Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers on useful resources, favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: David Thompson
Occupation: Travel & Wine Writer
Short Bio: Dave is an International travel & wine writer who was born and raised in California. He founded Dave’s Travel Corner, an International travel community in 1996. One of his proudest accomplishments was co-founding a collegiate solar racing team which designed & built a solar racing car from scratch.
His latest endeavor is The Napa Wine Project which has taken 6 years to date and is expected to be an initial 10 year project that involves wine tasting at all Napa Valley wineries/commercial wine producers. He has personally visited, tasted with & written reviews of 700+ Napa wineries to date. His first book titled ‘The Freeways of Los Angeles’ was published in 2010.
How often do you fly: Typically 1-2x per month. Sometimes more. With breaks taken for when I need them.
How many countries have you been to: Slightly more than 100
How many continents have you been to: 6 of the 7. The “cold” continent awaits!
Favorite American city: Los Angeles
Favorite international city: Bangkok
Least favorite country: Don’t have one but have never really been attracted to or inspired by parts of Central America despite having visited all countries in Central America.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Petra in Jordan
Favorite airline: TG
Favorite aircraft type: Anything that has space for the flight! …whether it is an empty seat or more next to me in coach or premium seating.
Aisle or window: Absolutely aisle – crucial for those like myself who try to stay hydrated and make frequent trips to the tiny bathrooms
Favorite airport lounge: KIX
Favorite U.S. airport: LAX (my license plate number indicates my pride in this airport)
Favorite international airport: SIN
Favorite hotel: The Mandarin Oriental Group
Favorite cruise line: Have never been on a cruise. Never been attracted to that type of travel – however like most things travel related that I have pre-conceived notions about, I’ll bet my mindset would change after trying one!
Favorite island: Palau
Favorite fancy restaurant: Auberge, Napa Valley. Food, Views, Napa wine. Enough said.
Favorite hole in the wall: Sapp Coffee Shop, Thai Town – Hollywood
Favorite fruit: Awesome question. Those who know me know my psychotic obsession with fruit! A fresh super ripe Cherry followed closely by a fresh Lychee, Cherimoya and Pakistani Mulberry.
Favorite food: Mediterranean salads, especially enjoyed in their countries of origin
Least favorite food: I couldn’t think of one…so I had to ask my wife. She couldn’t think of one for me either. I enjoy all foods even the most exotic imaginable (bugs, rats, bats, flash fried tree worms from Peru, etc).
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Caipirinha
Favorite travel movie(s): Last Stop for Paul, Little Miss Sunshine, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Favorite travel show(s): Cannot say having never owned a Television in my life
Favorite travel book(s): Sihpromatum, I Grew My Boobs in China, Invisible China, Kite Runner, The Places in Between, Papillon
Right now I am reading: Around the world in 80 Girls
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines: Los Angeles Magazine, Afar and Paul Franson’s Travel & Wine Newsletter for the Napa Valley
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Yes, I’ve been keeping track of Johnny’s site for many years before there were the thousands of travel sites that there are today. I love looking at new travel blogs. A few other sites I follow are www.losangelesonlinetravel.com, www.positiveworldtravel.com, www.jetsetzero.tv and www.seattlestravels.com among many others.
Five things you bring on a plane: I could answer this by way of “things” or this way: a sense of adventure, the adrenaline high I simply get by “moving”, interest in meeting new people, excitement, and a hopefully a drowsiness so that I can actually sleep – which usually is at direct odds with the excitement.
What do you always seem to forget: The 24 hour clock system – especially in Europe – I’ve showed up at the airport at 4pm for a 6am flight. I’ve showed up at 7pm for a 9am flight. OMG!
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store?: Things, heaven no – consumable items… as in liquor. Amen.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): WhatsApp, Google Voice, Skype
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Missing flights because of my own fault. And NOT learning the next time!
What’s your dream destination: Trekking through remote jungles of Papua New Guinea with super traveler Lee Abbamonte or visiting Afghanistan with Robert Young Pelton.
Favorite travel charity: SOCCKET by www.unchartedplay.com
Best travel tip: Ownership of most things is overrated. Ownership of worldly experiences is not.