Award-winning travel and food writer Andrew Bender writes the Seat 1A travel site for Forbes and articles and guide books for dozens of other publications from the Los Angeles Times to Lonely Planet.
He has written Seat 1A since 2011, and his annual list of Top 10 Food Trends and Gift Guide for Travelers have become required reading. His coverage of Palm Springs and California’s deserts for Lonely Planet received the prestigious Eureka! Travel Writing Award from Visit California. Of his Amsterdam guidebook for Lonely Planet, the Dutch newspaper Het Parool wrote “Even if you are an Amsterdammer, you can learn something here.”
Andy has done numerous speaking engagements including the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and Los Angeles Times Travel Show, as well as radio and television appearances.
Andy has been writing about travel, food and culture since the late 1990s, when he sold his first, teeny tiny travel article to Conde Nast Traveler. His writing and photography have since appeared in publications including:
- Los Angeles Times – Travel section (currently) and restaurant reviewer for Westside Weekly section (1998-2001)
- Travel + Leisure
- SilverKris (Singapore Airlines’ in-flight magazine)
- Hemispheres (United Airlines’ in-flight magazine)
- Over three dozen Lonely Planet guide books.
Yet another travel writer with an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (and a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies from the Penn’s Lauder Institute), Andy is also a cross-cultural consultant, working with multinational businesses about overcoming cultural differences in business, leveraging his experience living and working in Japan and with Japanese companies in the United States.
Speaking of Japan, Andy also is a tour leader and tour planner for visits to Japan. He has even appeared in Japanese TV commercials and is routinely mobbed on the streets of Tokyo (well, the part about the Japanese commercials is true).
Andy has lived in Japan, France and the Netherlands, speaks fluent Japanese and French, reads Korean menus, can follow Italian and Spanish (though not very far) and cannot pronounce a single word correctly in Danish. A native New Englander, he now lives in the Los Angeles area.
Here’s one of his first published articles, and a bit of his philosophy on life: In Praise of Praise