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.
Occupation: Travel Host
Hometown: Portsmouth, NH
Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Short bio: The host of the upcoming series 50/50 on Travel Channel (Editor’s note: 50/50 premieres this Sunday, October 4, with two back-to-back episodes starting at 7pm ET/PT). Previous shows include Great Hotels, Passport to Europe and Great Weekends.
How often do you fly? It fluctuates from 4 times a month to 16.
How many countries have you been to? 64
How many continents have you been to? 5
Favorite American city: Brooklyn! (It’s actually a borough but still.)
Favorite international city: Berlin.
Least favorite country: Belize, I had a really frightening experience there but I would still like to go back and do more of their eco experiences.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Angkor Archeological Park, Cambodia.
Favorite airline: Singapore, best 17 hours in the air.
Aisle or window: Aisle, I’m claustrophobic.
Favorite U.S. airport: Minneapolis. Ike’s for brunch and a Bloody Mary!
Favorite international airport: Changi, Singapore. They have a butterfly garden for goodness sakes.
Favorite hotel: Shutters at the Beach, Santa Monica, CA.
Favorite island: Mallorca, Spain.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Marisqueria Leo in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
Favorite fruit: The orange—perfect travel food.
Favorite food: Peanut butter.
Least favorite food: Foie gras. Ethical or not I just find it disgusting.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Earl Grey tea.
Favorite travel movie(s): James Bond movies.
Favorite travel show(s): I fell in love with Travel Channel’s Big Family Adventure. Which showed the incredible journey of Bruce Kirby, his wife and their two boys ages 9 and 3 as they traveled from Canada to Tibet using all modes of transportation. Except…wait for it…a plane!
Favorite travel book(s): “The Collected Traveler” is a unique series of travel guides made up of wonderfully written and smartly curated articles on the culture, food, wine, and feel of a place.
Right now I am reading: I’ve been reading “East of Eden” for 5 months—I average one page a night before I fall asleep.
5 things you bring on a plane: Earplugs, my own tea, melatonin, hydrating spray, fuzzy socks.
What do you always seem to forget? Toothbrush—every freakin time.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Sk-11 facial essence. It’s a phenomenally expensive skin treatment that’s actually about 30% cheaper than in regular stores.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Fresh Direct. It’s an online grocery story that delivers. I can be in Nicaragua or the Outback of Australia and still go grocery shopping for my family. I have it delivered the morning after I come home. It’s the only time I feel like I’m super mom. The World Lens feature on Google translate is pretty amazing. Just point your camera at a sign that’s written in a foreign language and it will instantly transcribe the text to English.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Oh, God. When my underwear was placed on top of my luggage going around the baggage carousel. Tip: Never put anything “intimate” in the front pocket.
What’s your dream destination? Finland to see the Aurora Borealis.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! I love Fest300, which details the top 300 festivals held around the world—some great inspiration there.
Best travel tip: If I detect an accent from the check-in clerk or housekeeper I ask what country they are from and where they go to eat their home cooking. A hotel staff can give clues to the cultural aspects of a city that may be too small to be noticed or mentioned in travel guides. For instance, Orlando has a very strong Vietnamese population and therefore they’ve got some pretty good Vietnamese restaurants. Also, where the hotel staff eats is where the locals eat, which means it’s going to be less expensive than the popular spots recommended by concierges.