Tuesday, May 11, 2010

3 Travel Tip Tuesday: Lessons from The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race is pure, entertaining television. To anyone who knows us or has read this blog before, you know that it's one of our favorite shows ever. But aside from enjoying watching the comedy and the drama unfold, there is a lot to learn from the triumphs and failures of the contestants. In honor of Sunday's finale (do we really have to wait six months for the next season?) here are this week's travel tips:

Make new friends. Many seasons ago, some team realized that if they asked sweetly enough, locals might be willing to drop what they were doing and escort the team to whatever mystery location they were trying to find. Now, it's a staple. Teams that work their charm to get personally led or even just detailed, helpful directions are bound to succeed. This season, Dan took it a step farther and pulled out a move that won him and his brother the race--on the last flight to the end city, he chatted up a flight attendant while on board and got him and Jordan upgraded to first class. They were able to deplane with a significant time advantage that the cowboys were never able to make up. For a real life example of the new friend benefit, look no further than the Brenners rescuing us on Ilha Rasa.

Keep an open mind when it comes to food. When teams were challenged to eat a heaping mound of sauerkraut in Hamburg, Michael and Louie go into it with a determined attitude to destroy that food. They polish off the plate in record speed and lick it clean with gusto--and end up finishing first that day. Jeff and Jordan, on the other hand, get grossed out and try to nibble away while Jordan holds her nose in disgust. Big surprise, they don't finish in the allotted time, have to start all over again, and arrive to see Phil dead last. Maybe sauerkraut (or fried bugs or cow uterus) isn't your thing, but if you go into a meal with an open mind you'll get through--it's only food--and you might even enjoy it!

Pack light. Ever notice how the teams wear the same three outfits throughout the entire season? That's because they don't want clothing variety and cute accessories to slow them down. If they can appear that way on national TV, you certainly can on your private vacation.

Stay hydrated. Remember when Brent and Caite almost had to quite the race because they had to go to the hospital in Argentina? Well, I still claim they are weenies, but the bottom line is they got completely knocked out because they didn't do the simple thing of drinking enough water. When you are running around all day and distracted by your new and exciting surroundings--and especially when you have to pay for water--it's easy to forget about hydration. But turns out water is pretty crucial to your health. PS, that hospital looks way nicer than the one we were at in Udaipur.

Respect your travel companion. The most successful teams are those that work well together. Sometimes the bickering couples will miraculously survive until the end of the race, but I have never seen a team with significant communication troubles cross the finish first (though we still haven't seen seasons 6-11 so no spoliers please). Your best ally to have a successful and enjoyable trip is your travel partner; it's not worth it to fight over where to go next or who was right or wrong about directions--your both bound to lose on the vacation fun scale.


  1. Great tips, I love that show and this season was great.

  2. It seems that you are travelling all around the globe. What ispires you? And most important: where do you get the money from to make all these trips! haha
    Seriously, I really admire you for all the places you are getting to know. I can say i have only been to Argentina. I had an apartment for rent buenos aires
    pretty cozy and visited the Recoleta Cemetary (evita´s tomb), El Ateneo book store, and Colon theatre. Please tell us more about your experiences!

  3. Discover how to get free flights using Travel Hacking.


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