More Useful Stuff
Essential trip tips from travel channel host Don Wildman, touring violinist Joshua Bell and tennis star Andy Roddick
SLEEP LIKE A LOCAL
Andy Roddick needs quality rest when he lands in a new city for a tournament. So he starts right in with forcing his body to adapt to the time zone, even if he arrived exhausted. “If you fall asleep at 3pm, you’re dead. You’ll be up all night,” he says. “In a new place I normally try to make it to at least 9 or 10 o’clock the first couple of nights.”
BEAT JET LAG
“I always take a bath everywhere I go,” says Don Wildman, the itinerant host of Off Limits. For Wildman, being immersed in water seems to quell the neuroses of air travel. “It just seems to normalise my body. It could be a tiny tub. But as long as I’m in a bath, I can just meditate.”
You don’t need a gym to have your fitness fix. “I carry a jump rope because it gets my heart beating in the morning,” Wildman says. “And sometimes I’ll take it on shoots with me, and I just do a little rope jumping for five minutes. It wakes me up better than a cup of coffee.”
FEEL AT HOME IN A HOTEL
Roddick’s move: unpack immediately. “That helps a lot,” he says. “If you’re tapped out from being on the road, the last thing you want is to come back to a couple of bags that look like they exploded all over the hotel room.” Wild-man will even put books on bookshelves. “The least I can do for myself,” he says, “is fool myself into thinking I’m home.”
FIND A DECENT MEAL
If you return to a city regularly, you could do as Roddick does and revisit a favorite restaurant each time. That’s a good way to create a feeling of familiarity, which can be welcome when you’re away from home. Globe-trotting violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, on the other hand, likes to explore: “I rarely ask the concierge for advice,” Bell says, “because he is apt to send me to his cousin’s pizzeria around the corner. But I do refer to the Michelin guide and research thoroughly online and I sometimes ask for recommendations on social networking sites like ASmallWorld, which is full of travelers like me.” Either that, or he hits an international chain restaurant.
USE DOWNTIME WISELY
“I try to remind myself that ‘killing time’ is a sin,” Bell says. “Life is too short as it is, and it’s a shame to wish for it to go by quicker. There’s always something worthwhile to do, even on an airplane – read a good book, learn a new language, write to my friends around the world who haven’t heard from me in too long.” When Bell does watch television, it’s often on his iPad: he’ll catch episodes of Dexter, Breaking Bad, and Modern Family, and “I’m not proud of this” – the occasional instalment of Desperate Housewives.