Source: The Amazing Race
The crew and cast of the multi-Emmy award-winning reality show The Amazing Race are experts when it comes to travel. Since it first aired in 2001, contestants on the show have competed against one another as they traversed the globe – so who better than Amazing Race participants to offer the everyday traveler some useful tips and tricks.
Speaking to USA Today, the host of The Amazing Race, Phil Keoghan, together with co-creator Bertram van Munster, and contestant Tyler Oakley sat down to reveal their top summer do’s and don’ts when it comes to travel.
No Big Name Hotels
To really get a good idea of a place you are visiting, it’s best to vacation like a local and that means ditching the big-name hotels. The Amazing Race cast and crew reveal it’s better to stay at an Airbnb, hostel, or bed & breakfast place to fully immerse yourself in the culture.
“You get a lot more from traveling when you dive deep where the locals go themselves,” Oakley shared with USA Today.
The cast and crew also share it’s imperative for tourists to be respectful when visiting a new place.
“You have to realize you are the guest there,” van Munster, who serves as co-creator, executive producer and director of the show, told USA Today. “You don’t own the place because you happen to be on vacation. You’re living with different rules, different laws, different cultural aspects. Make sure you behave yourself accordingly.”
Travel Outside your Comfort Zone
The cast and crew revealed to USA Today it’s an excellent idea to keep an open mind when traveling so that you are open to new experiences.
“There’s something really nice about looking back on your day and thinking, ‘I really did a lot that maybe was outside my comfort zone, but now it’s a memory for a lifetime,” Oakley told USA Today.
Be a Pro-Packer and Keep it Minimal
Contestants on The Amazing Race need to pack light and carry only the essentials since juggling multiple suitcases would slow them down, so it goes without saying they know what they need to travel with.
Passport and sunscreen are a must-have, but the cast and crew also suggest packing reading material and something fun to do doing those downtimes. Van Munster also reveals it is easier to do laundry while traveling rather than packing a ton of outfits and suggests limiting luggage to a roller suitcase and a small backpack.
Put Down the Phone!
The cast and crew of The Amazing Race urge travelers to take a break from wanting to document everything on their smartphone and just enjoy being present.
“I think it’s a good challenge for anybody while you’re traveling to put (the phone) down,” Oakley shared with USA Today. “Yeah, get that one picture you want, but you don’t need to film everything, you don’t need a picture of everything. … ‘The Amazing Race’ was a good learning lesson on being present, knowing that you don’t have to capture all of it.”
Keoghan told USA Today at the end of each leg race he would remind contestants to take a moment and enjoy.
“We are extremely privileged to be in that moment, in that time in the world,” Keoghan revealed. “Travel is about moments. One great moment, you hope, on top of another great moment. A lot of times, it’s the little moments that stay with you.”