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: Bassam Tarazi
Hometown: Danbury, CT
Residence: Portland, OR
College: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
College major: Mechanical Engineering
Facebook: Bassam Tarazi
YouTube: Bassam Tarazi
Short bio: American-born Bassam Tarazi is half-Palestinian and half-Dutch. He is the founder of Colipera, a motivational blog, and currently spends his time as a consultant. A wanderer at heart, Tarazi founded the Nomading Film Festival, has traveled to seven continents and 72 countries, and is always looking for his next adventure.
He’s also the author of three books: “Borders, Bandits, And Baby Wipes,” “The Accountability Effect” and “In 5 Years You’ll Be Wrong.”
How often do you fly? About once a month.
How many countries have you been to? 72
How many continents have you been to? 7
Earliest travel memory: Eating Nutella for the first time at my cousin’s home in Holland when I was about six or seven.
Favorite American city: New York City (cliché, I know, but hard to choose another).
Favorite international city: Amsterdam, if Istanbul will let me break its heart.
Least favorite country: Azerbaijan. I just had an awful time there dealing with the cops + bureaucracy.
I have no desire to go to: A rodeo.
Friendliest people in the world: Nicaraguans.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Turkmenistan.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Galapagos.
Favorite airline: Cathay Pacific.
Favorite aircraft type: The ones with unlimited movies.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: British Airways Lounge at Heathrow.
Favorite U.S. airport: PDX.
Favorite international airport: Hong Kong.
Favorite hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok.
Favorite travel credit card: Delta Amex.
Favorite island: Silhouette Island, Seychelles.
Favorite beach: Beau Vallon, Mahe, Seychelles.
Favorite National Park: Grand Teton.
Favorite fancy restaurant: The Nomad, NYC.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Joe’s Shanghai, NYC.
Favorite bar: Smith & Mills, NYC.
Favorite fruit: Grapefruit.
Favorite food: Mediterranean.
Least favorite food: A big American breakfast. Just not my thing.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Whiskey on the rocks.
Favorite travel movie(s): National Lampoon’s Vacation.
Favorite travel show(s): An Idiot Abroad.
Favorite travel book(s): “Barbarian Days.”
Right now I am reading: “Packing For Mars” by Mary Roach.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Airbnbmag, Huckberry newsletter, Nat Geo Traveler.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Kayak. I’m always searching for flights.
5 things you bring on a plane: Headphones, a pen, eye mask, water, Kindle.
What do you always seem to forget? Not much. I’m a finely tuned travel machine now.
What do you like least about travel? When everyone crowds the gate pretending they don’t know what row they’re in.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Johnny Blue.
Favorite travel app(s): Maps.me, PolarSteps.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Trying to speak to a Cuban paramilitary officer while I was drunk and naked on the beach in Cuba. Long story. We’ll need some scotch for that.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Yellowstone and Yosemite!
Worst travel moment: Getting robbed, thrown in jail and roughed up by Mexican police for no reason whatsoever.
What’s your dream destination? An glass-roofed igloo to watch the northern lights.
Favorite travel charity: Global Glimpse.
Best travel tip: Be vulnerable. Don’t judge a place or a people until you’ve met them. Always have a snack on you. Oh and don’t trust Google Maps abroad. Give yourself twice the time it says.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.