Where are you now and where is your next travel destination?
I work at Wotif HQ in Brisbane, where I’ve been working for the last five years. My first destination on my next trip is to my favourite city, London. I’m going away for a month to England, Ireland and Scotland, where I’m looking forward to exploring the history and having a digital detox.
What do you like most about your job?
It would have to be the awesome people I work with. I love working with the hotel suppliers and negotiating great accommodation deals for our customers, as well as working with my amazing team at Wotif. I also enjoy the fast pace work life, there really is never a dull moment.
What do you always pack in your carry-on luggage?
Before I leave for any trip, I make sure I’ve packed my travel essentials: lip balm, moisturiser, and a decent pair of headphones.
What is your most memorable trip?
It’s difficult to just choose one, all my trips are memorable for different reasons. A road trip mini vanning around Tasmania with seven family members would have to be my most memorable family trip. My holiday in San Francisco last year is a stand out for my most memorable shopping trip – my suitcase was definitely a lot heavier on the way home. Hours spent relaxing on the beach in Fiji with a cocktail in hand also comes to mind when I think of the best relaxing holiday I’ve had.
What must-have travel accessories or apps do you recommend for any traveller?
Check out the Wotif app and look out for the Wot Hotel mystery deals. While the exact location of the hotel is a mystery, it’s worth taking a punt as the deals are a great saving and include all the big hotel chains. The location and the hotel name are revealed as soon as your booking is made.
As for must-have travel accessory, I’d definitely recommend taking a pair of ear plugs on a long haul trip to block out a fellow passenger’s snoring on the plane.
Your favourite travel quote is…
My all-time favourite would have to be ‘when in doubt, travel’
If you could be someone else for one day who would that be?
I’d be Queen Elizabeth I for the day, aside from the comfort and royal treatment being very appealing, I think it would have been an interesting era to be a woman of power and influence, at a time when men were predominantly seen as the leaders of society.
Your greatest weakness is…
It would definitely have to be leaving behind Puka, my fur baby of five years. He’s an adorable Maltese and a lovely companion on short trips when we stay in pet-friendly hotels, but when it comes to going on overseas holidays it’s really hard to say goodbye. There’ll definitely be a few Skype sessions while I’m in the UK.
If you could travel through time – where and what year/era would you chose to visit?
I’d go back to the French Revolution or Medieval England. Maybe it’s my English heritage or maybe I’ve lived there in a former life, but I find the history of those eras fascinating and I’m always drawn to find out more.
As a travel expert, do you have any travel hacks/tips for our readers?
If you’re flexible on the destination, and the date, it often pays to go where and when the deal takes you. Rather than looking at the most popular spots and periods, browse a variety of destinations and dates and then let the discounts make the decision for you. If you’re on Wotif, keep an eye out for our flaming deals – they’re either a discounted rate or have added inclusions, or both.
For coffee lovers out there, when you’re travelling to the UK or States make sure you do a bit of digging and make a shortlist of where the good coffee shops are, keeping an eye out for any cafes run by Australians.
Donna Rodios is the Group Product Director for Wotif Group, overseeing property relationships on behalf of the Company’s portfolio of travel brands, a role she has held since 2011. Based in Wotif Group’s Brisbane headquarters, Donna leads the accommodation product teams who work in the Company’s Australian and New Zealand offices.