Fronting 1st Look, which explores wild destinations and primo vacation spots around the globe, would be a challenge for any host. Luckily, Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio has 17 seasons on MTV’s adventure-based competition The Challenge under his belt (not to mention the show’s winnings in his pocket).
But the ripped reality star says risks aren’t essential for a great vacay. “Try things that require just a little bit of courage,” advises Devenanzio. Here are his tips for unforgettable trips, inspired by escapades on the series.
Travel Tip No. 1: Get a Real Thrill…Safely
If bungee jumps or treacherous ice climbs aren’t your speed, go for glory on something that fits your fitness level. In the premiere, Devenanzio travels to Alaska, where his wild activities include white-water river rafting. “You don’t have to go through a Class 5 rapid [a rating indicating one of the most hazardous conditions]. You can go through a Class 1 or 2. It’s exciting, but not dangerous,” he says. “That adrenaline rush makes experiences memorable.”
Travel Tip No. 2: Build Your Journey Around a Festival
Don’t fear crowds! For the October 20 episode, Devenanzio went to New Mexico for the Roswell UFO Festival, held in the town many claim was the site of an E.T. spacecraft crash. “We spent a day meeting ‘experiencers,’ people who say they’ve been abducted by aliens,” he says. Bonus: There’s always a cool side trip. Near Roswell, Carlsbad Caverns amazed the host with the spectacle of bats by the thousand emerging into the night sky.
Travel Tip No. 3: Get a Room With a View
Think beyond hotels. “At a resort, you get lazy. When you [choose a different] option, you’re forced to see what the country has to offer,” Devenanzio says. In the south of France episode airing December 15, he hung out with the nation’s largest wine producer, then went back to his room at La Tour de Chateau, a castle that can be booked by anyone. “You wake up in this building that is hundreds of years old, open your curtains and look at the countryside, not a hotel swimming pool.”
1st Look, Season Premiere, Saturday, September 29, 1am/midnight c, NBC (check local listings)