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.

Catharine Hamm

Name: Catharine Hamm

Occupation: Travel editor

Hometown: Pick one: Syracuse, N.Y., McLean, Va., or Los Angeles

Residence: Greater Los Angeles

Website: L.A. Times

Twitter: @CatHamm

Facebook: CatHamm

Pinterest: CatHamm

YouTube: If you want to see a most awesome video on how to fix a stiff next, go to “How to Fix a Stiff Neck” by Cat Hamm. OK, the video’s up there, about 4,000 people have seen it and it’s totally embarassing but it works.

Short Bio: Born into a family of storytellers who liked to travel. Have worked in news media all my professional life. These two things work well together if you’re a travel editor, which I have been for the last decade or so. I’ve also spent a lot of time in hard news and managing newsrooms until I decided that all the intrigue was not quite as fascinating as I once thought it was.

How often do you fly: About once a month in a good year. This has been one.

How many countries have you been to: 40 maybe?

How many continents have you been to: Five

Favorite American city: Los Angeles. No, really. I love it here. Even though it drives me crazy, it’s a short drive.

Favorite international city: Maybe Melbourne, Australia. Maybe London. Not Paris. Maybe Cuzco, Peru. Don’t make me choose.

Least favorite country: Ones that have ridiculous visa requirements and you know who you are.

Favorite World Heritage Site: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home. A flawed genius.

Favorite airline: That’s like asking “what is your favorite way to get poked in the eye—with glass or a needle?”

Favorite aircraft type: I liked the old DC9 because I could reach the overhead. Otherwise, count me in as a fan of the A330.

Aisle or window: Both.

Favorite airport lounge: Sala VIP, Quito, Ecuador

Favorite U.S. airport: Dulles

Favorite international airport: Heathrow because it’s so awful that what comes next can only be better and it always is.

Favorite hotel: Ritz-Carlon, Los Angeles

Favorite cruise line: Celebrity

Favorite island: Oahu

Favorite fancy restaurant: Murray Circle, Cavallo Point, Marin

Favorite hole in the wall: Socorro’s in Van Nuys, California

Favorite fruit: Grapes, solid or liquid

Favorite food: Cookies

Least favorite food: Durian

Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Milk

Favorite travel movie(s): I try not to watch them. It’s like an extension of the work day.

Favorite travel show(s): Ditto.

Favorite travel book(s): Ditto.

Right now I am reading: Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath.” Also “Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen.” And Andrew McCarthy’s “The Longest Way Home.”

Five things you bring on a plane: Melatonin, hand lotion (in a 3 ounce bottle), ibuprofen, my Kindle and my laptop.

What do you always seem to forget: Emery boards

What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Pearl Anythings.

Favorite travel iPhone app(s): SoCal Close-ups, of course!

Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: In Quito, when I needed to buy some new socks, and explained to the clerk that I needed socks. When she looked puzzled I said, en espanol, claro, “Like you wear on your feet.” Except I had asked for squid. You know, like you wear on your feet. My worst travel moment was learning that the LA Times was for sale when I was at the top of Machu Picchu and becoming violently ill two hours later. I do not know if these were related.

What’s your dream destination: Bora-Bora

Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: L.A. Times Travel

Best travel tip: You regret only the things you don’t buy, although I have always regretted the chiminea I bought in Tijuana because it got stuck in the back seat of my car and we had to go to the fire department to get it lifted out.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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.

1 Comment On "Travel Style: Catharine Hamm"
  1. Rebecca Thompson|

    you are right the Sala VIP, Quito, Ecuador is great for relaxing and wait for your flight

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *