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: Brendan Lee
Occupation: Blogger at brenontheroad.com and freelance writer
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
College: University of Auckland, NZ
College major: Accounting and Tax
Short bio: Hi, I’m Brendan! In a previous life I was an accountant, but have been on the road since 2011. My aim is to show people how affordable and possible it is to travel the world. I share stories and travel tips on my blog, Bren On The Road, hoping to inspire one or two people to grab a plane ticket and see the world for themselves.
How often do you fly? Around 5-10 times a year.
How many countries have you been to? I think I’m in the 30s somewhere.
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: Yearly trips to Australia to visit family during Xmas, when I was still a pre-schooler.
Favorite American city: New York is the only one I’ve really explored properly, and I like it a lot!
Favorite international city: Changes all the time, right now it might be Bangkok.
Least favorite country: If I had to choose, might be Aussie, just because it’s so expensive. Otherwise a great country.
Friendliest people in the world: Filipinos!
Country with the meanest immigration officers: The only place I’ve ever had a problem is in Sydney, Australia.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Machu Picchu—hyped up so much but I thought it still really lived up to it—a lot more than I can say for some other famous sites.
Favorite airline: Air New Zealand—they just keep getting better every year, and not outrageously expensive either. Qatar Airways is another favourite of mine.
Favorite aircraft type: The type that doesn’t crash.
Aisle or window: Aisle—I tend to go toilet a lot.
Favorite airport lounge: I’m not that fancy.
Favorite U.S. airport: None.
Favorite international airport: Singapore Changi—so much to do, so little time.
Favorite ho Hostel Hoff—Moshi, Tanzania.
Favorite cruise line: Not a cruise kind of guy.
Favorite travel credit card: I use an Air NZ Airpoints MasterCard.
Favorite island: Boracay—I was underwhelmed at first, but it very quickly grew on me. I love the vibe there; relaxed, laid back, a friendly tight-knit community. There’s something about that place that really draws me back.
Favorite beach: White Beach de Boracay—very crowded and developed, but still gorgeous.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Got a few—a good recent one was Pink Panda in Manila.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: A tiny make-your-own-noodle shop in Shanghai, no idea what it’s called. I ate there 3 or 4 times a week for an entire year.
Favorite bar: Mint Bar—Boracay. Had a lot of good times at this place.
Favorite fruit: Coconuts—I’m an addict.
Favorite food: Noodles.
Least favorite food: Black liquorice.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Green tea, any time of day. If we’re at the bar though, I’ll go gin and tonic.
Favorite travel movie(s): Into The Wild.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything Anthony Bourdain—a lot of respect for this guy; a true nomad, and one of the originals.
Favorite travel book(s): “The Alchemist.”
Right now I am reading: “The 4-Hour Workweek” a second time.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: , , . All amazing bloggers with a clear love for travel and what they do.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides Hundredbacklinks.com, of course! Skyscanner.com, Travelfish.org, Wikitravel.org.
5 things you bring on a plane: Earphones, Kindle (or phone with Kindle app), lip balm, pen, something warm to wear.
What do you always seem to forget? Enough socks.
What do you like least about travel? The goodbyes. They don’t get easier (in fact they probably get harder!).
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Nothing, I have enough stuff!
Most embarrassing travel moment: Honestly, nothing really comes to mind. I don’t get embarrassed too easily.
Worst travel moment: After spending 3 hours jumping through hoops to get through Mumbai immigration, my airport pickup had given up and left, a bunch of airport staff tried to hustle me, my new hotel tried to hustle me, the concierge tried to hustle me. I only spent 18 hours in Mumbai but felt like I’d been hustled for 3 days. I left with a bad impression, but I’ll be back some day.
What’s your dream destination? Either West Africa or the Caribbean.
Favorite travel charity: . The founder Scott Harrison is a big inspiration of mine, and his organization continues to really amazing things. I wish more people knew about them!
Best travel tip: Slow down. Moving too fast means you miss a lot of things and spend a lot of money. Take time to stop in a place and get under the skin. Make some friends. Walk through the different parts of the city and take in all the sound and smells. Many think the joy in travelling is to move, but you might find that sometimes, the joy is actually in staying still.
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