Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz Are Headed to Bangkok to 'Celebrate Life' on New Year's Eve (Exclusive)

Sandoval told PEOPLE he's ready to get away and relax after enduring a grueling filming experience for 'Special Forces: The World's Toughest Test'

<p>Ralph Bavaro/Bravo via Getty</p>

Ralph Bavaro/Bravo via Getty

'Vanderpump Rules' stars Tom Schwartz (left) and Tom Sandoval

Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz are closing out 2023 with an epic trip to Asia.

The Vanderpump Rules stars plan to ring in the New Year in Bangkok along with their friend, celebrity jeweler Kyle Chan. In an exclusive interview following the end of his stint on season 2 of Special Forces: The World's Toughest Test, Sandoval, 41, told PEOPLE the vacation — his first since 2018 — will be an opportunity to relax and decompress after filming the grueling bootcamp competition series.

"After going through this and how things have sort of calmed down a little bit, it's really great to just be able to hang out and celebrate life," he says.

The Tom Tom co-owner is bringing Chan along to thank him for supporting him through his tough Special Forces experience.

"Kyle was really there for me through all of this. Me and Schwartz wanted to take him on a trip, so we're going to Hong Kong and Bangkok and Singapore. And I'm really excited for that," he explains, noting that Chan will be featured in the upcoming new season of Vanderpump Rules.

<p>Bravo</p> Tom Schwartz (left) and Tom Sandoval


Tom Schwartz (left) and Tom Sandoval

Related: 'Vanderpump Rules' Cast: See How the SURvers Have Changed From Season 1 to Now

The trio's overseas adventure is set to kick off right after Christmas. "We're going to head to Hong Kong and spend New Year's in Bangkok, and then come back after the beginning of the year and then hit 2024 and be off to the races," Sandoval says.

Sandoval, who made it to the finale episode of Special Forces before ultimately being eliminated, previously told PEOPLE he almost quit the show — until he received a motivating video message from his mom.

“It was so great,” he recalled of her encouragement. "Those were such unbelievably hard days. I mean, we were pushed and pushed and pushed. And that day in particular, when I got that message from my mom, I was so close to giving up."

He said making his family proud fueled his determination to pass selection in the competition. “I was very much thinking of my family and my friends, and when I saw my mom, I was just like... I didn't even watch that video for at least a few minutes. I was just so emotional," he said. “It was just the floodgates opening.”

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<p>Pete Dadds/ FOX</p> Tom Sandoval in 'Special Forces: The World's Toughest Test'

Pete Dadds/ FOX

Tom Sandoval in 'Special Forces: The World's Toughest Test'

Sandoval will return to the small screen in January when season 11 of Vanderpump Rules kicks off on Bravo. The cast began filming back in June, just months after news broke that Sandoval had been conducting a months-long secret affair with costar Raquel Leviss, bringing a shocking end to his nine-year relationship with Ariana Madix.

Related: Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix's Costars Take Sides in VPR Teaser as She Warns He'll 'Be Dealing with My Lawyers'

In the first teaser for the new season, which was unveiled at BravoCon 2023, the cast appears to be taking sides in the aftermath of Sandoval and Madix's messy split. Matriarch Lisa Vanderpump opened up in a panel at the fan fest about how tough it was for everyone to come back together and film after what was an explosive end to season 10.

"This season was extraordinarily difficult for Tom and Ariana … but for me as a maternal figure and a matriarch and a mentor to them … [I] try to facilitate some cohesion," she said. "This is Vanderpump Rules. It’s not Little House on the Prairie."

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