Throughout the years moving from city to city, we’ve been fortunate enough to get to know some extraordinary, talented people, some of whom you may recognize! No matter what they do, one thing we’ve always had in common is our love for travel. We thought it would be fun to get a little insight into how others travel or what it would look like behind the scenes traveling with them. Welcome to our “Travel With…” interview series!
Tell us about you. Who you are and what you do.
I’m Christine Lakin. I’m an actress you’ve seen in movies like Mother’s Day, TV shows like Modern Family, and have heard as voices on Family Guy, Clarence and The Walking Dead video game. Sometimes I host shows as well like VH1’s Big Morning Buzz. If you were home watching TV in the 90’s you’d probably best remember me as Al on the Friday night sitcom Step By Step (trivia points for that one)! You can see me next on the partially scripted comedy Hollywood Darlings coming to Pop TV in Spring of 2017 alongside my buddies Jodie Sweetin and Beverley Mitchell. My favorite project as of late, however, is my 8-month-old daughter Georgia with my husband Brandon.
What do you love about traveling?
I traveled a lot as a kid. My family was always jumping on a plane whether it was for vacation or to LA for work (I was raised in Atlanta). It wasn’t until I traveled to Europe for the first time when I was 17 that the travel bug really hit me. I absolutely love observing other cultures. I love the architecture, new people, different food, and watching how the rest of the world lives. It’s important because we all live on the same planet, and I think travel is the best form of global education you can get. It takes away your comfort zone and asks you to rely on your instincts and many times the kindness of strangers.
What does traveling locally mean to you?
Coast of California! I’m lucky to live in a very diverse and beautiful state where driving just a few hours in any direction can feel like a completely different world. Beaches, mountains, valleys and deserts — all at our fingertips. I especially love the journey driving north on the 1. The winding roads through Big Sur and Carmel are breathtaking. There is always some new gem to explore every time we go, and now that we invested in a Thule rack, we can pick up and leave with the whole family and dogs on board! Pulling over to let the dogs run on the beach or hike through the redwoods are two of my all-time happy places.
Describe your travel style in 5 words.
Functional. Versatile. Minimal. Waterproof. Warm.
What is your typical travel outfit?
Comfortable! For a long flight, I usually pick a knit pant, soft t-shirt, hoodie, and sneakers. Plane temperatures vary so much that layers are always a good idea. Also, my feet swell on long flights and a comfy sneaker or slip on won’t kill you when you land and stand in long immigration lines. If you can stuff an extra Tahiti in your bag, it can make all the difference to feel refreshed when you land. I also like a large scarf I can use as a blanket, pillow, or to even cover my head and block out light!
What luggage or travel bag do you use?
Love my Tumi. I am a carry-on type girl. I have backpacked Europe, flown to Asia for several weeks, and taken a bus around Australia with carry on. I hate waiting for luggage. I just want to get going! These bags are nearly indestructible, have rotating wheels, and are lightweight enough to fling around an airplane or train. I’m not big on day backpacks. I just like easier access to my camera, money, a notebook, etc. I also feel a backpack can become a crutch because you can stuff so much in it. You run the risk weighing yourself down every day. I prefer a good cloth satchel. This is usually my personal item on the airplane but it’s so useful when you get to a destination and want to have a bag to bring to the beach or hit a local market. I like one with a zipper and an inside pocket. They roll up easily as well should you find a souvenir you just have to bring home :) Lastly, I always have a small cross body purse to throw my sunglasses in, a wallet and a small camera or phone. Especially when venturing around the city at night. Having those three items keeps me versatile, organized and on the minimal side of thing, preventing me from having to hire a Sherpa by the end of my travels.
I prefer a good cloth satchel. This is usually my personal item on the airplane, but it’s so useful when you get to a destination and want to have a bag to bring to the beach or hit a local market. I like one with a zipper and an inside pocket. They roll up easily as well should you find a souvenir you just have to bring home :) Lastly, I always have a small cross body purse to throw my sunglasses in, a wallet and a small camera or phone. Especially when venturing around the city at night. Having those three items keeps me versatile, organized, and on the minimal side of things, preventing me from having to hire a Sherpa by the end of my travels.
What is the first thing you look for when you arrive at your destination?
A bathroom, an ATM, public transportation and a good local bar. In that order… and repeat :)
What is the first thing you do when you enter your hotel room?
Unpack my toiletries, shoes and set up my iPad and charging stations. I don’t like traveling with my computer. It’s too bulky and has my life on it! Instead, I use my iPad and sync a keyboard to it so I can quickly respond to email, skype, and let friends and family know where I am. One good tip on top of bringing an electric converter for international travel is a small extension cord that allows you to charge several things at once. Really helpful if you’re with a buddy and you need to charge multiple things every night!
Do you have any travel rituals?
I leave my good watch at home and always wear my St Christopher around my neck. I say a prayer every time we take off and a thank you every time we land. I keep a manila envelope with copies of all my reservations, itineraries, bookings, and passport in a safe place on the bottom of my luggage.
Is music important when you travel? Who have you been listening to lately?
I listen to a lot of music with my daughter and lately, it’s been classical. While classic rock is probably more my jam, I have to admit I’ve been into it. Supposedly it stimulates little brains, so it couldn’t hurt to expose myself to some every now and then!
How long does it usually take you to pack?
I honestly dread packing, because I like to be so concise about it. It is a bit of an art to make sure you have everything you need and nothing you don’t. For a two week trip, it usually takes me about an hour. For a trip that involves multiple climates, that’s a little more complicated. To pack myself and my kid?! Half a day! Lol!
What do you use to shoot photos on a trip?
I have a Canon 60D that I brought to Japan and Thailand and got some of the most gorgeous pictures. It’s a heavy camera so it’s a commitment but worth it. I used a sling backpack to carry it around. I also have a Nikon V1 that is a beautiful camera and takes gorgeous video, but it finally broke on safari in Africa, so I’m in need of a replacement for my next trip.
- Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat? Window
- Roadtrip or International? International!
- Beach or Mountains? Beach. I’m an Aquarian, so naturally.
- Hotels, AirBnBs, or Couch Surf? AirBnB! I love not to feel like a tourist but a part of the city.
- Sleep with sheets tucked in or do you pull them out? Pulled out the sides… but tucked in the end. I don’t want cold feet!
TRUE OR FALSE
- I’ve taken home toiletries from a hotel before. Of course! Best to use for getaways!
- I like getting new towels every day. Yes and clean sheets but the green side of me hangs my towels anyway.
- I do research about a place before visiting. Always. I’ll get a great book and study up on a few historical places to go and cross reference with some websites on the restaurant scene. Barcelona is such a foodie city – it was nearly a toss up between all the historical stuff and incredible food to make time for!
- I always try the local cuisine. Ha! See above!
- I’m always updating my social media when I travel. A fair amount. I try not to plug in too often though. Travel is about opening your eyes and being in the moment… not having a face down on a screen.
FILL IN THE BLANK
- I can’t travel without headphones.
- I usually order wine to drink on a plane.
- My favorite airline is Delta.
- My favorite hotel is a toss up between The Lodge at Sea Island / Le Meridian in Phuket.
- The most recent place I traveled to was San Francisco.
Why do you think it’s valuable for people to travel?
Traveling can make you feel small in the grand scheme of things, which I think is always a good reminder. It can teach you to treat obstacles like an adventure rather than a nuisance and open your eyes to beauty in everyday things that are new to you. It can make you more aware to treat strangers with kindness in your own country and to set an example for the world you wish to represent.
What is one tip you would give to others about traveling?
Have a general plan but leave room for wandering. Keep your cool when things don’t go your way. Sometimes the best experiences come from mistakes (like the time I misread my flight leaving Ibiza and ended up booking a ticket to Toulouse instead and renting a car to drive through the French countryside… priceless)
Since this is a new series, we’d love to hear your feedback. Let us know if there are any questions you’d like us to add to future interviews and who else you would like to see!