Go Away With ... Bert Kreischer
Trip Flip host Bert Kreischer says that he never gets tired of vacationing in Hawaii. (Travel Channel / May 6, 2014)
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. Without a doubt, my favorite vacation destination is Hawaii. Any of the islands. As a matter of fact, I leave tomorrow to take my family to Hawaii for five days -- a trip I have been planning for about five months. Funny how I make people take trips at the drop of a hat, but for me, it takes five months to get one alone with my family!
Q. To someone who was going there for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?
A. For us, we are literally doing everything in Hawaii that my daughters have seen me do on Travel Channel -- swimming with sharks, luau, paddle-boarding, snorkeling, surfing. Everything except for boar hunting!
Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. Idaho is a diamond in the rough. We shot an episode of "Trip Flip" in Idaho this year and it blew all of our minds away -- and you're talking about a crew of 11 people who have literally traveled the world with me for three years. Sturgeon fishing, rock-crawling, tandem base jumping, skijoring (skiing while pulled by a horse, dogs or a motor vehicle), skiing and snowboarding. It is an adventurer's paradise!
Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?
A. This may sound boring, but the most important thing I've learned from my travels is to organize your gear. A comedian named John Heffron told me this about five years ago and I ignored him, and now I am so organized it's ridiculous. I get those space bags and pack everything accordingly and it makes finding things so easy. That, and I've said this until my ears ring, but airline loyalty. Getting upgraded for free on a five-hour flight to Hawaii because the airline respects the fact that you book your travel through them, that's the greatest gift a traveler can get.
Q. Have you traveled to a place that stood out so much that you felt compelled to incorporate it into your work?
A. I traveled to Costa Rica recently and it stood out so much that I actually thought about buying a house down there as a rental property so I could show people how beautiful the people and country are. I've never met a nicer, more beautiful group of laid-back people in my entire life. Their motto is pura vida (which means pure life) and they literally live it every single day. The fact that the oceans are gorgeous, the weather is perfect and you can take five steps to get to a jungle and go whitewater rafting makes Costa Rica one of those places that make me want to put down roots.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Catalina Island is by far my favorite weekend getaway. It's a short boat ride from Long Beach and after a little bus trip over the hill, you are in the most picturesque camping area you could ever imagine. I literally feel like I am sitting on a coast in Greece, staring up at the cliffs and out at the crystal blue water.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. I am dying to go to the Far East. As a matter of fact, last night I had a dream that I flew to China.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. I definitely cannot travel without my Ultimate Ears noise-reduction headsets that are the same ones performing artists use when they play in stadiums so they can hear the monitors and themselves singing. They make flying absolutely silent. I also need my gray hoodie to pull over my eyes so I can sleep. Besides those two, my other must-haves are my iPad mini, iPhone, computer, podcast equipment, GoPro and Canon camera. Plus, a pair of jeans, workout clothes, a good pair of flip-flops, a bathing suit, a handful of T-shirts and I'm set. It should be noted I didn't mention underwear.
Q. What would be your dream/fantasy trip?
A. Me and my wife alone for two weeks on a sailboat sailing through Micronesia.
Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?
A. When it comes to the road, I don't know if I could nail down one specific guilty pleasure. Some may argue I am defined by my many guilty pleasures.
Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. I do fairly extensive research and it starts with YouTube. A lot of times I look for cool videos of people doing cool things in the place I'm going to -- so I can do the exact same cool thing, sometimes with the exact people that are doing it on YouTube.
Q. What is your best vacation memory?
A. My best vacation memory ever was sailing through the Virgin Islands with my entire family just before I went to college. My dad and I would sit out on the back of the boat every night, have a cigar and fish while tied up to a mooring.
(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at http://www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)
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