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: Chris Hassan
Hometown: Boston, MA, USA
Residence: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
College: University of Massachusetts at Amherst
College major: Hospitality—Hotel & Restaurant Management
Facebook: Fly Family Fly
Pinterest: Fly Family Fly
Google+: Fly Family Fly
YouTube: Fly Family Fly
Short bio: While studying hospitality at UMass Amherst I had the opportunity to spend six months at a famous hotel & restaurant management school in Switzerland. Besides the gorgeous surroundings and great education, that is where I met Caline who would eventually become my wife! We got bit hard by the travel bug while in Europe and haven’t been able to stay in one place for long since then. After spending some time working at luxury hotels in the US, we decided to move to Brazil to work with Caline’s family. We have been here for six years now and have a beautiful young daughter named Emily. I started our blog, FlyFamilyFly.com, as a way of documenting and sharing our trips with a little one in tow.
How often do you fly? We average about six international trips, as a family, per year—often to visit family. There are usually some business trips mixed in there as well.
How many countries have you been to? Chris: 16 Caline: 20 Emily: 3
How many continents have you been to? Chris: 4 Caline: 5 Emily: 3
Earliest travel memory: Renting a summer cottage on Cape Cod with my family.
Favorite American city: Besides Boston? We love San Francisco. A great city that is so close to Napa Valley is hard to beat.
Favorite international city: London. Such a beautiful, culture-rich city.
Least favorite country: Don’t have one!
I have no desire to go to: Iraq…I mean, at least not anytime soon.
Friendliest people in the world: Easy, Brazilians!
Country with the meanest immigration officers: USA. Come on guys, you are the first impression for our country!
Favorite World Heritage Site: The Historic Center of Mexico City. Absolutely breathtaking when you are in the cathedral and can look down onto Aztec ruins. Crazy stuff.
Favorite airline: jetBlue! Why can’t other American carriers learn how to smile too??
Favorite aircraft type: Tough question! The Boeing 747 is so iconic and eye-catching…but the Airbus A380 is just so damn big!
Aisle or window: Window. I don’t like people walking over me when they need to pee.
Favorite airport lounge: The new American Airlines Admirals Club in Rio is excellent.
Favorite U.S. airport: Boston Logan Airport (BOS). Great dining options, decent lounges, and it is really easy to get to by car or public transportation.
Favorite international airport: Johannesburg, South Africa. We visited right after the World Cup, it was brand new and gorgeous.
Favorite hotel: Park Hyatt New York.
Favorite cruise line: Royal Caribbean—go on one of the big ships, they are awesome!
Favorite travel credit card: Citi Prestige—so many built in perks, but the 4th night free at any hotel is one of the best.
Favorite island: Nantucket, MA—it is just perfect.
Favorite beach: Forest Beach, Hilton Head, SC.
Favorite National Park: Wow, I just realized how few National Parks I have been to. From my small sample size, I would have to say the Florida Everglades—it’s a whole different world in there.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Mistral in Boston. Great food, but not too stuffy.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: The Hub Pub in Boston. It was our go-to spot for drinks after work or company softball games. Cheap pitchers of beer, great fried food, and Golden Tee.
Favorite bar: Belmonte in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro. A classic Rio bar in a great neighborhood. Grab a table outside, since most nights it gets so crowded that people are often drinking on the sidewalk anyways, enjoy a cold Chope (draft beer), and do some people watching.
Favorite fruit: Bananas—they are very travel (and toddler) friendly.
Favorite food: Steak—medium rare. Throw in a lobster tail if you are feeling generous.
Least favorite food: Bacalhau, which is basically just dried and salted cod fish. It is extremely common here in Brazil, and Caline and I both hate it. Yet we enjoy fresh cod.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): We don’t discriminate. We love a good red wine or maybe a craft beer, but sometimes a cocktail is in order! Morning flights deserve a Bloody Mary, of course.
Favorite travel movie(s): Catch Me If You Can—talk about travel hacking!
Favorite travel show(s): I will watch anything Anthony Bourdain does.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Travelzoo.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! TheFlightDeal.com, MelhoresDestinos.com.br, OneMileAtATime.com, ThePointsGuy.com.
5 things you bring on a plane: Noise-cancelling headphones, eye mask, neck pillow, iPhone & melatonin. All unnecessary when flying business or first.
What do you always seem to forget? To tell our credit card companies that we are traveling…
What do you like least about travel? Jetlag.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Whisky, please! Too damn expensive in Brazil!
Favorite travel app(s): FlightTrack for getting flight updates, but looking forward to checking out the new Google Trips app. Snapchat is a fun way to share our travels, follow along @chrisdanhass!
Most embarrassing travel moment: When I got caught bringing a new laptop into Brazil and was taxed US$500. That sucked.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Paris. Ok, let’s go!
Worst travel moment: After an overnight flight from Rio to New York we couldn’t land because of rough weather at the airport. We were forced to circle JFK for about an hour in relatively heavy turbulence. After about 40 minutes someone finally puked…and that set off a chain reaction. It was terrible.
What’s your dream destination? Antarctica.
Favorite travel charity: Points for Peace.
Best travel tip: Plan ahead, and when things don’t go to plan…make the most of it!