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: Kym Allison Backer
Occupation: Senior Editor, Upscale magazine
Hometown: Georgetown, Guyana
Residence: Atlanta, Georgia
Short Bio: Born in Guyana, bred in the US, citizen of the world. I’ve been traveling nonstop since I was a month old, and I just can’t seem to stop. Somehow, I’ve parlayed my love for travel into a significant part of my journo career—still not quite sure how I’ve pulled that off.
How often do you fly: Every few weeks, usually.
How many countries have you been to: 31 and counting…
How many continents have you been to: 6. Antartica has been a holdout.
Favorite American city: New Yawwwk City!
Favorite international city: Paris
Least favorite country: Any land where the citizens are oppressed.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Great Barrier Reef is breathtaking.
Favorite airline: Delta (hometown shoutout; they’re hubbed in Atl!)
Favorite aircraft type: A380
Aisle or window: Window. There will be slumping.
Favorite airport lounge: Any British Airways lounge: There are always massages and unlimited treats.
Favorite U.S. airport: ATL Hartsfield-Jackson. Know it like the back of my hand, and it has a few great restaurants, like One Flew South.
Favorite international airport: Changi Airport, Singapore. There’s a butterfly garden and a gigantic indoor slide.
Favorite hotel: Shangri-La Paris
Favorite island: Jamaica. I know it’s been sooo done, but Negril’s gorgeous beach, reggae, jerk chicken and escoveitch fish!
Favorite fancy restaurant: I’ll take an innovative taste from a food truck or unexpected flavor from street food over fancy-schmancy.
Favorite hole in the wall: Tassa Roti Shop, Atlanta. Best Indo/Afro-based Trinidadian food ever.
Favorite fruit: Guineps (fleshy fruit found in the Caribbean) or tangerines.
Favorite food: Anything curried.
Least favorite food: Anything gelatinous that isn’t jello.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Rum and Coke. Double, with slice of lime.
Favorite travel movie(s): Lost in Translation, Monsoon Wedding. Ok, MW isn’t really a travel movie, but it gives a glimpse into a rich, colorful culture that I want to visit. Immediately.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything hosted by Anthony Bourdain keeps me entertained.
Favorite travel book(s): Again, not traditional, but No. Ladies Detective Agency series. Author Alexander McCall Smith brings Botswana to life with vivid descriptions of the people, the culture and the land. Every time I read one, I want to book a flight and find the (fictional) characters.
Right now I am reading: Furious Love, the engrossing story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s crazy relationship. Engrossing to me, obviously.
Five things you bring on a plane: Pashmina, Fanny Wang 3000 headphones, Kindle, iPod and thick socks.
What do you always seem to forget: Thick socks. Dammit!
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Local liquor…rum would be nice.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Gate Guru lets me find whatever I need—stat. Tripit maps my entire trip for me and helps me keep track of all the steps.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: That one time that I settled down for a 5-hr flight, took cold meds w/ a rum and coke to get rid of a lingering sore throat, went into comatose mode and then it was announced that due to mechanical difficulties, flight was canceled. Slight coordination issues during disembarkation resulted.
What’s your dream destination: Bora Bora or Kenya’s Maasai Mara
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Afar.com is always fun!
Best travel tip: Be open! Don’t let uncontrollable glitches throw you. Savor every moment—you’ll never have this precise experience again.