Chicago's Yazan Koudsi, known socially as @zizotravel, shares traveling adventures and tips

Tue. December 5, 2023 10:37 AM by Ross Forman

yazan koudsi, knowns as @zizotravel on tiktok

photo credit // provided

'Each destination has advantages and disadvantages,' explains Yazan Koudsi

Yazan Koudsi has been around the world, already having visited 77 countries and 40 states in America – and he shares his traveling adventures with millions via social media.

Koudsi, 33, who is originally from Jordan and has lived in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood for the past five years, is a travel influencer and a realtor at Fulton Grace Realty.

Nicknamed Zizo and, due to his love of traveling, he comes to the world socially as @zizotravel. He releases new content almost daily – on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.

“Nowadays, everyone is on their phones, so the role of the digital creator is bigger, and it makes a huge influence on society and the businesses,” said Koudsi, who recalls traveling to Dubai years ago during his time as a flight attendant – and then started sharing his travel tales on social media, launching his new life.

During the pandemic, Koudsi truly went viral. “Everyone was on their phone, and I started to create some funny videos (that) crazy viral,” he said of videos that have 20 million views or more.

Koudsi travels twice a month – and he meshes his  two passions, social media and traveling. “I combine them in a fun and trendy way,” he said.

Koudsi said his five favorite countries of the 77 he’s visited to date are Bali, Spain, Thailand, Syria and UAE.

“Bali has amazing nature, great hospitality, cheap prices, awesome resorts and hotels, great nightlife and delicious food,” Koudsi said.

His lest favorite country?

None stick out, he said. “Each destination has advantages and disadvantages,” he said.

His bucket-list includes Japan, Mexico and Canada.

Oman, he said, was a true surprise. “People (in Oman) are so sweet; the food is amazing, and nature is beautiful. They also have an incredible resort called Alila Jabal Akhdar that made me feel like I’m on another planet; it’s a must-visit for sure,” Koudsi said.

@zizotravel has more than 1 million TikTok supporters, and he posts on that platform two or three times per day. “It’s a lot of work, but fun at the same time,” he said.

Koudsi also has 2 million Instagram followers, a platform he has used for 10 years. “I post daily and feel super blessed with the results and hard work,” he said.

For his videos, Koudsi searches for ideas, trends, sounds, clothes and more, and then records and edits. Some videos take up to four-hours for a 6-second final version.

Now Boarding … Travel Influencer Yazan Koudsi

Tips For Gay Traveling: “Everything is easy with social media. Use TikTok or Instagram as a search engine and write what you are looking. You will quickly see tips.”

Favorite Gay Travel Story: “I never liked the idea of staying at a hostel, but, when I collaborated with Puerto Rico Tourism, they asked me to include coverage for a gay hostel, called Coqui Del Mar. I met the best people there and made amazing friendships. Honestly, it was the best part of the whole trip.”

Travel Tips About Chicago: “Visit during the summer …  we have the best summer. Also, we have the best restaurants and so many free activities to do like biking on Lake Shore Drive.”

It’s a Must in Chicago: Tzuco Restaurant, Sidetrack bar and The Bean. “I always encourage people to check out the Gold Coast for shopping the nice cafes.”

Boyfriend: David, 39, a hair colorist who has been in Chicago for 20 years,

Favorite Actor: Ben Affleck

Favorite TV Show: Friends

Favorite Movie: Eat Pray Love

Favorite Sport: Yoga

Hobbies: Working out, yoga, trying new food, movies, going out with friends and dancing

Little-known Fact: “I love Dua Lipa,” he said.

If I wasn’t a Digital Creator: “I would be a pilot.”

Boxers or Briefs: “Briefs, for sure. I don’t know how people feel comfortable with boxers; they are too loose.”