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: Vanessa Rivers
Occupation: Travel Writer, Swimwear Designer, Surf Instructor
Hometown: Creston, CA
Residence: London, UK
College: UC Santa Barbara
College major: Psychology
Website: GlitterandMud.com, WeAreTravelGirls.com & SummerLoveSwimwear.com
Twitter: @VanessaRivers & @WeRTravelGirls
Facebook: Glitter&Mud Travel, We Are Travel Girls, Summer Love Swimwear
Instagram: vanessarivers, wearetravelgirls & summerloveswimwear
Pinterest: We Are Travel Girls
YouTube: Vanessa Rivers
Short bio: Vanessa Rivers grew up on a ranch on the Central Coast of California and attended college at UC Santa Barbara, where she fell in love with surfing. Surfing led Vanessa around the world and it was on one of these trips that she decided to combine her love of the ocean and nature to create an eco-friendly swimwear line, SUMMERLOVE SWIM.
She is currently based out of London, lives part-time in California, and spends much of her time traveling, documenting her adventures on Glitter&Mud. Vanessa has visited 36 countries and specializes in surf, snow and luxury travel, working with top brands such as Gansevoort Hotel Group, Four Seasons Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Nikki Beach and 1 Hotel Group, just to name a few. Vanessa is also the Co-Founder/Editor at We Are Travel Girls, a new travel site created to share your travel stories!
How often do you fly? 2 or 3 times a month.
How many countries have you been to? 36
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: Driving from California to Montana with my mom and little twin brothers to spend summer at my grandpa’s ranch. The drive usually took us about 3 days. My brothers and I spent most of the time fighting!
Favorite American city: Santa Barbara.
Favorite international city: London.
Least favorite country: I have never been to a country that I did not love!
I have no desire to go to: Take me anywhere!
Friendliest people in the world: Ireland and Thailand.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: USA.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Sognefjord, Norway’s largest fjord and one of the most breathtaking natural wonders I have ever seen!
Favorite airline: Emirates.
Favorite aircraft type: A380—I love this aircraft so much I recently did an Emirates A380 Business Class review.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai.
Favorite U.S. airport: I know most people hate LAX but I actually love this airport.
Favorite international airport: Heathrow.
Favorite hotel: Nihiwatu on Sumba Island.
Favorite cruise line: I’ve actually never been on a cruise!
Favorite island: Barbados!
Favorite beach: Butterfly Beach, Montecito, CA.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Nobu, Malibu, CA.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: JIMBOZ, Santa Barbara, CA.
Favorite bar: Brophy Bros, Santa Barbara, CA.
Favorite fruit: Bananas.
Favorite food: Sushi, but Italian is a close second!
Least favorite food: I’m a pescatarian, so all meat besides seafood.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Moscow Mule or Grey Goose martini dirty with extra olives.
Favorite travel movie(s): Soul Surfer—I know this is not really a “travel movie” but all the surf footage makes me want to hop on a plane to anywhere warm that has waves!
Right now I am reading: “Proof Of Heaven” by Eben Alexander.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure Mag, Surfer magazine.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! WeAreTravelGirls.com (of course), BeckyvanDijk.com, wildluxe.com, and TheBlondeAbroad.com
5 things you bring on a plane: A We Are Travel Girls luggage tag so I can find my bag easily and connect with other girls in the community, my computer so I can get work done, and a good magazine or book to read.
What do you always seem to forget? My phone charger. Every time!
What do you like least about travel? Jet lag.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Alcohol of course.
Favorite travel app(s): Living in London, I could not survive without the Tube Map app!
Most embarrassing travel moment: I missed my connecting flight from Dubai to Bali and had to spend the night in the airport at the airport hotel. I was literally just sitting in the lounge “killing time” and somehow killed a little too much time and missed my flight. So embarrassing (and expensive)!
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Russia and Germany.
What’s your dream destination? Maldives—I want to go on week long surf trip to the Maldives, stay in an over the water bungalow and do nothing but lounge in the sun, surf, eat, drink and nap!
Favorite travel charity: Village Health Works based in Burundi, Africa. We donate 20% of profits from the We Are Travel Girls Shop to VillageHealthWorks.org.
Best travel tip: “Life is not about the destination. It’s about the journey.” If you live by this quote it will make your travels so much more enjoyable, especially when things don’t go the way you planned.
Loved reading your responses to this interview Vanessa – “alcohol, of course” has to be my favourite!