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

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






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...


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


Why Business Travel Is Coming Back; Learning Airport History

Business travelers are getting itchy. They know Zoom calls can't replace a face-to-face meeting, but they can't meet with people who aren't in their offices yet. We also talk about how surprisingly great the LaGuardia Terminal B renovation is, and then talk about airport history with Professor Janet Bednarek, professor of history at University of Dayton. Check out this episode's show notes here


How to Find Local Tour Guides; Rebuild Travel Muscles

I can feel travel beginning to come back. TSA checkpoint volumes are hitting post-pandemic highs, business travelers are starting to come out from behind their Zoom sessions, and vaccination rates are prompting more people to make travel plans. So on this episode, we first talk to Paul Melhus, CEO of ToursByLocals about the state of the local tour market and then about how frequent travelers are starting to stretch their atrophied travel muscles. Check out this episode's show notes here


How the Pros Plan Their Taproom Tourism

Looking at the Beer section of this new website design, I saw I needed more content. So I got hold of Rob Cheshire of the This Week in Craft Beer podcast to talk about our approaches to taproom tourism and to trade taproom travel stories. I also talk about mask hassles on a couple of recent flights, Hertz's continuing downward service spiral, and Uber and Lyft driver shortages. Check out this episode's show notes here and the uncut video of Rob's and my beer chat here


What's New in Travel Insurance; Keeping Ahead of Expiring Miles

As travel bookings beginning to rise with vaccination rates, we talk with Michael Giusti of to find out what's changed over the last year. I make the rounds through all my frequent traveler programs to reset impending expiration dates. We also talk about yet another travel data breach, a favorite beer bar is a COVID casualty, and bankrupt Hertz is starting to let its cars get old. Check out this episode's show notes here


Timeshares Without the Pitch; Notes on Tucson

Escaped the Chicago winter for a week of hiking in the mountains around Tucson and searching for good Sonoran food. We also talk with Mike Kennedy, CEO and Co-Founder of Koala about how he’s making it easy to rent timeshares without buying into them. Also, how travel planning got hot but then cooled back down, and trying to extend the life of my Avios points Check out this episode's show notes here and my Tucson trip blog post here


Data Privacy and Rental Cars; 2021 Travel Planning Tips

Was all set to head to San Diego for a week’s break from Chicago’s grey January and then looked at the COVID restrictions… and then pivoted to Arizona. With people starting to think about 2021 travel, I pulled together my top 5 travel planning tips. Slow vaccine roll-out will probably keep us restricted for longer than we thought. Andrea Amico of Privacy4Cars joins us to talk about the dangers of leaving our data behind in rental cars. Check out this episode's show notes here


Show Me the Proof; Hereditary Road Warriors

No Thanksgiving travel, but looking at the travel volume for this, the busiest travel week of the year, shows just how far things have fallen. The Qantas CEO said “No vax, no fly”, so we dig into the emerging world of digital vaccine passports. And then I trace my travel genealogy, wondering if road warrior-ism is hereditary. Check out this episode's show notes here


Pandemic Holiday Gift Guide; Year-End Status Offers

No travel since the last episode, so I had some time to think back through my post-lockdown travel and come up with my top 10 gift ideas for your pandemic travelers. We look at the start of the year-end efforts by airlines, hotels, and credit card companies to keep their grounded travelers, unpack the work-from-hotel offerings from Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt, and dissect the latest hotel reservation system data breach. Check out this episode's show notes here


Surviving Quarantine Theater; Traveling for Food

Trying to recover from a long weekend of eating and drinking through the neighborhoods of South Philly. Our movable feast reminded me that food may be the one experience of a place left that can’t be easily exported and bought on-line. We talk about the FBI’s cybersecurity warning to work-from-home types using hotels for getaway offices, and are a bit amazed at how fast last year’s 'flight shaming' gave way to 'flights to nowhere.' And we think about 'quarantine theater' — how cities and...