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: Rebecca Dolan
Occupation: Online Community Editor for Kiplinger
Hometown: Summerville, SC and Alexandria, VA
Residence: Alexandria, VA
College: The College of William and Mary
College major: Anthropology and International Relations
Short bio: Rebecca is currently the online community editor for Kiplinger, where she also writes about money-saving travel. Before that she was an associate travel editor for The Huffington Post, and her work can also be found on sites like The Disney Food Blog and Thrillist. You can usually find her plotting a move to Paris or at Disney World, a destination on which she has written extensively.
How often do you fly? I used to fly about once every other month when travel editing full time and would take trains in between—yes, even from New York to Florida—but that schedule has died down a bit.
How many countries have you been to? Sigh. Only 10 (11 if you count Vatican City) with a lot of traveling within them.
How many continents have you been to? Two.
Earliest travel memory: Sitting in a shady lemon garden in Sorrento, Italy, at a long dining table surrounded by my whole family, slurping away at the best bowl of pasta e fagioli I’ve still ever had to this day. I was about nine and we had spent two weeks road tripping across Italy.
Favorite American city: Charleston, SC and Seattle, WA.
Favorite international city: Paris, always and forever.
Least favorite country: Let’s just say that Belgium was the least exciting. I’d give it another chance, though.
I have no desire to go to: Russia.
Friendliest people in the world: The Irish.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Pompeii. Aside from that meal in Sorrento, this is the place that jump-started my love of travel and archaeology.
Favorite airline: I’m pretty loyal to United, although I’d like to fly Air France and JetBlue more than I do.
Favorite aircraft type: A380 all the way. When it comes to smaller aircraft, I get pretty excited to see an Embraer 175. Maybe it’s just me, but I swear those seats have the most space.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite U.S. airport: DCA for the ease of accessibility; ORD for the food options.
Favorite international airport: Not CDG.
Favorite hotel: I come from a pretty Marriott-loyal clan, but my favorite of the hotels I’ve stayed in is the Rosedon Hotel in Bermuda. It’s built into a private residence from the turn of the century, complete with lush landscaping, four-poster beds, and the most awesome proper afternoon tea daily.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Favorite beach: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Favorite fancy restaurant: If you’re paying, I’ll take Eleven Madison Park.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: I wouldn’t exactly call them holes-in-the-wall, but in NYC the Ukranian East Village Restaurant inside the Ukrainian National Home and JG Melon.
Favorite bar: Pegu Club, NYC; Patterson House, Nashville; Le Mary Celeste, Paris.
Favorite fruit: Melon or pineapple.
Favorite food: It’s what I like to call it “rustic European.” That would be any sort of down-home, old-fashioned goodness associated with the countryside: charcuterie, hearty stews, slow-roasted meats, etc.
Least favorite food: Cracker Jacks.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Tea or water.
Favorite travel movie(s): L’Auberge Espagnole.
Favorite travel show(s): No Reservations, Parts Unknown, Rick Steves’ Europe, Three Sheets.
Favorite travel book(s): When I’m starting to feel antsy to travel again, I pull out Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” or “The Sun Also Rises.”
Right now I am reading: A biography of Ernest Hemingway, “Casino Royale” by Ian Flemming and “The Sweet Life in Paris” by David Lebovitz.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Afar, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! I’d be pretty lost without flightaware.com. For tips, I’m a fan of the New York Times’ 36 Hours column, Lonely Planet, Matador Network, and Thrillist.
5 things you bring on a plane: A scarf, snacks from home, kindle, hairbrush, lip balm.
What do you always seem to forget? Nothing. I’m a compulsive checklist maker.
What do you like least about travel? Airport delays.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? I’m good, thanks. But, if you’re passing through, I’ll take a torta from Tortas Frontera at ORD.
Favorite travel app(s): Foodspotting. That way I can see what a restaurant’s food looks like before I commit. This has saved me a few times.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Having no money and learning the hard way that sometimes you have to pay/tip to use the bathroom in some foreign tourist destinations.
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: London.
Worst travel moment: I came down with bronchitis in Venice and really missed out on that city. Hopefully I’ll get to make up for it one day.
What’s your dream destination? Currently atop the bucket list are Berlin, Istanbul, Stockholm, Budapest, Warsaw, and Buenos Aires.
Favorite travel charity: Can’t say I have a favorite, but I think the idea of donating your frequent flier miles is pretty rad.
Best travel tip: If you’re planning to spend any amount of time in Europe, just find the most inexpensive flight you can to a major city, and then hop around on a super-cheap European budget carrier like Ryanair.