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: Lacy Colley Yamaoka
Occupation: Founder and Online Editor of expâté + Freelance Travel Writer + Social Media Consultant + Contributor to Luxury Retreats Magazine
Hometown: Odessa, Texas although grew up in the suburb of Allen, outside of Dallas
Residence: Anguilla, British West Indies, Caribbean
College: University of Texas at Austin
College major: Biology, Pre-Dental (oops!)
Short bio: Lacy is Founder and Editor of expâté, her labor of love that connects the curious to her simple life motto: do good, live well and see places. As a serial expat currently based in the Caribbean island of Anguilla, her ultimate dream is to inspire others to explore the world through the joy of journey versus simply checking off a destination on the list. Her longtime love for luxury travel and social media stemmed from her experience in public relations with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Lacy’s favorite destination is always the last place she’s been, so catch her if you can!
How often do you fly? Depends, on average once a month. This past month was a lot of airport codes. You really do not want to leave too often living by the beach!
How many countries have you been to? 25+
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: My parents took me to Japan for my first birthday, although only memories through photos. Beyond that, it was road tripping with the family, typically somewhere in Texas to go camping.
Favorite American city: Austin, Texas—it’s truly the heart of Texas and has nice energy. It really has any vibe that suits you, casual or big city and it’s a very fit community. I dig running outdoors and it has great trails.
Favorite international city: Tough to chose, so I typically say the last destination I’ve been. Currently Paris.
Least favorite country: To be determined.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Romania was an experience, as we were on a sleeper train passing through and they banged down our doors telling us to get off as the train track ended with really no explanation, we were definitely lost in translation.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Bordeaux is where I am now and it’s pretty spectacular.
Favorite airline(s): American Airlines as I grew up under their wings. My father has been with the company for 25 years and still going strong. A dream is to fly Singapore’s ridiculously luxurious first class.
Favorite aircraft type: Typically the more legroom, the better, and the Boeing 777 I just flew on was excellent in that regard. Also recently I watched a cool documentary on the Airbus A380 and its winglets, the flaps at the end of the wings. They were designed after an actual eagle’s adaptation to be more efficient and get more lift in flight. It’s a little av-geeky but the work of engineers and machinists that enable these tubes we travel in is pretty remarkable.
Aisle or window: Window especially on red-eye flights.
Best flight attendant you’ve ever had: A flight attendant in white gloves on Aeroflot. There is something to say about the flight attendants that dress to the nines, it emits an air of pride and refinement that transpire to the customer and give us confidence we will be in good hands.
Favorite airport lounge: I haven’t been in many to compare, although I just discovered a “capsule hotel” in SVO airport (Moscow) Terminal E that was more affordable and nicer than the business lounge. You pay hourly for a private hotel room. 4 hours is around 50 USD for a single, it is brilliant for a snooze, shower and free Wi-Fi.
Favorite U.S. airport: DFW Terminal D.
Favorite international airport: CDG has nice Laduree perks.
Favorite hotel: Viceroy Anguilla, as my husband manages the resort and it’s literally home, so I have grown to love it. Looking forward to experiencing the Viceroy global portfolio, it’s an exciting and expanding company, and has a nice leadership culture.
Favorite cruise line: I love boats, although did not care for cruising. I hope to give it another shot and check out something smaller and more luxurious, like Seabourn as I hear the spa is lovely.
Favorite travel credit card: Capital One Venture Card—2x every purchase on miles, no foreign transaction fees and the purchase eraser option is great.
Favorite Island: Anguilla—where I currently reside. 30-plus white, powdery beaches in my backyard and what makes it magical is there are never too many umbrellas.
Favorite beach: Meads Bay or Maundays Bay, both in Anguilla. The turquoise water and white sand makes anyone go ahh.
Favorite fancy restaurant: So many to name, and I love trying new spots. I just had the infamous burger at Spotted Pig in West Village NYC, and it was mouthwatering and I’m not even a crazy burger person. It’s casual fancy, which is typically more fun.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Bangkok Chef in Oahu, Hawaii—it is delicious Thai food out of a garage.
Favorite bar: I recently just went to the champagne bar atop Paris in the Montparnasse Tower, not sure you can beat bubbly in the sky. Otherwise Four Seasons Austin hotel bar is a great spot to start a night out and then on to Cedar Street for live music.
Favorite fruit: Cherries.
Favorite food: I love sushi, spicy Asian, Italian and French cuisine. Although being from the south it would be criminal to not say BBQ or steak.
Least favorite food: Egyptian food. There is one spice in it that I cannot put my finger on and it lingers like crazy.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Besides water, I love tomato juice with extra lemon. If I’m feeling fancy or in first class I will make it a bloody.
Favorite travel movie(s): Under the Tuscan Sun—I’ve always had a romance with Italy and Diane Lane is effortlessly brilliant.
Favorite travel show(s): Anthony Bourdain.
Favorite travel book(s): “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.
Right now I am reading: Vogue October issue.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Departures, Architectural Digest, Oh! Travelissima, it’s a smart blog and all things pretty.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! I use Twitter the most for finding great travel tips, it’s truly amazing how many people I have met tweeting. We were heading to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc and wanted to know what the weather was like for packing, so I put in #tourdumontblanc and found my answer just by chatting with those that were there.
5 things you bring on a plane: A black blazer, atomizer with my favorite scent or face mist, the softest Lewis and Clark eye mask, Longchamp Le Pliage carry-on, and loving my new black Nike Flyknits, as they are sporty chic, lightweight and feel like socks.
What do you always seem to forget? Typically nothing, I’m pretty neurotic when it comes to packing.
What do you like least about travel? When there is a charge for Wi-Fi in hotels or in-flight.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? A lady can never have enough perfume!
Favorite travel app(s): I love Instagram being a social media gal and typically follow fellow travelers to always feed my wanderlust. XE currency converter comes in handy as well.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I suppose sleeping upright on an airplane is typically embarrassing at some point—your head falls all over the place or your mouth drops open. It’s never attractive.
Worst travel moment: Riding the public bus in Uganda for eight hours was up there, plus two flat tires along the way. Red dirt rimmed everything including my nostrils and the lady next to us was carrying a live chicken upside down by it’s feet—talk about country.
What’s your dream destination? My luxurious side wants to experience Morocco and my adventurous side Iceland.
Favorite travel charity: Blue Planet Network out of San Francisco—lack of clean water and proper sanitation keeps children out of school, and without education comes poverty. Poverty cannot be relieved until sanitation and clean water issues are addressed first.
Best travel tip: Embrace travel—it’s not always reliable and can be tiring. So you have a mega layover, pack light and explore a place you might not have otherwise visited.