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: Russell Hannon
Occupation: Ultra-Economical Travel Expert
Hometown: Moncton, New Brunswick
Residence: Calgary (when not traveling)
College: Mount Allison University
College major: Commerce
Facebook: Break the Travel Barrier
Short bio: Ultra-Economical Travel Expert Russell Hannon is the founder of Break the Travel Barrier and author of the upcoming book “Stop Dreaming…Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More and Spending Less” (Release date: June 23, 2015).
How many countries have you been to? I have been to 17 countries.
Earliest travel memory: It was a summer camping trip to Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.). I must have been about 5-years-old.
Favorite American city: New York City is always a thrill to visit.
Favorite international city: I tend to have a bias toward places I have visited most recently, but Venice has always stood out as a very unique and special place.
Friendliest people in the world: Everyone I’ve ever met under the Oktoberfest tents in Munich.
Favorite airline: WestJet (Canada). They have the friendliest flight attendants.
Aisle or window: Aisle for daytime flights (so I can go to the washroom as I please), and window for night time flights (to lean on the window).
Favorite travel credit card: I prefer cards that allow me to transfer my points to any of a number of loyalty programs. My rule of thumb is to stick to credit cards that offer all of the following: 1) A sign-up bonus redeemable for at least a free round-trip flight or two hotel nights, 2) No annual fee the first year, 3) Either a free checked bag benefit OR an annual companion pass for $99 or less.
Favorite island: Boracay, Philippines.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I’ve had many great meals (and evenings) at Nove Italiano at the Palms in Las Vegas.
Favorite bar: Munich’s Oktoberfest tents.
Favorite fruit: Last year I tried mangosteen for the first time and I was immediately hooked.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): In the air: red wine. On the ground: my morning coffee—with skim milk, no sugar.
Favorite travel movie(s): Back to the Future—if only we could time travel.
Favorite travel show(s): I have spent many Sundays watching these shows: 1) Boundless is a show where Simon & Turbo compete in the most challenging races in the world. Each episode is based in a different part of the world. 2) In Scam City, Connor Woodman pretends to be a vulnerable tourist that lurking scammers take advantage of. Everything is filmed with hidden cameras and film crews in the distance. The New Orleans episode gave me nightmares. 3) If I could choose any travel buddy for one trip, it would be Anthony Bourdain. I cannot get enough of his shows.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Three newsletters that impress me every week with great deals: Sherman’s Travel, Independent Traveler and Budget Travel.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! The websites I turn to for the best price on flights and hotels are Hipmunk.com, travelpony.com, skyscanner.com and kayak.com.
5 things you bring on a plane: You won’t catch me on a plane without my iPod, something to read and snacks. I also like to write when flying so I always have my PC.
What do you always seem to forget? My raccoon eyes (to cover my eyes when sleeping on a plane).
What do you like least about travel? Sitting in an undersized airline seat on the tarmac.
Favorite travel app(s): I’m always looking for ways to stretch my travel dollar. Hopper is a new app that analyzes your flight criteria and uses historical data to tell you the least and most expensive days to purchase flights. It even predicts future prices by date.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I once had a rude bartender serve me in Whistler. Upon paying, I decided not to tip her which is when she pointed out that I forgot to give her something. When I explained I did not tip her because of what she said to me, she stood up on the bar, pointed to me and called out to the entire restaurant I was a cheap guy who wouldn’t tip her. Ouch!
Worst travel moment: The aftermath of having my wallet and all my identification stolen in Las Vegas.
What’s your dream destination? The day I can say that I’ve had the fulfillment of seeing and doing all that I had ever hoped for.
Best travel tip: Don’t plan another trip until you read “Stop Dreaming… Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More and Spending Less.”