How I Carry-On? is a travel series devoted to travel style. As a traveler, I am curious about my fellow travelers’ routines, what they pack, and how they live their lives always en route. My travel motto if the trip is under 10 days – carry-on only. This usually works 95% of the time. It also made me think. How do my fellow travelers, travel? What makes us love and despise travel at the same time. Are they airport lounge obsessed like me? Instead of me emailing them for the answers I thought I would do a Q&A and allow my lovely readers to benefit from their knowledge like I do. Confession. I often hit Sarah up on Instagram to ask what she’s wearing. She lives in bright, beachy, and comfortable clothes. A girl after my own heart. Peep these pants. Love them.
Thank you Sarah for showing me how you carry-on!
Name: Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon (http://www.JetSetSarah.com). Follow Sarah on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.
Job: Travel journalist, Caribbean expert, black-belt international shopper
Home Base: Miami, Florida
Why do you travel? My passion is also my profession – I write about all aspects of Caribbean travel and shopping for outlets including Travel + Leisure, AOL Travel, USA Today, Islands and Caribbean Journal – so I’m always in the Caribbean for work. But because I love what I do, it always feels like pleasure.
What is your preferred method? I’ve been enchanted by the magic of air travel ever since I took my first flight at three-years-old and remarked to my mother that the clouds were upside down. And I’m one of the few travel journalists I know who actually loves airports.
Land, sea or both? Both. There’s nothing like seeing the Caribbean from the air, all those idyllic islets afloat in impossibly blue sea. But some destinations are best explored by boat: The British Virgin Islands and the Exumas in the Bahamas come to mind.
Favorite airport? I’m in the American Airlines terminal at MIA so often (two or three times a month) that it feels like a second home. But as long as I have Wi-Fi and a/c, I’m a happy camper.
Least favorite airport? I was most disappointed with the airports in Grand Cayman and Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Both are high-end destinations that you’d imagine would have swanky airports but they’re small, cramped and have very limited shopportunities. Both are being renovated though, so there’s hope on the horizon.
Favorite terminal for food, shopping, etc.? I can always make a pre-trip purchase at Coco Bay and The Shoppes at Ocean Drive on Concourse D at MIA; they both have great accessories and resort wear (I love the stuff from Miami-based designer Peace Love World, peaceloveworld.com).
To check or not to check? Depends how long the trip is, what activities are on my itinerary, and whether I’ll be on camera (I do video, too). Carry-on if it’s a straightforward three- or four-night jaunt; a hard-side checked bag if longer or if I need to pack wardrobe for a shoot.
Favorite travel bag and luggage My current carry-ons are a Kipling workhorse I’ve had for about 20 years (!) and a Briggs & Riley wheelie. But I’ve got my eye on bags from Crumpler, LeSportsac. Longchamps and Tumi.
Favorite airline? American and JetBlue
Least favorite airline? I’d only fly Spirit if it was free.
Loyalty? Airline & hotel? American Airlines from Miami because they take me almost anywhere I need to be in the Caribbean. From FLL, I’m a Jetblue fan. No hotel loyalty – yet!
Window or aisle? Aisle, so I can really stretch out my 4’ 9”-frame.
Favorite hotel? I’m all about the Caribbean private-island experience, and I could live at Fowl Cay (fowlcay.com) in the Bahamas or Petit St Vincent (petitstvincent.com) in the Grenadines.
Favorite food when traveling? I always pack protein bars because a hungry Sarah is an angry Sarah. Once at my destination I’m all about street food: bokit in Guadeloupe; patties and jerk in Jamaica; conch salad in the Bahamas; accra in Martinique. And I sample KFC in every Caribbean country I visit (but Jamaica’s is the best!)
Libation of choice on the road? I love fruity cocktails but I mostly drink water because I’d rather save my calories for food!
Travel outfit? Pants and top; a colorful wrap or my customized military jacket; Maison Martin Margiela tabi flats; Louis Vuitton Yayoi Kusama Neverfull tote.
Travel gadgets? Camera? Usually just my iPhone and MacBook Air. But I want to start shooting my own video this year so soon I’ll also be schlepping a DSLR, tripod and mic. (Fashionable camera bag suggestions welcome!)
iPhone, Android, or Windows? #TeamiPhone
Currently reading? Various travel and fashion mags.
Favorite travel apps? I’m completely in awe of the modern miracle that is inflight wi-fi, and my Gogo app is a Godsend.
How do you stay healthy on the road? I always pack my running gear and squeeze in a run most mornings of my trip. It’s a great way to experience the nuances of a destination up close. We’re always being fed sumptuous meals on media trips (tough job, I know) so to cut calories I choose an appetizer for main course and I’ve also started to substitute espresso for dessert.
Favorite travel beauty/grooming products? I rely on Mario Badescu glycolic foaming cleanser, Tazorac gel and my Clarisonic to keep my skin in check. I love the oils from St. Croix apothecary Itiba (itibabeauty.com) for my hair and skin, and I always have a small circular tin of Vaseline with me for old-school moisturizing on the go. Clinique’s Calyx and Bobbi Brown’s Beach are my go-to fragrances, at home and away.
Most memorable travel experience? I can’t choose just one! But swimming with pigs in the Bahamas; climbing Gros Piton volcano in St. Lucia; playing mas at Trinidad Carnival; and zipping around the Exumas from Fowl Cay with my husband in our own powerboat are all up there.
Worst travel experience? Ending up in the emergency room on a Saturday night in St. Croix was no fun.
Travel advice? When packing, accessories always trump outfits. When things go wrong (and they will), retain your sense of humor. Airline lounge membership is money well spent.