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: Michael Gallagher
Occupation: Travel Blogger
Hometown: Southern California, from Port Hueneme
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
College major: Economics
Short bio: Hey there! We are Michael Gallagher and Alexandra Carson from Southern California. We began dating in May of 2013 and quickly discovered that we both had a passion for travel and adventure. For two years we packed our weekends full of hikes, mini-vacations, music festivals, and whatever sorts of adventure we could manage to accomplish in 72 hours. But that wasn’t nearly enough for our vagabond souls.
Finally, we took a leap of faith. We bought a one-way flight to Italy, quit our jobs and set off to pursue our passion of travel with only about $8,000 to our names. Yeah, you could say we took some risks. What transpired was a seven-month nomadic trip to 13 countries.
How often do you fly? At least two times per month.
How many countries have you been to? 23 (destinations map at ) outlines the destinations we have been to!
How many continents have you been to? 3
Earliest travel memory: A bit of a blur considering the child memory between five and eight kinda mashes things together. I would have to say my earliest solid travel memory would be a roadtrip I took with my family where we hit a bunch of the US National Parks—Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. Yeah…it was a lot of time in the car!
Favorite American city: Michael—for a major city, probably San Diego.
Favorite international city: Florence, Italy. Florence is my second home. I studied abroad there while at university and have been back a couple of times since including a four-month stint where Alex and I lived there last year.
Least favorite country: Oh man. Going to do this to me. I’ve honestly never visited a country that I didn’t like. I have, however visited one particular city that I was not a fan of: Split, Croatia. This is tough though, because I loved the other areas we visited. We drove the entire coast of the country and visited the national parks and Split was the only place I disliked. I honestly don’t have an entire country that I dislike.
I have no desire to go to: This could sound like the lame, clichéd, travel blogger response, but I want to see everywhere. I’m not particularly jumping at the gun to get to Saudi Arabia or Syria though.
Friendliest people in the world: Undeniably the Balinese. Every single person you meet in Bali is the nicest person you’ve ever met. They have the friendliest culture, always have a smile on their faces, and are entirely genuine at all times.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Probably the US. Most of those guys seem like they wanted to be cops but took up being an immigration officer as a back up plan. Way too up tight. Not ever a “welcome home” kind of mentality.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Costiera Amalfitana.
Favorite airline: Delta.
Favorite aircraft type: Airbus A330-300.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: Honestly not a particular airline’s sky lounge club of sorts but the Hamad International Airport in Qatar has some awesome lounge areas and places to hang out during layovers.
Favorite U.S. airport: MSP (Minneapolis) is pretty awesome. The Delta terminal has everything from awesome restaurant options to virtual golf at the PGA experience.
Favorite international airport: Hamad International Airport (Qatar)
Favorite ho Four Seasons Jimbaran (Bali).
Favorite cruise line: I have honestly never been on a cruise so I can’t say.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire and Gold Delta AMEX are my two go-to cards.
Favorite island: Bali.
Favorite beach: Pandawa Beach, Bali, Indonesia.
Favorite fancy restaurant: The Ritz Restaurant, London.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Osteria dei Vecchi Sapori in Milan, Italy. We stumbled in here as it was near an Airbnb we were staying in and it was incredible. We were the only Americans.
Literally every other person in the restaurant was a local. I speak a bit of Italian, so it was an awesome experience and we were welcomed very warmly.
Favorite bar: Hops Pub—Florence, Italy.
Favorite fruit: Constantly changing but probably a mango right now.
Favorite food: Italian.
Least favorite food: Canned tuna. Although, I’m not sure it’s fair I say this because I refuse to try it.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Knee Deep Simtra Triple IPA (ground) and Sculpin IPA (air) as it seems to be the most common IPA that Delta carries.
Favorite travel movie(s): Eat, Pray, Love, Under The Tuscan Sun, Catch Me If You Can, The Beach, The 100 Foot Journey.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything Anthony Bourdain is great.
Favorite travel book(s): “The Alchemist,” “Vagabonding.”
Right now I am reading: “#AskGaryVee.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Nomadic Matt, The Blonde Abroad, Expert Vagabond.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides Hundredbacklinks.com, of course! Business Insider Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, Skyscanner.
5 things you bring on a plane: External battery pack, laptop, headphones, large water bottles (the eight-ounce cup doesn’t cut it for me), snacks!
What do you always seem to forget? My keys in the door when I get home…especially if my hands are full. Have had neighbors knock on my door to tell me before. Probably not the safest thing to forget.
What do you like least about travel? Delays.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Snacks for the next flight!
Favorite travel app(s): Checkedin, Skyscanner, TripIt.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Washington, D.C. I’ve been to 31 states but never D.C.!
Worst travel moment: Honestly, I’ve been quite lucky. I’ve had an eight-hour delay that has caused me to miss a connecting flight and be stranded in a random city, but I really haven’t had anything incredibly terrible happen to me while traveling. Little things don’t particularly bother me. I love traveling, so I try to find positives in everything and just enjoy the journey.
What’s your dream destination? Cape Town, South Africa.
Favorite travel charity: FLYTE (started by Nomadic Matt).
Best travel tip: If you’re visiting a place for the first time, go without bias or preconceived notions. Don’t let someone else’s opinion or stories determine the way you’ll feel about a destination. Some people will hate the places you love and visa versa. Just appreciate the beauty of every place you visit.
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