Nick Valensi of The Strokes on His Worst Travel Experiences and the One Airport He Never Wanted to Leave

Dec 11, 2016

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Nick Valensi sure could use a vacation. When the musical shark isn’t playing guitar with The Strokes, he’s fronting his own band, CRX, which is currently touring behind its exceptional debut album, “New Skin.” Here, the stylish Valensi reveals what once happened to his favorite guitar during a trip and the strange item he can’t seem to travel without.

What’s your worst travel horror story?

It sucks when the airline loses your stuff. On a trip to Japan, I was without my luggage for four days and had to buy a bunch of clothes that were all kind of too small for me. Another time, an airline lost my most prized guitar for six weeks and when I got it back, it was practically destroyed.

What’s your secret to a successful trip?

Go with the flow, surrender to your surroundings and don’t complain too much.

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

Kyoto, Japan, is one of the most remarkable places I’ve been to. I also really love driving across the US.

Where have you always wanted to go but haven’t yet?

Morocco.

What’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken?

15 hours or so.

What items can you not travel without?

This is strange, but I like to travel with a coffee pour over kit. I have a mini-electric kettle and a hand grinder for the beans. The coffee setup takes up more room in my suitcase than my clothes. My wife thinks I’m crazy.

Favorite hotel?

I’ve done many extended stays at The Bowery Hotel in New York, so it feels like kind of like a second home to me.

Got any packing tips?

No, I’m a terrible packer.

Are you a points guy?

Yeah, you know it, of course.

How often do you fly?

I fly between New York and LA pretty often.

How do you use your frequent flier miles?

I usually save my points for business-class upgrades.

Where is the last stamp on your passport?

Australia.

What’s your favorite place to do a weekend getaway?

Palm Desert, CA.

Check your bag or carry it on?

Carry on if I can, of course. When possible, I like to ship toiletries and heavy jackets ahead of time.

Favorite airline?

Cathay Pacific.

Favorite airport?

I spent six hours in Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and didn’t want to leave.

Favorite credit card?

Amex.

Window or aisle seat?

I’’m 6’4.” Aisle.

Day flight or red-eye?

On a flight that’s longer than 10 hours, I like to leave late at night. I stopped doing the LA-New York red-eye because it’s too short to actually get sleep.

Are you TSA pre-approved?

C’mon, man, of course.

Featured image of The Strokes courtesy of TK.

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