Serial traveller Michelle Karam – the founder of Travel Junkie Diary – divulged her top tips on how to battle jetlag, the must-visit staycation destinations and ultimate jetsetter essentials.
By Jemma Walker
Where are you looking forward to visiting this summer?
My husband, daughter and I are visiting Spain and travelling around the coast. We are going to Barcelona for a wedding, then Costa Brava, Mallorca and then we’ll decide where we end up.
Five things you can’t travel without?
I always need my Chanel Hydra lip balm, camera, notebook, pashmina and a good book – I’ve been trying to read the same book for three years and haven’t succeeded yet.
Top regional destination for avoiding the UAE heat?
I just got back from Bodrum, Turkey, where the sun is strong but the breeze is stronger. Just a four hour flight from Dubai and you are in the centre of it all – beautiful beaches, sailing and water activities.
What’s the best way to explore a new destination?
It’s true when they say get lost. It takes longer, but if you have time and you can read maps, then don’t be afraid to rent a bicycle and go.
Where do you go to escape the hustle and bustle of the city?
Alila Oman tops my off the beaten track destinations. It’s extremely difficult to get to – a long drive and a plane ride – but it’s all worth it when you’re in the clouds on top of the mountain.
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited?
People always used to ask me that question and I could never answer, but now, I discovered magic in Hallstatt, Austria. I’ve always wanted to be in a place where the lake touches the mountains – and Hallstatt was a dream come true.
One destination you’d like to go back to?
Port Antonio in Jamaica – I don’t feel I’ve seen enough of it – my husband and I started from Montego Bay and were there for a month but didn’t explore any further than Port Antonio.
Name your top staycation destinations?
It would have to start with Batroun in Lebanon for its Mallorca meets French Riviera scenery, Turkey’s new Jumeirah Bodrum Palace and Sharm El Sheikh where my husband proposed to me. Here in Dubai there’s one of my favourite restaurants, Toro Toro and finally Musandam Fjords in Oman. There’s something about Oman that keeps everyone wanting to go back for more – whether it’s the mountains, the sea or the adventure – it’s a beautiful place for a quick getaway.