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: David Bakke
Occupation: Writer for Money Crashers
Hometown: Toledo, OH
Residence: Atlanta, GA
College Major: Creative Writing
Bio: David Bakke was educated at the University of South Florida and graduated with a degree in Creative Writing. After an extended stint in the restaurant management industry, he branched out on his own and started a personal finance blog. He later came to be a full-time contributor to Money Crashers, a financial education website. The goal of Money Crashers is to enlighten its readers and subscribers on how to manage their finances more effectively. It includes articles, tips, and resources on reducing monthly bills, saving more money, retirement planning, eliminating credit card debt, and career advice.
How often do you fly? I fly four to five times per year.
How many countries have you been to? I have visited five countries.
How many continents have you been to? I have been to two continents.
Favorite American city: Melbourne, FL.
Favorite international city: St. Petersburg, Russia
Least favorite country: I don’t have one.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Russia.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Pechersk Lavra (Kiev).
Favorite airline: Air France.
Favorite aircraft type: The bigger the better.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: The Concorde Room, Heathrow.
Favorite U.S. airport: Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta.
Favorite international airport: Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.
Favorite hotel: TradeWinds Island Resort, St. Petersburg Beach, FL.
Favorite cruise line: Norwegian.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Favorite island: Sea Island, Georgia.
Favorite beach: Clearwater Beach, FL.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Favorite hole in the wall: Syrnaya Dyrka, Moscow.
Favorite fruit: Kiwi.
Favorite food: Red Snapper.
Least favorite food: Olives.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Amstel Light for both.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Hangover.
Favorite travel show(s): Passport to Europe.
Favorite travel book(s): On The Road (Jack Kerouac).
Right now I am reading: Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Solo Traveler, Nomadic Matt, Travel Dudes.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Frommer’s.
5 things you bring on a plane: Snacks, something to read, tablet PC, headphones, jacket.
What do you always seem to forget? Eyeshades on long flights involving international travel.
What do you like least about travel? Waiting.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty-free store? Chocolate from the duty free store at the airport in Zurich. Switzerland has some of the best in the world.
Favorite travel app(s): Packing Pro and JetLag Genie.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I was staying in a hotel in Moscow and I needed to run out real quick and pick up something to drink. There was a store about a block from my hotel. I forgot to bring my visa with me, and I was stopped by police. They didn’t speak much English and I didn’t speak much Russian so it was very embarrassing. I eventually got my point across and they accompanied me back to my hotel, where I showed them my visa.
Worst travel moment: I was flying to Moscow to meet a friend who was picking me up from the airport. My flight from the States was delayed for about three hours due to mechanical failure. I tried to telephone my friend, but she never picked up. I had no idea what to do when I landed, because she wasn’t there and she still wasn’t answering her phone. I figured it would be best to simply stay at the airport, and she eventually arrived about three hours later.
What’s your dream destination? Helsinki, Finland.
Favorite travel charity: The Vacation Stop.
Best travel tip: If you’re running late for a flight, let an agent know at the security check-in. Once he or she verifies you are in fact late, you’ll usually be moved to the front of the line or directed to a lane where there’s no waiting.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 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 airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 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 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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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.