Seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard hopes to compete in swimming at the London Olympics this summer

Seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard hopes to compete in swimming at the London Olympics this summer (Aqua Sphere, Tim Mantoani/Tribune Media Services / March 28, 2012)

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. I want to go to a lot of places. Venice (Italy), Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Seychelles and Bora Bora definitely top my list.

Q. When you go away what are some of your must-have items?

A. Sunscreen, Pedialyte packets, granola bars, lip balm, running shoes, swimsuit, hat and camera!

Q. What would be your dream/fantasy trip?

A. I have a lot of dream trips. I want to rent a car in Italy and drive all around the country with my family. Another is to spend two weeks in Orlando exploring all the parks with my husband and son. They are very different trips, but they both sound like a lot of fun to me, hanging with my family, having fun and exploring!

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?

A. When I travel to other countries I like to try local cuisine, so I let myself indulge in all the goods, whether it's dinner or dessert. Calories don't count on vacation, right? (Laughs.)

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. I do a good amount of research checking reviews on hotels and finding good deals, but once I get to my destination I try to talk to everyone who lives in the area to get their idea on what's the best things to do.

Q. What is your worst vacation memory?

A. On a trip to go snowboarding with my family, I had a bad fall and broke my wrist. I had to ride in the car all the way down the mountain in complete pain until I got to the doctor. I had a winter formal at my high school soon after, and I wore a bright orange cast to it.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)