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: Francis Tapon
Occupation: Travel Writer + TV producer
Hometown: San Francisco
Residence: San Francisco—in theory
College: Amherst College
College major: Religion
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YouTube: Francis Tapon’s Videos
Short bio: Francis Tapon, author of “Hike Your Own Hike“ and “The Hidden Europe,” is creating a TV series and book called “The Unseen Africa,” which is based on his five-year journey across all 54 African countries. He is a TEDx speaker.
How often do you fly? Once a year.
How many countries have you been to? 102
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: Going to visit Chile to see my mom’s family and to France to see my dad’s family.
Favorite American city: San Francisco.
Favorite international city: Venice, Italy.
Least favorite country: Guinea-Bissau.
Friendliest people in the world: Africans.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Belarus.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Yosemite.
Favorite island: Madagascar.
Favorite beach: Some beach in Dominican Republic.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Greens, in San Francisco.
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Thai.
Least favorite food: Eastern European.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Water.
Favorite travel show(s): Parts Unknown.
Favorite travel book(s): “Neither Here Nor There.”
Right now I am reading: “Will Africa Feed China? (Short answer, no).
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Nat Geo, Amateur Traveler, and How to Get Into Travel Writing.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Everything Everywhere.
5 things you bring on a plane: Ear plugs, Kindle Paperwhite, snacks.
What do you always seem to forget? My brain.
What do you like least about travel? Dealing with visas and border crossings.
Favorite travel app(s): Maps.me.
Most embarrassing travel moment: When my car broke got stuck in sand in a deserted part of Mauritania and I had to press my DeLorme InReach SOS button to get myself out. They called the US embassy, which got the Mauritanian military to save me.
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: China or India.
Worst travel moment: Getting strangled and robbed in Yaounde, Cameroon.
What’s your dream destination? The 3 poles: North and South Pole + Everest.
Best travel tip: Plan and take less.
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.