Jen Pollack Bianco

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: Jen Pollack Bianco

Occupation: Writer slash photographer turned travel blogger

Hometown: LAX

Residence: Rimowa Salsa Air luggage


Twitter: @LAX2NRT

Facebook: Jen.Pollack.Bianco


Bio: Jen Pollack Bianco is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer and travel blogger who runs the multi-media travel diary, My Life’s A Trip. An expert at marrying pop culture and travel, Jen has flown to Iceland for a Foo Fighters concert and jetted to Pyongyang, North Korea to see the Mass Games. Jen has visited 74 countries. She is also at the forefront of the budding mobile photography movement. Her iPhoneography featured on prominent websites it has been displayed in galleries in Miami, New York, Berkeley. In April 2012, her iPhone video work will be shown at The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCA) as part of their A Pocket Full of Vision Exhibit in conjunction with the Mobile Photo Awards.

How often do you fly: Internationally usually twice a month. Anything less than 10 hours is just commuting. Last year I flew over 200,000 miles.

How many countries have you been to: 74 thus far, including all of the communist ones.

How many continents have you been to:  6 of the 7 (need something on my “to-do” list)

Favorite American city: Other than LA, New York and San Francisco (tie)

Favorite international city: Tokyo  

Least favorite country:  Costa Rica

Favorite World Heritage Site: Hard to pick just one. The temples of Cambodia’s Angkor and Egypt’s Giza are standouts. Also, Argentina’s Iguazu Park and the falls are exceptional. Jordan has Petra and Wadi Rum.

Favorite airline:  Cathay Pacific

Favorite aircraft type:  A380

Aisle or window: Aisle

Favorite airport lounge:  The Wing, Cathay’s Hong Kong lounge

Favorite U.S. airport:  LAX

Favorite international airport:  Hong Kong International

Favorite hotel:  I can’t pick only one. Imanta Punta Mita and Eichardt’s Private Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand are both intimate and fit perfectly with their environments.

Favorite cruise line:  I love the canal boats that you can take in Amsterdam. I rented one for my birthday one year.

Favorite island:  Koh Samui

Favorite fancy restaurant:  Le Bernardin

Favorite hole in the wall:  l Torquati in Rome.

Favorite fruit: mango  

Favorite food:  sushi

Least favorite food: Lufthansa coach once served a corned beef and cabbage that was criminal.

Favorite travel movie(s): All the James Bond films, Lost In Translation, Midnight in Paris

Favorite travel show(s): No Reservations, An Idiot Abroad

Five things you bring on a plane:  a camera, eye shades, iPad, headphones, saline eye drops.

What do you always seem to forget:  To turn off my international data roaming on my iPhone.

Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Award Wallet, Uber car service (I use it in NY, and they just launched in LA and Toronto), Taxi Magic, the Expedia Hotels app is fun, Hotel Tonight, and XE mobile app for international currency conversion.

Favorite travel book(s): Off the Rails in Phnom Penh: Into the Dark Heart of Guns, Girls, and Ganja by Amit Gilboa

Most embarrassing/worst travel moment:  Realizing I was wearing a t-shirt that said “Make Love, Not War” on the back to a brunch filled with war veterans on ANZAC day in Australia. That was all kinds of awkward.

What’s your dream destination: I’d really like to get to Bhutan. And I’d really like to see the gorillas in Uganda.

Favorite travel website(s) – besides, of course!: I read Gadling, The Points Guy, and the Room Critic blog. 

Best travel tip: If you are a US citizen who travels more than 2 times a year internationally, sign up for the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program. It’s such a time saver their even rolling it out for kids. Best $100 I’ve ever spent on travel

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