlas Obscura—anything with a cool narrative slant.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Momondo—I always find pretty sweet flight deals there!
5 things you bring on a plane: My glasses (in case I want to take out my contacts and take a nap, which actually always happens), an eye mask, fuzzy socks, a pillow, and hand lotion.
What do you always seem to forget? If I’m headed out on a press trip, I almost always print out—and then forget to pack—my itinerary. It’s almost become a ritual!
What do you like least about travel? Sometimes, there’s no better feeling than coming home to everything—and everyone—you love. But sometimes, travel can radically shake you, and make those days upon return seem confusing or sad. I hate that part.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Chocolate!
Favorite travel app(s): Google Translate.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Getting my purse stolen, three times, in the first three countries I ever visited. Let’s just say these weren’t my finest moments!
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Rome!
Worst travel moment: See above ☺
What’s your dream destination? Oh, so many! Of places I’ve yet to visit? I’d say Morocco, Japan and Argentina are pretty high on my list. And Antarctica, just because it’s so unbelievably cold and weird there.
Favorite travel charity: I really believe in the work that Wine to Water is doing—I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer with them this summer in the Dominican Republic. Their mission to get fresh drinking water into communities around the world is not only noble but is actually being achieved—they are truly carrying out their mission in ethical, sustainable, and extraordinary ways.
Best travel tip: Be flexible and open your arms to the world! It will usually reciprocate.