- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Before Henry Golding was cast as Nick in the 2018 blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, he actually had an equally sweet gig. As the host of the BBC’s The Travel Show, he explored many corners of the world, and now that travel is becoming possible again thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine, he is itching to do so again. “We’ve spent enough time in our own little zone that a bit of travel is the best medicine for the soul,” he tells AD.
To help people get back to traveling, Golding is partnering with Affirm as the payment plan company gives seven people $5,000 toward their dream vacation every week in June, and one person $15,000. (To enter, you must submit a photo here that corresponds with a weekly theme.)
Born in Malaysia, raised in England, and now a resident of Los Angeles, Golding is an outdoor adventurer with an abundance of travel tips to share—read on to learn his favorite destinations, what he looks for when booking accommodations, and the one thing he’s seeking advice on.
Architectural Digest: Now that things are opening up again, where are you dying to go?
Henry Golding: Anywhere but where I have been for the past year and a half! But actually, to be honest, my wife and I moved to Los Angeles probably six months prior to the first lockdown, and being there gave us the ability to really venture out and explore California, which we thoroughly loved. We went to Yosemite, Big Bear, and all these beautiful places. I think exploring a little bit more of America would be fantastic—South America especially. I had a very quick visit to Mexico City, but I’d love to venture down to Ecuador. I’m in London right now, and coming back to Europe has been a godsend. Seeing family and things has been great. I’d love to get myself back to Asia at some point. I have been missing the food, coconuts on the beach, the laid-back atmosphere. We used to travel to Bali a lot when we were living in Singapore. I have been yearning to head back there.
It sounds like you are sort of an adventurous traveler, but when you are staying in a nice hotel, what do you look for?
Location, location, location. Actually, the older I get, the less interested in hotels I am. I find myself veering toward more short-stay apartments, which can be kind of in a similar price bracket, but you find them located so much closer to the action and what is happening. You really have this sense of being a local. You don’t want to visit a country and feel like a tourist. You want to go and mix in with everybody around you. It gives you the ability to really hang out at local coffee shops and go to those small restaurants and really enjoy it.
Tell us about a rental that really impressed you.
One of my favorites was Venezia. We stayed within the canals in the middle of Venice and it was the most beautiful thing. Architecturally it was just stunning. They have really tried to look after the heritage of the buildings there. You have to drag your suitcase probably about a mile into the little pocket where the apartment is, just because there are no roads. But we called that home for about a week. We just loved being able to explore.
For any Americans planning to travel to Asia, what are some of the destinations you think they should consider?
One of my favorite destinations has to be Thailand. Bangkok is one of the most amazing cities, but also I love the islands, like Koh Phi Phi, Kopanyang, Krabi, and Koh Lanta. Hopping between ferries to all of the lesser-known islands a little further out is one of my favorite things to do. I’ve also spent a fair amount of time in Vietnam—Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The food is amazing, the people are brilliant and so friendly, and generally speaking, it is so diverse in southeast Asia that you cannot go wrong. You are spoiled for choice, really.
If you had to pick one favorite trip, what would it be?
Most recently I had an amazing time in Austin. My friend lives out there. We were really surprised at the balance of lifestyle and nature—you are just surrounded by the amazing rivers that flow and ebb. You can do so much outdoors and within the city itself. Everybody is just so active and the food scene is unbelievable. It’s not all just barbecue food; you’ve got so many mixed cuisines and fusion cuisines out there. I’m not surprised it’s one of the hottest places for people to be moving to. I think half of California has just shifted to Austin.
You and your wife recently welcomed a baby—how will that change the way you travel?
Oh, man. Tremendously. Gone are the days of waking up in the morning, going down to the coffee shop, and meandering. Of saying, “Let’s jump on the bus and maybe rent a moped and travel around Paris or wherever.” Now it is like, wake up, tend to the baby, feed the baby, find breakfast if we can, hope that she doesn’t wake up, venture out for a 10-minute walk, and then realize that the baby needs to come back. I think it will get better the more she grows up, but I think I’m going to need some tips for how to travel with infants and really maximize your holiday.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest