The Frequent Traveler's Podcast. The voice of the frequent traveler -- it's more about the journey than the destination


United States


The Frequent Traveler's Podcast. The voice of the frequent traveler -- it's more about the journey than the destination






Cheers to Beer Tourism and Travel

In this beer-focused episode, John Holl, editor of All About Beer, gives us his take on beer tourism and tips on how to beer travels. I talk about my experience planning my Asheville, NC taproom visits with ChatGPT. We also dive deep into the new JD Power Airport Satisfaction Survey and do a quick update about the EU's delayed ETIAS system. Check out this episode's show notes for a transcript of the episode and links I mention here


Checking Out Holland’s Tulip Festival

In this episode, I dive deep into our Dutch tulip-themed trip last April. Before the tulip festival stories, I randomly wander through a potpourri of travel topics — TSA passenger volumes returning to pre-COVID levels, having a surprisingly satisfying customer service experience with American Airlines, Hertz’s EV push, and a bit of a chuckle about the misplaced visa panic in the news coverage of the EU’s impending ETIAS system. Check out this episode's show notes here


Best Laid Travel Plans; Roaming Entropy

Back behind the microphone after, despite my finely tuned travel plans, I had to resort to being stubbornly cranky to fix a ORD connection drama when coming home from a tulip-peeping trip in Holland. We also wander into the world of flâneuring, aimlessly walking around a city as a way to swerve overtourism. Listeners weigh in on Priority Pass lounge access and online passport renewal experiences, and I count all the apps I needed to go cashless in Holland. Check out this episode's show notes here


Making the Most of Miles; Nashville vs Nash-Vegas

Doing a bit of winter travel, the bar tab from waiting out a weather delay got me rethinking the economics of airport lounge memberships. Doing yet more travel planning but with a focus on making the most of the points and miles we accumulated on credit cards during the pandemic. And after eight months in Nashville, I compare the two sides of the local music scene -- the Nash-Vegas honky tonks vs the smaller, eclectic off-Broadway scene. Check out this episode's show notes here


New Year Travel Planning Tips; Gin Conquers the World

With COVID travel restrictions gone, I expect people to revert back to their old ways where January is the biggest travel planning month. I wade into the debate between booking direct with travel providers vs. booking with agents and 3rd-party sites. I see how well my travel tips did during the Southwest cancellation chaos, and then pull out a little more of my conversation with Jeff Cioletti, author of the new book Imbibing for Introverts; this time about how gin is going global with a local twist. Check out this episode's show notes here


My Notes on Italy and Split, Croatia

Hard up against the Christmas deadline, we compare long-distance drive times between gas and electric cars, and my travel tips vs. those from the ChatGPT AI chatbot. We talk about the latest Real ID deadline delay, and impressions from my trip to Positano, Rome, Florence, and Split, Croatia. Check out this episode's show notes here


My Travel Tech Stack; Imbibing for Introverts

Back behind the mic after 3 week of travel in Croatia and Italy. The trip went amazingly well up to the last leg, when United's Newark team couldn't get our bags on our plane. But, I'd stuffed Apple AirTags into our luggage, so we were able to track their movements 'til they got home. That experience and a listener's tweet led to me re-visiting my travel tech stack. We then talk to Jeff Cioletti, author of the new book Imbibing for Introverts, about the art of drinking alone. Check out this episode's show notes here


Why We Travel; When The First Flight Isn’t Best

Lots of different voices in this episode. Listeners growing our list of travel tips, and conversations with Dr. Sheldon Jacobson about why one of those tips — always catch the first flight out — isn’t always right, and Patricia Schultz about her new book, Why We Travel: 100 Reasons to See the World. Check out this episode's show notes here


My Top 13 Tips to Survive Travel Chaos

Back behind the microphone after a couple of months of setting up the new studios in Nashville. I've been dishing out travel advice to friends and family swept up in this summer's travel chaos. I've distilled all those texts and messages down to my top 13 travel tips to help those traveling through the rest of the year. We also talk about the countries that have dropped all of the COVID testing requirements for inbound passengers, noodle about the rationale for JetBlue's dogged pursuit of Spirit Airways, Delta's new time limits for their Sky Club lounges, and why frequent flier award travel is suddenly a bargain again. Check out this episode's show notes here


Moving to a Non-Hub Airport; What Makes A Great Taproom?

The last episode recording in Chicago before we relocate the TravelCommons studios, and our lives, down to Nashville. We close out our threads on in-flight mask mandates and hotel housekeeping, and critique an academic paper about the moral hazard of frequent flier elite status. I talk through the changes I’ll have to make when flying out of a non-hub airport. And then, as I’m making a list of the Chicago breweries I want to re-visit before leaving, I think through the characteristics that makes a taproom great. Check out this episode's show notes here


Mask Mandate Scramble; Small Airport Survival

We recap the bouncing ball history of the in-flight mask mandate as we try to figure out where it's going land now that it's in the courts. But before that, I recap my trip to Santa Fe, NM, take the flight tracking app Flighty for a spin, and wonder why CLEAR keeps giving away annual subscriptions. Then we dig into the current state of regional airports with Joanne Magley, of Daytona Beach International Airport Check out this episode's show notes here


Notes on Louisville; Changing Mask Mandates

As the great American philosopher Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast” and in this episode, we talk about the rapid changes in hotel service, and in-flight mask mandates. Then I go into detail about our recent trip to Louisville, complete with recommendations for food and drink Check out this episode's show notes here


Figuring Out Stealth Travel Inflation

In the travel world, what goes up -- rules, fees, prices -- often stays up. It's the ratchet effect and it's a theme running through this episode. Inflation is on everyone's mind, and so we dig into travel inflation, comparing today's prices with pre-pandemic levels. We also talk about US passport renewals ahead of the summer vacation season, and some good Cuban food in Louisville and a questionable food trend in London. Check out this episode's show notes here


COVID Test Anxiety; Michelin Dining Adventures

No travel since the last episode, but lots of travel planning. Are we making our way back to pre-COVID travel planning patterns? Omicron has lots of people worried about testing positive and getting stuck abroad. Michael Giusti of talks about how travel insurance can help. A blogger’s brutal review of a Michelin-starred restaurant where we ate in October gets me thinking about food as an adventure. Check out this episode's show notes here


Yet More COVID Changes; Words That Mean Adventure

Back in front of the microphone after a two-week trip to the UK, getting back home just before the new Omicron travel restrictions hit. We talk about getting to London, surfing the waves of changing travel requirements, a new way to renew Global Entry, moan a bit more about the inexorable advance of the cashless society, and finish up talking with Josh Glenn about his new book The Adventurer’s Glossary. Check out this episode's show notes here


Travel Potpourri for $600; 2021 Traveler’s Gift Guide

No travel since the last episode, so just talking through a random potpourri of travel stuff. There's more travel planning; this time for a couple of weeks split between London and Wales which means sorting through a new set of COVID travel requirements. We look at some stats -- Uber's latest financials and how deeply last year's lockdown hit Nashville airport vendors. I marvel at how much European mobile data rates have fallen, strip down my English to have a deeper chat with an Italian...


Tracking COVID Travel Requirements; Cycling Thru Puglia

Back at the microphone after two weeks in Southern Italy. Lots of travel segments that could’ve gone wrong, but none of them did. We talk about what international travel is like in COVID times, about the challenge of keeping track and complying with the different COVID travel requirements that seem to be constantly changing, and then some thoughts about our bike tour through Puglia. Check out this episode's show notes here


High-Tech Airport Lines; Business Travel Still Missing

Not much travel, but a lot of travel planning for our first post-lockdown international trip to Italy. Trying to thread our way through changing COVID rules and Alitalia’s bankruptcy throes. I’m getting inundated with discount offers for Clear’s fast-pass service. I’ve resisted them so far, because I remember back to when the first incarnation of Clear wanted to sell its members’ biometric data. We then talk to Xovis Technology‘s Cody Shulman about how airports are better managing all sorts...


What Remains from Pandemic Times; Best Restaurant and Bars

Last month's travel got me wondering what travel changes are going to stick after the COVID pandemic begins to recede. With all the restaurant and bar closures caused by COVID lockdowns, I'm updating my recommendations list based on recent travels. And, I'm way overthinking our first post-lockdown international trip. Check out this episode's show notes here and the blog post with my 2021 restaurant and bar recommendations here


B-Sides and Rarities

After a 2-week, 2,500-mile driving expedition through the Northeast, there wasn't much time to write a new episode. So, I mined recent interviews for stories that got left on the cutting room floor. Also talk about COVID planning for a fall trip to Italy and mourn the demise of American Airlines’ in-flight magazine. Check out this episode's show notes here