Avoid the malaria shots and the possibility of being strip searched by back hair-heavy men in foreign countries by checking into these 4 Travel channel shows that are great when there is nothing else on. Travel broadens the mind, empties the wallet and allows you to bring back variant strains of the flu as gifts to your workmates. Dive in and see the countries where a helper monkey is not only legal but required for a fuller life.
“No Reservations” This show might well start as a show for you to check out when there’s nothing else on the television, but it will end as a mainstay in your DVR. Anthony Bourdain brings his acerbic wit, knowledge and humor to “No Reservations” and opens up the world more than your couch might offer. With the varying personalities he runs into each episode, you get a show that isn’t just about the host so much as it is about all the cultures to explore. Make sure to fire up any episode with Zamir Gotta who acts as both foil and friend and is one hell of a counterpart to Bourdain.
“Bizarre Foods” A “Fear Factor” just for your belly, “Bizarre Foods” takes the weirdest of culinary delights, throws in a likeable host with some serious insight into food and culture, and you end up with a nice light meal for your brain. Like those car accidents everyone slows down to watch, this show is a “better him than me” type, especially when you see the “Samoa” episode with the eyeballs and the creative use of the word “apple.” After a few episodes of this amusing show with Andrew Zimmern, you’ll start to look back fondly on the days where ramen and Taco Bell packets were all you had to eat for the week.
"Mancations” In “Mancations” two buddies get to explore the manly adventures out there in the world. Normally, when “man” is added to a word, you need to get out of the room fast because it’s something guys with huge estrogen levels come up with to feel like guys again, but in this case hosts Gareth and Evan, are likeable enough for it to be amusing to watch. A great show to check out when your well has run dry on your normal TV viewing pool. The “Arizona Space Camp” episode makes most kids’ dreams a reality.
“Bert the Conqueror” Bert Kreischer has a giggle—not a laugh but a giggle—that makes you want to get to know him. In “Bert the Conqueror” he does both the scary and the goofy for your entertainment while winning over the crowd. It’s not a replacement for any heady shows you have on your plate, but rather a great little respite to check in on when there’s nothing else on TV. Check out “Massachusetts” for the pole walking competition that makes every second slow down as you wait for the inevitable junk crunch.