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: Laurie Fellezs
Occupation: Underemployed Meeting Planner
Hometown: Santa Rosa, CA
College: San Francisco State University
College major: Geography
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Short bio: Laurie Fellezs is a native of Northern California. Born amidst the redwoods, raised in the wine country, and fine-tuned in San Francisco, she now resides in Manhattan through no fault of hers. Though a resident of NY since 2011, she still answers the question of “where are you from” with “California.” Her blog is called Flying Pants because it best represents how she lives her life—with no plans and a life full of experiences she simply fell into. She is always on the hunt for a unique adventure, a chance to laugh, and the much sought-after ‘good deal’. Inspired by moving to Manhattan, living in Japan for nine months, and then returning to NYC after living abroad at an age when many are eyeballing retirement and playing with their grandkids, she’s hoping to get people of all ages to explore the world—and to make people chuckle at her travel stories as told from a Boomer’s point of view.
How often do you fly? It depends on how many jobs I have during the year. This year I only expect to fly four times as I was in Japan for the first eight months of the year. Next year, I have five events lined up I’ll need to fly to during the first three months, plus a couple of vacations in the works.
How many countries have you been to? 33
How many continents have you been to? Five out of the seven (haven’t gone to Antarctica or Australia).
Earliest travel memory: A family road trip to Disneyland from Santa Rosa, which is an hour north of San Francisco. It was eight hot hours of sitting in a car with no AC in the backseat with my little brother—and we fought the whole way there.
Favorite American city: I have a few, but New Orleans is very special to me. I love all the music, sprinkled with European, Caribbean and voodoo influences, and served inside a continual party atmosphere.
Favorite international city: Tokyo with its wonderful mix of modern, traditional and over-the-top wacky.
Least favorite country: Beijing—it was so dirty. I felt like with every breath I took, I was shortening my lifespan. And there was no soap in any public or restaurant restrooms. Where’s the soap?
I have no desire to go to: The Middle East.
Friendliest people in the world: Japanese.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: US.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Too many and all so different it’s pretty hard, but I’ll say the works of Gaudi in Barcelona. Those buildings—especially the Sagrada Familia—are amazing pieces of art and they make me smile.
Favorite airline: Though I’ve not flown them for years, my favorite flight ever was on a Cathay Pacific flight.
Favorite aircraft type: I never pay attention to this. I know I should, but I always just pick my flights based on price and time. All I care about is it getting me there safely. But I don’t like those tiny commuter prop planes.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: I’ve not been to many but the one at Haneda was really nice.
Favorite U.S. airport: The new wing of SFO.
Favorite international airport: Narita.
Favorite hotel: Hotel Vitale in San Francisco.
Favorite cruise line: I’ve only been on the Norwegian Cruise Line once. It was fine. But I don’t like being on the water and avoid it, as I get deathly seasick.
Favorite travel credit card: I have an AA Citi. It is great for accruing miles on AA and giving me free checked luggage.
Favorite island: Moorea.
Favorite beach: I’m not a beach person.
Favorite National Park: Acadia National Park.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Nico in San Francisco.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Trad’r Sam’s in San Francisco on Geary.
Favorite bar: I love the Tonga Room in San Francisco. I’ve not been there in recent years though.
Favorite fruit: Papaya.
Favorite food: Crispy chicken tacos with salsa verde and guacamole.
Least favorite food: Organ meats.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): California wine: Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Trip.
Favorite travel show(s): I love Rick Steves’ shows.
Favorite travel book(s): Anything by Bill Bryson or Peter Mayle’s tales of living in Provence.
Right now I am reading: “The Road to Little Dribbling” by Bill Bryson.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: TravelMassive.com, Only in Japan at jonellepatrick.me and Skift.com.
Favorite travel website(s)— ricksteves.com
5 things you bring on a plane: Magazines and/or books, snacks, laptop, phone, and a pashmina.
What do you always seem to forget? I’ve forgotten a comb more than once.
What do you like least about travel? The airports.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Booze.
Favorite travel app(s): Yelp.
Most embarrassing travel moment: When my moped dragged me up the front of a brand new citron (that contained four Italian strangers) on Corfu.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Grand Canyon.
Worst travel moment: We were on a Pan Am flight and we were barreling down the runway in Heathrow ready to take off, when the plane stopped suddenly, turned around and headed back to the gate where we were deplaned and delayed for hours. Scary feeling.
What’s your dream destination? Bali.
Favorite travel charity: I don’t know of any.
Best travel tip: Pack light!!! And I never seem to.
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