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: Sue Campbell
Occupation: Freelance Travel & Lifestyle Journalist
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Residence: Montreal, Quebec
College: School of Hard Knocks
College major: Survival
Website: Working on the update, but for now you can go to my Rebelmouse or blogs for Nights Publications or my Issuu page for samples. Yeah, yeah, I AM working on it…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Facebook: Sue Campbell
Pinterest: Susan Campbell
Google+: susan campbell
YouTube: susan campbell
Short bio: I’ve been writing professionally since I was 17. Began writing television commercials out in a tiny station in Red Deer, Alberta about cow auctions, progressed to national ad agencies as a copywriter in Montreal and Toronto, and then specialized a while in children’s writing (Sesame Street), and then e-learning tutorials. I stumbled upon travel writing quite by accident though I have ALWAYS been an avid traveler. Now for the past 10 years, I have made it my business to do nothing but. I specialize in the Caribbean, especially the Dutch Caribbean—as senior writer for Nights Publications on island magazines. I can’t stand to stay home in Canadian winters, though I love my country from late spring to early fall, I abhor the cold. I write for some 22 outlets, print and web, and have authored guidebooks about the Caribbean for major publications, won a few awards, as well.
How often do you fly? Around 30-40 times a year.
How many countries have you been to? I am guessing about 52.
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: Being so bored in the back seat of a car driving cross country Canada with my parents when I was 11 that I wrote an entire volume of poetry—but it stuck with me, so I hitchhiked across Canada, twice, later in my early teens. Travel bug’s been under my skin ever since.
Favorite American city: Miami.
Favorite international city: Amsterdam.
Least favorite country: Germany.
Friendliest people in the world: Aruba.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: France.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Curacao’s Handelskade and surrounding area of Willemstad.
Favorite airline: Qantas.
Favorite aircraft type: Helicopter—I would love to learn to fly a helicopter. Actually, I would love to OWN a helicopter.
Aisle or window: Window—for taking pics, and for having something to sleep against.
Favorite airport lounge: Virgin America Loft, LAX.
Favorite U.S. airport: Hmmm, depends on how long the layover is, but I like Atlanta for ease of terminal connections and their Budweiser lounge.
Favorite international airport: Schiphol.
Favorite hotel: Sophie’s choice! Depends on whether is business or pleasure. I adore all Zoëtry brand boutique hotels—have been to all—but when on Aruba, Divi Phoenix feels like home. But for far flung, the Palazzo Versace in Queensland, Australia. So upscale, yet Aussies just cannot do pretentious which made it more fun!
Favorite cruise line: Holland America.
Favorite travel credit card: Visa (sorry).
Favorite island: Aruba.
Favorite beach: So many. I am a beach fanatic. But so far, Shoal Bay, Anguilla and Princess Diana Beach in Barbuda keep calling me back, but for everyday happy when I am working/vacationing, Druif Beach on Aruba is hard to beat.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I prefer toes-in-the-sand dining to “fancy,” but Maison Boulud at the Montreal Ritz-Carlton here at home easily ranks among the best I’ve been to anywhere.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Again I prefer a “shack on the beach” (recognize a pattern here?). So I have to say Jack’s Beach Bar on Grand Turk.
Favorite bar: McKibbin’s Irish Pub here in Montreal.
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Coconut shrimp or anything that comes in small bits and bites, I am a grazer by nature.
Least favorite food: Liver or any entrails.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Beer, in the air, I am Canadian after all, but on the ground I am signature cocktail seeker, the more creative the better.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Year of Living Dangerously made me want to travel to more exotic places and Thelma and Louise is the ultimate roadtrip flick.
Favorite travel show(s): Amazing Race and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.
Favorite travel book(s): Anything written by James Michener makes me want to go there.
Right now I am reading: “Under a Blue Flag,” sequel to “An Island Away” set on Aruba.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Islands and NatGeo Travel, but my island online favs are GoCaribbean.About.com, Uncommon Caribbean, Carib Journal, and Caribseek to name a few.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Well it depends on what I am looking for, but when I am researching a hotel or activity, then TripAdvisor is my first choice to see what “normal” people say about it. Kayak for best airfares.
5 things you bring on a plane: I adore my “Pocket Poppet” it’s a soft black cardigan that turns into a pillow! I also like Therapy Flight socks to prevent thrombosis, my travel laptop, tic tacs, and extra pens for customs forms. (And the inevitable people around me who do not have any.)
What do you always seem to forget? Ear plugs. And, sometimes…my sense of humor.
What do you like least about travel? Screaming babies on a plane. I seem to be a screaming baby magnet.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Local spirits. Local spices.
Favorite travel app(s): Blackberry Travel.
Most embarrassing travel moment: No room for the really good stories, but not noticing I was at the wrong airline gate for the same destination home at boarding time (in my defense was at the same time) and trying to get on, and then missing the right plane by minutes at the right gate in Chicago.
Worst travel moment: Quite a few, but stepping on a very dead chicken in skimpy flip-flops on a beach in Lombok, Indonesia is right up there.
What’s your dream destination? Bora Bora/Tahiti—over water bungalows.
Favorite travel charity: Pack for a Purpose.
Best travel tip: Put some Vaseline inside your nostrils before boarding a plane to avoid germs in the recycled air.
Hi, Sue! I’m still waiting for the day we can meet up on an island! Maybe in 2016? I also love my Pocket Poppet jacket for travel; it’s the best! I’m hoping I don’t have a worst travel moment like yours. Stepping on a dead chicken definitely qualifies!