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: Ric Gazarian
Occupation: Travel Influencer
College: Boston College
College major: Political Science
Short bio: Ranked as a Top 1000 Travel Blogger by Rise Media (ranked 69th as of May 31st, 2017), Ric Gazarian has travelled to over 100 countries (110/193) and all 7 continents. He blogs at GlobalGaz where he writes about off-the-beaten path locations, unique experiences and must-see places. His photographs and articles have appeared in The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Yahoo Travel, Thrillist, and Oi magazine. He is a three time published author: “Hit The Road: India,” “7000 KM To Go” and “Photos From Chernobyl.” He podcasts at Counting Countries, where he interviews people have traveled to every country in the world. He is also the Executive Producer of top-selling Hit The Road: India, and the upcoming adventure-travel documentary, Hit The Road: Cambodia. He is the Chapter Leader of Bangkok Travel Massive and organizer of the 2,000-person travel networking group, the Bangkok International Travel Group. Ric is the winner of the Most Captivating Digital Story at the 2016 Digital Innovation Asia Awards.
How often do you fly? Approximately 50-60 segments a year.
How many countries have you been to? 110. My goal is to travel to all 193 countries. This is where I have been so far.
How many continents have you been to? 7
Earliest travel memory: As a kid I remember traveling to the Caribbean with my parents and playing on the beach.
Favorite American city: Too many to list…Boston, Chicago, LA, New Orleans…
Favorite international city: Yerevan. Been here every year since 2003. It has changed so much, and is quite a cosmopolitan city today with a great café culture.
Least favorite country: Ethiopia. Did not have any genuine interactions with the locals.
Friendliest people in the world: Thai friendliness lives up to its reputation.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I recall the Belarus officials yelling at me a bit.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Two amazing must-see sites: Angkor Wat and Taj Mahal.
Favorite airline: The Gulf state airlines usually do a decent job, but when I am in economy (which is most of the time) it is sort of all the same to me.
Favorite aircraft type: Always nice to be on a 787.
Aisle or window: Aisle and always happy for a free upgrade.
Favorite airport lounge: Qatar Lounge in Doha. This place is pretty spectacular, with a sit down restaurant, and tasty hummus.
Favorite U.S. airport: Boston, since it means I am going home to visit family and friends.
Favorite international airport: Always nice to fly into Koh Samui airport with its tropical feel, since the airline is open air.
Favorite hotel: One time I got a crazy upgrade at the W in NYC. A suite with my own private 700-square-foot patio. And another awesome upgrade at Mandalay Bay in Vegas. This room was a two-bed/two-bath apartment, with a mahogany dining room table that sat eight. Unfortunately, I was there for only one night.
Favorite cruise line: CelebrityX. I went on an amazing cruise to the Galapagos. Amazing service and experience.
Favorite travel credit card: Currently I have been using Barclay Arrival card a lot.
Favorite island: Maldives. Lived up to my very high expectations. The beach, the water and the snorkeling were a dream.
Favorite beach: The beach at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme where the snorkeling was amazing.
Favorite National Park: A lot of great parks in southwest South Dakota. Badlands are beautiful.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall bar: MaryAnn’s the bar I bartended at in college in Brighton, MA.
Favorite bar: I had a great week hanging out at the Red Lion in St. Petersburg many years ago.
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Hummus.
Least favorite food: Any seafood/fish.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): I always enjoy a caipirinha, margarita or mojito.
Favorite travel movie(s): I hope a little self-promotion is allowed. I produced a full-length documentary, Hit The Road: India. It follows me and my friend as we drive a rickshaw 2000 km across India.
Favorite travel book(s): One of my favorite books is “Shantaram.” An intriguing and compelling read on India. Here is a list of some of my favorite books.
Right now I am reading: “Sapien” by Yuval Noah Harari. A fascinating read.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! TheBestTraveled.com. It is a great resource and a highly detailed way to track your travel. Flightconnections.com is also a great resource to figure out flight itineraries.
5 things you bring on a plane: iPad is one of the most important items I bring on the plane. A great opportunity to read books, magazines, listen to podcasts, or watch a film.
What do you like least about travel? Some of the visas are difficult and expensive to get. Typically, flying is not the most fun, but it is a necessary evil.
Favorite travel app(s): TripIt is an incredibly handy app to organize all reservations. Google Maps is so helpful when figuring out logistics especially in conjunction with Rome2Rio. Skyscanner is also one of the first places I start with when choosing flights.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Ireland. Potentially saving this for the last country to visit.
Worst travel moment: A difficult moment, but maybe one of my best travel stories. It was being detained and quarantined for five days on the Tibet/Nepal border.
What’s your dream destination? Everywhere I have not been yet.
Favorite travel charity: I have volunteered at Mercy Centre for the last three years. It has been a great experience.
Best travel tip: One tip would be to scan all of your documents from passport to credit cards to your license and store them in Dropbox. You will always have a backup.