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: Ben Feder
Occupation: Author, Artist, Investor, and Video Game Executive
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Residence: New York City, the greatest city in the world!
College major: History
Facebook: Ben Feder
Short bio: Ben Feder is President of International Partnerships for the U.S. at Tencent, the Chinese internet titan, formerly CEO of Take Two interactive, the publisher of the smash video game hits, Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto, and NBA 2K, and author of “Take Off Your Shoes.” He serves on the boards of directors of public and private companies in the media and entertainment industries and is a director of Save a Child’s Heart, a nonprofit that works globally to rescue children with congenital heart defects. A Harvard Business School graduate, Ben lives in New York City with his wife, Victoria, and their four children.
How often do you fly? Way too often for business, definitely not often enough for leisure.
How many countries have you been to? This year alone: China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico and Finland. Thinking about Portugal for vacation.
How many continents have you been to? All except Australia, unless we count New Zealand as part of Australia.
Earliest travel memory: A three-day road trip from Montreal to Miami in the back of a station wagon.
Favorite American city: New York City
Favorite international city: It’s a three-way tie: Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Ubud (Bali).
Least favorite country: I find something fun or interesting about every city I’ve been to.
I have no desire to go to: New Jersey.
Friendliest people in the world: Bali, Indonesia.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I’ll pass on that one, though U.S. INS has quite a reputation.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Bagan, Myanmar (Burma).
Favorite airline: Cathay Pacific.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 787.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: Qatar.
Favorite U.S. airport: Raleigh, NC.
Favorite international airport: Hong Kong.
Favorite hotel: The Belmond Governor’s Residence in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma).
Favorite cruise line: I’ve never been on one!
Favorite travel credit card: Amex.
Favorite island: Bali.
Favorite beach: Padang Padang, Bali.
Favorite National Park: Grand Teton.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Mozaic, Bali.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Tiny’s in New York City.
Favorite airport restaurant: Maxim’s Jade Garden in Hong Kong.
Favorite bar: The bar at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London.
Favorite fruit: Salak, or dragon fruit, native to Indonesia.
Favorite food: A simple omelette, made simply, with cheese and mushrooms.
Least favorite food: Anything greasy.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Any nice wine, mostly reds, except for a summer outdoor meal, which is always white.
Favorite travel movie(s): Anything that makes me laugh out loud, especially Will Farrell movies.
Favorite travel show(s): Billions.
Favorite travel book(s): “River of Doubt,” “Escape 101,” “The River’s Tale,” “Vagabonding.”
Right now I am reading: “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Escape 101, The Expeditioner, Nomadic Matt.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! TripAdvisor.
5 things you bring on a plane: Antiseptic wipes (it’s bacteria on the surfaces, not the air, that can get you sick), Bose headphones, healthy snack food, a book, and a laptop. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol.
What do you always seem to forget? There’s always something…
What do you like least about travel? Busy airports.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Chocolate.
Favorite travel app(s): Mobile Pass for U.S. Customs and Immigration.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Back when tickets were paper, on the way out of town, I paid my electric bill by posting it in a mailbox, only to discover that I had actually mailed my ticket.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: The Himalayans.
Worst travel moment: Leaving for Paris with my wife without our passports and missing our flight.
What’s your dream destination? Bali, Indonesia. The Island of the Gods is magical to me.
Favorite travel charity: Save a Child’s Heart. They perform critical cardiac surgical procedures for children in developing countries.
Best travel tip: Use the Mobile Pass app at customs to re-enter the United States.