Podcast #154 — Will We Still Love Uber When The Prices Go Up?

The moment of truth

Breaking out the mobile rig to record this episode in the Residence Inn in downtown Charlottesville, VA. Summer storms let me test Freebird’s re-booking service, I wrestle with AT&T so I can use my iPhone’s dual SIM capability on my trip to Krakow and Budapest, booking more relaxed flight itineraries lets me call an audible when Uber and Lyft prices surge into the stratosphere, which gets me thinking — will we still love those rideshare companies when they’re no longer cheaper than taxis?  All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #153 — Travel By Algorithm; Leaving Places Behind

What’s Behind Me Is Not Important

Going upscale, recording in the podcast studio at the 1871 tech incubator in Chicago, I talk about my surprising smooth 2-week trip in Ireland and Scotland. We also note the retirement (finally!) of American Airlines’ MD-80 jet, a very interesting new social media app, talk about how algorithms are changing the way we travel, and the melancholy of leaving familiar places for the last time.  All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #152 — Overwhelming Travel; New & Old Restaurant Trends

Latest in Sustainable Food Delivery 

Moving the TravelCommons studios kept me mostly off the road this month except for a quick trip to Nashville, but staying out of restaurants has helped me finally drop the last bit of Christmas weight. We talk about the “earn and burn” strategy for frequent travel awards; answer a listener’s question on how to keep from being overwhelmed when arriving in a new city, and new restaurant trends from the floor of the National Restaurant Association’s big show. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #151 — Traveler Data Leaks; Brittany Street Food

Cancale Oysters with a nice Evian Sancerre

Squeezing in another episode before moving the TravelCommons studios, we talk with Candid Wueest of Symantec about websites that leak traveler data and what we can do to protect ourselves. I talk about yet more frustration with the Avios frequent flyer program, while a listener writes in about his great experience with Freebird, a new flight rebooking service. I wrap up talking about great street food we had while touring Brittany, France last month. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #150 — Travel Interruptus

This guy looks familiar…

It’s been a tough month for travel. Not quite to Book of Job-level torment, but two of this month’s three trips spiraled into head-shaking metaphysical “What the hell is going on here” questioning of my decision to get out of bed that morning. I walk through the travel gods’ fun and games, as well as some new data on regional jet delays and buying a new travel bag. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #149 — Dining Single; Airlines Need To Tell Us More

Not Looking Friendly for a Solo Diner

I dusted off the mobile rig to record this episode in Happy Valley, the home of Penn State. And I am kinda happy with some travel to Phoenix and Florida to thaw me out after Chicago’s run in with the polar vortex. In this episode, I talk about budget airlines, stepping down in Hertz status, why I bought physical guidebooks for a trip to France, the challenges of being a solo diner, and then dig into the archives for a classic travel story. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #148 — Travel Potpourri for $200, Alex

Tough travel day when the deicing fluid freezes

Flying home into the teeth of the polar vortex that gave Chicago its coldest day since January 1985 took a bit of flight changing strategy and some incredibly dedicated United ramp workers. I get on-trend by “Kondo-ing” my old suitcases, worry about visiting Sweden as it rapidly goes cashless, and gather up some odds-‘n’-ends from travel notebook into a Jeopardy-like topic “Travel Potpourri”. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Road Trip — Lowbrow Santa Fe

In Search of a Killer Margarita

We stopped for a moment to catch our breath and figure out how much longer to the top of the Atalaya Mountain Trail. Yesterday, before we flew out to Santa Fe, we were at 700 ft above sea level. After 90 minutes of walking, I guessed we were at 8,000 ft and had another 1,100 ft to get to the top. Between the altitude and the snow on the trail from the night before, this hike was taking longer than we’d planned. I looked at my watch and told Irene, “If you want to hit the Black Friday artisan market, we need to head back now.” She took another breath. “Nope, we’re heading to the top.”

Forty minutes later, we stood on a rocky ledge looking down over Santa Fe with a group of Argentinians who’d passed us 10 minutes before. We took the obligatory selfie and sat down on the rocks to take in the view. The breakfast cook/owner of our B&B had sold us on this trail. We cursed him on the way up when we slid through the snow and struggled to find the trail markings. But now, looking out over Santa Fe National Forest to the horizon line of a cloudless blue sky, we took those words back.

Santa Fe visits can go highbrow — the Georgia O’Keefe museum and a run up Canyon Road through all the art galleries — or lowbrow — hiking up mountain trails and hunting the best green chile cheeseburger. This trip was all lowbrow. Click Here To Keep Reading “Road Trip — Lowbrow Santa Fe”