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: Shannon Kircher
Occupation: Marketing Manager, Frangipani Beach Resort & Travel Blogger
Hometown: Sacramento, California
Residence: Anguilla, British West Indies
College: California State University, Sacramento and London School of Economics
College major: Social Policy and Development
Facebook: The Wanderlust Effect
Pinterest: Shannon | The Wanderlust Ef…
Short bio: I’m a full-time hotel marketer and travel blogger, so my life is all travel industry all the time! I’m originally from California, but lived in London for graduate school, and now live in the Caribbean where my husband and I run our hotel, the Frangipani Beach Resort, on the island of Anguilla. My travel style is a high-low mix; you’re just as likely to find me sipping wine at a bar in New York or Paris as you are to find me staying in a rustic rental home in Kenya. I love venturing off the beaten path and finding local experiences where possible, and love documenting and sharing our travel adventures and experiences on my blog!
How often do you fly? Once a month on average, but some months are heavier than others.
How many countries have you been to? If you count Caribbean islands as countries (do they count?), 35.
How many continents have you been to? 4
Earliest travel memory: As a child, visiting Lake Tahoe in the winters for extended weekends of skiing and sledding!
Favorite American city: San Francisco.
Favorite international city: Too tough to nail down just one! London is always a favorite, but Istanbul and Jerusalem are also standouts.
Least favorite country: Tough one. I have yet to visit a place that I disliked!
I have no desire to go: On a massive cruise.
Friendliest people in the world: Ireland.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Probably the US—going through JFK can be rough.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Tie between Machu Picchu and Petra. Both were incredible but totally different.
Favorite airline: I’m roped into American Airlines’ loyalty program, so I typically fly Oneworld when I’m planning. I’m excited to try Qatar Airways for the first time next year.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 787
Aisle or window: Window—I love watching the world go by.
Favorite airport lounge: Admirals Club Lounge in Miami—on a long layover after a long flight, I love that I can shower, caffeinate and take an Economist for the road. I know that lounge better than any others having flown through so many times!
Favorite U.S. airport: San Francisco International—it’s “home” for me, plus there’s a yoga space and great food options. How do you beat that?!
Favorite international airport: How about least favorite? Paris’ Charles de Gaulle.
Favorite hotel: Belmond Hotel das Cataratas at Iguassu Falls—absolutely magical experience! Runner-up: The Lodge at Sea Island in Georgia.
Favorite cruise line: Haven’t really cruised beyond an Amazon river cruise with Aqua Expeditions, which was a unique experience. River cruising appeals to me far more than ocean cruising does.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I love my American Airlines Executive Citibank card for AA miles but Chase Sapphire has served us particularly well!
Favorite island: Anguilla. I’ve tried to find one better but it hasn’t happened yet!
Favorite beach: I’m biased, but Meads Bay, Anguilla. It’s spoiled us for life!
Favorite fancy restaurant: Tough to pick one, but Central in Lima and Machenyuda in Jerusalem are two favorites. They’re both exceptional and not pretentious.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Any place where I can get a good bowl of pho.
Favorite bar: Amelie Wine Bar on Polk Street in San Francisco.
Favorite fruit: Nectarines. And grapefruits.
Favorite food: Sushi. I would go to Japan just to eat my way through the country!
Least favorite food: Ginger. Unless it’s in gingerbread, in which case I love it. Ginger root on the other hand? Ugh.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): On the ground: a mojito (light on the sugar) or a greyhound // In the air: red wine.
Favorite travel movie(s): Amelie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Favorite travel show(s): Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown—I watch everything he’s produced on an area before going on a trip!
Favorite travel book(s): “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coehlo.
Right now I am reading: “World Without End.” The first book, “Pillars of the Earth,” was the ultimate long-haul flight read.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: For blogs, I love World of Wanderlust for travel inspiration and The Points Guy; Conde Nast Traveler and Destinations magazine, too.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Rough Guides, Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor.
5 things you bring on a plane: Water, laptop, iPad, camera & magazines.
What do you always seem to forget? Hand lotion and healthy snacks.
What do you like least about travel? Waiting in airports, especially with delayed flights. I love flying but I hate airports.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Travel sized beauty products—I always linger by the Kiehl’s and Clarins counters. I’m such a sucker.
Favorite travel app(s): TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, Skyscanner.
Most embarrassing travel moment: A few mishaps but nothing too embarrassing…not yet at least!
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: Alcatraz. I grew up in Northern California and lived in San Francisco and have never been.
Worst travel moment: Trying to get into the wrong (non-tourist) entrance of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and loitering trying to figure out why everyone was staring and telling us to leave…It took a couple of minutes of feeling like we were absolutely offending everyone before someone explained where the tourist entrance was!
What’s your dream destination? Cape Town, plus gorilla trekking in Rwanda and the Congo—finally booked a ticket for next year to make it a reality! Would also love to visit Iran.
Favorite travel charity: Pack for a Purpose. Our resort works with them to help guests/travelers pack needed items to benefit local organizations. It’s a great concept and it’s a great opportunity to give back in a way that really matters for local needs.
Best travel tip: Be patient—everyone else is dealing with airport formalities, too. You can be frustrated or you can be patient. Opt for the latter! Also, as much as possible, be flexible. Things will always come up and nothing goes quite as planned. Enjoy the ride!