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: Ryan Banks
Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
Residence: Irvine, CA
College: Seattle University
College major: Political Science
Short bio: I started traveling with my family at a young age and enjoyed it a lot. After traveling by airplane for the first time by myself at the age of 11 I was hooked. During high school I started traveling in the summers internationally and over 40 countries later I still enjoy it. After college I went to work in the logistics industry and that enabled me to continue meeting people from around the world.
How often do you fly? I typically make six to seven international trips a year.
How many countries have you been to? 41
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: Vacationing in Glacier National Park with my family.
Favorite American city: Winter in Aspen, CO and summer in La Jolla, CA
Favorite international city: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (most interesting city I visited).
Least favorite country: (I love traveling, so there isn’t any country I wouldn’t go to at least once.)
I have no desire to go to: Again, I would go anywhere once.
Friendliest people in the world: Most people I meet traveling seem to be very nice.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Never had any problems, however Singapore has the friendliest customs officers I have ever encountered!
Favorite World Heritage Site: Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Favorite airline: Singapore Airlines.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 747.
Aisle or window: Window (that way I can “try” and sleep).
Favorite airport lounge: United Airline (Red Carpet Club) Narita Airport.
Favorite U.S. airport: Denver International.
Favorite international airport: Changi Airport, Singapore (the airport alone is a destination compared to most airports around the world).
Favorite hotel: Rasa Sentosa Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.
Favorite cruise line: Princess Cruises.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase United Airlines Club card.
Favorite island: Maui, Hawaii.
Favorite beach: Bondi Beach, Sydney.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Metropolitan Grill, Seattle, WA.
Favorite hole-in- the-wall: The Original Rinaldi’s, 323 Main Street, El Segundo, CA (near LAX and well worth checking out!).
Favorite food: Western food.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Diet Coke.
Favorite travel show(s): CNN Business Traveler (Richard Quest).
Favorite travel book(s): Lonely Planet travel guides and Wikitravel.org.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: FlyerTalk, PeterGreenberg.com.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! One Mile At A Time, The Points Guy.
5 things you bring on a plane: iPhone, iPad, headphones and PEN (for customs forms).
What do you always seem to forget? Not much given the extensive travel list I created and look at before every trip.
What do you like least about travel? Security lines (TSA!) twenty years ago traveling was so enjoyable.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Never have bought duty free because they seem to raise the prices to what the item would have cost if you had to pay taxes.
Favorite travel app(s): FlightTrack Pro, Google Maps, Flightradar24.
Worst travel moment: Traveling in Israel when the 9/11 attacks happened and not sure how to fly home with airports closed in both countries.
What’s your dream destination? Taking the Qinghai Tibet Train (Lhasa Express) to Lhasa, Tibet.
Best travel tip: Keep (paper) copies of your travel itinerary and passports. Most people are so reliant on computers and smartphones that if you were ever in trouble nothing can replace a physical copy of these important documents.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 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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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.