For McCool Travel’s 107th travel interview, I am happy to present Sarah Dandashy of Ask a Concierge. I read once that universal ideal dream jobs are owning a restaurant and operating a B&B. For me, being a concierge has always been a desire. I love extracting information from concierges, finding the hidden gems in every city. So, Sarah Dandashy has been on my radar for quite some time.
Sarah Dandashy‘s bio:
“ Sarah Dandashy is an award-winning concierge and travel influencer. In early 2015, Les Clefs d’Or named her “The World’s Most Up and Coming Concierge” after competing for the title against colleagues from around the globe. Sarah’s popular web series Ask A Concierge, partnered with her writing, makes her a major influencer on the ever evolving travel scene.
Sarah’s journey began well before working at prestigious hotels like The Four Seasons Washington D.C., the Peninsula and L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, and the famed London Hotel where she’s currently serving as head concierge. She has lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; London, England; Atlanta, GA; Washington, DC; and New York City; has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, as well as the US; and is conversational in both French and Arabic.”
Sarah Dandashy – Ask a Concierge
This is NOT a straightforward answer! I was born in Allentown, PA, but I was raised in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), London, Atlanta, DC, and New York.
Always in my luggage…
my laptop, running shoes, a comfy sweatshirt, and my favorite hairdryer!
3 favorite home-away-from-home places…
A favorite travel memory is…
There are so many. But one of my first memories, I remember being about 5 or 6, sitting on a plane and leaning over to my mother and saying, “I want to live on a plane!” So silly! Also I vividly remember my very first solo flight. I was 7 years old and I flew from NYC to Lisbon. The stewardesses took great care of me, and I felt so grown up. Clearly, I’ve always been comfortable traveling… even to places where I don’t speak the language.
3 favorite travel brands…
3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…
- Buy my plane tickets in advance
- Tour around on foot whenever possible
- Apply and use credit cards that rack up points for different frequent flier mile programs
3 ways that I have fun while traveling are …
- Go with the flow.
- Try new things and activities. I use travel as a way to push my boundaries.
- I love bringing home souvenirs for friends and for myself, so I always leave room in my bag so I can shop.
8 word (or less) travel mantra…
“If not now, when?” Which is usually followed up by “Just Do It!”
favorite non-travel website …
HuffPo, Facebook (I have to stay connected), amazon (so many great deals)
most memorable souvenir …
I bought a skirt in New Zealand, years ago. It’s still in my wardrobe and it always takes me back whenever I wear it. I love that I can incorporate a memory into my daily life which is why I love to buy am article of clothing or jewelry when I travel.
favorite cheap eat …
Mannaeesh, round flat bread covered in zaatar, popular in the Middle East. I LOVE that stuff!
recent discovery …
Shhh, but I like to travel in sneakers. I used to wear boots and other shoes, but now I just wear a cute, athletic inspired outfit, and I am so much more comfortable. Especially for those long flights. Sneakers are the way to go.
I would like to meet …
The Dalai Lama… I mean, who wouldn’t?
Thank you so much, Sarah, for taking a few minutes to share your culinary wisdom, travel inspiration, and tips.
Follow Ask a Concierge on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and her Ask a Concierge.
McCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons.
Previous 5 Minutes interview: Food Travelist (Sue Reddel and Diana Laskaris).
12 thoughts on “5 Minutes With Sarah Dandashy, Ask a Concierge”
Great interview. It’s fun to see the personal perspective from a travel insider, especially about wearing sneakers.
Mst definitely. Nothing wrong with sneakers at times.
Great post, easy read, with some good pointers! Thanks!
Thank you most kindly.
Great Q & A! I agree, being comfortable while traveling is a must. I’d rather my feet not hurt at the end of the day.
You bet. Look good and feel good.
This is a very interesting and also inspiring post. It is always so interesting to learn about travelers and what motivates them to travel and their favorites/
Thank you, Vyjay.
So amazing to meet such influential travelers and see their approach to the world on the road. Great interview and I’ll try not to roll my eyes the next time my wife packs the hair dryer, I guess it is important after all 🙂
Hey, thank you, Kevin. Tolerance is golden. 😀
I’ve never given much thought on being a concierge, but now that I know more about it, it sounds as if Sarah’s job is pretty awesome! I definitely qualify if it entails talking nonstop about travel. 🙂
Seems like a fun gig, right?
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