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: John Blanchette
Occupation: Syndicated Travel Writer, Publicist and TV Producer
Hometown: Sudbury, Massachusetts
Residence: Santa Monica, CA
Short Bio: I began my career as an editor at Harvard University Press following attainment of Bachelors and Masters degrees in English Literature (Harvard University, Boston College) and a Masters Degree in Anglo-Irish Studies (University/Trinity College, Dublin Ireland).
After two years I relocated to San Francisco where I was an editor for the Sierra Club Bulletin for three years. I then received a degree in College Administration (Indiana University). I worked as Student Activities Director at Indiana University, where I was bitten by the entertainment bug and relocated to Los Angeles to do it for real and enter “The Business.” I worked in the Public Affairs office at California State Northridge and earned a Masters Degree in Mass Communications, eventually landing a job as an entertainment publicist.
How often do you fly: Monthly
How many countries have you been to: 15 years of travel writing, 10 countries a year, plus past travel, 200
How many continents have you been to: All except Antartica, which I never expect to visit, and Africa
Favorite American city: Santa Monica year round, Boston any time but winter
Favorite international city: Dublin, Ireland
Least favorite country: Don’t have one
Favorite World Heritage Site: Vienna Opera House
Favorite airline: Swiss, Air Berlin
Favorite aircraft type: 330
Aisle or window: Window, I can sleep without anyone crawling over me.
Favorite airport lounge: Bangkok and Munich
Favorite U.S. airport: Long Beach
Favorite international airport: Zurich
Favorite hotel: Kempenski Bangkok and Ritz Paris
Favorite cruise line: Cunard
Favorite island: Tasmania
Favorite fancy restaurant: Grange in Adelaide, Australia
Favorite hole in the wall: Sausage shop in Zurich Vorderer Sternen Grill
Favorite fruit: Rainier Cherries and Crenshaw Mellon
Favorite food: Shell Fish
Least favorite food: Tie between Durian and Dulse, both are foul.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground) Gin Tonic
Favorite travel movie(s): Casablanca
Favorite travel show(s): Rudy Maxa
Favorite travel book(s): Lonely Planet
Right now I am reading: Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Five things you bring on a plane: Airborne, headsets, camera, phone and passport
What do you always seem to forget: Mouthwash
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Scotch
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Arriving at 6 a.m. for a 9 a.m. flight from LAX to Iceland via New York and not making the plane due to the ineptness of United Air Lines staff who had one person at the ticket counter until 8:05 a.m. and a line of 200 headed to Singapore, most with multiple bags, ahead of me, and the staff would not help me make my plane. I will never knowingly fly United again.
What’s your dream destination: A Cunard Cruise of the Mediteranean
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Travelmedia.com
Best travel tip: Make copies of all you important wallet items including ID, Credit Cards, Medical Insurance, etc., and your Passport and permanently carry the sheet in your briefcase in case of misfortune.