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Travel Advice from Anthony Bourdain, the Ultimate Business Traveler


By now you’ve surely heard of Anthony Bourdain. If you haven’t, you probably need to get out of the office sometime. He’s a chef-turned-writer-turned-TV-celebrity who has some excellent travel advice for you.

Bourdain’s path to chefdom and ultimately fame and fortune began when he was just nine years old on vacation with his family in France. They were in the Bordeaux region near Lake Cazaux, where a local neighbor took the Bourdains oyster fishing. When offered a fresh, raw oyster from the lake, young Tony was the only one to accept. In his book Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain writes of the experience, “I took it in my hand, tilted the shell back into my mouth as instructed by the now beaming Monsieur Saint-Jour and with one bite and slurp, wolfed it down. It tasted of seawater…of brine and flesh…and somehow…of the future. … The genie was out of the bottle. My life as a cook, and as a chef, had begun.”

Bourdain worked his way from dishwasher in Cape Cod to executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York. And after publishing Kitchen Confidential, he moved on to television, hosting four shows: A Cook’s Tour for Food Network, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover for the Travel Channel, and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown for CNN, which is currently in its second season.

When Bourdain is traveling to produce these programs, he might be experiencing any number of exotic pleasures, but his purpose is strictly business. It’s no coincidence then that his travel advice is perfect for business travelers, especially those on incentive travel programs who are looking for fresh experiences to share with their colleagues.

Luckily, recently shared Anthony Bourdain’s top-five travel tips:

  1. Eat like a local. Wherever you are, eat what the locals are good at or famous for, and eat where those locals like to eat it. Do not rely on your concierge for dining tips. He’s in the business of making tourists happy. You want the places that make locals happy. Seek out places crowded with locals. Avoid places where others of your kind are present.
  2. Show appreciation. People everywhere like it when you are appreciative of their food. I cannot stress enough how important your initial reactions to offerings of local specialties are to any possible relationships you might make abroad. Smile and try to look happy, even if you don’t like it. If you do like it, let them know through word or gesture of appreciation.
  3. Visit local markets. Get up early and check out the central food market. It’s a fast way into a culture, where you’ll see the basics of the cuisine. You’ll often find local prepared foods at stands or stalls serving markets’ workers.
  4. Travel prepared. Be prepared to be stuck in an airport for indeterminate periods of time. Load your mobile device with as many games, songs, apps, and e-books as possible to keep busy during long waits. Also, make sure to pack a battery charger to power up.
  5. Get comfortable. Remember to bring something scrunchy and long-sleeved, like a sweatshirt. You might need it as a pillow.

For ideas on where to apply this sage advice, we suggest you contact your nearest GMS representative.

The full post is available here.