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Meet John Chavez

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As we continue our series on introducing you to the newest volunteer team members for Go to Travel Gal, I’d like to introduce you to John Chavez, who serves as assistant editor. John’s role includes updating regular weekly and monthly blog posts, as well as writing new posts and sharing some of his amazing trips. You’ll find him at home in Pasadena, California.

Here are John’s answers to our Q&A:

1. What’s your favorite travel card?

My favorite travel credit card is Chase Sapphire Reserve. (Here is Lyn’s review of that card).

2.  What’s the best trip you’ve taken using miles and/or points?

We went to the Netherlands and stayed in a great hotel using Starwood Preferred Guest points, as well as the Sheraton in Stockholm.

3.  Do you have a great travel hack to share?

When I travel, I NEED my caffeine. I’m pretty frugal, so I always use the complimentary coffee, that is, usually, in my room. However, a few times, I’ve been in hotel rooms without a coffeemaker, but with a kettle.
For those situations, I always bring Starbucks’ instant coffee, or Via, for my caffeine fix. This save me money and time. (I won’t mention the time when there was no kettle available, nor a nearby coffeeshop, so I just I added Via to a water bottle, shook it, and voila, (cold) coffee!).

4.  What’s something you never travel without?

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. You can find it now at Trader Joe’s, Target and REI. It can be used for anything that requires cleaning, including laundry, bath and even teeth.

5.  How often do you travel each year?

Now that I’m retired, I’d say about three to six times per year. My wife still works, so that is our major limitation.

6.  What’s your travel style?

John Stonehenge
John Chavez at Stonehenge

I tend to use points for flights and hotels. I will pay for airfare if it’s cheaper than using points (for example, a trip to London cost me just more than $100 per way for me AND my wife).

As I get older, getting an upgrade on seats becomes increasingly more important. My wife is pickier when it comes to accommodations, so we tend to spend more on lodging.

Otherwise, when I travel alone, a single bed in a small room is perfectly fine, though we won’t do hostels anymore. When I travel solo, I’ll only eat twice and cheap takeout is fine. I’m a very frugal traveler 🙂

7.  Where did you go on your longest flight and how long was it?

My 17-hour flight was from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia.

8.  Have you had the Southwest Companion Pass and if so, for how long?

Yes, Lyn inspired us! We used it for about 15 months. I’m considering getting it again this year.

9.  Where is your next trip?

We just got back from London, and I’m going to walk the full 500-kilometer Camino De Santiago in April.

10.  When you aren’t planning or going on your next trip, what might we find you doing?

John C.

I’m a big dog lover and I walk mine 5 miles every day. I love reading, movies and hiking. I also work closely with a Catholic marriage ministry called WorldWide Marriage Encounter.


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