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: Ed Kushins
Occupation: Founder and President, HomeExchange.com
Hometown & Residence: Hermosa Beach, CA
Bio: The idea for his home exchange business came in 1992 after Kushins and his family made their first home exchange from Hermosa Beach CA to Washington D.C. On that trip, Kushins learned first-hand how staying in a home fosters not only a more comfortable experience than a hotel stay, but a unique ‘live like a local’ connection to the city. Inspired by the idea of home exchange as an alternative to touristy, high-priced vacations, Kushins launched a club that same year using a mail-ordered, printed directory. What started an avocation slowly grew to over 1,000 Members, but spreading the word challenging and the cost of producing and distributing the printed directory made it a very expensive hobby. In 1995, Kushins was one of the first to recognize the potential influence of the Internet to expand the reach and lower the costs, and shifted the company to an online community. Not only was HomeExchange.com one of the first Internet-based companies, it was one of the first social communities, particularly within the travel industry. Today, the company has more than 46,000 Members across 150 countries and the website is translated into 15 different languages. Thousands more are joining each month.
How often to do you travel: I’m very lucky that we travel quite a bit. When we take a “vacation” we always find many opportunities to talk about HomeExchange, and when we travel for “work”, it’s usually someplace we can have some fun. All in all, we are probably out of town 10-15 times a year, sometimes for weekend getaways, maybe three weeks to Europe. And of those trips, 2 to 4 will be on home exchanges
How many countries have you traveled to: 50
How many continents have you been to: 6
Favorite American city to visit: New York City, Las Vegas and Kona
Favorite international city to visit: Paris and London
Favorite airport in the US or abroad: Zurich
Aisle or Window seat: Either (if First Class). Me – Window. Wife – Aisle
Favorite travel show: House Hunters / House Hunters International, Selling New York, Selling LA
What travel magazines/newsletters do you currently read: AFAR, Budget Travel, Travel Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler
Favorite travel iPhone app: United Airlines App, Flyertalk, Kindle/Audible
Best travel tip: Travel light, carry-on only. Travelsmith pants with hidden zipper pockets. Scan all travel docs >>> Google, skydrive or dropbox. Get medivac insurance for overseas trips.