By Kristin Garnero
As a travel editor, it is literally your job to explore the world. And, while that doesn’t mean you’re constantly in vacation mind (you’re still working while away and expected to write about the places and people you encounter upon return), you do have the opportunity to rack up some pretty cool experiences.
Asking a travel editor to choose a favorite trip is perhaps like asking him or her to choose a favorite child, but we went there, and we’re so glad we did.
From Alaskan ‘uncruises’ (you read that correctly) to Sardinia, read on as various travel editors speak to some of their best trips yet.
‘Uncruising’ Through Alaska
“I just returned from a seven-night trip to southeast Alaska with UnCruise, and it was absolutely unforgettable. As a travel editor, my dream trips involve not having to plan my own itinerary — one of my favorite reasons to take a cruise. And it was a digital vacation as well, with a full week without Internet service. We were on one of the smallest ships to sail through Alaska, so we had incredible access to glaciers, wildlife viewing, and the amazing landscapes. We spent our days hiking, kayaking, and getting super close to glaciers, and we spotted bears, orcas, and all kinds of wildlife. It was unlike any trip I’ve ever taken before.” — Stephanie Wu, Editor of Out of Office
Re-training in France
“Last summer, I went to Chamonix for a friend’s wedding. It was beautiful, fun—and right in the middle of a train strike. Although I had intended to spend a week in Paris afterward, the trains had other plans. I just took the first ones (in some cases, the only ones) that arrived on the platform and wound up spending time in Annecy, Grenoble, and Marseille, places that hadn’t been at the top of my priority list but that I loved immediately. Sometimes, when traveling is your job, all the planning and organization takes the whimsy out of things, but my France experience reminded me about why it is I travel in the first place and reinvigorated my sense of adventure. Plus, the couscous.” – Lilit Marcus, Travel Editor at CNN
Partying in Quebec
“In the three years I lived in Canada, I never made it to Québec City. Gradually, that fact became a glaring hole on my travel resume in that country. ‘If you like Montreal,’ people there say, ‘you’ll love Québec.’ After a trip there in July for the annual Festival d’été de Québec – a multi-stage music throwdown that feels as if someone gave the cramped confines of Lollapalooza some room to actually breathe – I can confirm, yes, Québec is crazy lovable. Deeply Francophone, easily walkable, and favorable-exchange-rate cheap, the capital of Canada’s most mercurial province stacks so many of the reasons you travel into a welcoming nook 90 minutes’ flight from New York. Two highlights of the weekend: A daily Changing of the Guard ceremony at the old Citadel in which a royal goat named Batisse, who has his own chauffeur, participates; and an overall rollicking college-town atmosphere after dark. To wit, late one night I saw a man carrying an open beer pour it out and drink it off the street in defiance of a cop who threatened him with a ticket if he took one sip out of the can. Don’t let anyone tell you summertime in Canada ain’t a party.” – Sam Eifling, Travel Editor at Thrillist
Getting Scrappy in Sardinia
“About ten years go, I went to Sardinia. I had very little money at the time, and I’d heard all sorts of horror stories about how expensive the island can be. This is the place, after all, where Bill Gates goes on vacation. I stayed in ultra-budget accommodation –basically a little stucco shack on a beach – and spent three days doing things that were ultra cheap or totally free. Falling asleep on the sand beside neon-blue water. Hiking up to a ruined lighthouse. Eating bowls of pasta for 7 Euro in tiny restaurants. Using my hinky Italian to figure out local bus schedules. It taught me the most important lesson I’ve learned about travel: that money cannot buy the best of any place.” – Laura Motta, Director of Publishing at Shermans Travel
Missing Mexico City
“I’ve been lucky to travel enough that narrowing down my most memorable trips to just a few standouts feels basically impossible. That said, a few days spent in Mexico City has left me itching to go back for its diverse architecture, frenetic energy, long lunches, mezcal cocktails, and a fish torta that I still lust after two years later. I also just got back from beautiful, old, magical Istanbul—now that’s a city that really stays with you.” – Lale Arikoglu, Associate Digital Editor at Condé Nast Traveler
Kristin Granero is an Ed volunteer who has contributed to various media outlets, including Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Women’s Health, Fitness Magazine, Teen Vogue, Parents Latina, Popsugar and TODAY. When she’s not writing, she’s scouring New York City for the latest and greatest guacamole.