Sandra Smith is from suburban Chicago, graduated from Louisiana State University and distance-dated husband John Connelly, traveling on weekends to Chicago from Manhattan, where she worked for Aegis Capital Corp. and Hermitage Capital Corp. before joining Bloomberg Television and ultimately Fox News.
So it’s not surprising to learn that she is both passionate and knowledgeable about travel. And a good thing, too, as it can be an important part of her work for Fox, for whom she covered the 2018 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
On Fox News Channel’s “America Reports,” she and co-anchor John Roberts are joined by newsmakers and experts to discuss the latest afternoon headlines and issues of the day.
Recently, she talked with us about being at home in Westchester — and the wider world.
What do you like about living in Westchester County?
“I just love the proximity to the water and it’s a great place to have a family, with great restaurants and parks for the dog. I enjoy the history of Westchester, too.”
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
“We go once a year to Naples, Florida, one of my favorite spots for birds and beauty and beaches — plus a nice restaurant scene. It’s an absolutely beautiful place, great golfing as well. We play golf and tennis. And I’m a big runner. I run a lot. We usually stay at a private home there and The Ritz-Carlton Naples. It’s a great spot.”
What frequent-flyer memberships are you part of?
“Just about every single one. I’m more serious with American and United and Delta. I’m on board with everybody. My husband and I long-distance dated. He lived in Chicago and I lived in New York and I was on a plane every Friday night. We did that for years. Even when we married in May 2010, we still lived in distant cities.”
Where did you honeymoon?
“We went to Bermuda.”
What are some of the destinations on your Bucket List?
“Scandinavia. My husband is Norwegian and we celebrate a lot of their heritage. I love the culture and the food. I can’t wait to see it in person. Denmark, Finland: It would be amazing.”
Best trip ever?
“I took my mother to Europe, to Rome. It was amazing. We went for a week and made it to Capri. We went to Sorrento. We did the Blue Grotto. It was fantastic. It’s a trip I’ll never forget.”
Do you have a favorite hotel?
“I went to school in Louisiana and I fell in love with the Soniat. It’s beautiful and quaint and old-school New Orleans, a very special spot. My husband gave me a book (by the company) Small Luxury Hotels of the World. I could open up that book and go anywhere. It’s a good place to daydream. It’s fantastic.”
Best souvenir you ever bought?
“We were in Charleston, South Carolina. I walked by a jewelry shop — we didn’t buy anything — (but I saw) a silver freshwater pearl bracelet, and it was January. The following Christmas, it showed up under the tree. It was really neat. My husband bought it for me.”
How do you combat jet lag?
“It’s never been a huge problem. My last international trip before the pandemic was to cover Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding. I always make sure I work out and eat healthy. And get enough sleep.”
What snacks do you pack in your carry-on? What else goes into your carry-on?
“Nuts, salted almonds. I have it down to a science — my wallet, my sunglasses, the devices, iPad and phone, little bag of makeup in case I lose my luggage, pair of earrings, tiny bottle of water and lotion, notebook, pen and hand sanitizer.”
What brand of luggage do you use?
“My luggage is Patagonia luggage. I love Patagonia luggage. It’s seriously weather-resistant and durable. It can go through anything. My husband was a sailboat racer — I would fly to meet him — and he introduced me to Patagonia luggage.”
What health and beauty products are you never without when you travel?
“It’s so funny: I have BB and CC cream with sunblock and tinted moisturizer if you don’t want to wear makeup. I use a CC cream by IT Cosmetics. Plus, I always have a pair of running shoes with me. I always find a spot to go and run even if it’s just the treadmill at the hotel.”
What do you do when you’re really tired but are traveling — or working — and need to be “on”?
“I put my legs up — there is something about elevating your legs — and I swear it gets the blood flowing. It’s a lifesaver. Get off your feet and shut your eyes or go for a walk. Then it’s game on.”
Follow Debbi on Instagram at @Debbikickham.