The Savvy Traveler :: Bryce

[trip style = various]

When I introduced the once-monthly Savvy Traveler series last week, I promised pilots, pirates and other travel personalities. And though I'm still working on pinning down a {non-evil} pirate, I've secured a pilot!

Bryce flies big planes. He's got wings on his uniform and he wears a hat and aviators when it gets bright. It's in his blood; he comes from a long lineage of pilots. Like "Carol", Liz Lemon's former pilot-fling on 30 Rock, he's a "doorman to the skies". Bryce is also my go-to guy for all things aviation. Given my keen interest in the biz, I'm always asking him a million rapid-fire questions about flying, take-off, touch-down, storms, turbulence, what it's like to be in the cockpit, etc. He's always gracious and indulges my intense curiosity. This is why I'm happier than 18-year-old Frank Abignale Jr. {of Catch Me If You Can fame} dressed head to toe in a Pan Am pilot's uniform, walking through Miami International Airport with an entourage of ladies to feature Bryce in the inaugural Savvy Traveler post. Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat belts for take-off...

1/ What are your top 3 trip styles and why?
When my wife and I travel, I would describe us as trip style = urban because we enjoy major cities and their food, culture and atmosphere. We also like trip style = active & adventure because we love to get outdoors---whether we're hiking or doing whatever it takes to get a feel for the area we're visiting. We also do last minute trip style = weekend getaway(s) well! If we have one free - especially long - weekend, we are gone! We love weekending in Portland, Los Angeles and Chicago, but the one that keeps on getting away from us is Paris. If we can someday do Paris in a weekend, we’d be pretty happy… maybe for our anniversary?

2/ What is always on your packing list?
My Bose noise-cancelling headset. Not just the ones that sit on your ears, but the ones that fully engulf them, not allowing in any ambient noise. It's a great way to escape.

3/ What is your essential travel gadget or app?
My iPhone! I frequent Yelp to find the best restaurants as soon as I arrive in a new city. Then I use Google Maps to take me there. Last week a flight attendant and I were in Regina and found a great café-restaurant called 13th Avenue Coffee House. The 20-min walk was worth it! Bustling, it was full of locals enjoying a street-side patio atmosphere with the evening sun shining. I had a pumpkin curry stew with a house salad. Both were excellent.

4/ What is your favorite destination, hotel or resort anywhere in the world and why?
One of my favorite trips was to Cambodia. My wife and I were there for 3 months volunteering with a non-profit organization working with Cambodian youth. At the same time we would go and explore the country. On one excursion we found an amazing hotel called Veranda, overlooking the ocean and the town of Kep in southern Cambodia. It's situated in a rainforest setting with boardwalks connecting all of the bungalows floating in the jungle canopy. The staff was friendly, the food was amazing and we’d love to go back. This hotel resort added to the already amazing experience we were having in Cambodia. We’ve recommended it to friends, who have stayed there since and loved it.

5/ What has been a cool off-the-beaten-track travel experience?
I was vacationing in Mexico City and stayed at a hotel right on Zocalo Square in the historic part of town. I met a student from Switzerland who was doing his masters in archeology and was in Mexico doing several digs. We hit it off and he took me on a guided tour of several prehistoric sites in Mexico City, as well as the Mexican National Museum Of Anthropology, which has one of the largest collection archeological artifacts anywhere in the world. It was extremely fascinating and gave the trip a depth it wouldn't have had otherwise.

6/ Bonus: Preferred pilot perk?
The {flight} passes we have access to are unparalleled, making most of the world accessible at a low cost. The office view isn't bad either!

{If you know anyone who should be featured in our once-monthly Savvy Traveler series,drop us a line!}

[photo via Bryce]