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Featured Traveler: Brian Solis

Brian Solis is an analyst, an author, a keynote speaker, and a tech-savvy traveler. How tech-savvy? How many travelers have their own mobile app? Solis has an international background—the son of a Madrileña, he began traveling at a young age, and has since made it a habit. Here, Solis shares some of his travel background and expertise with us from years on the road and in the air.

Right now I’m in London at the St. James’s Hotel and Club. Though I would much prefer to be back in Reims at Chateau Les Crayeres drinking champagne.

Occupation: Author of What’s the Future of Business.

My next trip is to Mexico City to speak at a financial conference.

See our complete guide to a local's Paris

See our complete guide to a local’s Paris

My last trip took me to Paris staying at Hotel du Collectionneur for events tied to my book launch and also Trianon Palace in Versailles for a conference hosted by L’Oreal.

A village photo of Villefranche sur Mer from the coast is my most treasured travel souvenir.

Favorite hotel: Can’t say that I have just one, but I do have a favorite in every city I visit. Perhaps right now, I’m enjoying Hotel Costes in Paris.

Favorite restaurant: Bistro Paul Bert in Paris and In-n-Out Burger in California.

Favorite shopping destination: A spice market in Turkey.

Favorite local style/most stylish place: I visit Montmartre every time I visit Paris. Reminds me of the Lost Generation and the artistic movement of the day.

Plugged-in or unplugged? When did unplugged become an option?

Public transportation, cab, or bike? Public, cab, and now Uber.

If you’re spring in Tokyo don’t miss the Cherry Blossom festival or harvest in Napa or Sonoma!

Preparation: guidebook, online research, or seat of your pants? All of the above. Thanks to social networks and apps, I am informed!

A local's guide to Istanbul

A local’s guide to Istanbul

Favorite airport and why? The airport in Istanbul. The Turkish Airlines lounge is by far the most fun I’ve had in an airport other than the Virgin Atlantic lounge at JFK. You get a local flare with a global twist. It’s a lot like EPCOT in Orlando!

Three travel apps you can’t live without: Google Translate, Metric, and TripIt—and Uber as a bonus app.

What’s the one hometown place you miss most while traveling? I miss Meatpacking and SOHO in NY, Santa Monica in LA and SOMA in San Francisco—it’s the part of the city and everything in it that I can’t get enough of.

First thing you do when you get home: Check in via Foursquare.

Where do you always take out-of-town friends? We make the usual runs to San Francisco, Napa, Monterey, et al. Most of the time I take them to Un Bon Bistro, my backyard restaurant just for family and friends where I cook for them!

Favorite travel book: I usually read bookmarked articles about the future of tech, business and digital anthropology. Maybe it’s boring, but it’s the only way to stay on top of my game.

Biggest travel mistake? Flying in to beautiful countries and leaving within 24-48 hours rather than booking extra time to see its treasures. I tend to make this mistake a lot. For some reason, I’m always convinced that there’s something more important at home or the office. I’m usually wrong. It can always wait.

Favorite foreign word or phrase: Et voilà!

Favorite foreign tradition: I enjoy the various toasting traditions in each country before an important drink!

Travel has taught me to be humble, respectful, and to appreciate that every culture has something beautiful and insightful to offer. I believe that there is such a thing as a global citizen.

Photo courtesy of Brian Solis.