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: Travis Katz
Occupation: CEO and Co-Founder of Trip
Hometown: Englewood, Colorado
Residence: Menlo Park, California
College: Stanford University (undergrad) and The Wharton School
College major: B.A. Public Policy (Stanford), MBA (Wharton)
Website: Trip.com and you can find my Gogobot Passport at Trip.com/user/travis-katz
Twitter: @gogobot & @traviskatz
Short bio: Trip’s mission is to help people discover great places to stay, eat and play that are perfect for them. Nineteen Tribes (Family Travelers, Foodies, LGBT, etc.) help Trip members get personalized recommendations. More than 16 million people used Gogobot to plan and research places to go in the last year. Trip also has more than 900,000 reviews, four million photos and 60,000 city guides available on both the site and its apps. Travis Katz is the co-founder and CEO of Trip. He is a passionate globetrotter who has been to a zillion countries (actually, 60 and counting). Prior to founding Trip, Travis served as managing director at MySpace International. During his tenure, he launched the brand in 30 countries and grew the user base to nearly 70 million unique visitors. Before MySpace, Travis co-founded Fox Interactive Media, News Corp’s digital arm. He spent several years in the high-tech and economic development sector working at McKinsey & Co and the World Bank, respectively.
How often do you fly? Ten to twelve times per year—mostly for work, but I get a couple of family trips in as well.
How many countries have you been to? Sixty and counting.
How many continents have you been to? Six—everywhere, but Antarctica, and that is definitely on the list.
Earliest travel memory: Catching fireflies in Ohio while visiting my grandparents.
Favorite American city: San Francisco.
Favorite international city: Rome—the city that has everything. I love the food, the wine, the history, the art, and the nightlife. You could spend a year there and never get bored.
Least favorite country: Somalia. The pirates drive me crazy.
I have no desire to go to: Paraguay (sorry!).
Friendliest people in the world: Nepal.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Israel.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Machu Picchu in Peru.
Favorite airline: Virgin Atlantic.
Favorite aircraft type: Black Hawk.
Aisle or window: I’m definitely an aisle guy.
Favorite airport lounge: Virgin Atlantic’s London Heathrow Clubhouse—so awesome I always feel a pang of regret when it’s time to board.
Favorite U.S. airport: United’s new Terminal 3 at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
Favorite international airport: Salzburg Airport (SZG)—this is the lowest stress airport you can imagine. No crowds, no lines, nice people and fresh baked bread!
Favorite hotel: The SoHo Hotel in London.
Favorite cruise line: I don’t cruise.
Favorite travel credit card: Cards without a foreign transaction fee.
Favorite island: Gili Islands, Indonesia.
Favorite beach: Lanikai Beach, Oahu.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Buca Lapi in Florence, Italy.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Would have to be the the Hollybush Pub in London.
Favorite bar: I love Gallow Green, on the roof of The McKittrick Hotel in NYC.
Favorite fruit: I look forward to nectarine season all year.
Favorite food: Pasta.
Least favorite food: Celery.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Red wine if I’m in the air and IPAs when I’m on the ground.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Mission with Robert De Niro—it was the first time I saw Iguaçu Falls in Brazil—totally blew my mind.
Favorite travel show(s): Naked and Afraid—the show is just amazing.
Favorite travel book(s): “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer—inspired me (much to my mother’s chagrin) to go spend six weeks in a tent in the backcountry of Alaska.
Right now I am reading: “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I prefer to learn about travel through the eyes of other everyday adventurers.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Well, if Johnny Jet is already covered, then of course I’d have to say Trip.
5 things you bring on a plane: My laptop, Bose noise-canceling headphones, an iPad, earplugs, and eyeshades.
What do you always seem to forget? Running shoes (or, if I remember them, I forget to use them).
What do you like least about travel? The line at security.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? A good bottle of Scotch.
Favorite travel app(s): Google Maps, Spotify, Uber and of course, Trip.
Most embarrassing travel moment: While I was in Vietnam, I took an overnight bus trip with some friends. We stopped at a bus stop and I got out to use the restroom. Unfortunately the bus took off without me, leaving me alone in the mountains south of Hanoi, miles from any village or a phone at 2 am. My friends were asleep on the bus, so they didn’t realize I had been left behind. I ended up hitchhiking a ride an hour later in the cab of a semi, crowded with three guys who didn’t speak a word of English. Eventually, more than eight hours later, I caught up with my friends at a checkpoint, said goodbye to my new friends and was on my way.
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: Prague.
Worst travel moment: I was in a pretty serious bus crash in Pakistan. (Apparently I have bad luck with buses.)
What’s your dream destination? Bora Bora.
Favorite travel charity: African Wildlife Foundation.
Best travel tip: Be spontaneous and don’t plan everything out. Leave plenty of room in your itinerary to explore and stumble upon amazing experiences you weren’t expecting to find.