customNATION The Coolest New Travel Show You Need to Watch

Television is loaded with travel shows, and they usually cover all the major destinations one would expect. They then revisit those same destinations with different hosts, offering slightly different takes in hopes of delivering a fresh look at the same tourist traps they showed the first time; consider all the shows now focusing on extreme food, adventure, or hotels programs as an example. The success or failure of these shows often depends on the host, but even then the repetition can feel old.

So how do you break out of that rut? Get off the television.

customNATION is a new travel web series starring Camille Ford (from Travel Channel’s Food Wars) and the hilarious comedian and actor Christian Finnegan. The duo takes a road trip across the country in a smart car, exploring great American cities via the unique and under-the-radar destinations favored by locals.

“This is a unique opportunity to highlight the city-friendly features of our vehicles while also offering up the insiders’ recommendations in some of the most exciting cities in the United States,” said smart USA General Manager, Tracey Matura, explaining that the featured places are not your usual stops.

This week the series launched with a view of Austin, Texas, just in time for South by Southwest (SXSW). While in Austin, Camille and Christian visit several not-to-be-missed destinations including the grandiose, but haunted, Driskill Hotel. The duo also make a stop at Franklin BBQ, a trailer turned full service restaurant where locals wait in line for up to two hours to savor the venue’s “life-changing” brisket, and visit Ginny’s Longhorn Saloon, where they play a most unusual version of bingo.

The thing about customNATION is that it’s fun, and feels like a couple friends have sent you video postcards from their trip. You want to be there with them, taking in the food, enjoying the insanity and, yes, tooling around town in a fun little car. The segments are short, so you can take them at your own pace — either all at once or as an escape throughout the work day.

Check out the trailer above, then watch the episodes on the customNATION website.