Traveling with the Stars: Tiki Barber

Former New York Giants star Tiki Barber walked away from the NFL and into NBC Universal, where he serves as a correspondent for the Today show and studio analyst on Football Night in America. Here, he shares his travel highlights and tips .

Q: Where have you been recently that you liked or were surprised by?

A:Glendale, Ariz. Of course the perfect weather in late January is sublime — especially when compared to the 10 degree weather that I was missing in my home New York City. But I was there for the NFL playoffs as the Arizona Cardinals played the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship. I really enjoyed their new digs at University of Phoenix Stadium with its retractable roof and expertly groomed grass field that is able to live in a dome by sliding out into the parking lot to grow. What surprised me, though, having played in Arizona many times to less than 20,000 fans, was how full, sold out in fact, and engaged the home town fans were as the Cardinals made their way to Super Bowl XLIII.

Q: What's the best place you've ever visited and why?

A:Lake Como, Italy. My wife, Ginny, and I go away every year for our anniversary, and in 2005 we stayed at Villa d'Este. It was absolutely beautiful and peaceful. The food in Italy is always exceptional. However, the pièce de résistance — pardon the French in my Italian anecdote — was that George Clooney, who Ginny loves, has a place on the lake. So of course we took the requisite lake tour, just to see if he was home.

Q: What's the most surprising/unexpected place you're ever visited and why?

A:Prague, Czech Republic. I was there, literally, for 36 hours to shoot a commercial for Power Bar. It was an exhausting day. I got right off the plane and started shooting, running through the city being chased by a crowd of extras! Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, so much so that it was spared being bombed in WWII. While I was on set Ginny got a tour, which she told me about as I fell asleep in my soup at dinner.

Q: What's your favorite vacation spot and why?

A:Pine Island, N.C. We rent a house right on the beach and go down every Fourth of July week with four other families. It's so relaxing to spend the days on the beach with the kids, and take turns cooking dinner, but most importantly, to escape from New York without an agenda for seven days.

Q: Can you offer an insider tip or recommendation for your favorite vacation place?

A:If you're thinking about booking a house for the week at Pine Island, do it "yesterday." The good houses go quickly. And if you get a chance, get a four-wheel drive vehicle and go see the wild horses at the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge.