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: Julie and Dean Couchey
Occupation: Julie: Photographer and writer | Dean: Chef
Hometown: Dean: Wilsboro, NY | Julie: Wynnewood, PA
Residence: None! We quit our jobs and sold (mostly!) everything to travel!
College: Julie: University of Colorado Denver | Dean: Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park
College major: Julie: Communications with a PR and Marketing Focus | Dean: Culinary Arts
Facebook: Two Fat Americans
Short bio: We have been together for almost five years and travel and food has been a staple of our relationship from the beginning! Our first trip together was to Europe and since then we’ve been hooked! We’ve visited many places and after we got married this past July, we decided that we only have one life and didn’t want anything holding us back from our dreams, so we quit our jobs and sold everything to travel the world!
Dean is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. His cooking passion is international cuisines. Dean loves to travel to new places and learn the cooking culture so he can bring it back and teach people about the foods native to each place he goes. He loves to experiment and loves to see the look on people’s faces as they enjoy his food!
Julie has always loved photography and writing. She has a creative spirit that channels itself through the lens of a camera. Ever since her first trip to Europe, she’s been hooked on travel and the memories and experience it creates. Her goal in life is to show people her love of travel through the photos she takes along the way.
How often do you fly? On this trip, every 3-4 days!
How many countries have you been to? 22 and counting.
How many continents have you been to? Five (six if you want to include the “new continent”…Zealandia!).
Earliest travel memory: Dean’s earliest travel memory was when he went to Virginia Beach when he was five. He drove from upstate New York with his grandparents and parents in an olive green 1980s Cadillac. He remembers being terrified going through the Chesapeake Bay tunnel!
Julie’s earliest travel memory was (what seemed like) the long trek to the New Jersey Shore, specifically Sommers Beach when she was a little girl. She remembers having to wake up very early in the morning so she and her family could spend as much of the daylight on the beach, playing in the ocean and making sand castles. She remembered how they would end their day walking on the boardwalk and eating as much salt water taffy as her mom would allow!
Favorite American city: Julie: San Diego | Dean: New York City.
Favorite international city: Julie: San Sebastián, Spain (with Paris as a close second!) | Dean: Paris, France will always be number one!
Least favorite country: As cliche as it sounds, neither of us have a least favorite! Each one we’ve been to has had its own unique culture and was special in its own way!
I have no desire to go to: We’re both tied on North Korea for this one…
Friendliest people in the world: So far the friendliest people have been in Indonesia! All so welcoming and friendly! They always have a smile on their face and are up for conversation.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: We wouldn’t say mean, but the strictest was going into Canada from upstate New York. He really grilled us and was having no part in our excitement to see his country.
Favorite World Heritage Site: It’s easy to say that Machu Picchu was one of our favorites. It’s Machu Picchu after all! But after going to the Borobudur and Prambanan Temples in Indonesia…it’s a hard question to answer!
Favorite airline: Southwest for traveling within the States. AirAsia us proven to be a great choice recently, however! Low cost, comfortable seats with cheap upgrades if you feel you need it and good (cheap!) food for an airline!
Favorite aircraft type: 787 all the way.
Aisle or window: Aisle for both of us!
Favorite airport lounge: Haven’t had the pleasure of one…yet!
Favorite U.S. airport: Julie: Denver | Dean: Tampa.
Favorite international airport: We can’t say we have one yet…
Favorite hotel: That’s an easy one! The Sofitel in Mumbai was number one for both of us.
Favorite travel credit card: Capital One Quicksliver for its 1.5% cash back and zero foreign transaction fees.
Favorite island: We haven’t been to Thailand yet…so we’ll have to let you know. We’ve heard those are one of the best!
Favorite beach: Bondi Beach in Sydney was awesome!
Favorite National Park: Rocky Mountain.
Favorite fancy restaurant: 1884 by Francis Mallman.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Relais Cambronne in Paris—BEST kebabs ever!
Favorite airport restaurant: Avoid avoid avoid!
Favorite bar: Bitter Bar in Boulder, Colorado.
Favorite fruit: Julie: Raspberry | Dean: Pineapple.
Favorite food: We’re Two Fat Americans…how are we supposed to answer this?!
Least favorite food: Seafood for both of us. Dean’s allergic and Julie can’t stand the taste.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Julie: On the ground, hummingbird. In the air: ginger ale | Dean: on the ground, gin & tonic. In the air: Bloody Mary.
Favorite travel movie(s): Amélie.
Favorite travel show(s): Old school Anthony Bordain: No Reservations and House Hunters International!
Favorite travel book(s): Julie doesn’t read. But she loves gossip mags! Dean: “Culinaria” series.
Right now I am reading: Airplane magazines.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast and Food & Wine.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Hotels.com.
5 things you bring on a plane: iPhone charger, iPad, snack, chapstick, and patience!
What do you always seem to forget? Always have the feeling of forgetting something, but nothing consistently forgotten yet!
What do you like least about travel? Rude people.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Julie: Perfume! | Dean: Havana Club rum.
Favorite travel app(s): Been and Tripit.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Being three hours away from a previous hotel only to realize we forgot one of our backpacks! We almost drove all the way back for it! Never been happier for couriers!
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: A lot of America.
Worst travel moment: Julie got in a fight with someone on a flight from Denver to London with a guy who reclined his seat all the way into her lap! It was so bad the flight attendant threatened to call the police when we landed. That was embarrassment enough for both of us!
What’s your dream destination? We dream of staying in one of those huts on the water in paradise destinations. Can’t afford it yet though!
Favorite travel charity: Make-A-Wish.
Best travel tip: Try not to let the little things get to you and enjoy the fact that you are someplace special!
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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