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: Gillie Houston
Occupation: Freelance Food and Travel Writer
Hometown: Evergreen, Colorado
Residence: Brooklyn, New York
College: Hofstra University
College major: Journalism and Creative Writing
Pinterest: Gillie Houston
Short bio: I’m a food and travel writer based in Brooklyn with an incurable case of Wanderlust, seeking the most unique and inspiring flavors the world has to offer. And, I’m not alone! According to a survey by Chase and Marriott, seven in ten people say they are most interested in eating local cuisine while traveling.
How often do you fly? All the time! Typically at least twice a month, sometimes more.
How many countries have you been to? 33
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: Road trips across the vast, dusty roads of the West, en route to visit family around the country.
Favorite American city: Nashville.
Favorite international city: Paris.
I have no desire to go to: Um…the DMV (haha).
Friendliest people in the world: The Japanese.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: France.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Plitvice Lakes in Croatia.
Favorite airline: Emirates.
Aisle or window: Always window, so I have a place to snooze!
Favorite U.S. airport: Denver International.
Favorite international airport: Tokyo Haneda.
Favorite hotel: Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas.
Favorite cruise line: I’ve never been on a cruise before, but will get to it one day!
Favorite travel credit card: The new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card because with more than 6,500 properties to choose from in 127 countries, I get to continue exploring the world while earning more points!
Favorite island: Bonaire.
Favorite beach: Pinhao Beach in Lagos, Portugal.
Favorite National Park: Yellowstone.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles.
Favorite airport restaurant: Shake Shack in JFK (does it count as a restaurant if you can’t sit anywhere? haha).
Favorite bar: The Dead Rabbit—NYC.
Favorite fruit: Watermelon in the peak of summer.
Favorite food: Pistachios.
Least favorite food: Blue cheese.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Coffee on the ground, water in the air.
Favorite travel movie(s): Midnight in Paris.
Favorite travel show(s): Parts Unknown.
Favorite travel book(s): “Travels With Charley.”
Right now I am reading: “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Eagan.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: National Geographic Traveler, Roads and Kingdoms, Jungles in Paris.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Any site that helps me save money on flights (Skiplagged, Skyscanner, etc.).
5 things you bring on a plane: Lots of water, makeup remover wipes, moisturizer, plenty of pre-downloaded podcasts, and melatonin for longer flights since I struggle to sleep in the air.
What do you always seem to forget? My international power adapter.
What do you like least about travel? Long airport delays.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Good tequila or fancy chocolate.
Favorite travel app(s): Hitlist.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Accidentally grabbing the wrong person’s (identical) baggage at 2 am after a long flight home and not realizing until I got a frantic call during the cab ride home. I’ve certainly never made that mistake again!
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: The Grand Canyon.
Worst travel moment: Nearly missing my connecting flight on a long layover in Kazakhstan because my phone was dead, there wasn’t a local taxi to be found, and I couldn’t find anyone who spoke English to help me out.
What’s your dream destination? The Galapagos.
Favorite travel charity: Fundacion En Via—Oaxaca.
Best travel tip: Set a loose plan, but be flexible with it. The best adventures usually sneak up on you!
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.