Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Kim Kessler
Occupation: Director of Public Relations at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Residence: Currently Los Angeles but I spent three amazing years living on Maui
College: University of Texas at Austin and Pepperdine University in Malibu
College major: Public Relations and Nutritional Science
Facebook: Kim Kessler
Instagram: I created my Instagram (vegantravelista) to combine my love of luxury travel and healthy dining around the globe.
YouTube: Kim Kessler
Short bio: Kim Kessler has more than a decade of public relations experience in the luxury hotel sector. She has spent the last four years as director of public relations at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Prior to Four Seasons, she spent three years as public relations director at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui, and two years at The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa, where she was named Western Regional Public Relations Director of the Year. Before that, she spent four years at Murphy O’Brien Public Relations, where she oversaw the publicity for Esperanza—an Auberge Resort in Cabo, and The Peninsula Hotels.
Kim has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Pepperdine University in Malibu. She is a third-generation Los Angeles native. She has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar Russia, LiveTheProcess.com, Foam Magazine and here at JohnnyJet.com. In her spare time, she loves traveling the globe, yoga, hiking, and cooking vegan dishes with friends. Her favorite travel destinations include the Greek islands, Argentina, Uruguay and Hawaii, and her next adventure will be to Thailand and Hong Kong.
Languages spoken: English, and I know enough Spanish to converse abroad, especially since I tend to visit so many Latin countries.
How often do you fly? Typically at least six times per year.
How many countries have you been to? 21 countries and counting!
How many continents have you been to? Currently three, but will venture to my fourth in May when I visit Hong Kong and Thailand.
Earliest travel memory: My earliest travel memory was going to Mexico on vacation, and living vicariously through all of my parents’ travels around the globe in the 80s. They went to Nepal, Hong Kong, Africa (on safaris), Paris, Italy, Copenhagen, Brussels, Switzerland, India and many other places, and would bring back inspiring slideshows. This definitely sparked my passion for travel.
Favorite American city: I truly love visiting Miami but I really enjoy living in Los Angeles.
Favorite international city: Buenos Aires, Argentina. I love the neighborhoods of Palermo Soho and Recoleta. I also really love Rio, Athens and Barcelona.
Least favorite country: I haven’t come across a country that I didn’t like so far.
Favorite World Heritage Site: The Acropolis in Athens. I love Greece so much, and it was amazing to walk through the Acropolis with all the history.
Favorite airline: Virgin America, at least for domestic travels. For international, I really like Turkish Airlines.
Favorite aircraft type: I actually love flying in the small eight-seat planes around the islands of Hawaii. You see the most that way, even whales breaching in season!
Aisle or window: Window, I love the views!
Favorite U.S. airport: San Francisco as it offers the healthiest restaurant options.
Favorite international airport: London Heathrow Airport as they have the best duty free shops.
Favorite hotel: The spectacular Four Seasons in Florence and Four Seasons Punta Mita, Mexico.
Favorite cruise line: The Yacht Week in the Greek islands was an amazing experience sailing with friends and meeting incredible people from all over the globe. We met people from Spain, Netherlands, France, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and France.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred as you can use points on any major airline around the world!
Favorite island: Maui, as it was my home for three years. I love that Maui has the best mix of rainforests, ziplining, beautiful beaches and small towns like Paia, Wailea, Kapalua, and Lahaina.
Favorite beach: Myrtos Beach on Kefalonia island, Greece, where we discovered a beautiful sea cave and the beach with the clearest water in front of Thalassa Hotel in Kefalonia.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I love Culina, Modern Italian at Four Seasons Los Angeles and the new Nobu on the beach in Malibu.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Jimmy’s Gyros in Mykonos—best late night snack!
Favorite bar: La Huella bar and restaurant on the beach in Jose Ignacio, Uruguay. During season from late December through February, it is the best for people-watching and meeting new friends. I have gone the past three years and it is one of the best destinations for unspoiled beaches, amazing people, restaurants, seasonal parties, and polo matches.
Favorite fruit: I like all fruit, but especially pineapple, as it reminds me of when I lived on Maui.
Favorite food: My favorite cuisines include Greek/Mediterranean as well as Italian and Mexican.
Least favorite food: I don’t generally like fried foods especially tempura.
Craziest thing you’ve eaten: I’m vegan so haven’t tried anything too crazy.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): I love Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and Torrontes from Argentina. I’m currently obsessed with the 2011 Recuerdo Torrontes from my recent trip to the new Vines of Mendoza resort in Argentina.
Favorite travel movie(s): Endless Summer—I love following the summer during North American winter too, and have spent the last three holiday seasons in South America.
Favorite travel show(s): World Travels.
Favorite travel book(s): “Cruising Attitude” by Heather Poole.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: AFAR, Travel + Leisure, HotelChatter, JohnnyJet.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! HotelChatter, TravelandLeisure.com, The Points Guy, and Luxury World Traveler on Instagram.
5 things you bring on a plane: Stacks of magazines, iPhone, socks, neck pillow, and a range of healthy snacks, as I don’t generally eat airplane food.
What do you like least about travel? I don’t like the stress of nearly missing planes due to connections.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? I would want something unique from that particular country, like the special hot sauce I recently picked up from Costa Rica.
Favorite travel app(s): A Small World (ASW) for meeting incredible, like-minded people around the world and Happy Cow for finding the best veggie restaurants around the globe!
Most embarrassing travel moment: My friends always laugh at how many beauty products I bring on trips.
Worst travel moment: My worst travel moment was when my luggage was lost temporarily by an airline and didn’t arrive for two days in Greece, but a new friend from ASW drove to our hotel in Athens and lent clothes and bathing suits with tags still on them, which was so sweet.
What’s your dream destination? Thailand, Bali, Australia, South Africa, Israel, Galapagos, and the Amalfi Coast are all my top dream destinations. I am headed to all Four Seasons Resorts in Thailand and Hong Kong at the end of May, so excited!
Best travel tip: If you travel to Europe frequently, I recommend investing in a high-quality European hair dryer to bring on trips. I also always bring a change of clothes so that when I arrive at a new destination, I can change at the airport and feel acclimated, ready to explore.