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: Christopher Elliott
Occupation: Consumer advocate
Hometown: Vienna, Austria
Short Bio: Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate, multimedia journalist and professional speaker known for his practical advice and creative solutions to customer-service problems. His work is shaped by a drive to help people, drawing on the best traditions of investigative reporting and service journalism. He’s the author of “Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals” (Wiley), a manifesto for empowering consumers and encouraging corporate responsibility. Elliott is National Geographic Traveler’s reader advocate and a nationally syndicated columnist through Tribune Media Services, which distributes his columns to publications from the Seattle Times to the Miami Herald. He writes a weekly column for The Washington Post and is a personal finance blogger at Mint.com.
How often do you fly: Rarely, if ever. Most of my trips are by car.
How many countries have you been to: I haven’t counted.
How many continents have you been to: I don’t really keep track of that – sorry. Definitely less than seven.
Favorite American city: Oh, that’s a hard one. I’d say it’s a toss-up between Santa Fe, Savanna and Monterey.
Favorite international city: Venice.
Least favorite country: I would say I’m not in love with some of the former Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe, like Bulgaria and Romania, but it’s been a while since I’ve visited.
Favorite airline: I don’t have one.
Favorite aircraft type: I miss the Concorde.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: I don’t collect airline miles or participate in loyalty programs, so I never get into the lounge.
Favorite U.S. airport: Orlando.
Favorite international airport: Amsterdam.
Favorite ho I’m going to plead the Fifth. Sorry.
Favorite cruise line: Really, I can’t say.
Favorite island: The Big Island. I love the Florida Keys, too.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Remy’s on the Disney Fantasy.
Favorite hole in the wall: Sharkeys in Key Largo. It’s my favorite dive bar.
Favorite fruit: Pink Crisp Apples.
Favorite food: Whatever my doctor tells me not to eat, which covers a lot.
Least favorite food: Whatever my doctor tells me to eat.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground) Seltzer on ice with a lime. Looks like G&T but you get to watch everyone else make a fool of themselves.
Favorite travel movie(s): I know The Descendants wasn’t a travel movie, per se. But it’s about one of my favorite destinations, Hawaii, and the writing in it was so good. I liked the soundtrack, too.
Favorite travel show(s): I don’t have a TV. I’m too busy saving the world. Although I have caught a few episodes of The Newsroom on my computer, and that looks like fun.
Favorite travel book(s): The Accidental Tourist.
Right now I am reading: Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup.
Five things you bring on a plane: I don’t really fly, but when I do, I try to remember my three children. Also important: my common sense and my sense of humor.
What do you always seem to forget: My sense of humor.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Chocolate. But please don’t tell my doctor.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): WorldMate Gold
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: Being recognized by TSA agents.
What’s your dream destination: Home.
Best travel tip: If something goes wrong, call me.
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