My Travel Tales: Ralph Macchio

The Karate Kid and My Cousin Vinny star shares his fondest travel memories

April 2019

Macchio returns as a grown-up Daniel LaRusso in the second season of the YouTube Premium series Cobra Kai this month

Big Love

We shot The Karate Kid Part II on the windward side of Oahu, which we faked for Okinawa, Japan. The Big Island is so rustic and untouched. My wife and I stayed at this very Polynesian place called the Kona Village Resort. I loved waking up to a cacophony of sounds every morning: ocean, birds, breeze.

Paris as a Painting

I took my family on an incredible vacation to Paris when our kids were younger. They all took French in school, so it was fun watching them speak the language and experience the culture. The kids interacted with the locals much better than I did. The only time I had to communicate with anyone is when the check arrived.

Letting an Outsider In

I’ll never forget visiting the Cade Winery on Howell Mountain in Napa. The character
I played in The Outsiders was named Johnny Cade, so of course I had to visit. When my wife and I arrived, we were turned away because we didn’t have an appointment. But as we were walking back to the car, a guy came out with a couple of glasses and did an impromptu tasting for us.

Soda for Sore Eyes

When I was around 17 years old, my family and I crowded into this tiny Fiat with my grandmother to look for her family’s little mountain village in Greece. It took us forever. We eventually found it. Other than my grandmother becoming emotional as she learned about her history, the thing I remember most was being incredibly thirsty. At the end of this town dotted with huts and goats was a Coca-Cola machine glistening like it was in 2001: A Space Odyssey. I don’t know how it got there.

Ralph’s packing list

Noise Machine

I have an app that does this now, but I used to always bring a white noise machine with me.
I have no tolerance for being woken up by the housekeeper knocking on the door down the hall. Now, my whole family is addicted. Our house sounds like an airplane at night.

Zip-Up Sweater

It’s not too bulky, it’s nice to have in case it’s cool and it’s easy to slip off if it’s not. I can wear a black T-shirt underneath it and feel totally comfortable. Obviously, I won’t bring it if I’m going to the Caribbean in July.

Healthy Snacks

I always pack some almonds, a protein bar and a bottle of water in case someone throws me a curveball and I’m stranded somewhere. It’s just generally a good idea to have small, infrequent snacks, anyway.


My wife is a nurse practitioner and travels with a toiletry bag filled with everything you’d ever need. She’s basically a walking pharmacy.


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