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: Justin Walter
Occupation: I’m a freelance travel host, producer, writer and I own a small business called Reality Rush (realityrush.com) that runs adventure teambuilding events
Hometown: Naperville, IL—a suburb about 45 minutes outside of Chicago
Residence: Los Angeles, CA (more specifically Los Feliz)
College: Boston College, go Eagles!
College major: Political Science
Facebook: Around The World With Justin
Pinterest: Around The World with Justin
Google+: +Justin Walter
How often do you fly? I’m averaging about a few flights a month these days and hoping that number goes up!
How many countries have you been to? 38, I have a lot more scratching to do on my scratch map.
How many continents have you been to? 5/7—missing Africa and Antarctica.
Earliest travel memory: I come from a close-knit, Midwest family and as a kid we used to take trips to visit our extended family across the U.S. I have very fond memories of going to the Wisconsin Dells with my Italian cousins, growing up on Disney and Universal in Florida and beach bumming it in Stone Harbor, New Jersey.
Favorite American city: I have to say it, Los Angeles! For the bad wrap that LA can get, I genuinely love having access to so many outdoor adventures directly in LA and within a driving distance. There aren’t too many places in the US you can go skiing and surfing in the same weekend, let alone in one day! Recently I also visited Chattanooga, Tennessee and absolutely loved it. Within a 45-min drive there are so many world-class outdoor adventures including hiking, hang gliding, white water rafting, skydiving, rock climbing, and more. A small town with big adventure!
Favorite international city: So far my top include Queenstown (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia), Chiang Mai (Thailand), El Calafate, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Pembrokeshire (Wales), and Hvar (Croatia).
Least favorite country: The most underwhelming country I’ve been to in my recent travels was probably Panama.
I have no desire to go to: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
Friendliest people in the world: Thai and Filipino.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Too many too choose from! On my list include: Los Glaciares National Park & Iguazu Falls (Argentina), Uluru (Australia), Angkor (Cambodia), Grand Canyon & Yosemite (US), and Ha Long Bay (Vietnam).
Favorite airline: These days any airline that surprises me with meals! I remember first ever being wowed by Qantas. Also a fan of Virgin.
Favorite aircraft type: One I can skydive out of.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: Sadly, I’ve never been in an airport lounge!
Favorite cruise line: Carnival Cruise’s Fathom Travel! I had an incredible experience in the Dominican Republic participating in impact activities in the Puerto Plata surrounding area. On top of the service aspect, I just had such a fun time and met lifelong friends. Next up, a trip with them to Cuba!
Favorite travel credit card: I use BOA Travel Rewards.
Favorite island: Pulau Tiga, Borneo—as a Survivor superfan visiting the location where season 1 filmed was a dream come true! (aroundtheworldwithjustin.com/pulau-tiga-borneo)
Favorite beach: The many beaches of the remote islands of El Nido, Palawan in the Philippines. Also Whitsunday Islands (Australia), Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), Stone Harbor (New Jersey).
Favorite bar: In Los Angeles—Big Wangs, Happy Endings & Brennan’s Irish Pub… all home to my flip cup tournaments that I’ve run for over nine years.
Favorite fruit: Pineapple and mango.
Favorite food: My mom’s homemade Italian cooking, Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza (pepperoni and black olives please).
Least favorite food: You won’t catch me near white condiments like mayo or ranch, and keep mustard away from me!
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Long Island Iced Teas or Moscow Mules.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Favorite travel show(s): Survivor, The Amazing Race.
Favorite travel book(s): Lonely Planet guidebooks.
Right now I am reading: “The 48 Laws of Power,” “Love Languages” and rereading “The Alchemist.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Matador Networks, AFAR, Who Needs Maps.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Kayak, Skyscanner, Lonely Planet.
5 things you bring on a plane: A Survivor buff to use as a blindfold (and pretend I’m on the show), travel guidebooks wherever I’m going, Toms shoes, a lightweight long sleeve shirt, journal.
What do you always seem to forget? If I leave anything behind it’s most likely my phone charger.
What do you like least about travel? That at a certain point it ends!
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Booze, but better yet something local to the region they’re visiting. I love getting local bracelets from where I travel so if someone got me one of those it’s special.
Favorite travel app(s): Trail Wallet, Travel Stoke, Instagram.
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: Most of Europe, BUT I finally just got back from a trip to Wales that I won through Travel Massive!
What’s your dream destination? Iceland has been on my list forever and I’m Italian and also need to get to Italy. The Serengeti is also high on my list.
Best travel tip: Instagram is actually an amazing travel resource! When I’m planning a trip or in a country I use hashtags as inspiration on where I want to go and what I want to do. I reach out to people on it for advice and have made friends off it.