If your New Year’s resolution is to travel more, get ready to feel inspired. With technology and air travel connecting our world more than ever before, it’s not as tough as it may seem to turn your “Places To Visit” Pinterest board into a reality. To prepare to get up close and personal with the world around you, take a look at these tips from travel expert Adam Richman, host of Travel Channel series like Man vs. Food and Secret Eats. Richman also recently teamed up with Capital One’s Priceless Surprises program to surprise four lucky Massachusetts cardholders with trips to Rome, London, Paris, and Hong Kong. Now, he’s ready to help SELF readers plan out dream adventures of their own with the below travel secrets. Happy exploring!
1. To avoid crowds, be picky about which travel times you choose.If you have enough schedule flexibility to fly on off-peak hours, take advantage of it. Popular travel dates and times (like Saturday mornings, Sunday nights, and pre-holiday rushes) lead to congested airports and flights, which is no fun for anyone. “Choose your travel times carefully, ” Richman suggests. “[See] if you can take a red-eye [flight] out the night before a desired date.”
2. Be kind at the airport, no matter what.“Keeping a level head is extremely crucial,” Richman explains. Nobody loves the tension that comes with long lines in crowded airports, but treating others with respect is one way to keep things in check. “Being kind and polite has helped me as much as any kind of traveling savvy,” Richman says. “Also, have your boarding and your deplaning routine fairly down to a science, so you can get on and off the plane with ease.”
3. Strategically coordinate the outfits you pack.The best way to save space in your suitcase is to make sure everything you pack matches. “A friend of mine who works in the fashion and magazine industry recommended that I always pack in the colors of black, white, blue, and brown,” Richman says. “That way, everything goes with everything. I’s kind of a classic combination, and then you have the opportunity to go to multiple venues.”
4. Pack healthy snacks on the go.You ever know when you’ll be stranded someplace without any healthy eating options, so it’s always wise to pack your own fuel. “It’s very funny that at 30,000 feet people with the most strict dietary rules just let them go,” Richman says. “Normally when I sit down to dinner, I don’t have rolls, I don’t order bread, but suddenly I’ll have an in-flight meal with bread and butter. It just doesn’t make any sense.” Richman suggests fighting this phenomenon by stashing snacks like chicken jerky, turkey jerky, healthy granola bars, and raw almonds. “If I’m going to get [food] in an airport, I’ll usually get something like some kind of salad with chicken or some kind of simple turkey sandwich,” he explains.
5. Arrive with a sense of curiosity.“You know that expression that every gym teacher told us that made us roll our eyes, ‘You get out what you put in’?” Richman says. “It’s so true though. Ultimately, if you have an open heart and an open mind, and a willingness to go beyond the typical tourist places, and you do so with respect towards the environment around you, then you’re often rewarded by some of the most remarkable finds.” Don’t be afraid to (safely) push past your comfort zone. “Be humble, stay curious, stay hungry, and don’t get complacent.”
6. Be open to wherever your adventure takes you.Travel has the uncanny ability to bring out parts of our personalities we rarely display at home. “There’s that line from the song ‘Bittersweet Symphony,’ where he sings, ‘I’m a million different people from one day to the next,'” Richman says. “The thing about travel is that there are different places that elicit different sides of us that we might not necessarily be able to access in our day-to-day.”