mark

Podcast #187 — 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…

Read More

Podcast #186 — 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…

Read More

Podcast #185 — 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. All this and more – click here…

Read More

Podcast #184 — 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,. All this and more – click here to download the podcast file, go up to the Subscribe section in the top menu bar to subscribe on your favorite site, or listen right here by clicking on the arrow on the player.

Read More

Podcast #183 — COVID Test Anxiety; Michelin Food 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 InsuranceQuotes.com talks about how travel insurance can help. A blogger’s brutal review of a Michelin-starred restaurant where we…

Read More

My Best Restaurants, Bars and Taprooms of 2021

It’ll take travel guide books a while to catch up with all the restaurants and bars closures caused by the COVID lockdowns. To help fill that gap, here are the best places I’ve ate and drank at during my 2021 travels. I’ll update this after each trip, so keep it bookmarked. Chicago NoodleBird at Fat…

Read More

Easy Way to Do 1-Day Testing For Returning to US

How to meet the US 1-day COVID testing window by packing Abbott BinaxNOW kits so you can self-test in your hotel the day before your flight home

Read More

Podcast #182 — 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…

Read More