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: Sarah Dandashy
Occupation: Les Clefs d’Or Concierge
Hometown: Allentown, PA; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; London, England; Atlanta, GA—Yep, I grew up in all those places!
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
College: Georgetown University
College major: Culture & Politics
Facebook: Ask A Concierge
Pinterest: Ask A Concierge
Short bio: Sarah Dandashy is an award-winning concierge and travel influencer. In 2015, she earned the title of “The World’s Best Young Concierge” after competing for the title against colleagues from around the globe. Think Miss Universe of Concierge—except the competition included men. She’s also a contributing writer for numerous magazines and websites.
As a travel professional serving on the “front lines” of the hospitality industry, she is a true travel expert. Her daily interactions with travelers gives her front row access to the who, what, and where in travel trends.
Sarah has lived in Saudi Arabia, England, Atlanta, DC, NYC, and currently resides in LA. She is a Georgetown graduate of the School of Foreign Service. Oh and her middle name is Mohamed. Yes, really.
How often do you fly? Depends, but generally monthly.
How many countries have you been to? 28
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: I remember being on a plane flying back to the States from the Middle East—so it was a big plane and a long flight. I might have been around 4 or 5. I remember looking at the flight attendants and looking around and just feeling at home. I then turned to my mother and said I wanted to live on a plane. My mother very realistically explained to me that I might not want to “live” on one, but that I could fly whenever I wanted. So I guess you could say she planted that seed!
Favorite American city: Los Angeles—That’s why I live here!
Favorite international city: Too many to choose, but I do love Paris as I spent time there when I was younger. But I was really impressed with Dubai, and I love the cultural influences of Buenos Aires. Oh, and Vancouver is pretty darn cool too. I like too many to choose just one!
I have no desire to go to: Any war-torn countries. I’m good.
Friendliest people in the world: Canadians!
Country with the meanest immigration officers: No one is mean if you’re really nice and smile. OK, so I’ve been really lucky here and haven’t had any issues.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Stonehenge and the Great Barrier Reef!
Favorite airline: Virgin all the way!
Favorite aircraft type: One that lands safely. Ohhhh, well if you want specifics, the A380 is pretty sweet.
Aisle or window: Window so I can take pictures and enjoy the view!
Favorite U.S. airport: LAX—because it’s home!
Favorite international airport: DXB.
Favorite hotel: The London West Hollywood…because I work there!
Favorite cruise line: Norwegian Cruise Lines. Granted I’ve only ever been on one cruise. But it was pretty cool.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Favorite island: Maui.
Favorite beach: Sand, water, a breeze. I have to be picky now? Honestly, the clearer the water the better. I’m beach agnostic because I love them all!
Favorite National Park: Zion National Park.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Curtis Stone’s restaurant Maude’s in Beverly Hills. It’s a culinary experience.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Yocco’s…their pierogis are glorious.
Favorite airport restaurant: Lemonade at LAX. Mainly because I really like the restaurant in general. Light, fresh, and easy. Ohhh and that lemonade is pretty refreshing!
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Either something super healthy like a fresh quinoa and spinach salad or…dessert. Anything in the dessert category has my attention.
Least favorite food: Anything with meat. I’m a vegetarian!
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Perrier.
Favorite travel movie(s): Hideous Kinky, Grand Budapest Hotel, Wild.
Favorite travel show(s): Hotel Impossible and anything with Anthony Bourdain.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Travel & Leisure, Budget Travel and Conde Nast Traveler.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Skift.com, BuzzFeed Travel, and Airbnb.
5 things you bring on a plane: Headphones, scarf, charging cables, extra jacket, and a bottle of water!
What do you like least about travel? Dealing with cranky travelers or workers. Everybody relax.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? CANDY!
Favorite travel app(s): Hopper (for figuring out best times to travel and when to book for best fares), Uber (to get transportation anywhere), HotelTonight (last minute deals on booking hotels).
Most embarrassing travel moment: Getting sick on a plane. I will spare you the details. But you can imagine, it isn’t cute.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: The Grand Canyon! Yeah, ridiculous.
Worst travel moment: Same as my most embarrassing travel moment. Still not cute.
What’s your dream destination? The Galapagos Islands!
Best travel tip: Always have extra rooms in your bags when you leave for a trip. Inevitably you are going to buy things or get gifts, and it’s great to know that you’ll have plenty of room to bring stuff back. The more advanced version of this is to pack a bag that you can fold up and place in your big suitcase. Then you have a whole extra bag for your return!
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