Travel Style: Sara de Maine Kearns

Sara de Maine Kearns

Sara de Maine Kearns

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: Sara de Maine Kearns

Occupation: Owner, Travels with Sara; Global Traveler; Safari Specialist; Culinary Expert; International Tour Guide; Multi-lingual

Hometown: Chester, UK

Residence: Warwick, NY

College: FDU, NJ

College major: Languages French, Italian & German

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Short bio: I am a worldwide traveler who specializes in African safaris and will be your personal guide. As Africa is my passion, my love of travel started at a very early age. At 10 I was off to school in France and by 18 I had hitchhiked all over Europe in the summer holidays. At 19/20 I spent two years as a student in the States, spent 21-28 as a stewardess for what was then BOAC (now BA).

I married a CBS foreign correspondent, lived in Rome, Tel Aviv, Nairobi. We returned to WV as a professor ‘71-’83. I owned an interior decorating studio and played a lot of tennis. Retried in ’83 to Sardinia. Ran a B&B in NYC (first to do so!) ’86-‘92. Went on to teach at a butler school in Denver. Headhunted as a chef P/A on a private Gulfstream from ’96 til 2007. In 2009 I started my travel company Travels with Sara specializing in bespoke, private safaris all over Africa. Please join me…

How often do you fly? It varies but I would say up to 12 times a year at least.

How many countries have you been to? Literally hundreds, I am a world traveler.

How many continents have you been to? I have been to all continents except for Antarctica. It is currently on my bucket list…

Earliest travel memory: My parents sent me off to school in France when I was 10. Which sparked my interest in travel…then I was hooked.

Favorite American city: I lived San Diego on the ocean for three years. I absolutely loved it. Lovely tennis and the weather was always great!

Favorite international city: Cape Town, divine food and wine, wonderful views, just a stunning city.

Least favorite country: I love them all. I can always find something of interest.

I have no desire to go to: I will go anywhere once to suss it out.

Friendliest people in the world: All of Africa with Kenya leading has the most friendliest people I know.

Favorite World Heritage Site: Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

Favorite airline: Swiss is my favorite because staff are both friendly and competent.

Favorite aircraft type: Love the 380 Airbus business class and Boeing 787.

Aisle or window: I always choose aisle since I like to be able to get up at will.

Favorite airport lounge: Priority lounges worldwide, not the airline lounges. Run by American Express. Free with Platinum Card.

Favorite U.S. airport: Newark airport happens to be my home departure city.

Favorite international airport: Wilson Nairobi is small, friendly and efficient.

Favorite ho Hemingways, Cape Grace, Angama Mara, and Chem Chem are my best of all time.

Favorite travel credit card: American Express, never leave home without it! Member since 1971.

Favorite island: Lamu, Madagascar, Vamizi are all divine and each has its own distinct charm.

Favorite beach: Vamizi Beach.

Favorite National Park: Serengeti

Favorite fancy restaurant: Tamarind in Nairobi.

Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Khan’s Barbecue “Chicken on the Bonnet” in Arusha.

Favorite airport restaurant: In London, Terminal 5, Gordon Ramsey has a wonderful restaurant.

Favorite bar: Harry’s Venice.

Favorite food: Any type of pasta.

Least favorite food: Liver.

Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): I would have to say I am a beer gal, wine and champagne.

Favorite travel movie(s): Out of Africa.

Favorite travel show(s): David Attenborough, BBC.

Favorite travel book(s): “The Green Hills of Africa.”

Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: T&L Conde Nast, my blog.

Favorite travel website(s)—besides Hundredbacklinks.com, of course! TripAdvisor, Robb Report.

5 things you bring on a plane: Eye mask, facial moisturizer, down pillow, notebook, iPad.

What do you always seem to forget? I usually don’t forget anything. I never leave home without my phone, passport, wallet…Everything else you can buy. 

What do you like least about travel? The time it takes at airports, which is why I like priority lounges because then you have a quiet haven.

What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Clarins Eau Dynamisante.

Favorite travel app(s): Waze, Google Maps, Uber, Rome2Rio.

Most embarrassing travel moment: Was heading to Newark airport for a flight to Africa. My good friend drove me, when we said our goodbyes and she drove off, I realized my most important bag with all my travel documents was still in her back seat. She has no cell phone so I was in a panic. End result my assistant came to my rescue, had to spend the night as I missed my flight. Airline was great to get me on the next flight early the next morning and didn’t charge me a change fee. 

I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Antarctica, as this is the continent I wrote my thesis on. Not too keen on the cold.

Worst travel moment: Landed with no undercarriage down. Quite scary but all was okay, great captain.

What’s your dream destination? My passion is Africa, anything Africa. Safaris are a life changing experience!

Favorite travel charity: AWF conservation.

Best travel tip: Travel light…people tend to bring far too much.

 

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About the Author

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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!

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