Dan Fellner is a six-time Fulbright fellow, university instructor, and freelance travel writer and photographer who has visited more than 120 countries and all 50 states in the U.S. He has had more than 85 travel articles published in various magazines and newspapers around the world.
In 1998 Fellner joined Arizona State University as a faculty associate and has taught courses in print and broadcast journalism, public relations, international mass media, intercultural communications and travel writing. He is also a faculty affiliate with ASU's Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies, and currently teaches courses in travel writing, Eastern Europe, Asia, and other foreign destinations for ASU's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).
In 2017 he was named to the Society of American Travel Writers. He has been a Visiting Fulbright Professor at universities in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova and Indonesia.
His personal blog is Global-Travel-Info.com.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Dan: I've been travelling for most of my adult life. When I was just 7, my father gave me an atlas and I couldn't put it down. I've been hooked on learning about and visiting foreign places ever since.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Dan: I enjoy visiting less touristy, off-the-beaten-path destinations with fascinating cultures. Places like Greenland, Kosovo, Myanmar, Swaziland and Uruguay are examples.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Dan: It's hard to narrow it down to just one. Every place I've visited has something unique to offer. But I'd put Greenland, Albania and New Zealand at the top of the list.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Dan: Cuba. I finally had the chance to get there in the summer of 2018 on a Holland America cruise. Havana was amazing!
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Dan: Tabasco sauce, particularly when I go to Eastern Europe where the food tends to be on the bland side. I like my spicy food!
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Dan: Try to immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible. Get away from the tourist traps and interact directly with the locals. You'll have a much more enriching experience.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
Dan: I was named to the Society of American Travel Writers in 2017 and have found that to be a collegial community of fellow travel writers and photographers.
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Dan: Cuba. Now is a good time to visit because there's a chance it will become off-limits again to Americans.
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
Dan: Cruisecritic.com, Vacationstogo.com, TripAdvisor.com.
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
Dan: Use an airline credit card to book your tickets as you'll get early boarding and incur no fee for checking bags.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you've ever been given?
Dan: Always learn to say "please" and "thank you" in the local language.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Dan: Being a victim of crime or a terrorist attack. It's safer in many foreign countries than in America. The only time I've ever been a crime victim was when I lived in Michigan.
TA: What's a travel scam travelers should be wary of?
Dan: I've had some bad experiences with taxi drivers. Many meters are rigged so it's best to negotiate a flat fee. If they say the fare will be based on the meter, I don't get in the cab. Whenever possible, I take mass transit or Uber.
TA: Which country has surprisingly good food?
Dan: I love the food in Thailand. They have the best street food in the world!
TA: What was the most romantic place you ever visited with a partner?
Dan: The Four Seasons in Bali. Incredibly beautiful and romantic setting!
TA: What is the most beautiful and affordable city you've ever visited?
Dan: Chiang Mai, Thailand is wonderful. Ancient city with so many beautiful temples. And it's very cheap -- in terms of hotels, restaurants and sightseeing tours.
TA: Which underrated destination deserves to be more famous?
Dan: Quito, Ecuador. Set in the mountains, it has a temperate climate and so many things to see and do. It's one of my favorite cities in South America.