McCool Travel Tips: 5 Minutes With The Trip Chicks

McCool Travel is excited to present tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons.

For the 20th profile, I am honored to present Ann Lombardi from The Trip Chicks. The Trip Chicks (Wendy Swartzell and Ann) are two youthfully middle-aged veteran travel agents with 26+ years of travel industry experience and 85+ countries under their belts. They believe that vacations are essential for a long and happy life, and a good sense of humor is the best thing you can pack for a trip. The Trip Chicks enjoy helping people find smart ways to save time and money, stretching muscles and minds on vacations, discovering off-the-beaten-path destinations, meeting the colorful locals, and sharing their best insider travel tips. The Trip Chicks plan adventures from their roost in Atlanta, Georgia.

Always in my luggage…

EmergenC, silicon earplugs, dental floss, beef jerky from the Dollar Store, and a big sense of humor.
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…
– Secret Bernese Oberland alpine villages in Switzerland
– Patagonia, Argentina
– Queenstown, New Zealand.
A favorite travel memory is…
Parading down the mountain as we celebrated the end of cheese-making season in the Austrian Zillertal with dairy farmers and their happy cows decked out in flowers and huge bells. The village mayor (whose last name amazingly was the same as Wendy’s) then invited us to eat at his cozy home.
3 favorite travel brands…
Swiss Rail/SBB
GAP
Lufthansa German Airlines
3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…
– book early
– pack light
– ask students for budget eatery tips
3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…
– by Couchsurfing
– attending traditional festivals
– taking part in fitness activities
8 word (or less) travel mantra…
Time’s short. Explore the great planet we share.
My favorite non-travel website…
CNN.com
Most memorable souvenir…
150 year old woven reed hat from Korea, the gift of a farmer
Favorite cheap eat…
Those yummy Flammkuchen (or Tartes flambées) served in France’s Alsace and Germany’s Black Forest. You can eat the savory ones for a main course and sweet versions for dessert. Try eating a meal at Flams in Strasbourg. ( http://www.flams.fr/resto.php)
Recent discovery…
Lovely Tournus in Burgundy, one of France’s most ancient monastic towns, on the banks of the River Saône.
I am fortunate to have met…
Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer, Peter Greenberg, Journeywoman Evelyn Hannon, and many other inspirational travelers and Twitter pals.
I would like to meet…
My all-time favorite travel humor writer Bill Bryson, and one day, Oprah Winfrey.
Thank you, Ann, for sharing your thoughts with McCool Travel and may you have countless more memorable travel adventures! Join The Trip Chicks on Twitter (@TheTripChicks) and The Trip Chicks blog.
Previous 5 Minutes With post: Roni Weiss.


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