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: Andrea Feczko
Occupation: TV Host/Co-Creator of How 2 Travelers
Hometown: Troy, Michigan
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
College: New York University
College major: Broadcast Journalism
Facebook: Andrea Feczko Official Fan Page
Short bio: I’m a TV Host, avid traveler, and tiramisu connoisseur. I created the online digital series How 2 Travelers with Rachel Rudwall. I’ve worked for FX, MTV, SyFy, Yahoo, and more. I would describe my style of travel as New York meets SoCal. I love glitz, glamor and fabulous experiences (maybe it’s the Libra in me), but I’m also all too ready to prove people’s perceptions wrong by jumping off of planes and bridges or eating “things.”
Languages spoken: English and a smile. It’s amazing how much further you get with the latter.
How often do you fly? I average that I’m on a flight once every two weeks.
How many countries have you been to? I’ve been to over 30 countries.
How many continents have you been to? I have been to five continents. Africa is on my list this year.
Earliest travel memory: My earliest travel memory is my most important. When I was 14, I somehow convinced my parents to send me to Australia and New Zealand as a US Cultural Ambassador. I was the first person in my family to travel internationally. I went on the condition that I would write my college essay off of that experience, and I was true to my word. It is the strangest, bravest decision I ever made, and it completely transformed my life. I have not stopped traveling!
Favorite American city: My favorite American city is definitely New York, although I live in LA. New York is the best city to visit; LA is the best place to live.
Favorite international city: This is so tough! Ibiza has a special place in my heart. It’s this incredible combination of partying, glamor, and unexpected, down-to-earth vacationing. I have to confess, I’m the host of a huge electronic dance music festival called Ultra, so yes, I am obsessed with the nightclubs, but Ibiza is so much more to that. You can do the party scene, or rent a villa with friends and go down to one of the 60 secluded beaches and eat fish with your toes in the sand. Just thinking about it now makes me “home” sick!
Least favorite country: Argentina. Sometimes we meet great people when we travel; sometimes we meet people who aren’t so nice. In Argentina, I unfortunately had the latter happen. So, for me, my reasoning is purely based on a very personal experience.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Australia!!!!! Oh my goodness! I was so shocked. I was traveling all around Asia. Maybe it’s because I had just come from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but I went through security in Melbourne, and this guy started talking to me before I went to gather my luggage. I thought he was hitting on me to be honest! But no, he was slowly but surely asking me more and more personal questions and before I knew it I was being interrogated! Sneaky guys! I felt very manipulated after that happened, although, I have to say, it caught me off guard, and probably works very well to get information out of people!
Favorite World Heritage Site: Well, isn’t this an interesting question! There are so many! But, I will say, that I had the most fun at Fraser Island in Australia. It’s the world’s largest sand island, and I remember playing it as if it was snow. Many of these sites are places to look, but do not touch, and this one is where you can get neck deep if you wish! But the favorite World Heritage Site that I WANT to go to is the Agave fields in Tequila, Mexico. I’m a girl who drinks tequila with her steak.
Favorite airline: Thai Airways. No drama. Lots of food. You can change your flight whenever and without any charges. And, the ladies are so gorgeous! They are so put together and it makes me feel like flying used to be in the 50s, meaning, it used to be an event. I like that.
Favorite aircraft type: The one that gets you there the safest and soundest.
Aisle or window: Definitely window seat. I have a whole procedure on how to get sleep without any medication. Stay tuned for that how to video on How 2 Travelers.
Favorite airport lounge: Dear Johnny, I am not that cool! I do not have a lounge pass! But I will say that the Seoul airport (Incheon) makes you feel like you are so special to have a lounge pass. The second floor is pure luxury: plenty of seating/bedding for naps, a shower, nail salon, and a freaking piano! And the best part: It’s open to the public.
Favorite U.S. airport: I have to represent my hometown of Detroit. Sure, our city may not be awesome, but we make up for it with our Detroit airport. Case in point: the light show you experience going to terminals B and C. Boo ya!
Favorite international airport: I have fond memories going through Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Seoul’s airports.
Favorite hotel: Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, CA. This is the only hotel I’ve ever stayed in that immediately felt like home. It’s one of the few hotels in Los Angeles that are on the beach. The rooms are excellent; they have books on the book shelves and rubber duckies by the bath. These details, especially when you travel a lot, bring a smile to your face and make you feel whole inside. Maybe this is getting a little emo for a questionnaire, but there is truth to life in that it’s not what things look like, but it’s how you feel about the experience that matters, and that’s why, hands down, Casa del Mar is at the top of my list.
Favorite cruise line: Royal Caribbean.
Favorite travel credit card: I love American Express. Sure, you can’t travel with it, but it’s just the best credit card in general. I say this because I find traveling with cash is the best—and whatever needs to be put on a credit card should be put on the corporate card.
Favorite island: Ibiza. See above.
Favorite beach: Anything in Miami or Thailand. It’s not so much the beach that matters to me, but the water. And Miami and Thailand have the same turquoise, warm water that makes a scared little kitty cat like me jump straight into that water. I don’t even start thinking about jellyfish and sharks until I’m waist deep.
Favorite fancy restaurant: There are sooooo many! I am a fancy restaurant connoisseur, which is how I’ve been able to label myself a connoisseur of tiramisu as well. New York: Marea and Craft. LA: Dan Tana’s and Capo.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Machou in Cannes, France. In a city where everything is outrageously expensive, this very small restaurant on a side street serves a prix-fix menu of 45 euros per person and includes four courses with giant portions that even this American couldn’t handle. They bring you a giant basket of raw vegetables! It’s insane! I thought I was Peter the Rabbit, and I liked it.
Favorite bar: The bar on top of the Le Bua State Tower in Bangkok, Thailand. Hangover 2 made it famous, but it’s quite simply the most spectacular bar in the entire world. You literally can’t experience it anywhere else in the world, because it’s the tallest al fresco bar in the world.
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Dessert.
Least favorite food: Anything with octopus in it.
Craziest thing you’ve eaten: Bugs, of which I have no idea what exactly they were, but they were crunchy and slimey at the same time, and made me question what I was doing with my life.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Champagne in the air; Chianti, Hendrick’s Martini Up with a Cucumber Slice, or Macallan 12 with two rocks on the ground. Deciding my favorite alcohol is like deciding who is my favorite child; it’s just not fair.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Da Vinci Code. I went to Paris specifically to do that tour. It was totally worth it.
Favorite travel show(s): It’s a toss up between Anthony Bourdain and Man vs Wild.
Favorite travel book(s): “Eat. Pray Love.”
Right now I am reading: “Game of Thrones: A Feast For Crows.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Thrillist, Matador, and How 2 Travelers.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Of course JohnnyJet.com! I know this is weird, but Twitter is a great travel “website” and so is Expedia.
5 things you bring on a plane: Two scarves to act as pillows, my eye mask from Bed Bath and Beyond that comes with ear plugs, aspirin to take before the plane to prevent blood clots, eye cream to moisturize my face, and lip balm to moisturize my lips.
What do you always seem to forget? Some sort of crucial hair and make-up thing.
What do you like least about travel? Driving to the airport. That’s the only stressful part.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty-free store? I am collecting really cool mugs—so please, send away!
Favorite travel app(s): WhatsApp—it allows me to talk to my friends from around the world, when I’m traveling or back home.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I embarrass myself on such a regular basis that I no longer keep memory of such events, but the STRANGEST travel experience I had was on a flight to Kuwait. When I boarded the flight in NYC, everyone looked very Western, and when we landed in Kuwait City, all the women were in black with their heads covered. I clearly did not get the memo!
Worst travel moment: I would say getting kicked off a water taxi in Venice for being American. I was living there during the height of anti-American sentiment after the start of the Iraq war. Although it was painful and embarrassing at the time, it gave me valuable insight on what it’s like to be discriminated against. As a blonde, white woman from the Midwest, I’ve never really experienced such discrimination, and in a strange way, I think it’s important for everyone to feel that once in their lives in order to have more empathy for people.
What’s your dream destination? Maldives.
Favorite travel charity: The Charity of Andrea Feczko’s Travel Fund. I’m just kidding. I would love to go and build homes for people in need. I have a few friends who did that in Kenya and I think it would be such a powerful, rewarding experience.
Best travel tip: I always wear two scarves around my neck to make into makeshift pillows or blankets during my flights. I also wear an eyemask to cover my eyes. Because of these two accessories, I can easily fall