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: Brian Stacey
Occupation: Director of New Product Development, Tauck Inc.
Hometown: Redding, CT, USA
Short bio: Brian Stacey is the Director of New Product Development for Tauck, the 89-year-old leader in guided luxury tours, cruises and safaris. Brian circles the globe developing new itineraries for Tauck, going beyond the established tourist sites and digging deeply into each destination to uncover unique, engaging and authentic cultural experiences to share with Tauck’s guests.
Brian’s entire career has centered on travel, from an early stint as a bartender aboard the Delta Queen steamboat on the Mississippi, to a tour director for Tauck, to a three-year turn as a hotel manager in upstate New York.
How often do you fly? 3-4x per month.
How many countries have you been to? 78
How many continents have you been to? 7
Earliest travel memory: A summer in Wales when I was 7.
Favorite American city: New Orleans.
Favorite international city: Rio de Janiero.
Least favorite country: Texas!!!
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Moldova.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Machu Picchu.
Favorite airline: Singapore.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite U.S. airport: Jackson, WY.
Favorite international airport: Singapore.
Favorite hotel: Oberoi.
Favorite cruise line: Tauck River Cruising, of course, and Compagnie du Ponant.
Favorite island: St. Vincent.
Favorite beach: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
Favorite fancy restaurant: French Laundry.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Anywhere in New Orleans.
Favorite bar: Arnaud’s (New Orleans).
Craziest thing you’ve eaten: Roasted beetles from a street vendor in South Korea. They were crunchy (on the outside, anyway) and otherwise pretty gross; not at all like chicken, but not all that dissimilar from grasshoppers…which was another questionable choice on my part.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Bourbon.
Favorite travel movie(s): Roman Holiday.
Favorite travel book(s): Four Seasons in Kyoto by Pico Iyer.
Right now I am reading: “Lowland,” by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Travel & Leisure, Conde Naste, Afar.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Travel & Leisure.
5 things you bring on a plane: iPad, iPod, water, book, laptop.
What do you always seem to forget? Adaptors.
What do you like least about travel? Jetlag, airport food.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Wine.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Being stuck at the Moldovan border without a visa. We were trying to get from the Ukraine to Romania, which basically means driving about four miles across a narrow stretch of Moldova—but we didn’t know a visa was needed to pass through. We spent three hours arguing with the Moldovan border guards, and we tried bribing them without success, before driving back to Odessa, spending the night, and flying to Romania the next day. I thought we might end up getting arrested by the Moldovan border guards, so in retrospect, losing a full day wasn’t too bad by comparison.
Worst travel moment: Stuck at Moldovan border without a Visa (see above).
What’s your dream destination: Papua New Guinea.
Favorite travel charity: Norwalk/Nagarote (Nicaragua) Sister City.
Best travel tip: Eat where the locals eat, learn a few words and walk, walk, walk.
SOME OF THE people chosen for this spot are not really “interesting.” Brian was a very interesting and well-traveled person!!