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: Kendra Thornton
Occupation: Owner, Royal Travel & Tours
Hometown: DeKalb, IL
Residence: Winnetka, IL
College: Northwestern University
College major: English and French double major
Pinterest: Kendra Thornton
Short bio: Kendra Thornton is president and owner of Royal Travel & Tours, an award-winning luxury travel agency that her parents founded in 1972. The family business afforded Kendra the opportunity to travel the globe and experience the evolution of the travel industry since birth. Prior to joining Royal Travel, Kendra ran her own company, Thornton Public Relations, a boutique travel PR firm where she worked with the most distinguished brands in online travel. Before starting her own company, Kendra was Director of Corporate Communications for Orbitz.com during the early critical growth years of online travel.
How often do you fly? On average 3-4 times per month.
How many countries have you been to? 47
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: My first international trip was to the Bahamas at three-months-old but one of my earliest travel memories is sitting first class as a little kid eating an ice cream sundae—I thought I’d gone to heaven.
Favorite American city: Chicago (it’s my hometown and I love it).
Favorite international city: Paris.
Least favorite country: Slovakia.
I have no desire to go to: Afghanistan.
Friendliest people in the world: Irish.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I haven’t encountered any!
Favorite World Heritage Site: Skellig Michael Island
Favorite airline: Cathay Pacific.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 777-300ER.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: Admirals Club at LHR.
Favorite U.S. airport: Seattle.
Favorite international airport: HKG.
Favorite hotel: Any Four Seasons.
Favorite cruise line: AmaWaterways.
Favorite travel credit card: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
Favorite island: Mackinac Island, MI (where I got married and we have a summer home).
Favorite beach: Any beach in Hawaii.
Favorite fancy restaurant: La Chèvre d’Or in Eze.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Underground Wonder Bar in Chicago.
Favorite bar: Spíler Shanghai in Budapest.
Favorite fruit: Banana.
Favorite food: Pizza.
Least favorite food: Mahi mahi.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Coffee.
Favorite travel movie(s): Planes, Trains & Automobiles.
Favorite travel book(s): Anything that gives historical facts on the destination I’m visiting.
Right now I am reading: “Good to Great” (for a second time).
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Travel Weekly, Travel & Leisure, blogs of Ignacio Maza and Jean Newman Glock.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! WendyPerrin.com.
5 things you bring on a plane: Ear plugs, eye shades, portable charger, headphones, hand sanitizer.
What do you always seem to forget? People’s names.
What do you like least about travel? Being away from my kids.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Hermes scarf.
Favorite travel app(s): Facetune.
Most embarrassing travel moment: On a flight sitting next to the late Michael Clarke Duncan and asking him if he was a pro athlete.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Thailand (but I’m going this summer!).
Worst travel moment: On a layover got stranded SOLO at night with my three kids in Atlanta airport due to weather and they were ages 1, 3 and 5.
What’s your dream destination? India.
Favorite travel charity: Make-A-Wish.
Best travel tip: For parents, I always say that it’s not worth trying to be parent of the year when traveling with little ones…to survive, just stick to the “3 T’s”—Trans Fats, Technology and Threats.
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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