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: Kurt Koontz
Hometown: Boise, Idaho
Residence: Boise, Idaho
Bio: Kurt Koontz had taken quite naturally to adventure travel—mostly by bicycle across Europe and the Western U.S. and Canada, so he thought he was prepared for his 490-mile hike on the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain—a trek captured in the 2010 film “The Way” starring Martin Sheen. At 48-years-old, Kurt was fit and strong, had all the right equipment and his pilgrim passport would grant him access to hostels along the way. But all of that, however helpful, did not begin to prepare him for the challenge of the physical and emotional adventure. His book, A Million Steps, chronicles his journey on the 1,300-year-old route and navigates through his personal history of addiction, recovery and love. Kurt currently lives on a tree-lined creek in Boise and travels the country speaking about adventure travel, addiction and recovery, as well as corporate motivation.
How often do I fly: About once a month.
How many countries: 20+
How many continents: 3
Favorite American city: NYC.
Favorite international city: Amsterdam, the most unique city in the world.
Least favorite country: I’ve never had a bad time on any trip.
Favorite World Heritage Site: In September of 2012, I walked the Camino de Santigo in Spain. I have taken many grand adventures in my life, but this one really knocked my socks off.
Favorite airline: Southwest is always friendly and always on time!
Favorite aircraft type: Luxury private jet (still waiting for my first invite).
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: I enjoy the hospitality at the Delta Crown Room.
Favorite US airport: Boise. It is the start and end of every adventure.
Favorite international airport: Schiphol in Amsterdam. In 2006, I literally assembled my bike by the baggage claim and rode out the front door. 45 days and 2,000 road bike miles later, I flew home from the same spot.
Favorite hotel: Parker-Palm Springs. There is an eclectic elegance that permeates the soul of this resort.
Favorite cruise line: Don’t have one.
Favorite island: Maui. I spent a dream summer in college working at a friend’s ranch on the island.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Barbacoa in Boise, Idaho. I have traveled the world and cannot find a restaurant to match this establishment. The food, art, service, flatware, desserts, and presentations are the most unique that I have ever experienced.
Favorite hole in the wall: Dots in Austin, Texas.
Favorite fruit: Honeycrisp apple.
Favorite food: Tacos.
Least favorite food: Noodles.
Drink of choice: Vanilla Latte.
Favorite travel movie: Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Favorite travel show: Rick Steves.
Favorite travel books: Brierley Guides.
Right now I’m reading: David And Goliath Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Five things you bring on a plane: iPod, H2O, Kindle, Silk Eye Cover, and Xanax.
What you always seem to forget: Nothing comes to mind.
From duty-free: I skip them. I like adventure, not things.
Favorite travel iPhone app: Lingolook Flashcards. They say what I can’t.
Worst travel moment: I was on a 6 week solo bicycle trip in Europe. At the end of a 90-mile day, I lost a pannier with ½ of my stuff. A bad hair day (and I am bald).
Dream destination: New Zealand. Just a matter of time.
Favorite website: Amazon.
Best travel tip: Go today and leave all expectations behind!