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Meet Anne Dimon: TravelToWellness.com

Takes the Twenty Travel Question Challenge



I am so excited to introduce you to Anne Dimon. She is the editor and writer for the online Travel To Wellness Magazine that covers travel, spas, fitness & culinary topics. I first met her on an L.A. tweet up at Yamashiro in Hollywood and we hit it off as fast friends. Before that time, I simply new her by her Twitter avatar and as @WellnessTravel.

Anne definitely walks the talk -- and also runs it. She's currently living like a local in San Miguel when she's not spending time in her native Canada.

She's the real deal and someone I'm honored to know her and introduce you to her here.

Let's Talk About You:

Tell me a bit about yourself: I've been a professional travel writer/columnist and editor for the last 20 years and eight years ago I launched TraveltoWellness.com, the online travel magazine for the wellness-minded.

As a travel writer and hospitality and spa journalist, I've traveled the world - more than 35 countries - for a variety of newspapers and magazines in Canada, the U.S., the U.K and Asia.

Prior to my life as a journalist, I was president of my own public relations company. In my early career, I worked in broadcasting - radio and television - both on-camera and behind the scenes.

Tell me about your travel website: Travel to Wellness is the first and, as far as we know, the only editorially-driving, online travel magazine exclusively devoted to the wellness-minded.

How old were you when you got your first passport and where did you travel to so you could “break it in? I was 21 and traveled to the Bahamas with a couple of girlfriends.

What kind of traveler are you? I’m definitely a blend – luxury, business, wellness, solo and I’ll throw a bit of adventure into the mix. First, all my travels are for business but the most memorable trips over the years are those that have combined adventure – a visit to the hill tribe villages of Vietnam, climbing Mount Kenya, a walking safari with a member of the Masai, four days of trekking around Havasu Canyon in Arizona – are just a few.

Because I cover the spa and wellness travel niche most of my accommodations tend to be on the luxury end of the scale. Last year I sailed with Crystal on a 10-day wellness cruise and enjoyed the fabulous penthouse services and amenities. I recently traveled to the new Secrets Resort in Huatulco to check out the spa and I’d say it’s THE (or certainly one of THE) best new spas to open on the Mexican Pacific coast in 2011.

How many countries have you been to and which ones were your favorites? I’ve been to 35 plus countries around the world and my favorites include Kenya, Morocco, South Africa and Vietnam. As far as changing my view of the world – travel, in general, does that like no other activity, but I’d say South Africa (before the end of Apartheid) and Vietnam (just as it was opening up to tourism) are the two countries that have most changed my view of the world.

Let's Talk About Airports & Packing:

Are you someone who arrives at the airport with lots of time before your departure or just in the nick of time prior to departure and why? To avoid the stress brought on by worry (over the airport experience) and rushing (to catch a flight), I always arrive at the airport with plenty of time before flight departure. I travel with my laptop and reading material and take advantage of the extra time to catch up on work or reading.

What are your top tips for going through TSA lines quickly and with no hitches? Don’t wear a metal belt or chunky metal jewelry, don’t exceed the liquid limit in your carry on – yes, that applies to contact lens solution and eye-make up remover. Do wear shoes that are easy to slip off and, if you’re travelling with a laptop, have it easily accessible to place into the provided bins.

What is the one item you’ve discovered that changed your airline travel experience for the better? Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for this one.

What are five items you always have in your carry-on and won’t leave home without? My laptop, digital camera, a notebook, pen, sunglasses. As I said, I travel mostly for business.

What is your best packing tip? Make sure every piece of clothing you pack is versatile and multi-functional. Stick with a few basic colors then dress up an outfit with accessories that are easy to pack such as scarves, jewelry and a pair of killer heels for evenings.

Let's Talk About Travel Brands, Travel Deals & Loyalty:

Are you loyal to travel brands or do you always book the best price and why? While I do have my favorites, I have no particular loyalty to brands. When I decide on a destination to travel to it is usually to write about a particular subject so I tend to let that dictate where I will stay. Regarding airlines, I choose according to best deal, best connections and departure times. I don’t mind taking a red eye but you rarely see me rise with the sun to catch an early flight.

What airline do you fly the most and what do you like best about it? Please see answer above.

What are your three best tips for maximizing travel loyalty miles, points, etc.? Sorry, don't have an answer here.

What’s your best loyalty rewards story or the best travel deal you ever got? Sorry, don't have an answer here either.



Let's Talk About Your Travel Experience:

What’s the biggest challenge in finding a fun and compatible travel partner? I used to travel frequently on media trips but today I mostly travel solo or with my husband.

When you travel to a country where you don’t speak the language, do you learn key phrases, carry a phrase book, or learn the language before you go? In addition to English I also speak a fair amount of French and now I am learning Spanish. And, yes, I always try to learn a few key words in other languages - hello, please and thank you, for instance, are muy necesario. Learning a few words in the local language shows respect for the people of the country you are traveling to.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to your vacation destination and why? Since I travel for business, I turn on my laptop and make absolutely certain I can access the local high speed connection.

Describe your most memorable travel food experience ever.. As a former contributing editor of Clean Eating Magazine I wrote the Chez Chef feature for a few years and had the opportunity to meet and dine with chefs in various parts of Canada and the U.S. so I’ve had too many memorable food experiences to count. But my two most recent memorable experiences are the honey and cheese pairing I enjoyed at Montage Laguna Beach and a caviar tasting at Petrossian Restaurant in West Hollywood. A tour of an olive farm and luncheon in Tuscany a few years ago, and tours of the Burgundy and Champagne regions of France are other memorable culinary adventures.

What’s your favorite souvenir to bring back from a trip and why? Stories, digital photos and memories because these are the things that will last my lifetime.

Of all the places you visited, choose one that changed the way you think about life or history… That would have to be crawling through the famed Cu Chi tunnels of Vietnam with, my guide, a former member of the Viet Cong. He told me what it was like to live and fight from these tunnels from the age of 18 to 25 and how very frightened he was to be shot at. His story touched my heart. To paraphrase Mark Twain - travel truly can be fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

What’s your favorite souvenir to bring back from a trip and why? Stories, digital photos and memories because these are the things that will last my lifetime.

Of all the places you visited, choose one that changed the way you think about life or history… That would have to be crawling through the famed Cu Chi tunnels of Vietnam with, my guide, a former member of the Viet Cong. He told me what it was like to live and fight from these tunnels from the age of 18 to 25 and how very frightened he was to be shot at. His story touched my heart. To paraphrase Mark Twain - travel truly can be fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. .
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I want to thank my friend, Anne Dimon, for a great interview and insight into her amazing travel experience. Don't forget to follow Anne on Twitter @WellnessTravel.

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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer

For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more