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Anthony Bourdain: 'The Layover' Star Shares His Travel Tips


First Posted: 11/21/2011 7:29 am Updated: 08/24/2012 1:25 pm

Anthony Bourdain knows a thing or two about travel. The chef, author and travel documentarian is well into filming the eighth season of his Emmy-winning "No reservations" and is back tonight with his new series "The Layover." A bit of a departure from "No Reservations," "The Layover" seeks to offer viewers practical information and tips that they can use in places they might actually visit.

"With this show, we're actually trying to be useful," said Bourdain. "We've unmasked a lot of information about places around the world over the course of eight years. We've gotten pretty good about cutting right to the heart of the matter."

For instance, when in Rome, Bourdain suggests doing as the Romans do: "I feel very strongly you should be eating cacio e pepe. I happen to know a couple of places in Rome that serve this most Roman of dishes really, really well."

Here are 10 more of Tony's travel tips:

1) Dress for airport security. Do NOT be the jerk in line who holds everybody up while they slip off gold chains, belts and watches and acts surprised they can't bring their jug of soda on the plane. Also, wear easy shoes to slip on and off.

2) Be prepared to be stuck in an airport for indeterminate periods of time. Shit happens. So load your device with as many games, songs, apps, and e-books as possible to keep busy during long waits. Also pack a charger to power up.

3) Remember to bring something scrunchy and long sleeved like a sweatshirt. You might need it as a pillow.

4) Try -- really try -- to avoid eating on the plane. Investigate airport food options beforehand. If, as with many airports, the food sucks, eat first. Try and sleep on the flight.

5) Wherever you are, eat what the locals are good at or famous for -- WHERE the locals like to eat it. Do NOT rely on your concierge for dining tips. He's in the business of making TOURISTS happy. You want the places that make locals happy. Seek out places crowded with locals. Avoid places with others of your kind present.

6) People everywhere like it when you are appreciative of their food. I cannot stress enough how important to any possible relationships you might make abroad your initial reactions to offerings of local specialties. Smile and try and look happy even if you don't like it. If you DO like it, let them know through word or gesture of appreciation.

7) Bring anti-diarrhea medicine. You WILL be getting the shits. It's an occupational hazard -- and it shouldn't throw you off your game.

8) Never SHOW anger, impatience or frustration. In Europe, it rarely helps. And in Asia it's a sign of weakness. Zen like calm at all times…until you can't.

9) Get up early and check out the central food market. It's a fast way into a culture (where you'll see the basics of the cuisine) and often find local prepared foods at stands or stalls serving market workers.

10) Get over any inflexible notions of what a "toilet" is.

Bourdain's new show "The Layover" begins tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern on the Travel Channel. Watch the video below for a sneak peek.

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Filed by Rebecca Dolan  |  Report Corrections