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Anthony Bourdain: How to Travel The Planet

Great stuff for the world traveler from the world traveling master, Anthony Bourdain via Esquire

The first thing I do is I dress for airports. I dress for security. I dress for the worst-case scenario.

In my carry-on, I’ll have a notebook, yellow legal pads, good headphones. Imodium is important.

I check my luggage. I hate the people struggling to cram their luggage in an overhead bin, so I don’t want to be one of those people.

On the plane, I like to read fiction set in the location I’m going to. Fiction is in many ways more useful than a guidebook, because it gives you those little details, a sense of the way a place smells, an emotional sense of the place.

Before getting on a flight, I buy a big pile of magazines. And I’m a big fan of airport massages. I’ll get a chair massage if there’s one available, or a foot massage. If there’s food available I’ll load up on whatever the local specialty is.

I never, ever try to weasel upgrades.

I don’t get jet lag as long as I get my sleep. As tempting as it is to get really drunk on the plane, I avoid that.

There’s almost never a good reason to eat on a plane. You’ll never feel better after airplane food than before it.

For me, one of the great joys of traveling is good plumbing. A really good high-pressure shower, with an unlimited supply of hot water.

Maybe my biggest travel splurge on the road is if there’s one of those old restored colonial hotels in places that were formerly part of the British or French Empire.

I’ve stopped buying souvenirs. The first few years I’d buy trinkets or T-shirts or handcrafts. I rarely do that anymore. My apartment is starting to look like Colonel Mustard’s club. So much of it comes out of the same factory in Taiwan.

The biggest rip-offs in the world of travel are tourist-trap restaurants in places like Rome or Venice, places where there’s so much great food but the overwhelming likelihood is that you’re going to get a bad meal.

When I’m in a city that’s new to me, I try to go to the central market very early in my trip. I’ll go at 6 a.m., when people are shopping for businesses.

The other great way to figure out where to eat in a new city is to provoke nerd fury online. Go to a number of foodie websites with discussion boards.

Read the full article: Esquire

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