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: Broke-Ass Stuart
Occupation: Oh man, so many! Travel Writer. TV host. Poet. Motherfucking Hustler.
Hometown: Grew up in San Diego
Residence: Been based in San Francisco for the past 12 or so years
College: UC Santa Cruz. Home of the Fighting Banana Slug, and lots of good pot.
College major: American Studies aka How to Be a Waiter When You Get Out of College
Website: BrokeAssStuart.com aka your new favorite website
Facebook: Broke-Ass Stuart
Pinterest: Broke-Ass Stuart
Google+: BrokeAss Stuart. Google’s not as smart as they think they are. They MADE me put letters and/or numbers at the end of the URL becuase they said “there’s lots of people with that same name.” Are you fucking kidding me Google? No one else is dumb enough to want to be Broke-Ass Stuart. I don’t even wanna be him half the time.
YouTube: BrokeAss Stuart. I’m not smart enough to figure out how to rename the URL on this one.
Short bio: Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet and TV host. He’s probably best known for his print and online guides to living cheaply in San Francisco and New York, making him the only person known to have been called “the pimp daddy of budget travel.” Stuart was a co-creator and host for the travel TV show Young, Broke & Beautiful on IFC. As a freelancer, his work has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, US Airways Magazine, 7×7, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Bold Italic, and more. His most recent book is “Young, Broke & Beautiful: Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply,” but until those hit the big time, he’s still living the broke-ass life.
How often do you fly? It all depends. When I was making my TV show in 2011 and going on book tour, I probably flew 40-50 times that year. This year will probably be a solid 20.
How many countries have you been to? Over 20. I think. I’m too lazy to count them out right now.
How many continents have you been to? Four-ish. Where does Israel fall under?
Earliest travel memory: I was basically born in a suitcase.
Favorite American city: Up until recently I’d have said San Francisco, but it’s changing immeasurably, and not in a good way. So I’m gonna go with New Orleans. Fuck I love that town.
Favorite international city: Too hard! Buenos Aires, Madrid, Dublin, San Sebastian, Montreal. The list goes on…
Least favorite country: I find something special everywhere I go.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: The US. I always try to get them to smile. It makes them scowl even more.
Favorite World Heritage Site: I was in Mexico during swine flu so the entire tourist industry was gutted. My girlfriend at the time and I had Chichen Itza almost entirely to ourselves. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I have tons of photos of the site with absolutely zero people in them.
Favorite airline: Virgin America domestically and British Airways internationally.
Favorite aircraft type: The kind that don’t crash.
Aisle or window: Middle. I just like rubbing up against people. Nah, just kidding. I like the window.
Favorite airport lounge: They don’t let me into places like that.
Favorite U.S. airport: New Orleans Louis Armstrong Airport has the best name by far. San Diego’s airport is the best located in terms of being able to go right out and do something cool. SFO’s new Terminal 2 is so sleek and sexy. I can tell you that I hate Boston Logan.
Favorite international airport: Most of the international ones I’ve been in. I’m usually too wasted on booze and sleeping pills to remember.
Favorite hotel: Ivy Boutique Hotel in Chicago. Park Hyatt Tokyo. I pretty much only stay in hotels when someone else is paying for it. Otherwise I stay on couches and hostels and beds…if I get lucky…I usually don’t.
Favorite cruise line: Does this refer to my prior comment about getting lucky?
Favorite travel credit card: Man, I’m still trying to pay off the ones I got. I generally just use my debit card and/or pay with cash.
Favorite island: St. John.
Favorite beach: Any one where I can sit in the shade and read a book. Double points if it’s topless.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Boulevard in San Francisco is pretty amazing. Here’s a secret for anyone who goes to fancy restaurants: If you treat the staff very nicely they will do all they can to take care of you. They deal with so many pricks that nice people are a breath of fresh air. Also, tip well.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: I’ve written three books about this kind of stuff. Just open a page and pick one.
Favorite bar: Spec’s in San Francisco’s North Beach. It’s like being in a Tom Waits song.
Favorite fruit: My brother.
Favorite food: If I had to choose just one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be pizza. But I’m super spoiled living in SF where I can have food from pretty much anywhere in the world every day of the week.
Least favorite food: Raw onions. They are the devil.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Vodka soda with lemon. It minimizes the hangovers.
Favorite travel movie(s): Does The Goonies count?
Favorite travel show(s): Mine when it was still on the air. Anything with Tony Bourdain. Also, the stuff Vice is doing but it always ends up bumming me out.
Favorite travel book(s): Too many to list. I’ll just say “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” to be a twee little shit.
Right now I am reading: “Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy and “The Collected Works of Billy the Kid” by Michael Ondaatje. I don’t know how I ended up on this Western kick. I was reading Kurt Vonnegut and Edward Rutherfurd before this.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Anything that isn’t afraid to call a motherfucker a motherfucker.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Mine of course!
5 things you bring on a plane: A book/kindle, iPhone with music, my computer, Broke-Ass Stuart stickers to give to new friends, and probably a sandwich.
What do you always seem to forget? Very little. I’m kinda OCD about packing.
What do you like least about travel? The cost of it.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Nothing. I don’t really need any of that crap except candy of course.
Favorite travel app(s): Anything that helps with language and mapping.
Most embarrassing travel moment: It takes A LOT to embarrass me, but I’m pretty sure in insulted a famous sushi chef in Tokyo when I was too hungover to finish the meal I ordered and almost puked.
Worst travel moment: Having food poisoning on my birthday in shitty Rio Gallegos in Argentina. Also, being love sick while traveling is pretty terrible.
What’s your dream destination? Right now I’ve got a hard on for Colombia, Berlin, Budapest, and Morroco.
Favorite travel charity: Anything that’s getting clean water to people who need it.
Best travel tip: Be street smart and be kind. Once you’ve got those two down, everything else comes easy.