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: Sean Mallen
Occupation: Writer, Journalist, Communications Consultant
Hometown: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
College: Ryerson & University of Alberta
College major: Journalism at Ryerson, Fine Arts (Drama) at University of Alberta
Facebook: Sean Mallen
Short bio: I was a national/international broadcast journalist for 30+ years, covering events across Canada, the USA and around the world, including a stint as London-based Europe Bureau Chief for Global News. Now I’m a communications consultant specializing in strategic communications, media & presentation training, crisis communications and writing. My first book, “Falling for London-A Cautionary Tale” is being published October 2018 by Dundurn Press.
How often do you fly? 6-8 times a year.
How many countries have you been to? 30+
How many continents have you been to? 4
Earliest travel memory: Flying to Florida with my parents to visit my aunt as a teenager where I got a horrific sunburn.
Favorite American city: San Francisco.
Favorite international city: London.
Least favorite country: Don’t think I’d cite one. All the ones I’ve visited have something to recommend them.
I have no desire to go to: The top of Everest. But I’d sure like to see it from a safe distance.
Friendliest people in the world: The Irish.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Russia.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Old Quebec City.
Aisle or window: Always aisle.
Favorite international airport: Heathrow.
Favorite hotel: Molly Pitcher Inn in Fair Haven, NJ.
Favorite cruise line: Crystal.
Favorite travel credit card: TD Infinity.
Favorite island: Grenada. The Spice Island has been a magical place for me and my family.
Favorite beach: Sandbanks Provincial Park in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
Favorite National Park: Banff.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Le Taillevent (Paris). A memorable meal on our honeymoon.
Favorite bar: Just about any neighbourhood pub in England.
Favorite fruit: Bananas.
Favorite food: Pasta—particularly homemade pasta served on a warm night in an outdoor trattoria in Bologna. Tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce, preferably. Or carbonara sauce.
Least favorite food: I’ve never had a taste for olives, although I love olive oil. Go figure.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): A wee dram of highland scotch.
Favorite travel movie(s): Any James Bond movie, although From Russia With Love is the classic.
Favorite travel book(s): Anything by Bill Bryson.
Right now I am reading: “A House for Mr. Biswas” by the late, great V.S. Naipaul.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: National Geographic Traveler, Condé Nast Traveler, Afar.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Jim Byers Travel.
5 things you bring on a plane: Earbuds, e-book, iPad, chewing gum, patience.
What do you always seem to forget? Toothbrush.
What do you like least about travel? Airports have become a trial.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Highland Scotch.
Favorite travel app(s): CityMapper.
Most embarrassing travel moment: That bottle of local water I guzzled on Corfu, which led to an unpleasant couple of days.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: India, Australia, New Zealand.
Worst travel moment: See most embarrassing travel moment.
What’s your dream destination? India.
Favorite travel charity: I wouldn’t single out one, but I support any that promote sustainability.
Best travel tip: Comfortable shoes because walking is the best way to explore any city.
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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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.