Travel Style: Ann Abel

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.

Ann Abel

Ann Abel

Name: Ann Abel       

Occupation: Travel writer and professional hedonist

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Residence: Brooklyn, New York



Short Bio: Ann Abel is a freelance luxury travel writer with an adventurous streak: she’s been tattooed in Bora Bora, flown small airplanes over three continents, and been bitten by a massage therapist. The former travel editor of Luxury SpaFinder and ForbesLife, she writes regularly for and has written for Departures, Afar, Robb Report, Islands, Brides, and other magazines and websites. When not traveling, she is learning to fly trapeze.

How often do you fly: A few times a month

How many countries have you been to: 62

How many continents have you been to: All six of the ones I care to visit

Favorite American city: New York

Favorite international city: Buenos Aires, Istanbul, and Marrakech

Least favorite country: French Polynesia is overrated.

Favorite airline: Singapore, Emirates, Etihad

Favorite aircraft type: Airbus A380 or a 12-seater Caravan that’s older than I am

Aisle or window: Aisle

Favorite U.S. airport: San Francisco—for the food

Favorite international airport: Changi in Singapore

Favorite ho Just one? Really? COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali, Pousada Picinguaba in Brazil, La Maison Arabe in Marrakech, Trasierra in Spain, Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado, and Algodon Mansion in Buenos Aires. This list might be different next week.

Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? The closet if I have clothes that will wrinkle. The dresser just seems like asking to lose things.

Favorite cruise line: I’ve never done a traditional big cruise ship, but I adored the True North in Australia, the M/V Aqua on the Peruvian Amazon, and the Silolona in Indonesia

Favorite island: Musha Cay (David Copperfield’s private island in the Bahamas) and Lupita Island in Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania.

Favorite fancy restaurant: Noma in Copenhagen

Favorite hole in the wall: Cal Pep in Barcelona

Favorite fruit: mango, but only in the places it actually grows

Favorite food: ceviche

Least favorite food: any sort of meat

Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Champagne or green tea, depending on the time of day and my drinking companions

Favorite travel movie(s): The Painted Veil, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Everything Is Illuminated, Up in the Air, The Darjeeling Limited

Favorite travel book(s): The Lady and the Monk by Pico Iyer, The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux, and Who Needs a Road by Harold Stephens and Albert Podell

Right now I am reading: Slightly out-of-date issues of the New Yorker—they pile up in my apartment and then I’ll blitz through five of them on a long trip.

Five things you bring on a plane: big water bottle, scarf or pashmina, healthy snacks, iPad for reading books, big pile of New Yorkers

What do you always seem to forget: pajamas

What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? A Cartier Tank watch (not holding my breath)

Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Room. It’s so stupidly simple—all it does is remind of your hotel room number, but it’s surprising how often I can use a reminder.

Most embarrassing travel moment: Bathing in a ryokan in Hakone, Japan. I still don’t know what I did wrong, but attendants were speaking to me very sternly.

What’s your dream destination: Cairo to Cape Town, overland

Best travel tip: Relax and say yes.


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About the Author

I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

1 Comment on "Travel Style: Ann Abel"

  1. I always enjoy reading about the pros and their travel habits. Some I agree with — some not.
    But that is the fun of it!!!

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