Jay Ellis Shares His Tips for Crafting the Ultimate Weekend of Bromance

Jay Ellis knows a thing or two about bromances. Whether it’s as his character, Lawrence, on the HBO Show Insecure, in one of the many other roles he’s had over the last few years, or in his off-screen life with his best friends that he’s had for years (who all try and take an annual trip together), it’s safe to say he knows what it takes to make a true bromance work. So we asked him how to craft the ultimate bromantic weekend.

Before we get to that, though, we had to ask him how he defined a “bromance.” With media and society as a whole portraying the showing of feels by men (especially to other men) in a variety of ways, we had to know Ellis’s thoughts on the matter.

jay ellis mount gay rum
Mount Gay Rum

For Ellis, it’s pretty simple.

“It’s having love and respect for somebody you vibe with,” he says. “You love your boys like you love your family members. They’re there for you (and you’re there for them) in good times and bad times. It’s somebody you can grab a beer with, but it’s also someone who you’ll go see when they graduate or have a birthday party.”

Sometimes, Ellis adds, it’s as simple as being the guy who’ll call to see how you’re doing. They key — like in any good relationship — is being able to have open communication and the ability to feel vulnerable.

If you realize you’ve got a guy or group of guys in your life that you do this with, great! You’re ready to take a bromantic vacation together. It’s time to ditch the significant others and the real world problems.

But where do you go? What do you do?

Picking a Destination

“For our trips, we try to go somewhere that none of us have been,” Ellis says. The last place his group went was Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

“When you put everyone on a neutral playing field, it allows everyone to forget what’s going on in their lives for a second. That way people can drop their walls and just talk. There’s something really interesting about that,” he explains.

The even playing field also frees up any one person from having to play host or tourist. Everyone is exploring together, creating a bond and, hopefully, lasting memories.

With the destination picked, then, the next thing to do is decide on what you’re doing while in this new place.

jay ellis bromance weekend tips wide image

Activities

Ellis and his friends like to each pick an activity. For him, that usually means something that fits more into the “active” and/or “extreme sports” categories. It could be scuba diving or paragliding or rock climbing — regardless, Ellis is about it. It could, he adds, even get more extreme than that.

“I’m the guy who’s like, ‘Let’s go cage dive with sharks!’”

Which he has. He’s also jumped out of a plane three times now — an activity which he says he’s done with. “I’d never do it again because I think the odds are against me at this point,” he admits.

When asked which was more scary, Ellis opts for the plane, because he saw it as a situation with more unknowns. For the sharks, at least, he knew what he was getting into. “I saw the cage, I made my decision, I jumped in,” he says. The jumping out of planes, though, is another story.

“I don’t know what the actual stats on shoots opening or not opening are; malfunctions happen all the time. I don’t know why, but the cage just seemed safer to me. If a shark took my arm, I could still live, but if the shoot doesn’t open, well …”

This type of extreme activity, he says, helps to enhance the weekend because of the bond it creates between you and the other people. “It’s great to overcome obstacles and fears with your friends.”

After a day (or even just a morning) of activities — especially when you have to consider whether or not you said you loved your mother — you’re going to need to eat.

jay ellis bromance weekend tips drinking 1

Food and Drink

During the day, he says, Ellis likes to keep it local — it could be a particular dish that the locals enjoy or just indulging in the street food (as he did in Hanoi, Vietnman, where he says the amount of street food will blow your mind). At night, it’s a different story.

A bromance needs something a little bigger.

“I like celebrating — if you want to call it that — around a good meal at the end of a day. It allows my friends and I to talk about what we did during the day and reflect on it more.”

hanoi vietnam food
Hanoi, Vietnam

A nice meal isn’t complete without a good drink. For Ellis, that usually means cocktails. “I love something smooth, something with flavor, but I also love things that have a history to them as well. I love being able to learn how the spirit is made and where it comes from, all of that.”

One of the spirits he’s been into lately is Mount Gay XO rum. Made in Barbados at the oldest rum distillery in the world, Ellis says he was recently able to really dig in and enjoy the spirit while in Telluride, Colorado, to help kick off Mount Gay’s new campaign, “Time Well Spent,” which, if you ask us, is the perfect summation of an excellent weekend of bromance?

So, where are you going to go on your next bromantic adventure? Let us know in the comments. (If you need some suggestions, check out this list.)

Travel

Traveling Alone Can Be an Unforgettable Adventure with Contiki

Ever wanted to climb a volcano and make chocolate in the same trip? Check out Contiki and their curated trip to Ecuador.
Food & Drink

New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk Stout Gets a Delicious Makeover

A roasty, pitch black stout with a smooth, full mouthfeel, Dragon’s Milk features flavors of vanilla, whiskey, and chocolate.
Food & Drink

How to Carve a Turkey Without Maiming It

Worried about butchering the poor bird? Don't fret — we asked a chef to explain how to carve a turkey properly.
Culture

How to Maximize Your Mini-Moon

Though far less tedious than orchestrating a honeymoon (while also planning a wedding), a mini-moon does require a bit of planning. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Travel

World’s First ‘Craft Beer Airline’ Scheduled to Takeoff from London

It's kind of like Hooters Air, but with better beer and less pantyhose.
Travel

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet? So get inspired.
Travel

The Ultimate Guide to a Road Trip Across Newfoundland

One of Canada’s most remote provinces is also one of the most spectacular places to visit within the massive country.
Travel

10 Best Travel Gifts for a Modern Gentleman Nomad

For the sophisticated gentleman traveler in your life, your holiday shopping begins here.
Travel

The Future of Luxury Air Travel Is Sleeping in the Cargo Hold

It should be far more luxurious than sleeping amid crated dogs and stacks of luggage.
Food & Drink

7 Best Tequila Bars in Mexico City

Jaime Salas, the national brand ambassador for Milagro, takes us on a tequila-drinking journey via the best bars in CDMX.
Travel

Locally Made Artisan Souvenirs Now Available in Airport Vending Machines

Shopping for 100-percent local artisan souvenirs is now as easy as buying a Snickers.
Travel

An Entire Swiss Village Could Become One Beautiful ‘Scattered Hotel’

Spend the night at an authentic, 19th-century Swiss village before it disappears forever.
Travel

Travel Like a Millionaire and Stay In Mansions for Free with this Home Swap Trick

Love Home Swap allows you to, well, home swap with the owners of mansions and luxurious villas around the world.
Outdoors

6 Best U.S. National Parks to Visit in the Winter

Smaller crowds at some of the more popular parks are just one of the benefits.