Podcast #64 – Escaping the Travel Bubble; Mark’s Travel Tips

Finally recorded in the Brooklyn Marriott in New York after hauling my recording gear across the Atlantic to Amsterdam, over to Minneapolis, and finally to New York. In this episode, a number of listeners comment on airport security, we talk about breaking out of the “travel bubble” that insulates so many frequent travelers from the cities they visit, and I answer some listener questions on mileage credit cards and how to get the most out of frequent flier status. Also, at the end of the episode, we announce our 3rd Anniversary concert. Here’s a direct link to the podcast file.

Here are the show notes from TravelCommons podcast #64:

  • Intro music — Warmth by Makkina
  • Recorded in the Brooklyn Marriott after trying to find time to record it in Minneapolis and Haarlem, the Netherlands
  • A medley of earlier TravelCommons hotel room introductions
  • Bridge Music — 7 Ghosts I by Nine Inch Nails

Following Up

  • Leo Vegoda inventories the security screening inconsistencies he’s faced in China, the US, and Europe
  • Enrolling in the Clear registered traveler program, I gave up images of my driver’s license, passport, irises, and fingerprints
  • Lori Humm and Drew Leifheit agree that the nipple ring removal incident typifies the TSA’s disregard for travelers
  • I hate how far away the BWI and CLE rental car facilities are from the terminals. Makes me choose DCA over BWI
  • Bridge Music — When Irish Eyes are Burning by the Ike Reilly Assassination

Breaking the Travel Bubble

  • Sometimes I get tired of traveling within the travel bubble that frequent travelers often construct for themselves
  • Staying in the Brooklyn Marriott, taking the subway from the Borough Hall stop in Brooklyn to the 32nd St stop on Park Ave certainly gets me up close and personal with a lot of NYC residents
  • Taking the commuter train from Amsterdam to Utrecht, I was engulfed in a swarm of bicyclists – the commuters got off their train, hopped on their bicycles in the dark, drizzly, 40 degree January night, and rode home
  • Some travelers like to stay in the same hotel every time they visit a city – the “Cheers” syndrome – you wanna go where everybody knows your name
  • Bridge Music — Stupid Now by Bob Mould

Mark’s Travel Tips

  • Joy in Denver asked me if I use mileage credit cards. I primarily use Diners Club because it doesn’t lock you into a single mileage program. I’ve used it to “top off” other accounts, where I needed some extra mileage to meet an award level.
  • I also have a Starbucks Duetto Visa card that I also use occasionally for business expenses
  • Brian from Naperville, IL recently earned Gold status on American and is wondering the best way to maximize the benefit
  • Key benefits of this first status level are separate security lines and priority boarding


4 comments on “Podcast #64 – Escaping the Travel Bubble; Mark’s Travel Tips

  1. Frick says:

    Congrats on the 3rd year anniversary I think I’ve been listening since the 7th or 8th show. I must say that your travel takes you to better places than mine does as I’m limited to mostly the southeast.
    My hotel decisions are based first on price (gotta love those bean counters) and second on if they provide free or reduced access to a local gym.
    Your stories and tips are always humorous and enlightening and many time they are the stories that only “Fellow Travelers” completely understand.
    Over the years I’ve put together some travel tips as well probably not a serious as yours but they help make my time on the road a little easier Travel Tips

  2. Uncle Drew says:


    Loved the flashback mosaic of your “studios”. And great music this episode, too, to accompany the always thoughtful show.

    Uncle Drew
    Budacast.hu – Hungary’s podcast

  3. Tony W says:

    I love the Nine inch nails songs. It takes me back to school in the late 80s and early 90s.

  4. Brian says:


    Thanks for reading my e-mail on the show and providing the insight. Hopefully, I can get even more advice from your listeners. FYI-I got my first upgrade last week Thurs on a 6am flight from PHX to ORD.

    On the topic of credit cards, I use the Capital One No Hassle Miles Ultra—For Professionals card. It gets me 2 miles per $ and when I fly on AA I double dip, by getting miles while using a free ticket. I can also use miles to upgrade that free ticket. The most interesting thing about it, I can use the miles on tickets I’ve purchased within the last 60+ days.

    Brian – Naperville

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