Travel Tales: Kristen McKenzie
Name: Kristen McKenzie
Occupation: Head of Community and Public Relations at HotelsCombined.com
Favourite travel destination?: I used to live in Vancouver, Canada and always loved hopping on the ferry over to Vancouver Island for weekend getaways. I might be biased, but I think it’s one of the most gorgeous spots on the planet. Stunning scenery, cosy bed and breakfasts, abundant wildlife and excellent cuisine what more could you ask for?
Worst travel experience?: I was in Minnedosa – a small town in Manitoba, Canada – for a family wedding. The hotel we stayed at there was literally the worst I’ve ever been to (and that includes cheap stays in third world countries). The rooms were dark, windowless and dirty. There were no towels or basic hotel amenities such as hand soap and when we called the housekeeper and requested for her to give our room a quick tidy, she showed up drunk and could barely stand straight. Our stay at this horrific ‘hotel’ has since become a running joke in the family. At HotelsCombined, we showcase reviews in addition to a price comparison – it’s always good to get a heads-up on duds like this!Best tips for beating jetlag?: Coffee … and lots of it!
What is the one thing you don’t leave home without?: I always need to have a good book with me. So many of my travel memories are associated with the novels I was reading at the time.
Best meal you’ve ever had while travelling?: I became obsessed with arroz con mariscos (rice with shellfish) in Peru. I ordered it regularly throughout my stay – including on my last night in Lima before I flew home!
Best/scariest/funniest drive?: The drive from Vancouver to Whistler may be drop-dead gorgeous, but it’s also extremely scary. Countless fatal accidents have occurred on the twisty Sea to Sky Highway and rock and mud slides are a constant concern. Thankfully, it’s not as bad these days thanks to recent upgrades for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
What has been the big WOW moment of your travelling life?: I was absolutely blown away by Chichen Itza in Mexico. The design methods employed were so clever and ahead-of-their-time that I was flabbergasted. The Mayans were clearly brilliant (despite the human sacrificing)!
What is your number one travel tip?: Go with the flow! It’s good to have a general idea of what you want to do at a destination, but you don’t want to get bogged down with ‘must-do’ lists. The whole point is to relax and enjoy!