Welcome to the T+L Carry-On, where we take a look inside the luggage of jetsetters—and gain a few expert tips along the way.
This week, we caught up with Travel Channel’s Adam Richman at the new William Vale Hotel in Brooklyn. Richman, known for hosting the popular television show “Man vs. Food,” is back with a new travel series called “Man Finds Food,” which is all about traveling the world to discover hidden culinary treasures.
We sat down with the globetrotting—and tasting—expert to talk all things travel, including his best places to visit in Brooklyn, his array of colorful ties, and collecting magnets as souvenirs. Plus, don't forget to check out last week's column with entrepreneur and chef Padma Lakshmi.
On Traveling for “Man Finds Food”
“I’ve spent more than 200 days on the road for the show. Some of the best places I’ve been to have to be Warsaw, Saigon and Kuala Lumpur. I have to say I’ve never sweat through an entire ensemble like I did when I was in Kuala Lumpur. It was so hot!
If I were to pick a favorite spot it would be Warsaw. I was surprised by how much I fell in love with the city. The metropolis is so vibrant as well as the people and culture. I actually still have the Polish vodka called Żubrówka, which is a bison grass vodka, and is currently chilling in my freezer. The vodka is quite magnificent. I also have to point out Moscow as a great city and a place where I tasted some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever had in my life.”
His Go-to Vacation
“It depends on how much time I have and where I’ve just come from but I generally vacation in a warmer climate. I love Hawaii. I’m also a huge soccer fan so I’ve gone to England, Spain, Croatia, and Paris for matches. And for me, I want to choose where I spend money so if it’s a longer flight I’d like to have a better seat or if it’s a short flight I save the money for a better hotel."
His Guide to Brooklyn for First-time Visitors
“If you’ve never been to Brooklyn, you need to see the Coney Island boardwalk. They’ve been doing a lot to clean it up and it’s part of Brooklyn’s history. When you’re there, you must see the parachute jump and the carousel.
Definitely check out Prospect Park because it has grounds that are directly adjacent from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the Brooklyn museum. If you can, go during the first Saturday of the month because admission is free and the museum has a ton of activities like lectures and movies. At the end of the day, the whole lobby becomes a dance party and it’s phenomenal.
The final place to visit would be the promenade. It’s one of the oldest and most stunning parts of Brooklyn with beautiful details like gas lamps in front of the buildings and tree-lined streets dotted with quintessential brown stones. Plus, the view of Manhattan is unrivaled.”
His Travel Essentials
“I’d say a neck pillow is pretty essential especially during those moments when you have your seat in up locked position an want to be comfortable. I also always bring an eye mask. When I fly, I take off my shoes and put on compression socks. Anytime you’re on a long haul flight, my doctor (who was from the Air Force) recommends that people should take a baby aspirin to help with your circulation."
His Favorite Clothing Items to Bring
“Prada and REI make really stretchy, water resistant pants and they both have extra pockets for boarding passes and it’s comfortable enough to sleep in during a long haul flight. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of carrying a traveler’s wallet especially if you’re in an area where pick pocketing is prevalent. For footwear, I’d recommend Merrells. They’re not the most stylish type of shoe but they breathe, they’re waterproof, and very light.”
His Go-To Travel Outfit
“It’s so sad that I really do have a travel uniform. You’ll always see me wear a black, short-sleeved shirt, compression socks, and then a stretchy, hiking-like pant. Then I’ll usually have a light sweater or track jacket. The final piece is a black jacket with a small hood in the collar so it keeps me warm if the cabin gets cold and I can tie it around my waist. Black t-shirts are very forgiving if you spill something.”
His Greatest Packing Tip
“Use packing cubes. I find it easy to not only organize because you’re basically playing Tetris. I group them by undershirts, underwear socks, gym clothes and then tops and bottoms.
It’s also a lifesaver if you need to move around items from one bag to another for weight restrictions because you can just grab a cube instead of a million little things. Also try to pack in the spectrums of white black blue and brown because they all go together.”
His Favorite (Packable) Souvenir
“I’m a collector of refrigerator magnets. I tried to collect mugs but they’re a bit hard to bring because of the amount of space they take up. But refrigerator magnets are not expensive and easy to transport.”