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: Gavin DeGraw
Hometown: South Fallsburg, NY
Residence: Nashville, Tenn.
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Short bio: Gavin DeGraw is a multi-platinum selling singer, performer and songwriter. He first broke through with the 2003 release of his debut album, Chariot, which sold over one million copies, earned platinum certification, and yielded three hit singles: “I Don’t Want To Be,” “Follow Through,” and the title-track, “Chariot.” Gavin’s self-titled second album debuted at No. 1 on the digital sales chart and at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart in 2008, earning Gavin his first Top 10 album. It spawned the hit singles “In Love With A Girl,” which Billboard dubbed “a rocking homerun,” and the gold-certified “We Belong Together.”
In 2009, Gavin released Free as a gift to his die-hard fans clamoring for recorded versions of Gavin’s live favorites. His third studio album, Sweeter, was released in September 2011 and produced the smash single, “Not Over You,” co-written with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder. The track reached #1 on the Hot AC charts, was a top 10 hit on Top 40, and was certified double platinum. In 2013 DeGraw released his fourth studio album, Make A Move, which included the hit song “Best I Ever Had,” and garnered rave reviews from such publications as Billboard, People and Entertainment Weekly amongst many others.
In addition, Gavin was nominated for his first Grammy for “We Both Know,” the song he co-wrote with Colbie Caillat for the 2013 film, “Safe Haven.” Since then he has been consistently touring around the world, including sold out dates with the legendary Billy Joel. Gavin’s fifth studio album, Something Worth Saving, which features his current single “She Sets The City On Fire,” will release to all digital and physical retailers beginning September 9th via RCA Records. In support of the album, DeGraw will head out on a co-headlining 2016 North American tour with Billboard chart topping recording artist Andy Grammer. The show will kick off with a homecoming show in Bethel, NY on August 28th.
How often do you fly? A LOT
How many countries have you been to? Not enough.
How many continents have you been to? Oh man, my geography teacher would kill me.
Earliest travel memory: Just going for drives with my family during the summer time when we were kids
Favorite American city: I’ve lived in New York and Nashville—and I love them both. For a musician, there are no better places to live and create. Otherwise—New Orleans. Great food, late nights and no last call. Did I mention food?
Favorite international city: I honestly don’t have one favorite city. I’m lucky enough to be able to tour all over the world and every city has its own unique characteristics. From the weather to the charm, to the venues I get to play, to the personalities of the locals, there are so many variables that makes it hard to choose one.
Least favorite country: I love travel, so I can’t say that I have an answer for this. If you look hard enough, you can find something great in every destination.
I have no desire to go to: Tourist traps. I like the “real” world, authentic experiences when I travel.
Friendliest people in the world: My fans. Any city, any venue, they are always terrific. And they give us the energy and inspiration to always perform at our best.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I guess I’ve been lucky—haven’t come across any mean ones yet!
Favorite World Heritage Site: It’s the same as my favorite National Park—Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains!
Favorite airline: The one that gets me from A to B fast and safe.
Favorite aircraft type: I’ve been very fortunate enough to fly private a couple times, and nothing beats that!
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: The one with the hottest and freshest coffee.
Favorite U.S. airport: Probably Nashville because it’s so easy to get in and out and when I land there, I know I’m home.
Favorite international airport: I really do love them all. It’s a very different experience than the US ones.
Favorite hotel: That’s easy. Hotels from Curio – A Collection by Hilton. They’re for independent-minded travelers, like me, who want an authentic local experience. Each one is unique and connected to the destination, which allows me to discover some of the best-kept secrets in each location.
Favorite cruise line: I love them all because the atmosphere on cruises is so positive—similar to being at a concert, you know everyone is just there for a good time.
Favorite travel credit card: Any card without a foreign transaction fee—I travel a lot, so I want to make sure that I can use my card wherever I go.
Favorite island: I’m tempted to say “Manhattan” or “Long Island”—who doesn’t love New York? But to just kick back and get away from it all, any Caribbean island will do just fine.
Favorite beach: I’ve always loved Florida’s beaches—so many to choose from! One special beach is in Hollywood, where you can enjoy the clear, blue water of the Atlantic and the boat-friendly expanse of the Intracoastal Waterway. There are so many great restaurants and places to explore in the area, and the Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood, Curio Collection by Hilton is just a short walk from the beach, the historic boardwalk and great South Florida seafood restaurants. And, of course, the nightlife!
Favorite National Park: I’ve lived in Nashville the last few years, and you can’t beat the Great Smoky Mountains national park just a few hours away. There’s no place in the world more peaceful.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I’m not always into fancy restaurants, but when I’m in Philadelphia I love to stop by Assembly, the rooftop lounge at The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton. There’s something great about upscale hotel lounges—this one has fire pits, champagne cocktails and some of the best views in the city.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: There’s no way I could limit it to just one! Every town’s got that one great raggedy place to kick back and have fun. That’s why I love staying with Curio: they really help me seek out the local gems.
Favorite bar: I love The National Underground in Nashville—and not just because my brother, Joey, and I own the place. We’re renovating it and it will reopen soon as The Nashville Underground.
Favorite fruit: Chocolate-covered cherries and seedless watermelon.
Favorite food: I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy!
Least favorite food: Fast food.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): A pot of coffee!
Favorite travel show(s): I don’t watch much TV, but I did shoot a show for The Travel Channel called Life On Tour where I was a tour guide in and around Nashville and got to showcase a few of my favorite places in town.
Favorite travel book(s): Rand McNally Maps.
Right now I am reading: Lyrics to a new song I’m working on in my bus on tour.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! How about CitiesbyCurio.com? It features travel guides to five cities on my current tour, from one of my favorite writers…me!
5 things you bring on a plane: Well, definitely my “travel” hat! And a guitar, of course. Hmmm—to get to five, how about three friends?
What do you always seem to forget? My pocket knife. It’s my favorite tool, and since I can’t take one with me on the plane I usually forget to stow it in my checked luggage.
What do you like least about travel? Cookie-cutter experiences. When you’re on the road all the time, it can start to feel like running on a hamster wheel. That’s why I try to stay at Curio—A Collection by Hilton properties, where each hotel has its own distinctive character
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Nothing’s better than home-grown wine or spirits that you can’t find back in the U.S.
What’s your dream destination? The next one. I’m on the road a lot, and that can be tiring. But I’m always excited to explore a new place.
Best travel tip: Take the time to explore the off-the-beaten-path spots, those hidden gems only locals know about. There’s more to travel than the tourist-y sites.