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.

Ian Swain
Ian Swain

Name: Ian Swain

Occupation: Curator of Travel 

Hometown: Gold Coast, Australia

Residence: Haverford, Pennsylvania

College: College of Life


Twitter: @swaindest

Facebook: Swain Destinations

Pinterest: Swain Destinations

Google+: Swain Destinations

Instagram: swaindest 

YouTube: Swain Destinations

Short bio: Ian Swain, a “true blue Aussie,” was born in Brisbane and showed a knack for entrepreneurship by launching a career in banking before he’d even left high school. After quickly progressing through the ranks, he left to pursue a new challenge in the insurance industry and started a brokerage company when he was just 19. Swain then met and married Linda, an American with a penchant for international travel. Two years into their marriage, and seven years into the insurance business, they decided to relocate to Philadelphia, where Linda was raised.

With his knowledge of the South Pacific and her understanding of the American traveler, they started Swain Australia Tours (now Swain Destinations) in 1987. “Americans were interested in visiting Australia but didn’t know where to start, so it was the perfect opportunity for us to share our combined passion,” he says. Over the course of the next 10 years, Swain Destinations became the largest seller of South Pacific travel on the East Coast. The company has since expanded to include destinations in Southeast Asia and Southern and Eastern Africa, as well as India.

How often do you fly? 60% of the year.

How many countries have you been to? 52

How many continents have you been to? 5

Earliest travel memory: Driving from Sydney to Gold Coast with my parents, age 6.

Favorite American city: Charleston, SC.

Favorite international city: Sydney, Australia.

Least favorite country: None.

Country with the meanest immigration officers: Greece.

Favorite World Heritage Site: Tasmania.

Favorite airline: Emirates.

Favorite aircraft type: A380.

Aisle or window: Window.

Favorite airport lounge: Dubai.

Favorite U.S. airport: San Francisco.

Favorite international airport: Dubai.

Favorite hotel: Too many to state one.

Favorite cruise line: Silversea.

Favorite travel credit card: AmEx.

Favorite island: Laucala, Fiji.

Favorite beach: Whitehaven Beach, Australia.

Favorite fancy restaurant: Sketch, London.

Favorite hole-in-the-wall: The Cow, Queenstown.

Favorite bar: Sirocco, Bangkok.

Favorite fruit: Orange.

Favorite food: Italian.

Least favorite food: Indian. 

Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Hendrick’s and tonic.

Favorite travel movie(s): Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Right now I am reading: Chesapeake.

Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Virtuoso Life, Travel + Leisure, Afar.

Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Are there any others?

5 things you bring on a plane: Blackberry, headphones, iPad, socks, spare shirt.

What do you always seem to forget? Cuff links.

What do you like least about travel? US airports.

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

Favorite travel app(s): Flightradar24.

Most embarrassing travel moment: Arriving at Philadelphia Airport with my wife and I had my daughter’s passport instead of hers.

Worst travel moment: Arriving late in Dubai from Tel Aviv, and having to run the entire length of the new terminal for my next flight.

What’s your dream destination: Too many to state.

Favorite travel charity: Family lives on.

Best travel tip: Be brave and bold and be seen.

Johnny Jet

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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2 Comments On "Travel Style: Ian Swain"


  2. echidnaw|

    Entertaining read! Ian is a great man who has helped launch many great Aussie tourism businesses. I’ve known Ian for 18 years and I didn’t know most of those things!

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