Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers on useful resources, favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.

Name: Tom Carter

Occupation: Travel Photographer / Author of CHINA: Portrait of a People

Hometown: San Francisco City

Residence: Shanghai

Short Bio: Travel photographer Tom Carter (1973) was born and raised in the City of San Francisco and graduated with a degree in Political Science from the American University in Washington, D.C. Following a political career with a number of high-profile state and national campaigns, Tom decided to “peek over the fence” and subsequently spent 18 months backpacking down the length of Mexico, Cuba and Central America. Tom later spent one year in Japan, one year in India, and four years in the People’s Republic of China, travelling extensively throughout the country’s 33 provinces and autonomous regions. The result was his first book, CHINA: Portrait of a People, hailed as the most comprehensive book of photography on modern China ever published by a single author.

How often do you fly: Rarely

How many countries have you been to: I’ve traveled all of China, all of India and all of Mexico, and Cuba Central America.

Favorite American city: My hometown San Francisco

Favorite international city: Tokyo or Beijing

Least favorite country: I’ll let you know after I’ve been to them all

Favorite hotel: Any youth hostel

Favorite island: Hainan, China

Favorite fancy restaurant: I don’t eat at fancy restaurants

Favorite hole in the wall: All of them, especially in Tijuana

Favorite fruit: Mango

Favorite food: Anything Mexican or Chinese

Least favorite food: Meat; I’m a vegetarian

Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Dr. Pepper, except it’s not sold in China

Favorite travel movie(s): Does “Almost Famous” count?

Favorite travel show(s): I don’t watch TV

Favorite travel book(s): Anything by Gary Jennings

Right now I am reading: Red Rock: The Long Strange March of Chinese Rock & Roll by Jonathan Campbell

Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines: Beijinger, That’s Shanghai, City Weekend China

Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Reddit

Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Almost dying in China from Encephalitis

What’s your dream destination: Traveling ALL of Africa

Favorite travel charity: Myself; I’m a charity case. 

Best travel tip: Throw away your guidebook, venture off the beaten path, and immerse yourself in the local culture.


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