5 Minutes With Kae Lani Kennedy

Kae Lani Kennedy is a Philadelphia-based travel industry professional who funds her vagrant lifestyle through a myriad of tricks and trades she’s learned over the years. In addition to being a copywriter and marketing/PR consultant to travel brands and tourism bureaus from around the world, she is an accomplished travel writer and photographer. Her work has been featured in Viator, The Culture-ist, Where Magazine and Long Weekends Magazine and she has worked on campaigns for Cheap Flights, Expedia, and American Express Travel.

kai lani kennedy, interview with Charles McCool of McCool Travel
Kai Lani Kennedy

McCool Travel Interview with Kae Lani Kennedy

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Always in my luggage…
My camera, my journal, a bandana (strange, but a dynamic tool) and my flask.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…

  • Anywhere in Germany
  • Barcelona
  • Asheville, North Carolina

A favorite travel memory is…
My roommate and I make a sport out of “urban spelunking” which is a nicer way of saying “breaking & entering into abandoned places.” So on a recent trip to Berlin, Germany, we decided to test our B&E skills on an international level at Spreepark, an abandoned Soviet era amusement park in what used to be East Berlin. The stakes were high. According to local bloggers, Spreepark is no easy B&E and such tomfoolery is looked down upon in Germany, a country known for its love of rules and order. Long story short, the Germans and their orderly nature took this irresistible B&E opportunity and capitalized on it! They had reopened the park, turning the fact that it was abandoned into the main attraction. We still got to tour the park except… you know… we did it legally.
3 favorite travel brands…

  • Flight 001  — provides the most useful and versatile travel gear
  • Gogobot — my favorite app to plan a trip
  • G Adventures — social enterprise at it’s finest. G Adventures create authentic experiences while also helping to preserve and promote the local cultures with which they interact.

3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…

  • I eat half and save the rest for later (this is where that bandana from earlier plays in—I save food in it like a little hobo sack.)
  • I use only public transportation
  • I’m recently learning how to use points for travel

3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…

  • I like climbing to the highest point and then taking a picture and texting it to my mom. It freaks her out every time.
  • Drinking with locals at the bar.
  • Biking or taking a jog around a new city.

8 word (or less) travel mantra…
“Go forth with courage. Be wild. Be free.
most memorable souvenir …
I haggled a street vendor for a sweater in the Czech Republic. I still have that sweater and every time I wear it I tell everyone of the great deal I got.
favorite cheap eat …
Avocados. They’re healthy, relatively cheap, and provide consistent energy throughout the day.
recent discovery …
Getting a tattoo is not as painful as I expected.
I am fortunate to have met …
Bruce Poon Tip, the founder of G Adventures and author of Looptail. Albeit it was for a brief moment, his presence made it clear that he is a man that thinks not of what the world can do for him, but what he can do for the world.
I would like to meet …
Stephen Fry. He’s funny and well versed in many topics. Plus, who can resist that English accent!

kae lani kennedy, interview with Charles McCool of McCool Travel
Kae Lani Kennedy

Thank you, Kae Lani. May you have countless more memorable travel adventures!
McCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons. Previous 5 Minutes post: Joshua Berman.
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