10 Secrets About Traveling as a Contestant on a Reality Dating Show
There are many mysteries when it comes to reality TV. Fans wait and watch each week to see if their favorite will be kicked off, have meltdown, or fall in love. And this couldn’t be truer for one of the most popular dating shows, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. While getting engaged to a complete stranger certainly is difficult to navigate, we couldn’t help but wonder about all the logistics that go into flying a cast and crew all over the world.
That’s why we reached out to a couple of experts on the matter: The Bachelor’s Season 17 Sean and Catherine Lowe. We caught up with the couple at their “Loads of Love” themed baby shower by Dreft on Wednesday in New York City to get the lowdown on what exactly it’s like to hit the road for nearly three months.
Ahead, 10 things you didn't know about traveling on a reality dating show:
You Have to Pack for Every Climate
The show is notorious for picking exotic locations for their over-the-top dates, which can make packing a pain. “You don’t know where you’re going,” Catherine told Travel + Leisure at the event. “You can be in winter conditions and then days later in summer.” Sean added,” We went from Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada where it was like 20 degrees to St. Croix. It’s nuts.”
No One Sticks to the Baggage Limit
“They told me two bags,” noted Sean. “But, I brought seven. And I’m a guy!” Catherine admitted being a girl and trying to pack for 10 weeks was nearly impossible. “You pack everything,” she said. “They give you a number, but you have to exceed it. For the women, you have to bring gowns for every single week. We have to account for 10 gowns, shoes and accessories, plus daily things. They don’t give you clothes.”
The Bachelor or Bachelorette Never Flies with Contestants
“They always keep the Bachelor separated from the women,” revealed Sean. “I took a different flight from all the women so there was no mingling.” And not only are they kept separate, but the contestants are stuck in economy. “We don’t get first class,” said Catherine. “We’re all the way in the back of the plane.”
On Sightseeing: The Men and Women are Treated Differently
While it may seem cool to travel for free for a couple of months (if you don’t get kicked off right away), you might not be able to sightsee in a new city as much as you’d like…if you’re a girl at least. “You’re more sequestered until the end,” noted Catherine. “So, like the last four weeks you get to do a lot more, but when I was in Thailand I only got to explore one day. The dates are really extravagant, so you get to experience the culture and the city, but not like you would if you’re backpacking.”
Sean admitted he had a bit of a different experience. “The girls were much more sequestered than the guys were on The Bachelorette because we explored every city we went to, so it really felt like you were traveling,” he said.
Guards Kept Contestants from Sneaking Out
While there’s been the occasional unplanned rendezvous (remember Season 16’s Courtney Robertson and Ben Flajnik’s Puerto Rico ocean romp?), the show actually goes to great lengths to make sure people behave. “There are low-level producers that would stand guard outside of the hotel room,” revealed Sean.
The Losers Really Do Go Home Immediately
“If you get kicked off, usually the person stays in a hotel room and they leave the next day,” revealed Catherine. “Luckily, I lasted until the end.”
It’s Not Relaxing
Between long days of shooting, late-night rose ceremonies, and plane hopping, resting really isn’t on the itinerary. “In most cases I'd get back to my room around midnight and have to be back up for shooting the next morning around 7:00,” said Sean. “It’s exhausting.”
You Eat Like a King
Though you may be stuck with wearing the same clothes and not be getting much sleep, the food service is pretty awesome. “I was vegan on the show, so they catered food for whatever I needed,” said Catherine. “They would do that for any dietary restrictions. And at the mansion you could make a grocery list and cook your own food.”
Locals Can Ruin the Shots
As you can imagine, having a film crew following you around can certainly draw some attention. “Some of the towns get really excited to know that they’re going to be featured on The Bachelor and come out to watch,” noted Sean. “Yeah, when we’re filming, locals are usually trying to shout things out during the shots,” added Catherine.
You Get to Go On Once-in-Lifetime Adventures
As if being on a reality show wasn’t a wild experience, the show goes out of their way to make sure the dates are one of a kind. “On a show like The Bachelor you’re not only traveling to cool destinations, but you’re doing things that the general public isn’t able to do,” concluded Sean. “I think that’s a huge perk right there. I can say that I drove an ice truck on a glacier next to Lake Louise.”