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: Jessica van Dop DeJesus
Occupation: Travel and Food Writer, Founder of The Dining Traveler Blog, Content Creator, and Information Systems Officer in the Marine Corps Reserve
Hometown: Rochester, NY/Guayama, Puerto Rico
Residence: Washington, DC
College: BA: State University of NY at Albany; MS: Boston University
College major: BA: Double Major Spanish/Latin American Studies; MS: MBA
Facebook: The Dining Traveler
Google+: The Dining Traveler
YouTube: The Dining Traveler
Short bio: Jessica van Dop DeJesus of Washington, DC is the editor of the food and travel blog The Dining Traveler. She began traveling as a young US Marine 17 years ago and has been to 40 countries on and off duty. She spent most of her post-collegiate years overseas, starting with a tour of duty in Okinawa, Japan and most recently spent 6 years in Belgium (with a year in Germany in between) as a graduate student and NATO international staff member. She comes from a bi-cultural upbringing as she split her childhood between Puerto Rico and Western NY State. All of these experiences give her broad perspective on food and travel. Her content has been featured in publications such as Travel Channel, USA Today, Where Traveler, Jetset Extra, Budget Travel, Edible DC, Telemundo, and INK361.
How often do you fly? 10-15 times a year.
How many countries have you been to? 40
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: Niagara Falls with my parents when I was 5.
Favorite American city: Washington, DC.
Favorite international city: Bangkok.
Least favorite country: Tough, I’ve enjoyed all of my travels in one way or the other.
I have no desire to go to: Antarctica. To me travel is about meeting people and the thought of going to a place with very little people doesn’t excite me.
Friendliest people in the world: Thailand, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: USA. They took my jamon de bellota at EWR, still bitter…
Favorite World Heritage Site: San Juan National Historical Site, Puerto Rico.
Favorite airline: Korean Air.
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 777.
Aisle or window: Window!
Favorite airport lounge: Barcelona.
Favorite U.S. airport: ATL.
Favorite international airport: Incheon, South Korea.
Favorite hotel: Mandarin Oriental Taipei.
Favorite cruise line: Only been on one cruise, Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas.
Favorite travel credit card: United Mileage Plus Visa.
Favorite island: Puerto Rico.
Favorite beach: Playa Flamenco.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Oval Room, Washington, DC; Astrid & Gaston, Santiago, Chile.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Stalls in Pinones, Puerto Rico.
Favorite bar: POV at W Hotel, DC, best views!
Favorite fruit: Mango and Guava.
Favorite food: Anything with octopus!
Least favorite food: Fast food.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Water.
Favorite travel movie(s): Under the Tuscan Sun, The Motorcycle Diaries, Y Tu Mama Tambien.
Favorite travel show(s): Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
Favorite travel book(s): “1000 Places to See Before You Die.”
Right now I am reading: Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Travel and Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, and Conde Nast Traveler.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! AFAR, Travel Channel, and Where Traveler.
5 things you bring on a plane: Laptop, scarf, socks, magazine (even in this digital age), smartphone.
What do you always seem to forget? Chargers! I always have one in my luggage!
What do you like least about travel? The lack of flexibility with plane tickets.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Wines and food items.
Favorite travel app(s): Yelp, Vivino, Booking, XE, Google Translate, OpenTable.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Tipping in Japan at a bar and having the bartender follow me to the dance floor to return the $.
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: More of Latin America, given that I studied the culture thoroughly in college and Spanish is my first language.
Worst travel moment: Being on a C-130 from Kuwait to Baghdad during my deployment in 2005. Fear of the unknown.
What’s your dream destination? A stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora.
Favorite travel charity: Ballou International (a DC high school) travel program.
Best travel tip: Don’t leave for tomorrow a trip you can take today. Life is too short!