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: Dan Riskin
Occupation: TV Host and Producer
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
Residence: Toronto, Ontario
College: University of Alberta (BSc), York University (MSc), Cornell University (PhD)
College major: Biological Sciences
Short bio: Dan Riskin, PhD, is a television personality, scientist, and author. He is best known in Canada as the co-host of Discovery’s flagship science program, Daily Planet. In the US and elsewhere, he is recognized as the host of Animal Planet’s hugely successful show about parasites, Monsters Inside Me. To make science accessible and interesting to wide audiences, Dan has appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Dr. Oz Show, and on several news outlets, including CTV, CNN, and CBS. Dan has published more than 20 papers in scientific journals, including Nature, mostly about the biomechanics of bats. His first popular book, “Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You” was a Canadian bestseller.
How often do you fly? Maybe a dozen times a year.
How many countries have you been to? I’ve never counted! Let me try…OK I think 29.
How many continents have you been to? All but Antarctica (so, six).
Earliest travel memory: Road trips from Edmonton to Vancouver.
Favorite American city: Providence, RI.
Favorite international city: I was recently in Stockholm and it was wonderful.
Least favorite country: There are many governments I’m not a fan of, but every country is worth exploring, I think.
I have no desire to go to: Does not apply. There’s something to learn EVERYWHERE.
Friendliest people in the world: Americans (the nice ones, anyway).
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I’m not answering that. Are you trying to get me banned from a country? Because that’s how you get me banned from a country.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
Favorite airline: They’re all the same, really.
Favorite aircraft type: Any fighter jet would be fun.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: Whichever one I can get into for free that day.
Favorite U.S. airport: I have fond memories of PVD.
Favorite international airport: Paris CDG.
Favorite hotel: I don’t really have one.
Favorite cruise line: Not my bag of chips.
Favorite travel credit card: The company card.
Favorite island: Anguilla.
Favorite beach: East Shoal Bay (Anguilla).
Favorite National Park: Jasper.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I always feel a little out of place in fancy restaurants.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: One I haven’t been to before.
Favorite airport restaurant: Free food in a lounge is always the tastiest.
Favorite bar: The Red Fez in Providence RI (first date with my wife).
Favorite fruit: Apple.
Favorite food: Sushi.
Least favorite food: Grapefruit.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Water.
Favorite travel movie(s): Until the End of the World.
Favorite travel show(s): Daily Planet on Discovery Canada.
Favorite travel book(s): “On the Road” by Kerouac.
Right now I am reading: “Abandon Statistical Significance” by McShane et al. It’s pretty compelling.
5 things you bring on a plane: Laptop, headphones, ticket, passport, trail mix.
What do you always seem to forget? I’m on a pretty good streak without forgetting anything. Thanks for jinxing that.
What do you like least about travel? The time from getting to the airport to the time you get in your seat on the plane.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Chocolate.
Favorite travel app(s): TripIt—once my plans are in there I can just forget about them.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Forgetting my laptop at security in BOS (I got it back).
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Canada’s north.
Worst travel moment: I filter those out. Best not to dwell. You have to be a Zen Buddhist about travel.
What’s your dream destination? Borneo.
Favorite travel charity: Bat Conservation International (it’s not a travel charity, but it’s at least international).
Best travel tip: Go for a run wherever you are. It’s a great way to get a sense of where you are.