Podcast #60 – Tips for Holiday Travel; GPS as the Hot Travel Gift

Recorded in the TravelCommons studios outside of Chicago after I’ve finished up my business travel for the year. Since a number of listeners aren’t frequent travelers, we provide some tips on how to blend in, look like a pro, and generally reduce a little of the hassle of holiday travel. Also, GPS devices are hot for the holidays this year. We talk about their good points and a few gotchas. Listener comments include suggestions on public transit to Denver airport, another happy JetBlue customer, and a call for help dealing with tight UK carry-on limits. Here’s a direct link to the podcast file.

Here are the show notes from TravelCommons podcast #60:

  • Intro music — Warmth by Makkina
  • Recorded in the TravelCommon studios outside Chicago, IL
  • December is a funny time to travel — light traffic the beginning of the month, crushing traffic at the end.
  • Bridge Music — Angels we have heard on high performed by James Edwards
  • Following Up

  • A listener from Denver suggests skyRide bus service as a cheap and comfortable way to get to Denver International Airport
  • A recent visitor to San Francisco agrees with episode #59’s assessment of the BART system cloth seats — they’re gross.
  • A listener from Richmond, Virginia raves about the new JetBlue service into RIC
  • A listener from London mentions the Iris scan speeds up immigration, but is looking for suggestions on how to handle the UK’s restrictive one carry-on bag rule.
  • Bridge Music — The First Noel performed by Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks
  • Tips for Holiday Travel

  • The most telling difference between an experienced and an amateur traveler is what the military calls “situational awareness”
  • The place where experience shows the most is in the security line
  • Tip #1 – Use the line to get prepared
  • Tip #2 – Never let the x-ray machine go hungry
  • Tip #3 – if you aren’t prepared, step aside until you are
  • These three tips all have one key similarity – consideration for others.
  • Bridge Music — Christmas Day in the Morning is by Shira Kammen
  • GPS as the Hot Travel Gift

  • AdAge magazine declared GPS as “hot for the holidays” with unit sales up 488% over last year.
  • Bought a refurbed TomTom One from Buy.com for $160 a few months ago and it’s been great
  • Advantage over built-in units and rental car units is the ability to upload information.
  • tomtomforums.com and poiplaza.com have custom point-of-interest files for download. I’ve found the Starbucks file very useful.
  • However, GPS units will get it wrong on occasion.
  • Closing

  • Closing music — iTunes link to iconPictures of You by Evangeline
  • Bridge music from Magnatune
  • Feedback at comments@travelcommons.com, the comment board on podcastalley.com, or right here in the comments section below
  • Direct link to the show
Leave a comment


  1. It looks like I’m going to start doing some traveling for my site. What is the most accurate source (local tv, cable, internet) for checking weather for your destination (realizing that the determination for picking the television weather-people in our area is the whiteness of their teeth and the ability of their hair to look good in a blizzard)?

  2. Here’s a thought on packing shoes for the gym: How about racing flats? These are the shoes that distance runners wear for races (as opposed to daily training). They don’t have much cushioning at all– maybe even less than the Tevas you mentioned– but they have a full upper that should take care of the blister problem. They’re also extremely lightweight and should pack a lot flatter than most other athletic shoes, since at least some models have a very soft upper. Just make sure you get flats and not spikes– the hotel probably wouldn’t appreciate having their treadmill torn to shreds!

  3. I work out on the road every week and I pack Converse High Top Chuck Taylors (Old School). They pack flat and have a solid sole. I do more lifting than cardio (sometimes the elliptical) and they have held up well, plus what other shoes can you find with flames on them. LINK

  4. Hi Dan, thanks for the tip on the flat racing shoes. I will definately have a look at that. Also I saw a advert not to long ago about a pair of shoes with really think fabric and a 1cm thick sole which could all be folded into a tiny package. I took the advert but then misplaced it, just my luck, and haven’t been able to find it since. Thanks anyway for any tips and tricks.

  5. Hi Mark.
    It looks like all those holiday travelers with extra batteries for computers and cameras might have problems with the TSA lines after January 1st. It looks like we now have to bag up our shampoo, perfume and now our batteries. Oh don’t forget to take your shoes off. It seems like as soon as travelers get into the TSA rhythm they make a change that slows the lines down again. Could it be job protection? My guess is yes.