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Travel tips and more: An interview with 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' contestant DeJa Skye

June 07, 2022
7 min read
RuPaul's Drag Race contestant DeJa Skye
Travel tips and more: An interview with 'RuPaul’s Drag Race' contestant DeJa Skye
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“All right Season 14, let’s get thickening!”

DeJa Skye’s workroom entrance in Season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race immediately became iconic — and was the perfect introduction to one of the season’s best-loved contestants. DeJa’s quick wit, flawless fashion and outsized (but genuine) personality quickly endeared her to fans, and she's since been booking appearances and performances all over the country.

"I just went in every single day with the mindset that there’s no reason to stress over things," Skye told TPG during a recent interview about the season and her future outlook.

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"As long as I felt like I did my best, that's all I really cared about. I think it helped me be stress-free. In the competition, you’re allowed to help people and give advice and make sure your sisters are OK. You don’t have to have tunnel vision. I feel like I did that very well. It just came naturally to me — I didn’t have to force it."

We caught up with the newly minted star to see what life on the road is like for her and what tips she has for other travelers, just in time for Pride Month and all the trips and festivities it entails.

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What’s life like for you these days?

I’ve luckily been busy doing what I want to do. I want to be a workhorse — that person who’s dependable and getting work.

Recently, I went to the mall. I wanted to be incognito and just hang out with friends. I did get recognized, but it’s always nice.

We work in a nightclub and I know it sounds weird, but it’s nice to see people outside of the nightclub. You don’t get to see the real person in a nightclub. You get the person who’s drunk – as opposed to the person who’s just shopping and being like a normal human [laughs].

What’s your favorite thing about living in Fresno [California]?

I love that it’s so centralized. It’s in the middle of everything and I don’t have to travel extremely far to get anywhere. It’s a very doable two-and-a-half hours to San Franciso or Sacramento, and about two-and-a-half to three hours to L.A.

What’s your take on travel?

Girl. I love to travel because I never used to do it! I would always have out-of-town gigs, but they would either be in Northern California or Southern California. I think I did one gig in the corner of Arizona, but I had never really been out of the state. I’d never been on the East Coast, let alone out of the country [laughs].

Drag Race has really opened those doors for me. I got a passport for the first time! It’s insane. I was so used to a train or a car. The first couple of times I got on flights, I never ever passed [at] the initial security check-in.

They were like, “You have an aerosol, your liquids are too much,” etc. I’ve thrown so many things away! I decided I really had to get this down to a science. I think now I’ve become a pro.

Where’s your favorite destination and why?

My favorite place I’ve traveled to is London. I was over the moon when I saw the booking. The people are so lovely.

It was in the midst of the season, and I figured no one was going to recognize me. I’m just going to be a traveler figuring out the ins and outs of it. Literally left and right people were like “DeJa!” “Is that DeJa?” and I’m like: "There is no way they’re talking to me!"

The only bad part about London is they have no flavor in their food. If I go back I will have to bring a packet of seasoning [laughs]. Also, portions are smaller there – like half of American sizes. The shots are like sample sizes, too.

(Photo courtesy of Voss Management)

Do you have a favorite travel memory?

I will have to say my stay in London. On my Thursday gig at G-A-Y Bar, I got to be on stage with Charli XCX. That was phenomenal. The very next day her new album came out. I got to meet with her and take a photo with her. I’m like, "Is this my life right now that I get to meet pop stars?"

I don’t know what it is about London, but they make you feel like you're a pop star. I did a one-woman show and they treated me like I was one of the Spice Girls or something.

It’s just a different vibe. In the U.K. it’s a little less saturated, so I think [the drag scene] is a little more special to them. Also, our season [of RuPaul’s Drag Race] wasn’t the easiest to access there, so if you accessed our season, you were a true fan.

What’s packing like for you when you travel for shows?

It’s insane. The number one thing is to get a sturdy suitcase. Spend money. Don’t go cheap and think it’s fine. I used to buy really cheap suitcases, and every single time I would get my luggage from baggage claim, a wheel would be broken.

Also, because I’m a plus-sized diva, I’m thick and juicy, I need more space. I travel with padding, makeup, wigs and everything, so I’ve gotten it down to where I can get it all in two suitcases. I usually don't even bring a carry-on unless I’m going to be there for three or four days. My carry-on is pretty much just boy clothes.

What’s your one must-have travel item?

I think ChapStick – especially if you’re going to different climates. Your lips are the first thing to mess up and you don’t want crusty and dusty lips. Don’t get the cheap stuff, get the kind with cocoa butter in it.

Any travel tips you’d like to share?

I’d never flown internationally and I learned that contactless payment is your best friend. Make sure it’s set up on your phone before you leave. Also, make sure you always carry your charger in your carry-on bag.

Can I give a travel tip for drag queens? Go to your local home store and get a plastic tub for your styled wigs. They won’t get crushed during travel.

What’s your travel look like for the rest of the year?

I’m doing something every weekend in June. I’ll also be doing a Halloween tour in October. I need to be on tour. I’m a great host, I’m a great performer, so I feel like I’m made for that. I want longevity, so I will never say no to something as long as it’s not going to harm me [laughs]. I want to continue to travel and be in the forefront and meet people. I love meeting people. [RuPaul’s] DragCon was one of my favorite things. I got to meet so many people I inspired.

Keep up with DeJa on Instagram and TikTok.

Featured image by Photo courtesy of Voss Management
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases