Each week, I highlight a Travel Tweeter of the Week. Follow me on Twitter to get the news first!
Tweeters of the Week:
February 1, 2012: @TrndyTravelista
By now, most people know that I’m engaged. My fiancée is an accomplished travel writer and and blogger (you can check out her blog at trendytravelista.com) and the moment I began featuring the best travel tweeters on the web, I wanted to highlight her. But to be honest, she didn’t deserve it because she didn’t tweet often enough and when she did it wasn’t doing much for me. But she’s had a complete turnaround these past few weeks and that’s without any prodding from me. Natalie is now posting interesting travel stories and taking some amazing photos with her iPhone. Check out this photo she took the other day on her flight to L.A. If you want to get a closer look into Natalie’s life and get inspired to travel, then give her a follow. She’s my favorite person on earth.
January 25, 2012: @HotelPRGuy
In Singapore I met Charles Yap – aka @HotelPRGuy. He’s the global brand social media director at IHG and travels a ton for his job and pleasure. Charles lives in London but was home in his native Singapore to celebrate Chinese New Year and he gave me a tour one day – the best way to experience a city. That afternoon I learned Charles is passionate about travel, food, tea, photography and hotels. He also filled me in on an interesting idea that I’ve never thought of doing – each trip Charles goes on he makes a unique hashtag so he can later go back and see his notes of where he went, ate and what he did. It’s ingenious! FYI: His Singapore trip is labeled #CNYHome (Chinese New Year Home).
January 18, 2012: @CAroundTheWorld
Chris Gray Faust is an inspiration to anyone who loves to travel and write. Not many people have the balls to leave behind an incredible job (Travel Editor at USA Today) and take a chance at starting a blog (http://www.caroundtheworld.com). Chris did just that for over a year now and she is making it work by updating it frequently and doing freelance work. She is constantly on the move and you should be following her if you love to travel.
January 5, 2012: @MarthaStewardes
@MarthaStewardes, whose Twitter bio says she’s “the flight attendant to the stars”, which I take means she’s a private flight attendant, is a fun person to follow. She tweets interesting travel stories and has some funny quips. For example, yesterday she tweeted “How does a flight attendant tell a passenger to go to hell? …”I’ll be right back”.” Yesterday she also shared this Korean Air A380 cabin video. Check her out.
I’m a huge fan of supporting independent travel bloggers and Jen Pollack Bianco, who goes by the Twitter handle @lax2nrt (because that’s one of her favorite routes) is this week’s favorite. She’s based in Los Angeles and she travels a ton, usually with her husband. Her Twitter bio says it all: “Citizen of the World. Writer slash photographer, travel blogger and iPhoneography badass. Into film, music, style & pop culture. 74 countries and counting …” If you like to follow people who really get out and see the world, give Jen a whirl.
We have a couple great new writers contributing to JohnnyJet.com. Two of them are active on Twitter so I thought I would tell you about them. Our newest contributor, @jdomb, is based out of Italy and had her first story published here today. The other is veteran journalist @LindsayTaub58 who has been all over the world for us in the past few months. Follow them both – you won’t be disappointed.
We all love hotel loyalty points and Ric Garrido (aka @LoyaltyTraveler) has done a fine job becoming one of the industry’s premier experts on this subject. Ric gives regular hotel loyalty promotion analysis for frequent guests and shares good value hotel stay opportunities. For example, one of his recent tweets was “Win 110,000 #Hyatt Gold Passport points with a $10 Passports with Purpose raffle ticket.”
There aren’t too many airports I follow on Twitter but one of them is LAX, mainly because it’s my home airport. But the other reason is because they do a great job updating followers on any major delays, construction on the nearby roadways and tips like “Layover @ LAX? Ocean Express Trolley takes you to Manhattan Beach & El Segundo for beach, shops, dining & sightseeing”. If you visit LAX often, I encourage you to follow them. You won’t be sorry. BTW: Did you know LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world and third in the U.S.?
I cannot believe I have never made Brett Snyder (aka the CrankyFlier) our travel Tweeter of the week. Brett is a self-described airline dork and after hanging out with him many times, there’s no doubt that he is. I thought I knew airplanes but I’ve got nothing on Cranky. Brett lives in Long Beach, CA with his wife and two dogs and writes The Cranky Flier, a snarky consumer air travel blog. He also contributes to CNN and a number of other media outlets. You should follow Cranky not only because Twitter recommends him on their list of Who To Follow, but also because he can answer practically any airline question and offers great advice.
Jim Roberts is the assistant managing editor of The New York Times. Though he doesn’t just tweet about travel, I find his links to news stories fascinating and timely. If you want to be in the know about anything (but many times his tweets are travel related) follow Jim.
Barbara Delollis is USA Today’s Hotel Check-In’s “relentless blogger”. If you have an affection for hotels then you will want to follow her as she gets a lot of exclusive stories like the new Trump Toronto Hotel’s open date.
Keith Bellows is the editor of National Geographic Traveler. I’ve met him a couple of times; once in his office in Washington DC and the other at a conference in Scotland where I learned he’s a great guy and brilliant writer. He’s been on Twitter for a while but it appears that just this week he really has started taking a liking to it as he’s tweeting much more often. He’s currently in India where he’s describing the scenery. The only thing he needs to do is post some Twitpics to really capture the moment. What’s interesting is that he’s only in India because China denied his visa. According to Keith, this was in retaliation against long US visa waits for Chinese (120 days+).
I met Andrew McCarthy (website) a couple years ago at a travel conference in New York. I wasn’t all that surprised to meet him there because I had just read his first travel piece in National Geographic Traveler Magazine on my flight in. It turns out that in addition to Andrew being a fine actor and director, he’s a prolific travel writer as well. He’s already won numerous travel writing awards including the prestigious Lowell Thomas from SATW. He just joined Twitter last week and so far, he’s sharing his travel experiences in real time. I think he’s going to be a good one to follow. You?
I just started following @FltAdvisor a few weeks ago. Right now, I have a love-hate relationship with this feed. I love the fact that it alerts me of airport delays, especially when I’m traveling but I hate it that it clogs my Twitter feed with information I have no use for. Sample tweet: “US 1020 PHL-MCO departure is DELAYED 160 mins Detailed Analysis at: fltadvisor.com/m/FltMsg.aspx?id=9PFyy3pZMos=.” I have no desire to know that a specific flight on an airline I haven’t flown on in months is delayed. They should set up separate accounts so users can find out delays at certain airports not system wide and individual flights, not random. Don’t you agree? I know a few of the aviation geeks (#AVGeek) will email or tweet that they love it just the way it is. But I think it could be so much better.
Ben Schlappig is a college student who flies over 200,000 miles a year and he documents it on his popular blog, One Mile at a Time on BoardingArea.com. The kid is addicted to travel and he may be the youngest to achieve million-mile status (when he does, if he hasn’t already). In addition to posting his own personal experiences, he also retweets some helpful info like this: RT @DailyTravelTips: Don’t forget Omni Select Guest program is free to join & comes w/ free wifi+morning delivery of coffee, tea, Evian water, soda bottles #Omni.
I’ve been following Grant for over a year now as he’s the Editor in Chief of Gadling.com, a great travel blog. After this weekend’s TBEX conference, I have newfound respect for him since I learned from his panel that this is not his only full time job. His other job is working as a research scientist at Northeastern and he still manages to fly a ton.
I’ve been following ThePointsGuy for a little over a month now and he has some great info for those who care about accruing frequent flier miles and loyalty points. I know nothing about him, not even his real name; his bio on Twitter reads: Travel blogger/ Business traveler/ Loyalty programs expert / Points travel advisor. Using points to fuel my travel needs and showing how you can, too. If you are into the above then definitely follow him.
I’ve never met Steve Tao but I found him on Twitter after one of the people I’m following retweeted him. He had a cool screen name so I decided to follow him and he hasn’t let me down. He tweets interesting articles and great deals on travel and mileage runs. His bio says it all: “Obsessed with flying, eating, and entertaining (myself). Will do a mileage run on a dime for a dime.”
I love following flight attendants on Twitter as it gives me an insight into their lives and the travel industry. It also motivates me because these are the real road warriors. We’ve featured two of my favorite FAs so far: Heather Poole and Deltalina; my third favorite is now Beth Blair. Beth is a flight attendant for a regional jet (I think) and a travel writer and blogger who has a book coming out called “Break into Travel Writing“. Her websites are TheVacationGals.com and BethBlair.com but be sure to add her to your Twitter follow list.
If you are into accruing miles and points then you need to be following Gary Leff. Gary tweets all of his tricks and experiences as well as any mistake fares so you can make a mileage run. This week he tweeted about: The Myth of Booking Award Tickets at Midnight 330 Days Out – and I learned a lot from it. Hopefully, you will too. He also blogs about his miles and points obsession on BoardingArea.com.
I met David Parker Brown (aka the Airline Reporter) on Air New Zealand’s delivery flight from Boeing’s headquarters in Seattle. David’s a really cool guy and he is quickly making a name for himself in the aviation world. He seems to get invited on every delivery flight and he just did one a few days ago when he took RwandAir’s brand spanking new Boeing 737-800 all the way from Seattle to Rwanda. Since a 737 doesn’t have that much range, they had to make a few stops and I learned, by following his Twitter feed, that they stopped in Iceland and Istanbul on the way. If you like aviation, be sure to add David to your list.
Sohaib Athar is the man who live blogged the Osama bin Laden raid without knowing it. An IT consultant who was taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptop in Abbottabad, Pakistan, has suddenly become a Twitter phenomenon. Scroll down his Twitter feed to his first tweet on May 1. He posts: “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” He’s given followers a feel for the sleepy town of Abbottabad and a sense of what was going on there in the early morning hours.
I just realized that I’ve never selected Peter Shankman as a Travel Tweeter of the Week and that’s a huge oversight on my part. Peter travels all over the world, speaking at conferences but he’s so much more than just someone tweeting about his trips. He’s full of life lessons, which he shares on his blog. He’s no doubt a marketing and social media expert, even though he will never admit it. He has over 100,000 followers on Twitter so he must be doing something right! His thrice-daily newsletter is a must for journalists, PR folks and experts of, well, anything.
Evelyn Hannon (aka Journeywoman) runs the popular women’s travel website JourneyWoman.com. She’s an interesting person to follow regardless but even more so this month, as she’s the resident blogger aboard the ship the MV Explorer. It’s the Semester At Sea boat where 750 students and professors circumnavigate the globe for three months. She began in Montreal and the ship just departed Morocco but her next stop is Ghana then South Africa. You can also follow @LunaticAtLarge (Krista Luna) who we’ve featured as Tweeter of the Week once before; she’s on the journey for the whole voyage as she’s teaching a class. You can also go right to the source and follow @SemesterAtSea.
Harriet Baskas is a writer and radio producer based in Seattle, Washington. She’s frequently on the go and claims to be happiest in an airport or unusual museum, which she writes about often in her columns on MSNBC.com, USATODAY.com or on her website StuckAtTheAirport.com. Just this past week, she tweeted about flying with cremated remains: “Don’t leave a dead relative at the airport.”
Frommers does a fine job keeping their followers up to date on the latest travel news, technology, as well as the best places and ways to stretch your dollar. Be sure to add them to your follow list.
I met Rebecca Dolan on a press trip to the Bahamas to check out Nassau’s new $400 million airport. She’s a fun person to travel with and she tweets interesting news bits, mainly from AOL Travel where she is the assistant Editor. Example of a recent tweet: Fourth of July Myths Debunked. Give her a whirl.
David Koenig is an Associated Press airline reporter based in Dallas. He tweets interesting travel stories and was the first to alert me of the possible new airport security rules for kids under 13 (they won’t have to remove their shoes).
One of the funniest and most animated travel guys I know is Scott McMurren. Scott lives in Anchorage and is Alaska’s leading travel expert so if you ever want to know what’s going on up in the Last Frontier, then be sure to follow Scott on Twitter. For example this week he tweeted: “WAR, I say. This is WAR! Anchorage-Ontario, CA (ONT) $275rt all in on @alaskaair. Act now and get a set of Ginzu steak knives. HAHAHAA”. He also posted sales to and from Alaska on Jetblue with this tweet: “Did I mention @jetblue ‘s “Even More Legroom”? For “Even Less Money”? Anchorage-Long Beach (coach) for $274rt on Jul 3-4, $294rt other dates.” And my favorite tweet this week from Scott was “It’s Midnight. It’s light out. We’re officially in the Land of the Midnight Sun. #WhyILiveInAlaska”.
Tom Parsons is a guru when it comes to scoring cheap airfares. He’s appeared on thousands of TV and radio shows, including Oprah. He’s fairly new to Twitter, where he tweets a lot about deals (some are member-only). But he also tweets some of the articles that he’s written – his story on “How the airlines are taking you for a ride with their fuel surcharges” is one of the most interesting. Read it and follow Tom.
If you are into travel then you probably already know of Pauline, and most likely you know her father, who is a living legend. If you don’t know Arthur’s daughter, she is the creator of Pauline Frommer Guidebooks (14 in the series), radio talk show host, blogger, proud mom of two and an insatiable wanderer. She tweets her travels and interesting stories like one she recently wrote for Bing.com. Sample tweet: Beware the midnight hotel room call & 12 other safety tips 4 travel.
One of my favorite newspaper travel sections is from The LA Times. In addition to their great Sunday section, their travel crew curates tips and deals daily and posts them to the Twittersphere. If you are a lover of travel information then you need to follow @LATimesTravel. BTW: If you are following me on Twitter, then you may have already seen this advertisement for The Los Angeles Times Travel Show, which made my dad very proud.
Valarie D’Elia grew up in Connecticut, working in her parents’ travel agency. Now she travels the world creating travel segments for Time Warner Cable and others. She tweets her stories, travels and deals in and around New York City since that’s where she’s based. One of her recent deals was for a local ski mountain: Hunter Mtn Big Lift Card for $45 offers one free lift ticket, 25% off wknd and holidays, and 50% off mid-week tkts.
Steven Frischling (aka Flying With Fish) is an airline, aerospace and travel social media consultant and corporate photographer. I’ve known about him for a while but only met the guy for the first time last year in London, while we were both on a 24-hour British Airways press trip. It was one of the shortest press trips I’ve ever taken but Steve shocked me when he said that it was one of the longest trips he’d done in years. He has three kids so he just jumps on a plane and usually returns the same day. I don’t know how he does it. He once told me that he flew three times back and forth from Vancouver and Hong Kong in 48 hours, as he was taking in-flight pictures for an airline. If you like someone who tweets and retweets a ton of travel info – and I mean a ton – (Steven has tweeted over 48,000 times) then you’ll love @FlyingWithFish.
Last year I was fortunate enough to spend a week with Everett Potter in Switzerland. Aside from being an award-winning journalist, columnist and travel blogger, he’s just a really nice guy. He’s also putting out some interesting and helpful travel stories on his Twitter account like this tweet: “Do you still believe in these 15 travel myths.” Read it and follow Everett – you won’t be sorry.
Mark Orwoll is the International Editor of Travel + Leisure Magazine and he’s fairly new to Twitter but he’s doing a good job interacting with followers and putting out interesting travel information like: “Breaking: US warns airlines: Terrorists interested in putting bombs inside humans to attack.” If you are a fan of T+L Magazine, you will probably be a fan of Mark’s. I am.
Vancouver Airport (YVR) just held an interesting contest through which the winner (Jaeger Mah) will live in the airport (in the cushy YVR Fairmont Hotel) for 80 days and nights beginning on August 17. The Vancouver resident will be armed with a camera and editing equipment and his job is to uncover stories and share his experiences of living at an airport full time. Thanks to reader @batujet for bringing this contest to our attention.
John Belitsky and his friend Dan Wuebben paid a NYC cab driver $5,000 to drive them from New York to Los Angeles. The six-day trip was documented on Twitter and the back story can be found on CNN. His Twitter account is cluttered with all kinds of replies to fans but it appears they are currently driving back. There are some funny pictures in his feed like this one with “Little Mr. T“.
Eric Rosen is a Los Angeles-based food and travel writer. Every time I look at his tweets he’s either in a new country or at a local hot spot sampling some of the world’s finest. His Twitter bio is no lie: eating, drinking and traveling through life. Eric is currently in New Zealand attending the @AirNZWineAwards and some of his tweets are pretty funny like the one he sent when he first arrived: “New Zealand Customs almost confiscated my hair gel bc they thought it was a jar of honey. Haven’t they seen Bumble “Bumble Sumotech” before?
Julia Dimon is a travel writer and TV host for Nat Geo Adventure, Travel Channel and Outside Television. She’s traveled to 80 countries and all seven continents so she has plenty to share on Twitter. Recent tweets that I found helpful: RT: South Sudan, the world’s newest country, turns to Twitter to promote Tourism for @ssudantourism. Best travel websites and apps from Travel and Leisure. Follow her – you won’t be sorry.
Mike Barish is a freelance travel writer from New York. He’s a really funny guy in person and on Twitter. Here’s one of his recent Tweets: After visiting my parents & my gf’s parents this week I’m reminded of @Z_Everson’s brilliant review of his parents’ home. Mike’s a good one to follow for a laugh and travel insights.
Benji Lanyado is the first tweeter I’m featuring who lives in London. He’s a talented travel journalist for The Guardian and sometimes the New York Times. When he travels he has his followers guide him around solely by their Twitter tips – in real time. It’s fascinating. Here’s some more info on him.
Peter Greenberg used to be the travel correspondent for The Today Show but he recently moved to CBS. He is one of the country’s leading travel experts and he logs over 400,000 air miles a year. He doesn’t tweet himself but he does have a staff tweeting out all of his interviews and travel news stories. He’s a good person to follow if you want to be in the travel know.
This past week I spent a few days with Spud Hilton who was speaking at the Canadian Media Marketplace in New York City. I’ve known Spud for years and he is one of the coolest and most fun travel guys in the business. In case you don’t know, Spud is the Travel Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’s also a blogger at Bad Latitude on SFGate.com and his tweets are not just self-promotional plugs but rather a look into his travel and personal life.
Robert Reid is Lonely Planet’s US Travel Editor. He has written 24 Lonely Planet guidebooks, plus articles for the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and ESPN. I’ve spent enough time with Robert at travel conferences around the world to learn that he’s a great guy and I follow him on Twitter not only because he tweets timely travel articles, but also because he’s funny as can be. One of his recent tweets was: “Just saw TV commercial offering two $2 bills for $10.” By the way, if you’re going to be in New York City this weekend, be sure to stop by the NY Times Travel Show to see Robert and some of my other friends speak.
Rachel Wolery is a travel professional, vegetarian, fun enthusiast, believer in retail therapy and organizer of #TNI. TNI stands for Travelers Night In and it’s a huge hit among the travel Twitter community. The virtual ‘tweet-up’ takes place every Thursday between 3:30pm and 5pm EST and is hosted by the girls of ZipsetGo.com. During the 90 minutes, there are ten questions which are tweeted by the hosts all with the hashtag #TNI. Everyone is invited and a number of travel experts and addicts from around the globe meet up and discuss the newest things in travel. See more here.