Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.

Name: Johnny Jet
Title/bio: Travel writer | Editor-in-Chief,, a website for travel deals, reviews and tips
Twitter/website: @JohnnyJet |
Born in: South Norwalk, Connecticut
Currently living in: Manhattan Beach, California, and on airplanes

1. Where would you rather be right now?
One of the problems of travel addiction is that you are always planning your next trip even when you’ve just landed in a new destination. But I wouldn’t mind being in southern Italy, Rowayton, Connecticut, Nantucket, the South Pacific, Australia or Hong Kong right now.

2. Famous person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
The President of the United States. I’ve always wanted to take a spin in Air Force One.

3. Tourist must-see you think is actually a “must skip”:
Madame Tussauds. I just don’t understand why people would pay to see dummies.

4. Your most stranded, “oh-my-[deity]” travel moment:
I was scheduled to check into the Taj Palace in Mumbai, just 36 hours after the 2008 terror attacks. When the tragedy occurred, I was in a remote part of India on a tiger safari. When I read the breaking news email alert, my eyes opened wide and my heart started to pound. The emails started pouring in from concerned friends and family. Scared and outraged, I was forced to spend an extra night in the jungle before making the trek to Nagpur and then on to Mumbai. My family thought I was crazy for flying into the madness and not returning home the way I had arrived (via Europe). But I wasn't going to let cowardly terrorists deter me from continuing on with my round-the-world trip.

5. Best (or worst) person/people you’ve had to sit next to while travelling:
By far the best was my mom. Just when I was starting out as Johnny Jet she was diagnosed with cancer. When she recovered from her first nine-hour operation I said, "Mom when you get better we’re going to Denmark." She said "No, I can't I'm in chemo." I pressured her and pressured her, and finally she asked the doctor to give her a week off. He did, and she began to pack (a month early). I cashed in some miles and treated us to our dream trip.  First class tickets to places we only imagined about going. London (to shop and see theatre), Paris (to see where she would’ve studied if she took that scholarship from Parsons), and the most important place: the island of Fyn in Denmark. When we were landing in Copenhagen, I looked over at my Mom staring out the window; she had tears rolling down her face. She finally got to tour the house my grandfather grew up in and meet long lost relatives. She was so cute and appreciative. The full story is here.

6. Strangest meal abroad:
Eating freshly picked huhu grubs (worm larva) in New Zealand or foal (yes, horse meat) and puffin on the same plate in Iceland.

7. If someone was visiting your town, what’s the one thing you’d show them?
The beach at sunrise -- it’s completely different than it is during the day. A close second would be a game of beach volleyball as that’s a great introduction to SoCal [Southern California].

8. Travel-related invention you wish existed:
A trap door where I could pull the lever on all the rude people.

9. Your most embarrassing travel faux pas:
I was at Club Med Opio in the south of France and signed up for a massage. I arrived for my appointment and the pretty receptionists handed me a robe and showed me to the men's locker room. I put my clothes in a locker, donned the robe and went out to the waiting room. The masseuse then escorted me to the room and she said something in French, which I didn't understand, and then she said, "Voila". Usually, after being led into the therapy room, the masseuse steps out so you can get your naked body on the table and under a towel so no one has to witness what's beneath the robe. But when she said, "Voila!" again and motioned for me to get on the table, I gathered she was telling me to drop the towel and hoist my naked arse up onto the table. I didn't want to look like a dumb American so I did as I was told and just… well, dropped the towel. Whoa Nelly! You should've seen this scene. I don't know who was more surprised -- the masseuse or my reaction to her reaction! After I let it all hang out, she let out a little scream and quickly turned around. I instantly grabbed the towel from the table and covered you-know-who. With her back to me and one hand over her eyes, she handed me some paper underwear. It turned out that the women at the front desk had “forgotten” to give me the disposable underwear. I think they were playing a little joke since I remembered them giggling when I checked in.

10.  Coolest mode of transport you’ve taken:
The coolest is when I went on a hot air balloon safari in South Africa. We just hovered above the trees at dawn watching all the wild animals run from us. (Here are some pics and video.)

The other was a "bili-bili" in Fiju. To get to one of the world's most incredible beaches (Nuku Balavu) you need to take these little bamboo rafts that hold up to two adults. They are operated by incredibly balanced kids who steer it with a long bamboo reed in the warm, shallow water.  

11. Travel-related film or book that inspires you to pack your bags:
Lost in Translation and Bill Bryson’s book, In a Sunburned Country

12. The travel story you’ll never stop bragging about:
I was on the inaugural of the longest commercial flight in the world -- Singapore to Newark (18.5 hours) -- and I used to be afraid to fly!

13. Lay on us a priceless bit of travel advice or wisdom: 
1. Always be nice to everyone.  2. Bring a box of chocolates for the gate agent and/or flight attendants. They can make or break your trip.