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Why a tour of America’s deep South trumped one travel expert’s trip to Antarctica

I base my livelihood on selling tours to exotic locations. But when I was told why a trip down South was better than a trip to the edge of the world, I wanted  to share with you the reasons why, despite the fact that I do not sell any tours to that region.

When we were at the The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, Melissa talked to travel journalist Reid Bramblett about why his trip to America’s deep South trumped a trip he took to Antarctica.

And it wasn’t the amenities that made one trip better than the other — it was the experience. That’s what travel is all about. Experiencing the world the around you. You don’t have to book a five-star hotel or spend thousands of dollars on first-class service.

Sure, it’s nice to do that once in awhile, but traveling is about interacting with new people, seeing different sites, and sharing the experience with others. And it just so happens that Reid found an extraordinary trip in his own country, traveling with his dad, and visiting a not-so-off-the-beaten path, exotic location.

Reid explains his travel philosophy in a conversation he had with Melissa at the show. They talked about ways travelers can turn an ordinary vacation into an extraordinary one, when and where you should splurge while traveling, how to immerse yourself in the local culture, tips to get through airport security faster, the #1 item you should have in your carry-on bag, and much more.

See what Reid has to say in the video. It’s an interview packed with valuable travel advice from someone who has written or contributed to over 30 travel guidebooks and founded Thanks Reid for taking the time to chat with Friendly Planet Travel!

1 Comment

  1. Great interview! Totally agree with the thoughts expressed by Reid.

    Some of my best travel experiences occurred during unplanned moments, even while on package tours. The free time during the Friendly Planet tours I have participated in have provided some of these moments: getting lost on the subway in Moscow while trying to find the Hard Rock Cafe, handing out hand puppets to children while on the Mission to Cuba, the boat almost tipping over while taking an early morning “water taxi” in the rain in Hoi An Vietnam because the bridge was under construction, walking alone through the walled Old City of Jerusalem through the Damascus Gate and back to the hotel, and meeting Hector Peterson’s sister while on a museum visit in Johanesburg. Each of these instances made the overall experience richer because I was able to interact in a one on one basis with the local people.

    One splurge I would recommend for people traveling in the southeastern Utah area is to stay for one night at The View Hotel in Monument Valley. If you get up during the night and sit out on the balcony, it is like being in a planetarium . . . sky filled with stars.


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