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.
Occupation: Author, Editor, and Writer
Hometown: Grew up in rural Virginia, but then lived in Nashville, TN; Nags Head, NC; New York City, Istanbul, and Seoul.
Residence: Guanajuato, Mexico and Tampa, FL
Short Bio: I am the author of four travel books including Travel Writing 2.0 and The World’s Cheapest Destinations. As the head of Al Centro Media, I run a variety of travel websites and blogs including Practical Travel Gear, Perceptive Travel, and the Cheapest Destinations Blog. I’ve won a slew of awards for my writing, despite sometimes feeling like I have no time to think.
How often do you fly: Once or twice a month usually.
How many countries have you been to: I’m not a country-counter, but somewhere north of 50 I would guess.
How many continents have you been to: 5
Favorite American city: Whichever one I’ll be in next.
Favorite international city: Since I bought a house in Guanajuato, Mexico, I guess that’s my answer.
Least favorite country: Not going there…we can talk about it over a beer sometime.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Machu Picchu
Favorite airline: Depends on the route, but looking forward to my longest flight ever coming up being on Singapore Air. For domestic, Southwest by a wide margin.
Favorite aircraft type: Any that gives me a 34-inch or more seat pitch in economy.
Aisle or window: Window if there’s something to see.
Favorite airport lounge: Any that has free booze, free wi-fi, and isn’t too crowded.
Favorite U.S. airport: Tampa
Favorite international airport: Changi, Singapore
Favorite hotel: I’ve reviewed more than 600 of them and stayed in another few hundred, so depends on the location.
Favorite cruise line: No desire to get on one of those things.
Favorite island: Togian Islands, Indonesia, just because it was such an ordeal to get there.
Favorite fancy restaurant: The one where Johnny is picking up the tab.
Favorite hole in the wall: Any good street food cart in Bangkok.
Favorite fruit: Ripe yellow mango
Favorite food: Whatever the locals are having—within reason.
Least favorite food: Animals eaten only in China.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground) I’m an ale guy at heart, but bourbon and ginger ale is my fail-safe cocktail in the air.
Favorite travel movie(s): Does Godfather II count—Nevada and Cuba? OK then, I liked Midnight in Paris a lot, Up in the Air was great, and Indochine made me pack my bags for Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. If I had to pick one though, probably Pixar’s Up.
Favorite travel show(s): No Reservations, An Idiot Abroad
Favorite travel book(s): Well, here are 10 I like a lot: But for recent ones, Tony Perrottet’s The Sinner’s Grand Tour
Right now I am reading: After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Five things you bring on a plane: iPod, stack of magazines, laptop, Kindle/book, notebook
What do you always seem to forget: snacks
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Mine’s Android, but I use the Kayak one, Skype, and currency conversion one a lot. SpanishDict also. Google Maps when I’m lost. And Shazam is just magic.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: After waiting six hours in the waiting area at an Indian train station, we missed our train because we read the 24-hour clock time wrong on the ticket.
What’s your dream destination: My wife says we’re going to Tahiti for our 20th wedding anniversary, so I guess I’d better say…Tahiti.
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: For good general advice, SmarterTravel.com, BudgetTravel.com, and the blogs on how to obtain more frequent flyer miles. For travel blogs, I must have 100 in my RSS reader, so not one favorite. It’s good to take a laugh break now and then, so The Onion and The Oatmeal are regulars for me.
Best travel tip: Slow down! Almost everything memorable and special happens when you don’t have every hour planned out and don’t have a good reason to say no to an invitation. Racing around and checking things off a list is for your work life, not vacation.
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- 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.
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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.