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: Carlos Peñalba
Hometown: San Sebastian (Spain)
Residence: La Coruña (Spain)
College: Basque Country University
College major: Business
Facebook: Carlos Peñalba
Google+: Carlos Peñalba Photography
Short bio: Carlos Peñalba is a Spain-based writer and photographer. He lived in London and New York for 16 years before quitting his job at a financial software firm to travel through Asia for 18 months. He’s just published a travel memoir about his adventure: “The Year I Became a Nomad.”
How often do you fly? Not so often now that I have a six-month baby boy.
How many countries have you been to? 35
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: Going by car with all the family to my dad’s village.
Favorite American city: New York City.
Favorite international city: This one is tough…Paris & Tokyo.
Least favorite country: All countries have something interesting (at least the ones I’ve been to).
I have no desire to go to: Places in conflict.
Friendliest people in the world: I have great memories of Burmese people.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: India, I had so many problems with their visa application.
Favorite World Heritage Site: In the Americas, Machu Picchu; in Europe, Siena; in Asia, Kyoto and Ellora Caves (India).
Favorite airline: Virgin Atlantic.
Aisle or window: Window for both the views and sleeping.
Favorite airport lounge: Virgin.
Favorite international airport: Hong Kong.
Favorite hotel: Ryokan Sawanoya in Tokyo.
Favorite island: Formentera in Spain.
Favorite beach: Ngwesaung in Myanmar.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Arzak in San Sebastian (Spain).
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: McSorley’s Old Ale House in NYC.
Favorite bar: The Boom Boom Bar in NYC.
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Asian.
Least favorite food: I’ll eat almost anything but organ meats and insects.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Wine.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Favorite travel book(s): “Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts, and “Amongst Insurgents: Walking through Burma” by Shelby Tucker.
Right now I am reading: “A Death in Summer” by Benjamin Black.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: The Expert Vagabond, Legal Nomads and Don’t Forget to Move.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Travel Independent.info.
5 things you bring on a plane: Phone, camera gear, laptop, book, and notebook.
What do you always seem to forget? I always list in advance all I need to take with me.
What do you like least about travel? Flight delays and missed connections.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Wine.
Favorite travel app(s): Google Maps.
Most embarrassing travel moment: During Ramadan in Indonesia, despite knowing that it’s impolite to eat outdoors during the day, I walked around eating an apple. It took me a while to understand why the locals looked at me with disapproving faces.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Rome, for instance, but I could name a few other places like Prague, San Francisco, Granada…
Worst travel moment: Spending two weeks in a hospital in Kathmandu.
What’s your dream destination? Too many to mention (Namibia, Mongolia, Borneo…).
Best travel tip: Slow down & smile.
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.