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: Eric Hiss
Occupation: Travel Writer & Blogger
Hometown: Los Angeles
Residence: Los Angeles
Twitter: @spiritedtravel; @wandermelon
Short Bio: Regularly navigating the world in search of off-the-beaten path and enlightening stories, award-winning travel writer and photographer Eric Hiss has contributed to dozens of publications and blogs including Conde Nast Traveler, Delta Sky, and the Los Angeles Times. During a career spanning nearly two decades, he has written about everything from Bollywood’s film industry to trekking in search of jaguars with Amazonian tribes. Passionate about the intersection of new media and travel, Eric co-founded the global travel blog wandermelon.com, and also consults with tourism destinations and major hotel brands assisting them with their online presence. Several years ago he also accomplished what many consider an impossible feat (at least according to an Eighties song), he wrote a popular guidebook about walks throughout his hometown of Los Angeles. And sharing his love of the business and craft, Eric currently teaches aspiring travel writers at WritingPad.com and MediaBistro.com.
How often do you fly: Once per month
How many countries have you been to: Not sure. I have never counted countries, women or Christmas presents in my life. Not a numbers game for me.
How many continents have you been to: I guess all except Antarctica.
Favorite American city: San Francisco
Favorite international city: Havana
Least favorite country: Never met a country I didn’t like, they all have something to offer.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Taj Majal
Favorite airline: Toss-up between Cathay Pacific and LAN
Favorite aircraft type: Boeing 747-400
Aisle or window: Aisle, Business Class, Upper Deck
Favorite airport lounge: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines
Favorite U.S. airport: Bob Hope/Burbank: In-out, bing-bang.
Favorite international airport: Hong Kong
Favorite hotel: Four Seasons Bora Bora
Favorite cruise line: My friend’s Cal 40 sailboat. Not a fan of big cruise ships.
Favorite island: Bora Bora or Cuba, toss-up.
Favorite fancy restaurant: La Chevre d’Or, Eze, France.
Favorite hole in the wall: Lighthouse Deli, Hawi, Hawaii
Favorite fruit: Mango
Favorite food: Mexican
Least favorite food: Overwrought anything
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): In the air, water, on the ground, Mezcal, neat.
Favorite travel movie(s): Darjeeling Limited, The Beach, The Way
Favorite travel show(s): Anthony Bourdain/No Reservations; Andrew Zimmern/Bizarre Foods
Favorite travel book(s): Stranger in the Forest/Eric Hansen; Fatu Hiva/Thor Heyerdahl
Right now I am reading: Eastern Body, Western Mind/Anodea Judith
Five things you bring on a plane: iPhone, laptop, headphones, magazines/book, sense of humor
What do you always seem to forget: Sense of humor
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Cuban cigars
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Skype, NYTimes, Instagram, Hootsuite, Yelp, Google Maps
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Forgot passport in customs in Cancun (returned next day!); Strip-searched in Guam (not guilty!)
What’s your dream destination: It was French Polynesia, but since I have been, now Antarctica.
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Besides Johnny’s, my own baby: wandermelon.com , also WorldHum.com and Guardian UK blog.
Best travel tip: Leave your expectations at home. Go with the flow and enjoy the surprises…