Comic Nick Swardson on How a Hotel Can Make or Break a Trip and the One Place He Never Wants to Visit
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Nick Swardson is the John Belushi of travelers — asking the actor-comic about packing tips is like going to Larry King for marriage advice. But we asked Swardson how to pack anyway and we’re still reeling from his answers. Here, Swardson, who is currently on tour with his buddy Adam Sandler, talks about his worst Las Vegas trip ever and why he’ll never travel to Mars.
How often do you fly?
I fly a lot. I’m not very organized. I didn’t realize that I’ve really been rolling it up on my American Express — I recently saw that I have about two million points. My friend said, ‘Dude, you can fly for free for the next five years!’ That’s awesome!
What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
It’s always Hawaii. That’s where I got my first tattoo. I love it there. Who wouldn’t?
Got any packing tips?
Don’t pack when you’re drunk. I did a tour last year when I was on the road for two months and I was completely s**t-faced when I packed. I didn’t bring any pants. I had 20 t-shirts, no underwear or socks. I didn’t bring a toothbrush. I had one pair of shorts, and when I performed in 40-degree weather, I went onstage with board shorts. So, what did I have to do? I bought a bunch of clothing that you buy at the airport, like Ohio State sweatshirts.
Are you a points guy?
Believe it or not, I tend to forget about my points. They’re floating around, but I’m glad they’re out there. I will use them someday.
Any travel horror stories?
I had shows in Seattle for a whole weekend and I was screwed because the airline lost my luggage. I had no clothes and decided to just get s**t-faced for the entire five days and not think about my dilemma. I wore the same clothes for six shows. People saw online what I wore. Some of them said, ‘He’s wearing the same thing Thursday that he wore on Monday,’ and others said, ‘It’s the same thing he wore on Tuesday, too.’ People were pretty grossed out.
Where have you always wanted to go but haven’t yet?
Tokyo seems like an awesome city. I would love to go there. This might be off the topic but I don’t want to go to Mars. There are people that now talk about wanting to go to Mars just because they found water on the planet. Mars sounds f**king horrible. Call me when they find a Walgreens on Mars.
I can be pretty low key. I can handle a Days Inn but I don’t want to go below that. I remember going to Vegas for the 4th of July and I thought about how when I’m in Vegas, I’m never in my hotel room, so I decided to stay in a Travelodge. We were going to be partying and I figured we would just crash for a few hours in the room, so it would be fine. I was wrong. When we got to the room, I saw that there was diarrhea all over the bathroom wall. That was that. We left for the Bellagio, where I spent a lot of money on a great room but at least there wasn’t s**t on the wall. That’s why you don’t stay at a Travelodge.
Window or aisle seat?
Depends on the flight. If it’s a short flight, the aisle. If it’s a long flight, window because I can sleep on flights.
Daytime flight or red-eye?
Evenings over mornings. I hate waking up early. That’s why I don’t have kids.
Adam Sandler hasn’t toured in years but you guys are on the road now. How did you persuade him to take a break from his films and hit the road with you, David Spade and Rob Schneider?
Every time I came back from the road, Adam would ask me how my shows were and when I would tell him, he would say, ‘That sounds awesome and I miss doing it.’ So I said, ‘Why don’t you get back out there?”
A few years ago, David Spade told me Adam is so successful because he just throws stuff up against the wall constantly.
It’s true. I’ve worked with him for almost 15 years and his brain just never stops working. He is one of the most creative people, if not the most creative person, I’ve ever met.
It’s difficult to imagine what you would do if you weren’t a comic. What do you think you would be doing?
That’s a great question since I have no idea.
What other jobs have you had and were you successful at any of them?
I was not a success at any of those jobs. I worked in telemarketing. I was fired. My boss went up to me after two hours and said, ‘You have no idea what you’re doing, do you?’
I didn’t know it was possible to get fired from a telemarketing job. What other job did you get fired from and why?
I worked at a bakery. I got fired because at the end of the day, we had 15 brownies left and I smashed them up into a big patty. I tried to sell it as a big chocolate hamburger for $40. I was told that it looked disgusting and I was fired. Thank God I have comedy. Who knows what I would be doing if I didn’t have comedy?
Featured image courtesy of Tara Ziemba via Getty Images.
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