Travelers want to see as much of the world as possible. However that wish can be the one critical mistake that separates a memorable trip from an emotionless album of photos.
“The sort of frenzied compression of time needed to take the tour, to see the sights, keeps you in a bubble that prevents you from having magic happen to you,” Bourdain said in the interview. “Nothing unexpected or wonderful is likely to happen if you have an itinerary in Paris filled with the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.”
Bourdain described whirlwind tours as “punishing” and encouraged travelers to rethink their approach. “Plans should be ephemeral, so be prepared to move away from them,” he said.
A Bourdain-approved travel approach is to instead pick one destination and stay there for a few days — enough time to absorb a local flavor. When planning his own vacations, Bourdain will book the hotel before anything else. He chooses accommodations with a mind towards a “base of operations”: it has to be comfortable and in a good location for wandering.
Those looking for a destination should wander away from the guidebooks, Bourdain said. He recommended choosing a location that’s still “relatively under-visited, where you can have an amazing experience for relatively little money.”