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: Renee Linnell
Occupation: Author of “The Burn Zone: A Memoir”
Hometown: I don’t have one! Born in Boston, moved when I was a few months old to CO, moved when I was a few months older to a boat that traveled between Cape Cod and the Bahamas, grew up bouncing among the Bahamas, Florida, and Colorado (until my dad died when I was 15 and then we settled in Boca Raton, FL).
Residence: Aspen, CO
College: Jacksonville University and MBA from NYU Stern
College major: Dance and Psychology, MBA
Facebook: Renee Linnell
Short bio: Renee Linnell is the author of “The Burn Zone: A Memoir” (She Writes Press; October 2018). She is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and cofounded five companies and has an Executive Masters in Business Administration from New York University. She has traveled the world as a surf model and professional tango dancer. Currently she is working on starting a publishing company to give people from diverse walks of life an opportunity to tell their stories.
How often do you fly? Sometimes twice a month; sometimes not at all for four months.
How many countries have you been to? More than 50, I stopped counting at 50.
How many continents have you been to? Six: Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North America, South America.
Earliest travel memory: Crawling in the sand on a beach in the Bahamas after arriving there by boat.
Favorite American city: New York.
Favorite international city: Buenos Aires.
Least favorite country: OMG do I really have to pick? I don’t think I can. If I have to: I didn’t love Japan, but that’s not fair at all to Japan because I was only there for three days and I was on my NYU Stern Global Study Tour and we stayed in a bad hotel and barely saw any of Japan.
I have no desire to go to: Afghanistan.
Friendliest people in the world: Fijians and New Zealanders.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: LOL. United States.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Uluru.
Favorite airline: Singapore Airlines.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 747.
Aisle or window: Depends on duration of the flight. Window for short flights (so I can keep the window shade up and not lose a day of my life), aisle for long flights (so I can stay hydrated and get to the restroom often).
Favorite airport lounge: United.
Favorite U.S. airport: Denver International Airport.
Favorite international airport: Singapore.
Favorite hotel: Amankora in Bhutan.
Favorite cruise line: Cunard.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase United Visa.
Favorite island: Tavarua, Fiji.
Favorite beach: Pipeline to Rocky Point, Oahu.
Favorite National Park: Grand Canyon.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Teppanyaki Akasaka (on top of the ANA Intercontinental Hotel in Tokyo, Japan).
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Whales Rib; Deerfield Beach, FL.
Favorite bar: Campo or Ellina in Aspen.
Favorite fruit: Peaches and papaya.
Favorite food: Chocolate, coffee, In-N-Out Double-Double animal style.
Least favorite food: Wild game and mushrooms.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Water without ice.
Favorite travel movie(s): To watch while traveling? Lately it’s 13 Hours. About travel? Maybe Eat, Pray, Love.
Favorite travel show(s): None, I don’t watch TV.
Favorite travel book(s): “Danziger’s Travels” (I found it in a youth hostel in New Zealand 25 years ago).
Right now I am reading: Lee Child’s “61 Hours” (I’m a huge Jack Reacher fan) and Megyn Kelly’s “Settle for More.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I don’t have any. I’ve been living “off the grid” in the mountains the last 5.5 years. In the past it was Lonely Planet.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Same as above.
5 things you bring on a plane: A book, my noise-cancelling headphones, chocolate, tea bags, my laptop.
What do you always seem to forget? Nothing; I’m very organized (to a fault, I pack two days ahead of time and almost always travel with only carry-on).
What do you like least about travel? How grumpy people get. It’s amazing how we all forget what a miracle it is to be 30,000 feet in the air in a huge piece of metal, and how without air travel we would have to travel by car or boat to see loved ones that live far away, and what a privilege it is to have the time and money to be able to travel by air.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Chocolate.
Favorite travel app(s): I don’t have any.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Getting wedged in an airport elevator with my two 9’6” surfboards in a huge surfboard travel bag in Australia; a man finally helped me and said I looked like a midget wrestling with a tree.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Much of the United States.
Worst travel moment: Getting stranded without my gear or a guide at 22,000 feet elevation in the Himalayan mountains; I had to follow donkey poop for 10 hours to find my way to safety.
What’s your dream destination? I really love Tavarua, Fiji; Oahu; Harbor Island, Bahamas; Buenos Aires; and Aspen.
Favorite travel charity: Surfaid.
Best travel tip: Surrender. Once you arrive at the airport, completely surrender and go on the ride the universe has designed for you, rather than the one you planned. It is SO much more fun this way. When you get delayed, chat with the people around you; when your vehicle breaks down, hike the surrounding area until help comes; when your flight gets canceled, splurge for a hotel so you sleep well. If you surrender the second you arrive at the airport, each trip, no matter how mundane, becomes an adventure.
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