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: Jake Redman
Occupation: SiriusXM Host/Producer and Founder of Modhop.com
YouTube: Jake Redman
Short bio: Jake Redman is the founder and host of ModHop. In addition to producing and hosting shows on SiriusXM Radio, he travels, spending his time in airports, lounges and hotels. He shares his findings on ModHop.com to help others determine whether travel upgrades are truly worth the extra cost.
How often do you fly? It varies. If I had to average I’d say 5-6 times a month.
How many countries have you been to? Somewhere north of 30.
How many continents have you been to? I’ll admit it. I thought it was 4 until just right now. Costa Rica is technically in North America. Thanks again Google.
Earliest travel memory: On a plane making a quick hop to Chicago as a kid I exclaimed on takeoff (loudly) “Hey! We’re doing a pop-a-wheelie!!”
Favorite American city: Like most that live in it, I have a love/hate relationship with NYC. Commute times and summer smells are tough, but they’re a small price to pay for the privilege of living and working in such a culturally rich city.
Favorite international city: As a tourist I love Barcelona. Great people, amazing food…and Gaudi.
Least favorite country: Don’t have one.
I have no desire to go to: …bed at night. I always feel like I’m going to miss something.
Friendliest people in the world: Minnesotans.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: I’ve been hassled more times by our own (US) than anywhere else. Unpleasant at times, but never “mean.”
Favorite World Heritage Site: Angkor (Cambodia) was a recent visit so it stands out in my mind. Amazingly complex and beautifully woven into nature over time.
Favorite airline: It’s a toss-up. Cathay Pacific vs. Singapore. Both offer consistently good service in all cabins.
Favorite aircraft type: 787 Dreamliner.
Aisle or window: Aisle. I HATE crawling over people just to use the washroom.
Favorite airport lounge: Tough question actually. The Cathay Pacific Lounges at HKG are very nice. But domestic? Probably the Amex Centurion Lounges. Food options are better than average and I just like how they’re designed.
Favorite U.S. airport: MSP-It’s my hometown so I’m a little biased. Unfortunately, my favorite local business spot at Terminal 1 (Lindburgh) is going away. Get to Surdyk’s Flights for pre-flight wine and cheese while you can!
Favorite international airport: Seoul Incheon. There’s an odd calm to this airport even when it’s busy.
Favorite hotel: Starwood anything…at least until Marriott takes over.
Favorite cruise line: Never been on a cruise. Ever.
Favorite travel credit card: For everyday spend it’s the Chase Sapphire Preferred. For benefits it’s a tie between my Amex Platinum and Amex SPG Business cards.
Favorite island: Barbados.
Favorite beach: Any that isn’t crowded and comes with a good umbrella. I’m SUPER pale.
Favorite National Park: I should probably go to one. I hear they’re beautiful.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I never remember the names of these places (because it’s rare that I’m at one).
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: O’Niels Hoboken (NJ) smells like a bar (because it is) but has amazing burgers. Eat outside.
Favorite bar: Cherry Tavern NYC. Get the “Tijuana special” (Tecate beer + tequila) if you’ve got the stomach for it. I did, once.
Favorite fruit: Cantaloupe.
Favorite food: My wife’s picadillo.
Least favorite food: Eggplant.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Gin + tonic. I like some high-end specialty gin, but Hendricks is my current “go-to.” In the winter months I might favor a White Russian.
Favorite travel movie(s): I’m willing to bet it’s common but Lost in Translation. “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.”
Favorite travel show(s): Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. I see few travel hosts treat locals with genuine appreciation like Andrew does. His graciousness and foodie fearlessness is a winning combination.
Favorite travel book(s): I avoid travel books and just take hop-on hop-off tours. I’m lazy like that.
Right now I am reading: “Killer Brands”…It’s a marketing book I found for free in the SiriusXM vending area. Can’t wait to read the chapter: “Word of mouth: Leave your book laying around in employee break rooms.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Budget Travel, Travel + Leisure, CNTraveler.com
Favorite travel website(s)-besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Modhop.com (disclosure: mine), The Points Guy, One Mile at a Time.
5 things you bring on a plane: Not sure I bring five things on most flights. Internationally I’ll bring my Obusforme inflatable neck pillow (if flying in economy), a small tablet and a DIY amenity kit that’s got a toothbrush/paste, lotion and any other small necessities.
What do you always seem to forget? It’s different every time. It was a belt on my most recent trip, my video camera on another. Always something no matter how many checklists I make.
What do you like least about travel? People who are rude to undeserving airline staff. The aircraft door is closed, it’s not going to re-open. Go get a beer.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Gin.
Favorite travel app(s): LoungeBuddy. Finding an accessible lounge is so much easier since this handy app found my phone. Love it.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I’ll be honest. There have been a few bratty tantrums about carry-on size. My conspiracy theory: All “does it fit?” sizers are all different sizes.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Anywhere in South America or Africa.
Worst travel moment: Approaching customs after a long flight home to JFK we realizing that the baby needs Global Entry too.
What’s your dream destination? There are so many but Machu Picchu (Peru) is one that I’d like to cross of the list soon.
Favorite travel charity: Not sure if they’re “travel” charities but we give regularly to Unicef and Compassion International.
Best travel tip: Be courteous and patient with people. They’re human, like you.