Actor and famed Arrested Development star Will Arnett loves to travel but as COVID-19 dampened everyone’s travel plans, the legendary Canadian is spilling his tips for the best travel experience in Canada and beyond.
For Arnett, while he grew up in Toronto, his favourite place to visit in Canada is actually Vancouver.
“I worked in Vancouver a bunch of times and I was able to kind of really experience it as an adult, and what an amazing city that is, so I love going to Vancouver,” he told Yahoo Canada.
“I love going to Vancouver to work so that when I have downtime, I'm there in that city. I love skiing at Whistler, of course, it's amazing.”
Don’t be too upset Torontonians because Arnett definitely has an affinity for visiting all of Canada, sharing that he wants to get back to northern Ontario and, hopefully, explore more of Atlantic Canada.
“Northwestern Ontario is so beautiful, Lake of the Woods, that whole area, is somewhere that I spent a lot of time as a youth and I just love it, all that natural beauty and all that sort of rugged terrain I love,” he said.
“Victoria [B.C.] I've never been to and I've never really been to the Maritimes, other than Newfoundland. So I'd like to get to Halifax and get to Nova Scotia eventually and explore those places.”
Like all of us, Arnett’s travel dreams are very much international as well. He’s a big fan of travelling to Europe but also wants to go to Africa.
“I’m such a fan of getting over to Europe and moving around, and maybe it’s because there are so many different cultures really close to each other, so you can kind of hop around and go from place to place, there are so many great destinations,” Arnett said. “Africa is somewhere that I'd like to check out as well.”
There’s certainly one trip that’s bookmarked to take with his children and that’s to Japan. The father of three shared that his middle son, in particular, has requested a trip to that country.
“I've only been to Tokyo once, my kids, especially my middle son, is really intent on going to Japan,” Arnett said. “I've made this very loose sort of promise that once everybody’s sort of feeling good about moving about again, that we'll make our way there, so I feel like that's going to be the next big family trip.”
“These are all ideas that are on my wish list and I don't know how they're going to come up, but I know that they will. It's really fun to kind of dream about it."
Time to 'really appreciate travel'
Something that’s clear from Arnett is, just like many of us, COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions have led to a lot of dreaming about the next place and new culture we want to explore, which is a natural fit for him to team up with American Express Canada to spread the word on the redesigned suite of Amex Aeroplan Cards, specifically helpful for Canadians who are longing for their next vacation.
“[Travel] represents an opportunity to meet new people and go places, I love just having that sensory overload of a new place,” Arnett said. “The last 18 months, I was able to...really make it a great time thinking about where I want to go, what I'm going to do, really appreciate travel.”
An online survey conducted for Amex in August revealed 86 per cent of Canadian respondents say memories of past travel “boost their happiness,” and 80 per cent identified that the anticipation of travel “uplifts their mood.”
Arnett aligns with what many insights on travel trends have pointed out, which is that travel lovers plan to spend more and “maximize” their travel experiences in post-lockdown travel. This can include cashing in those reward points we’ve been holding onto for the past 18 months, accruing points for a companion ticket, getting into an airport lounge, taking advantage of priority check-in and using all the perks travel credit cards get you, to really make every experience the best it can be. Essentially, making up for lost time.
“Every trip is going to mean something, it's gonna be awesome,” Arnett said. “That's kind of a state of mind that we can get in now and I always believe that you can kind of believe that stuff before you do it.”
How to have the smoothest travel experience
In terms of recommendations on how to get that best travel experience, Arnett has some recommendations, starting with trying to pack light.
“Travel light, as light as you can,... stay flexible, as much as you can,” he shared. “Enjoy every part of it, it's all part of the experience, don't get too bogged down by things that come your way.”
“I love going to a lounge, I love getting to the airport early so that I'm prepared. I'm one of those people. I don't care, I don't need to be cool and get on at the last second. I'm good. Get there early, go to a lounge and you know, now you can have more access to more lounges… To me that just spells calm, I feel good.”
In an effort to get as much of an authentic travel experience as possible, Arnett is the kind of person who is asking locals where they go when he arrives in a new destination.
“If you go to a restaurant, or a hotel, [asking], where do you eat? I've had some great experiences doing that,” Arnett said.
“'I’ve found restaurants or some little places that are kind of local spots, and anytime you can do that, that's really fun.”