If Only There Were a Travel Genie

Should I ever be so lucky as to run into the right lamp and find my genie, my first wish will be for more wishes. But should I be limited to only three wishes, and only travel wishes at that, I will not cry. I can do a lot with three travel wishes!

Leaving aside the obvious wish for lots of money, I’d first wish for a never ending supply of airline miles on at least one international carrier, so that I can get just about anywhere in the world I want to without having to pay more than taxes.

Next, I’d want a similar arrangement with a multi-brand hotel company so that I could have someplace free to stay in any major city.

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Finally, I’d like a guarantee of an exclusive experience (of my choice) in every destination I visit. For instance, on a safari in Tanzania I’d be the only tourist (well, with friends and family, of course) at any location at any given time during the Great Migration. Or at Stonehenge, I’d get to go inside the stone circle alone, at dawn or dusk.

I’m not the only editor to desire an airline-related wish. Senior editor Sarah Schlichter would use her first wish for unlimited airline upgrades. Her other two requests: an Antarctic cruise (including magical protection from seasickness) and the ability to speak any language at a basic level.

Copy editor Ashley Kosciolek also wants immunity from feeling ill, but she went all the way and wished for never getting sick at all — no traveler’s tummy or strange parasites for her! She also wished for good weather, because she hates travel delays, and skipping freebies on airlines or at hotels, she went straight for simply having unlimited funds.

Lots of cash and easier air travel were also popular wishes with readers who responded to our query on Facebook and Twitter.

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For instance, Facebook friend Kyra Yazmin wished for an unlimited supply of cash, a Matrix-like ability to download the local language in an instant and a magic sack that is light as air but big enough to carry everything you could ever want or need.

Twitter follower Jess tweeted, “$40,000, two years, 35+ countries,” while Mackenzie Lowen tweeted, “Private jet, unlimited fuel and an on-call pilot. Forever.”

On Facebook Gill Harvey elected to skip flying and teleport to anywhere in the world. Gill also wanted to be able to speak the language in any destination, and to have a stash of local currency waiting on arrival.

And on behalf of many of us time-strapped travelers, Twitter follower Alka Kaushik simply requested “Time, time and more time!”

What travel wish would you make if given the chance?

— written by Dori Saltzman

By Sarah Schlichter

Deputy Executive Editor Sarah Schlichter's idea of a perfect trip includes spotting exotic animals, hiking through pristine landscapes, exploring new neighborhoods on foot, and soaking up as much art as she can. She often attempts to recreate recipes from her international travels after she gets home (which has twice resulted in accidental kitchen fires—no humans or animals were harmed).

Sarah joined the SmarterTravel team in 2017 after more than a decade at the helm of Sarah's practical travel advice has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Budget Travel, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A journal. Even years later, reading my notes from a trip can bring back incredibly vivid memories."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Road tripping and hiking through the rugged mountains of Patagonia."

Travel Motto: "'To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.'—Freya Stark"

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle. I get restless on long flights and like to be able to move around without disturbing anyone else."

Email Sarah at

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