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: Jennifer Tombaugh
Occupation: President, Tauck
Hometown: Fairmont, WV
Residence: New Haven, CT
College: Harvard College
College major: English & American Literature
Short bio: Jennifer Tombaugh is President of Tauck, the U.S.-based tour operator serving all seven continents with more than 150 guided travel experiences and events for culturally curious travelers on land, small ship and river cruises. Jennifer oversees Tauck’s Worldwide Operations, Brand Management, Reservations, Guest Relations and Sales & Marketing teams.
During her 17 years at Tauck, her roles have included the launch of Tauck Bridges (family travel brand), the redesign of Tauck reservation systems, a re-launch of tauck.com and the formation of Tauck Ventures, focused on new business development. Jennifer also spearheaded Tauck’s partnership with the acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns and his co-producer Dayton Duncan to form Ken Burns American Journeys.
Prior to Tauck, Jennifer was Group Account Director with the advertising firm Leo Burnett in Taipei, Taiwan; in Brand Management at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia; and a management consultant with Monitor Company. Jennifer is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Fairfield County Business Council, the Board of Visitors at the Jack Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University and the Connecticut River Valley chapter of YPO.
Jennifer lives in New Haven, CT with her husband, four children and two dogs.
How often do you fly? Average 2-4x a month.
How many countries have you been to? 54
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: Flying to visit family in Germany when I was four.
Favorite American city: Boston.
Favorite international city: Prague.
Friendliest people in the world: Thai.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Angkor Wat.
Favorite airline: Qatar.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: BA at JFK.
Favorite U.S. airport: Bradley (Hartford) or Jackson.
Favorite international airport: Munich.
Favorite island: Block Island.
Favorite National Park: Acadia.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Bouley in Tribeca (now closed).
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Yann’s Hot Dogs (Fairmont, WV).
Favorite airport restaurant: Gordon Ramsey’s Plane Food (Heathrow).
Favorite bar: Artesian (The Langham, London).
Favorite fruit: Apricots.
Favorite food: Ice cream.
Least favorite food: Sea cucumber.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Hot tea/champagne.
Favorite travel movie(s): Casablanca.
Favorite travel book(s): “Video Night in Kathmandu.”
Right now I am reading: “Letter to My Daughter” (Maya Angelou); “Thinking, Fast and Slow” (David Kahneman).
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! afar.com; lonelyplanet.com
5 things you bring on a plane: Mints, eye shades, ear plugs, New Yorker magazines (I always have stack of back issues to read!), a scarf/pashmina to stay warm.
What do you always seem to forget? Phone chargers.
What do you like least about travel? Being away from my family.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Something you can’t find in the U.S.
Favorite travel app(s): Skyscanner, Lyft/Uber, Four Seasons, Delta.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Oversleeping my alarm and missing my very first business travel meeting.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Martha’s Vineyard.
Worst travel moment: Flying solo with three bags, a stroller, a car seat, an infant and a toddler.
What’s your dream destination? Bhutan.
Best travel tip: When flying overnight to Europe from the U.S., eat dinner prior and go to sleep as soon as you board.
I am currently on a Rhine river cruise. Our cabin is the last on the floor. It is next to engine room and laundry. The vibrations are making me feel ill. I have asked for help from Frank, the tour manager. He offered me ear plugs. He showed me a cabin for $4,000 more. We paid a lot as it is. I am very disappointed with Tauck. They would rather have unhappy passengers and keep a room empty . What kind of service is that and I will share my experiences with others.