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: Tam Warner Minton
Occupation: Writer/Blogger at Travels with Tam dot com and freelance
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
Residence: Dallas, Texas
College: University of Texas Dallas for BA, U of North Texas for Masters
College major: Sociology, gender and race
Facebook: Travels With Tam
Pinterest: Travels with Tam.com
Google+: Tam Warner Minton
YouTube: Tam Warner Minton
Short bio: Tam Warner Minton is the travel blogger, writer and photographer behind the adventure travel blog, travelswithtam.com. She has traveled to all seven continents, and is an advocate for citizen science, the environment, and getting out of one’s comfort zone. An avid scuba diver, Tam goes on many ocean research expeditions, and is an amateur underwater photographer. Her book, “ALL FISH FACES,” introduces amazing, colorful underwater creatures many have never seen before, but are crucial to our oceans. Showing kids of all ages the amazing life beneath the waves is the way to preserve our oceans for future generations!
How often do you fly? Frequently! It depends. Since July I have been concentrating on traveling in Texas, and that is a lot of driving. I’m headed to Cozumel in October, Cabo Pulmo in December, back to Cozumel, and then the Revillagigedos Islands for a citizen science trip with Dr. Andrea Marshall of Marine Megafauna Foundation. Her trips are Ray of Hope Expeditions and involve citizen science on manta rays.
How many countries have you been to? I really don’t know. I don’t travel to places so I can say I’ve been there, I like to go somewhere and settle in, get to know the culture, the food, the area.
How many continents have you been to? Seven.
Earliest travel memory: Ft. Lauderdale, FL, when I was three or four, playing in the waves. I’ve always had a strong affinity for the ocean, and we went to Florida every year of my life.
Favorite American city: San Francisco, CA.
Favorite international city: London. I absolutely love the rich history of the city, and I’m a medieval history buff.
Least favorite country: You know, I really don’t know the answer to that! Every country has had good experiences and bad experiences. I can’t say I have a least favorite country!
I have no desire to go to: North Korea.
Friendliest people in the world: Mexico.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Mozambique! They love to find any excuse to keep you out for hours to days.
Favorite World Heritage Site: That is a draw between Komodo National Park in Indonesia (dragons!) and Yosemite National Park in California. They are very different, yet both breathtaking in their beauty.
Favorite airline: British Airways. BA has the most comfortable Business Class pods!
Favorite aircraft type: I don’t have one! I never notice. I do like the smaller jets, though.
Aisle or window: I was a strict window person, but if I am traveling coach I now go for the aisle. It is just more convenient to get up when needed.
Favorite airport lounge: Admiral’s Club!
Favorite U.S. airport: DFW. I live here, and I love that I can get just about anywhere in the world!
Favorite international airport: Cape Town! Our flight was VERY interesting heading into Cape Town. As you may or may not know, the cape is known as the Cape of Storms, because storms form with no warning…as we began our descent a line of squalls quickly came up. The pilot came on the PA system and announced that we might have to do a “go around,” a common maneuver at the Cape Town airport. The plane tries to land, but if the squall comes in at a certain speed, the plane must pull up suddenly (no matter how close to landing) and then “go around” before taking another “bash” at landing! We experienced a go around…wow! The landing gear is deployed, you are almost touching down and boom…the plane suddenly pitches up and accelerates and you are pushed back in your seat! Kind of like the plane in the movie Air Force One. It took us 45 minutes to land. Most exciting!
Favorite hotel: For hotel chains, Park Hyatt and Four Seasons are my favorites.
Favorite cruise line: I do dive liveaboards, but not cruises! I love the Arenui Boutique Liveaboard in Indonesia best!
Favorite travel credit card: Mastercard.
Favorite island: Cozumel! Beautiful diving, friendly people, wonderful foodie delights!
Favorite beach: The most beautiful coastline I’ve ever seen is Tofo, Mozambique. It is truly breathtaking, but not a good swimming beach as the surf is high. I used to love Seven Mile Beach, but I haven’t been there in many years so it may have changed!
Favorite National Park: So far, Yosemite! I haven’t been to them all.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Buccanos at Night in Cozumel, Mexico. Amazing! I love “fancy” restaurants where you can wear casual clothes.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: La Cocay in Cozumel. It looks dodgy, then you go in, and they have the best food!
Favorite airport restaurant: Ha! Probably Fridays.
Favorite bar: I don’t have one.
Favorite fruit: The golden mangos in Thailand!!!
Favorite food: French fries.
Least favorite food: Bananas.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Coca-Cola!
Favorite travel movie(s): Up in the Air, Just Married, and I always love Mission Impossibles and James Bond!
Favorite travel show(s): Anthony Bourdain, every Nat Geo documentary, BBC documentaries on nature.
Favorite travel book(s): I love photographic studies, so I have several dive books and landscapes. And of course, my book “All Fish Faces“!
Right now I am reading: Jane Seymour: “The Haunted Queen.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Conde Nast, National Geographic Traveler, and Afar.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Travels with Sara, Adventures of Empty Nesters, Wherever I May Roam Blog, Diveoclock, Scubaverse.
5 things you bring on a plane: A pillow, Compression socks, laptop, backpack full of makeup and toiletries, and on a dive trip, a camera case that feels like it weighs a ton.
What do you always seem to forget? Toothpaste!
What do you like least about travel? The actual getting there, flights, cars, I especially dislike changing planes.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Not a thing!
Favorite travel app(s): Waze, Seafood Watch by Monterey Bay Aquarium so I always know sustainable fish to eat, Google Maps, Translate.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Ha! I had a spectacular fall in Rome, at the statue of Marcus Aurelius. I slipped for no reason and I was laid out flat on my back!
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Canada.
Worst travel moment: By far, the time my passport was missing at Nairobi International Airport and I had to stay in transit.
What’s your dream destination? A private island! With staff, of course!
Favorite travel charity: Ray of Hope Expeditions and REEF.org.
Best travel tip: Book it and GO!