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 Roberts
Occupation: Freelance travel writer and owner of InTheLoopTravel.com
Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.
Residence: Ewing, N.J.
College: St. John Fisher College and Syracuse University
College major: Business and Broadcast Journalist (graduate degree)
Facebook: In The Loop Travel
Pinterest: John Roberts
Google+: John Roberts
YouTube: In The Loop Travel
Short bio: I took my first international trip after the age of 35 and caught the travel bug from there. Now, past 50, I love to seek out adventure and active ways to experience new places, usually aiming to show people how to save money and stay fit on a cruise. I aim to redefine what is possible for trip on a ship—whether ocean or river cruises, or megaships or expeditions.
How often do you fly? I’ll fly on about 30 to 40 trips a year, and at least 75% of the flights along the way will face delays. You learn to expect it as the norm, unfortunately.
How many countries have you been to? 50ish.
How many continents have you been to? 5
Earliest travel memory: Going on a road trips to Gettysburg, Cooperstown and camping in the Adirondacks with my family.
Favorite American city: Denver.
Favorite international city: Budapest.
Least favorite country: I haven’t been to a bad one yet!
I have no desire to go to: India. Maybe someday, but at this time I would simply say on my relationship with India: It’s complicated.
Friendliest people in the world: A tie: the Burmese and Cambodian people.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Angkor Wat and Kotor, Montenegro.
Favorite airline: Southwest.
Favorite aircraft type: Anything that takes off and lands in good form.
Aisle or window: Aisle. I’m 6-foot-4 and need to stretch my legs a lot. I must be the row captain.
Favorite airport lounge: United’s Polaris Lounge at EWR.
Favorite U.S. airport: Sky Harbor in Phoenix.
Favorite international airport: Schiphol.
Favorite hotel: Westin Lagunamar in Cancun.
Favorite cruise line: UnCruise Adventures for expeditions; AmaWaterways for rivers; Viking for oceans.
Favorite travel credit card: SPG Amex.
Favorite island: Bonaire.
Favorite beach: Mullet Bay, St. Maarten.
Favorite National Park: Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: El Fish Fritanga in Cancun.
Favorite airport restaurant: I have no favorite. I will look for sports on TV and hopefully some good beers and maybe a healthy option.
Favorite fruit: Tie: pineapple and banana.
Favorite food: Anything Greek or Mexican.
Least favorite food: Tried a scorpion in Cambodia. Not good.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Any local craft beer that helps me get a taste of the region or destination.
Favorite travel movie(s): Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Favorite travel show(s): I loved both Ewan McGregor epic motorcycle trip documentary series: Long Way Round and Long Way Down.
Favorite travel podcast(s): “Amateur Traveler Podcast.”
Right now I am reading: “A Time of Gifts” by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: National Geographic Traveler, Cruise Travel and Porthole Cruise.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! CruiseCritic.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb.
5 things you bring on a plane: Bluetooth ear buds for watching Netflix; travel pillow; sanitizing wipes, travel socks, EC Technology Power Bank charging block.
What do you always seem to forget? There is no one thing that I always forget. However, I regularly seem to forget one little cord or charger attachment for a device. I have learned to leave the travel items/gadgets in the backpack and have the “home” items in their places at home.
What do you like least about travel? The getting there: specifically airports and cramped airplane cabins.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Pyrat rum.
Favorite travel app(s): TripIt and Google Maps.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Exhausted after a long, sleepless flight to Lisbon, I slept 12 straight hours, woke up just in time to rush to the port and left behind my pants and tablet computer. I had known about the tablet and the hotel was great to agree to send it over to the port before I sailed away in a cruise ship. I was surprised when they had also found a pair of pants in the closet that I had forgot about, too.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Australia.
Worst travel moment: Losing my wallet in the Rome airport in between trips on my way to Santorini. Luckily, a friend who was headed to another gate area heading back to the USA saw it on the floor of the shuttle and worked hard to get it back to me past all the security obstacles. I must give special mention to the Alitalia Airlines employee who brought my wallet to me at my gate just in the nick of time.
What’s your dream destination? Antarctica.
Best travel tip: When considering a souvenir, really think about getting something that can help you recall the trip fondly and can have a positive impact on the lives or economy of the place you are visiting.